June 29, 2022 3 min read

HEST Rigs We Dig GMC Sierra Camper Buildout Back of truck DuallyYour name: Cristin Whetten aka Badass Brunette  

Location: Everywhere and Nowhere - living on the road!

Nickname: Ronan

Make & Model: Toyota Tacoma, third generation

Year: 2015, automatic

HEST products: HEST Dually Long & HEST Camp Pillows

Critical dimensions for your bed platform: (It's the exact dimensions of the dually long mattress)

Length: 78” Width: (at narrowest point): 50” Height: It follows the wedge, so from 0" height to a few feet.

HEST Rigs We Dig GMC Sierra Camper Buildout Back of truck platform bed with storage below

Is this your daily driver or getaway car? 
It's my full-time home on wheels.

What do you like most about your rig? 
It's capability as a vehicle and the homey nature of the camper build-out.

HEST Rigs We Dig GMC Sierra Camper Buildout Back of truck camping set up with platform bed

On your average weekend adventure, what is the gear set up you bring with you? How did you navigate gear storage needs into your rig set up?   

Over the years, the build has gone through a few variations to get to where it is today. I started with simply sleeping in the truck bed and carrying around heavy duty bins for gear storage. From there I stepped up to the roof top tent life, but continued using those bins for gear storage in the truck bed. Today, the camper build has ample storage and every item has its specific place. I also did a rear seat delete in the cab of the truck and built a platform for more storage room. Back there is where the fridge lives, as well as some storage totes.

Any cool custom details you’re proud of? 

I'm proud of the camper build-out. A friend and I built it ourselves, so it's homemade and genuinely one of a kind. The best was that we did it in his driveway, in the middle of winter, in about two weeks time. It was absolutely stressful but a ton of fun.

Coolest place you’ve taken your rig to? 

Baja, Mexico. Specifically this incredibly remote beach where the sunrises were out of this world every single morning. Camping on the beach doesn't get better than that.

Any projects in the pipeline to get the Cruiser even more adventure ready? 

 I'm at a very fortunate point with the build that it's pretty much set for a while! At this point I'm actually in the maintenance phase with the truck itself, so it's the not-fun dollars being spent on things like a steering rack and cv axles. But it's absolutely necessary to keep the rig running well for months and years to come. Never skip maintenance!

Biggest challenge in your build out? 

The biggest challenge I've faced with my build is that I went the ultra-custom route with a few things. I did custom rear suspension work (long travel), swapped rear axle (4Runner), and custom camper build-out to name a couple. With custom work comes challenging problems. I've had many headaches and extra money spent with going that route. Don't go custom if you don't want the challenge.

Tips for others looking to do the same to their vehicle? 

My rig and buildout are on the extreme side. It's certainly awesome, impressive, and incredibly capable, but it was also a lot of work over several years, it was a lot of money spent, and there have been countless headaches and stress to go with it. And nearly all of the custom stuff is 'permanent' - it's not easily undone. So If I did it all over again, I would plan it all much more thoroughly as a build overall, not just one section at a time. But you live and learn and now I have a very unique build that ultimately became my home on wheels!