Building A Custom Bed For A 2014 Chevy Silverado
LGE-CTS creates the ultimate tailgate party
Tailgate parties have a lot to live up to when compared to this setup that was custom built in the bed of this ’14 Chevrolet Silverado Z71 1500 4x4 destined to be given away as part of a recent Texaco promotion. It was built by the skilled hands over at LGE-CTSin San Dimas, California, who were tasked to completelytransform it into a mobile party machine with the bed getting a full installation of tailgate must-haves.
When the bigwigs at Texaco were sitting around a conference room table designing this Silverado, some pretty wild ideas must have been thrown out like, “Give it a cool paint scheme with our logo subtly added to it,” that one was easy. “Make it have a setup in the back with a TV, some big speakers, a DVD player, and a mixing board in case anyone wants to plug in a microphone and guitar and jam out!” All that could be easily done too. “Have the whole shebang break down, making it all hide out of sight and ft under a folding tonneau cover!” That one took some advance planning. With that sort of laundry list, the build crew had its work cut out for itself.
Here’s how it could work. You want to lounge around in the bed of your newly decked out truck as you wait for your friends to show up? Some couches were custom built just for that purpose. Friends get there and you want to pop on a DVD? You can do that too with a hidden DVD player, and the 39-inch Panasonic Smart TV that pops up from a hidden compartment. More friends show up with a band that had just come from a show and don’t want to stop rocking? Let them do their magic on the sound board, give the singer the attached microphone, while the guitar player gets the custom Gibson, and you have yourself an impromptu jam session.
This custom Silverado will turn heads and make other tailgaters jealous wherever it goes. Having all the elements for a great time safely stowed away in its bed, this truck can pull up to any spot and, within minutes, be a self-contained purveyor of good times! Follow along as this Silverado gets a full custom bed setup for a party in any parking lot.
Once the custom paintwork was done to the exterior, it was time for the bed to receive all of its upgrades inside the Custom Truck Shop (CTS), by their team of fabricators.
Providing power for all the electronic gizmos are these two HC1800 Kinetic power cells which will work with these two Cen-Tech inverters from Harbor Freight to change from DC to AC.
A frame was custom cut and welded out of 1-inch box section tubing, which will serve as the focal point holding the power, the TV, the speakers and the mixing board.
A set of plastic, waterproof battery boxes were quickly installed to keep the power cells dry and out of the elements.
A pair of 2-gauge cables runs the length of the underside of the Silverado from the bed to the engine bay.
The factory alternator was strong enough to carry the load of keeping the power cells topped of while the truck rolls around in nonparty mode.
Making double sure of the ground connections is an important step when completing a complex wiring project.
A Sure Power battery isolator was installed in the void of the secondary battery mounting tray on the driver side of the engine bay.
These Kinetics fit their battery boxes snug as, well, batteries. Their recessed terminals were on top and help keep things nice and secure when they get wired up.
The techs wired the batteries and were ready to provide power to the devices that needed it, like the TV, the DVD player, speakers, and the mixing board.
Next came mounting the power inverters, leaving plenty of room between the two for power plugs from the DVD, TV, or mixing board.
With the inverters firmly in place, they were wired up with the same thick 2-gauge wire to makes sure that there is little resistance when the electricity is sent out.
With the inverters safely wired up, the installers were one step closer to having the party electrified.
The inverters got screwed down at all four corners and the power supply area was good to go.
A bright red on/of switch was wired up to remind the lucky recipient of this port-aparty to shut of the power supply when the bed is not in use. If not, no amount of power cells would keep this party going.
The batteries and power inverters were all wired together using with 2-gauge wiring again. A square hole had to be cut into the bed floor to make the TV go down far enough to fit under the tonneau cover.
A MediaLiftTV box for the TV raising/lowering operation was installed next to one of the inverters to make the TV hide out of sight when not in use.
That same thick 2-gauge wiring was used throughout the entire system to be sure that it could stand up to the elements and be robust enough to provide enough juice. Using quality materials will ensure any build lasts a long time and performs how you want.
With the whole system wired up and ready to test, the 39-inch TV was hooked up to the MediaLiftTV system.
With all the electrics sorted out, these custom benches were built for partygoers to rest between band changes and for looking cool while at the tailgate party!
The full system ready in all its glory! The 39-inch Panasonic TV flanked by a set of 1,000- watt loudspeakers, the Behringer Eurorack Pro RX1602 mixing board, is ready for the custom Gibson guitar and microphone to jam out on! Hidden underneath the box is the power supply while the benches hide a DVD player, the electronic lift controls for the TV, a microphone, an iPod plug to play some tunes, and the stomp pedal for the guitar.
All that party breaks down and fits neatly underneath a BakFlip folding tonneau cover so that this slick Silverado can be driven incognito to the next spot!
MagnaFlow Performance ExhaustRancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
Dick Cepek Tires & WheelsStow, OH 44224
BakFlip Tonneau CoversConroe, TX 77304
Harbor Freight Tools800-444-3353
Kinetik BatteriesToledo, OH 43613
Gibson Custom Shop800-444-2766