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I know that there is a separate modifications thread, but I wanted to use this thread to keep track of the modifications I made specifically to my vehicle as well, kind of like a baby album :) Let me know if you want instructions or details into how some of these items were made and I'd be happy to share!

Current Mods:
1. Yakima roof rack. Attached with U-bolts from home depot (kinda janky, I know) and wrapped with bungee cord. As an aerospace engineer, I know that a turbulent airflow that is induced by the cord reduces flow separation over a circular cross section, and therefore reduces drag and noise! Might consider making a wind deflector in the future though if that is more effective.
Total cost <$50 off of craigslist

2. Camper platform. Modular so that you can still use the platform and have passengers in the back. Made from 4x8 plywood, 2x4s, door hinges, and outdoor carpeting. If you want dimensions to make your own, let me know! The whole thing folds down and fits in the trunk nicely too, and only weighs about 50-75lb.
Total cost ~$75 from Home Depot

3. Blackout/reflective shades for all the windows. Can be used to stealthily sleep in parking lots at night or keep the car warm/cool in the winter/summer.
Total cost ~$25 from Home Depot

4. LED bar over the trunk as additional light with trunk open/shut. Great for being able to work in the trunk and rearrange things at night when the tiny cargo space light doesn't suffice.
Total cost $5 from 5below

Future Mods:
1. Hella horn - I like how it sounds compared to the stock horn which is so dinky
2. Some kind of foldable/rollable awning from tarp that attaches to the roof basket.
3. Fabricate/buy a brush guard/grille guard that is functional, not only for cosmetics
4. Tow hitch
5. Fabricate a skidplate
6. Lift kit when I can find any online...
7. Bigger wheels
8. I've seen some aftermarket pillars/rear spoiler parts that are in chrome. If they make them in Lunar rock, I might pick them up to get rid of the floating roof look which is meh to me.
9. Wind deflectors on the window to be able to crack the windows without people knowing
 

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I did a similar conversion to a Mitsubishi Expo years ago. The elevated platform gave me a flat bed and lots of storage underneath.

One other mod that helped sleeping on summer evenings was mounting two 12V computer fans in a 1/4 piece of plywood that was cut to fit into a rear window snugly. Had a switch to run one or both fans as needed and screening kept the bugs out. Worked perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I really like the storage underneath, it's great! Your fan setup was placed in a rear window? As in you rolled down the window and installed the fans in place of the glass?
 

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Your fan setup was placed in a rear window? As in you rolled down the window and installed the fans in place of the glass?
Yes, the wood panel was thin enough to slide it into the window guides on the top and sides with the window down. Then I raised the window to seal the bottom. It had a cord the plugged into the dash 12V outlet. Really worked well blowing air on my face and creating some background fan noise conducive to great sleeping. Was also low power enough not to run the battery down.
 

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I know that there is a separate modifications thread, but I wanted to use this thread to keep track of the modifications I made specifically to my vehicle as well, kind of like a baby album :) Let me know if you want instructions or details into how some of these items were made and I'd be happy to share!

Current Mods:
1. Yakima roof rack. Attached with U-bolts from home depot (kinda janky, I know) and wrapped with bungee cord. As an aerospace engineer, I know that a turbulent airflow that is induced by the cord reduces flow separation over a circular cross section, and therefore reduces drag and noise! Might consider making a wind deflector in the future though if that is more effective.
Total cost <$50 off of craigslist

2. Camper platform. Modular so that you can still use the platform and have passengers in the back. Made from 4x8 plywood, 2x4s, door hinges, and outdoor carpeting. If you want dimensions to make your own, let me know! The whole thing folds down and fits in the trunk nicely too, and only weighs about 50-75lb.
Total cost ~$75 from Home Depot

3. Blackout/reflective shades for all the windows. Can be used to stealthily sleep in parking lots at night or keep the car warm/cool in the winter/summer.
Total cost ~$25 from Home Depot

4. LED bar over the trunk as additional light with trunk open/shut. Great for being able to work in the trunk and rearrange things at night when the tiny cargo space light doesn't suffice.
Total cost $5 from 5below

Future Mods:
1. Hella horn - I like how it sounds compared to the stock horn which is so dinky
2. Some kind of foldable/rollable awning from tarp that attaches to the roof basket.
3. Fabricate/buy a brush guard/grille guard that is functional, not only for cosmetics
4. Tow hitch
5. Fabricate a skidplate
6. Lift kit when I can find any online...
7. Bigger wheels
8. I've seen some aftermarket pillars/rear spoiler parts that are in chrome. If they make them in Lunar rock, I might pick them up to get rid of the floating roof look which is meh to me.
9. Wind deflectors on the window to be able to crack the windows without people knowing
Hey Dylan, I'm really interested in making a camping platform of my own! Do you have any dimensions and/or additional photos from the build? Looks like an awesome solution!
At the very least, how tall are you/how long is the sleeping platform? I'm 6'1" and want to be sure I can actually fit before I go about making one.
Also, great idea to make it modular. Love the option to fold part of it back.
 

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That's awesome! Great Work. This is the first such mod I have seen for the 5th gen Rav4. I built one for my previous 4Runner and absolutely loved it! I have been seriously pondering another one, but I worry about accessing the spare tire and the gear I have stored in there.



 

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I know that there is a separate modifications thread, but I wanted to use this thread to keep track of the modifications I made specifically to my vehicle as well, kind of like a baby album :) Let me know if you want instructions or details into how some of these items were made and I'd be happy to share!

Current Mods:
1. Yakima roof rack. Attached with U-bolts from home depot (kinda janky, I know) and wrapped with bungee cord. As an aerospace engineer, I know that a turbulent airflow that is induced by the cord reduces flow separation over a circular cross section, and therefore reduces drag and noise! Might consider making a wind deflector in the future though if that is more effective.
Total cost <$50 off of craigslist

2. Camper platform. Modular so that you can still use the platform and have passengers in the back. Made from 4x8 plywood, 2x4s, door hinges, and outdoor carpeting. If you want dimensions to make your own, let me know! The whole thing folds down and fits in the trunk nicely too, and only weighs about 50-75lb.
Total cost ~$75 from Home Depot

3. Blackout/reflective shades for all the windows. Can be used to stealthily sleep in parking lots at night or keep the car warm/cool in the winter/summer.
Total cost ~$25 from Home Depot

4. LED bar over the trunk as additional light with trunk open/shut. Great for being able to work in the trunk and rearrange things at night when the tiny cargo space light doesn't suffice.
Total cost $5 from 5below

Future Mods:
1. Hella horn - I like how it sounds compared to the stock horn which is so dinky
2. Some kind of foldable/rollable awning from tarp that attaches to the roof basket.
3. Fabricate/buy a brush guard/grille guard that is functional, not only for cosmetics
4. Tow hitch
5. Fabricate a skidplate
6. Lift kit when I can find any online...
7. Bigger wheels
8. I've seen some aftermarket pillars/rear spoiler parts that are in chrome. If they make them in Lunar rock, I might pick them up to get rid of the floating roof look which is meh to me.
9. Wind deflectors on the window to be able to crack the windows without people knowing
Love what you've done thus far - especially the versatility of the platform. I'd be interested in the specs!

Anyone on here have a thickened air mattress they use in the 4.5 Rav and would recommend? I have some longer camping trips coming up this year but my back only tolerates the 'ol sleeping mat and tent for a few days. Blackout shades and a roof rack are next up for my mods... Although, I'm tempted to just get a sleeping mask and call it a day 😂 Thus far, I've put in sill protective lining on all doors, installed the trumpet Hella horns, and put on cross bars.
 
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