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ArtHughes

Badlands
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Art
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Beaverton, Oregon
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www.arthughesphoto.com
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2023 4Dr Bronco Badlands w/ Sasquatch
Your Bronco Model
Badlands
Here is a look at the camp platform and power system I built and installed in my 2023 4Dr Bronco Badlands w/ the Sasquatch Package. I have been planning this build since first reserving my Bronco (which was initially a 21 model year) with the goal of it being a go-anywhere nature photography vehicle. The main objectives were to create a flat sleeping surface that I could stretch out in (I’m 6’3”), add a large 12V/120V auxiliary power system, ensure that everything I built was rattle-free and silent off-road, and do this without making permanent modifications to the vehicle (meaning it all bolts in using stock anchor points).

Ford Bronco Interior Camp Platform / Power System Build for 4Dr Bronco Badlands _R5_4230


To do this, the driver side section of the rear seat was removed to allow for a perfectly flat platform from the cargo area up through to the driver’s seat. I made a subframe system out of ¾” Baltic birch plywood that ties into the 4 cargo bay tie down points in the rear, and into the anchor points used for the rear seat. The subframe in the rear was built at a slight angle to provide a level platform when the vehicle is level, since the OEM cargo floor is at an angle relative to the frame. This determined the angle for the entire platform.

Next was a 2 section deck platform made from ½” Baltic birch plywood that bolts to the new subframe. The front and rear sections were split so each can easily be removed (4 bolts per section) which gives quick access to all the power equipment and wiring built into the subframe. There are two storage hatches in the front section of the bay with magnetic doors for storage of camp gear (JetBoil, propane tanks, etc), and a flip out deck extension to give me extra headroom when setup for sleeping. The side of the platform accessed from the passenger door has a faceplate that houses the main battery disconnect switch for the dual batteries, and a small hatchet mount I made from hard white maple since my camp hatchet happened to fit perfectly in that space.

The rear deck has a large equipment bay for stereo gear since I replaced the lackluster factory system (I’ll cover that in another post, since this is already long-winded), and a hinged rear door, under which hangs a 2,000 watt sine wave inverter. This hinged panel gives me access to the factory storage bay in the cargo floor for the OEM jack, as well as the factory storage compartment where I keep all my vehicle recovery gear. I added an auxiliary control panel for the onboard air compressor that has the 3/8” air QD bulkhead and the power switch for the ARB Twin compressor. I built a composite mount system for the compressor and mounted it in the passenger side cargo area window behind the interior frame rail. This is wired to the auxiliary power system so I can run the compressor without the vehicle running. The primary purpose of the compressor is for airing up and down when off-road, but I use it every night for inflating the camp mattress as well. I built a 4-tire inflation manifold and hose kit to hook up to the rear of the platform for easy and mostly hands-off inflation.

I built an auxiliary control box that is installed in the rear cargo window frame behind the exposed vehicle frame structure. I matched the angle of the interior frame for an OEM look, and admittedly went a little crazy with the design and build of the enclosure. It’s built from ½” Baltic birch plywood, then shaped to match the interior contours. I had to create a baseplate that would give a flat mounting surface, which is attached to the rear roof bolt-down points. I CNC’d a carbon fiber faceplate that contains a Victron BMV 700 Battery Monitor w/ Bluetooth Module, Blue Sea Systems Power Switch, Renogy Inverter Control Panel, Interior LED Power Switch, High Current 12v Outputs, dual 120V outputs, three 12V accessory outlets, and 2 dual USB outlets. This panel location was chosen for easy access to all the system outputs from the tailgate and while I’m laying inside to sleep.

The power gear under the deck is as follows:
  • Two 12v100ah Lithium Batteries
  • Victron 500A Shunt (for power monitoring)
  • Victon 12-12-30 Isolated DC to DC Charger
  • Victron MPPT 75 | 10 Solar Charge Controller
  • Renogy 2000W Sine Wave Inverter
  • Blue Sea Systems Fuse Blocks and Power Cutoff Switches
  • AudioControl LC7i Active Line Converter
  • JL Audio XD-1000/5V2 5 Channel Amplifier
Above the deck is a 50 quart ICECO 12v Fridge, ARB Twin Air Compressor, interior weatherproof LED lighting on a remote dimmer, custom made fire extinguisher mount, and a custom camera mount plate for camera charging while driving. I also added an Outback Adventure Products TrailGater Tailgate Table, which has been an amazing addition.

The platform deck is finished with 2 coats of water based satin polyurethane, and the lower sections of the subframe that are visible are sprayed with a textured black satin paint to blend into the interior. I added 3 sections of adhesive rubber on the deck to provide grip that prevents gear from sliding, and US Cargo Control removable anchor points for gear tiedowns. I may eventually coat the deck with something like Line-X, but once I go that route there is no undoing it. My main concern with that is off gassing since I sleep inside, but I still may go that route in the future.

Overall, I’m really pleased with the results and the system has performed better than expected. I’ve had a bunch of extended trips with it all over the PNW and up through the Canadian Rockies and it’s been rock solid. There have been zero rattles and the added utility as a camper has given me access to areas I’d never reach otherwise.

There is a quick video walkthrough of it from when it was initially finished on instagram, https://www.instagram.com/arthughesphoto

Here is a link to the full stereo upgrade for those interested in that sort of thing:
https://www.bronco6g.com/forum/threads/bronco-badlands-full-stereo-upgrade-project-complete.88971/

I'd welcome any questions or feedback on the build.

-Art

Ford Bronco Interior Camp Platform / Power System Build for 4Dr Bronco Badlands _R5_4154


Ford Bronco Interior Camp Platform / Power System Build for 4Dr Bronco Badlands _R5_4092


Ford Bronco Interior Camp Platform / Power System Build for 4Dr Bronco Badlands _R5_4095


Ford Bronco Interior Camp Platform / Power System Build for 4Dr Bronco Badlands _R5_4131


Ford Bronco Interior Camp Platform / Power System Build for 4Dr Bronco Badlands _R5_4133


Ford Bronco Interior Camp Platform / Power System Build for 4Dr Bronco Badlands _R5_4110


Ford Bronco Interior Camp Platform / Power System Build for 4Dr Bronco Badlands _R5_4137


Ford Bronco Interior Camp Platform / Power System Build for 4Dr Bronco Badlands _R5_4123


Ford Bronco Interior Camp Platform / Power System Build for 4Dr Bronco Badlands _R5_4167


Ford Bronco Interior Camp Platform / Power System Build for 4Dr Bronco Badlands _R5_4177


Ford Bronco Interior Camp Platform / Power System Build for 4Dr Bronco Badlands _R5_4173


Ford Bronco Interior Camp Platform / Power System Build for 4Dr Bronco Badlands _R5_4183


Ford Bronco Interior Camp Platform / Power System Build for 4Dr Bronco Badlands _R5_4204


Ford Bronco Interior Camp Platform / Power System Build for 4Dr Bronco Badlands _R5_4188


Ford Bronco Interior Camp Platform / Power System Build for 4Dr Bronco Badlands _R5_4237-Enhanced-NR


Ford Bronco Interior Camp Platform / Power System Build for 4Dr Bronco Badlands Subframe Power System


Ford Bronco Interior Camp Platform / Power System Build for 4Dr Bronco Badlands Inverter Mount


Ford Bronco Interior Camp Platform / Power System Build for 4Dr Bronco Badlands Stereo AMP-LOC Rack


Ford Bronco Interior Camp Platform / Power System Build for 4Dr Bronco Badlands Bronco Canadian Rockies Cam
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swamp2

Raptor
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Epic.

What drove the need for all of the power/electronics? The fridge? I do a fair bit of camping/overlanding and as long as I can charge my phone during the day, I'm pretty set. I think I'm going to try a underhood lithium battery when I add a fridge, which should easily start the truck after a night of powering the fridge.
 

VentureBronco

Base
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That is EPIC!! Wow.

How well do the electrics get air circulation to keep the heat transfer down ? The warmth is helpful in cold season, I wonder how noticeable it is in hot season ?

What was the reason for mounting the ARB inside instead of the engine bay? When that thing turns on, it’s gotta be crazy loud in there . Do you leave the little air chuck always sticking out exposed like that ? Any concern with something breaking it since it pokes out and is a hard fixture ?

Your build and quality are epic. I love all the flexibility and kill switches too. Very nicely done. Thanks for sharing !
 

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broadicustomworks

Badlands
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Clubs
 
The attention to detail and workmanship here is fantastic.
Outstanding work!
 

desibull

Black Diamond
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Black Diamond
Clubs
 
I do not have any words for this except these....
 

WillRCTID

Badlands
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Clubs
 
Wow! Incredible work and attention to detail.

There's a small group of us based out of the Portland area that try and go out once a month. We're headed out next Sunday the 25th. Get in touch if you want to come too. I'm sure the group would love to see this build in person.
 

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ArtHughes

ArtHughes

Badlands
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Art
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2023 4Dr Bronco Badlands w/ Sasquatch
Your Bronco Model
Badlands
Epic.

What drove the need for all of the power/electronics? The fridge? I do a fair bit of camping/overlanding and as long as I can charge my phone during the day, I'm pretty set. I think I'm going to try a underhood lithium battery when I add a fridge, which should easily start the truck after a night of powering the fridge.
I appreciate it. The power onboard is excessive for most use cases, but I had a few reasons for the current configuration. 1st was a bit of the "anything worth doing, is worth overdoing" philosophy, but I also built this for multiday offgrid adventures, including in some really cold environments. With the two 100ah lithium batteries, I can run heated blankets and even an electric space heater in the vehicle for a night, so I dont have to be bundled up like i normally would be tent camping. It also runs the fridge (which does have a very low power draw all things considered), laptop charger, camera charger, air compressor when needed, and auxiliary gear like a hair dryer if we are camping as a family and I want my wife to stay happy with some creature comforts. I wanted to be able to do all of this without hitting the vehicle starter battery, so I never risk stranding myself and dont constantly strain the starter battery.

For 1 or 2 day trips in mild weather, I just take the 2nd of the batteries out and run on one 12v100ah house battery, which saves a bit of space and about 30lbs of payoad. If all you are looking to do is run a fridge, any small second battery would be more than enough.
 
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ArtHughes

ArtHughes

Badlands
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Art
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www.arthughesphoto.com
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2023 4Dr Bronco Badlands w/ Sasquatch
Your Bronco Model
Badlands
@ArtHughes, you are going to Goose Gear a run for their monies. Good on you.
haha I appreciate that Michael. With the amount of time it took to build this the way I wanted, I'm confident Goose Gears profits are very secure for the foreseeable future :LOL:

there was just nothing on the market that accomplished what I wanted to do, so building it myself was the only option. I would consider producing some of the smaller components for guys if they were really interested (fire extinguisher pillar mount, custom cell phone mount which i didnt show here, etc) but I doubt building full kits for people is in the cards.
 
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ArtHughes

ArtHughes

Badlands
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Art
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www.arthughesphoto.com
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2023 4Dr Bronco Badlands w/ Sasquatch
Your Bronco Model
Badlands
O M G - 🤩

Unbelievable the level of detail and craftsmanship. I don't know how to express my feelings towards you. 😜
haha i really appreciate that Ken. I actually lived in St Augustine when I first ordered this vehicle, before moving to Oregon. The Bronco is certainly much more at home in the mountains out here btw :p
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