I guess I should clarify, I don't mind taking off the box to work on the truck. I just hesitate to avoid biting off more than I can deal with. We moved last summer up north (almost in Ft. Collins) and I'm still working on a hoist (which I need for the WilderNest anyway). It's gonna have to be outside, the new (old) house is not built nearly as solidly as the old (old) house, eye-bolts in the garage ceiling won't cut it here. :-)
Hmm. I definitely like the idea of boxing in the frame, that is the way frames are supposed to built. At this point there won't be a swing out bumper or long range fuel tank, but there will be a camper, fridge and hitch rack for the bikes. I don't travel light, either. Geez, I know, I know.
So are frame plates AND boxing overkill? Thinking stages, gussets now, inner plates down the road when I get ready for suspension. Think a couple of people could remove the box, weld on side plates and put the box back on in a day? I really need the truck ready for road trips by May, so whatever I plan should be straightforward and doable.
On the front, I know guys do some work on the frame horns when they put on an ARB and I'd do the same. Don't they usually close up the ends, too? I have no intention of crawling this truck, it's gotta stay manageable for road trips and she's OK with us keeping Imelda as long as the new truck remaining something she can drive... So the old truck won't have a topper on it and I expect that it'll get used for chores and day trips.
'91 Pickup - Imelda
'08 Tacoma TRD - Donna
'09 Kawasaki KLR650
'12 Gunnar Rockhound 29
"Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security. " --Albert Einstein