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  1. #1
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    anyone hanging in a pickup? bridge hammock?

    hi -

    i recently joined and have been going through the forums trying to find info or examples of people who might hang in a pickup bed.

    how deep the 'standard' 6" cut x 80" model when full? top to bottom height?

    i was thinking about a bridge hammock. what holds me back from trying is the depth of the bag when full.

    the depth of the box is 20". would i have enough room top to bottom?

    i have a full size pickup with an 8' bed and a topper. i want to try hanging in the bed, parallel to the 8' direction, under the topper. i have been sleeping on double thermarests in the bed. i'd like to try and find something more comfortable.

    my main reason is i travel with a dog, and i am trying to eliminate motel stays on long weekend trips. if/where i can hang outside, i would probably do that. but in the absence of suitable location or trees, i would like to rig it in my pickup.

    i think i can rig the tailgate end with a cargo type strap with a flat hook on it to hook under the rear bumper and up and over the tailgate in the closed position. basically the same at the cab end, hooked to the frame, over the front of the box, and between the topper and the bed rail. i could use a ratchet on the tailgate end, located outside, near the bumper to tighten things up.

    i look forward to your thoughts.

    dennis

  2. #2
    Senior Member TinaLouise's Avatar
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    Interesting concept!! May work if you can get the hammock higher and I would think that at 8', you would be very limited on how much rope you had left on each end (you'd be trying to attach very very close to the hammock itself) Maybe look into using your truck as one of the anchor points and something outside for the other (like a tree or a sign post) Then you can move your truck to the perfect distance for your hammock. My other suggestion would be to ditch the double therma-rests and get yourself a regular blow up twin mattress for the bed of your truck. Do try out your ideas at home and see if they will work.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Fig's Avatar
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    Dennis,
    I have had the same thoughts. I guess the real way to test this is just throw it all in the back of the truck and see what you can pull off. I have welded up a hammock stand, and at some point might take some pictures and post it on here, but a couple of the bars are all rusted from sitting out by the gate so I will hold off till it's presentable. Point is, if you could weld up a stand, you might even be able to get away with opening the tailgate and letting the stand lay on the last of the bed and tailgate. That would give you a couple extra feet.

    I have been having the same thoughs about how well my hammock would fit in the bed of my truck (same configuration), but I have been leaning toward bed anchors, or making a post to stick in the bed anchor slot to give me some extra height. Also I had only considered laying diagonally across the bed.

    What if you got one of those bed extenders from Harbor Freight?

    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=39168

    You would have to extend the tube that comes up so that you would have a decent hanging spot, but I could see that working, or maybe a custom made version with the right engineering for the direction of the load you would be putting on this. Maybe some custom bracing.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Arkwater's Avatar
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    If I were going to hang a bridge in a pickup bed I would omit the spreader bars & suspension ropes all together. I would install 4 heavy bolt hooks, 2 on tailgate & 2 on the wall next to the cab. Hang the four corners of the bridge from the 4 hooks. Just build your bridge to match the length of your pickup bed.

  5. #5
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    What about using the rectangular holes in the corners of the bed (made for panels). Use some rectangular bar stock to fab a hanger and get yourself some lift above the bottom of the bed.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Arkwater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by east_stingray View Post
    What about using the rectangular holes in the corners of the bed (made for panels). Use some rectangular bar stock to fab a hanger and get yourself some lift above the bottom of the bed.
    I think he said he was using a topper. They cover the post holes.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arkwater View Post
    I think he said he was using a topper. They cover the post holes.
    Whoops. My mistake.

  8. #8
    Senior Member TeeDee's Avatar
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    Don't think the 8' bed of the pickup is going to long enough for an 80" long Bridge.

    On my 80" long Bridges, I need 114", 9.5', for the ridge line and that's using low stretch polyester fabric. With Nylon fabric, you will need 2" to 4" longer for the ridge line.

    You could make the ridge line shorter by using much smaller suspension triangles, but that is going to increase the forces on the spreader bars considerably. Using your pick-up you probably aren't concerned about the weight of the spreader bars and could use some pretty heavy, strong spreaders, but trying to get down to 8', or even 8.9' corner to corner, the suspension triangles are going to have to be very small and then you would have to worry about the strength of the ropes used for the suspension triangles and the abrasion on the ropes caused by the spreader bars.

    I think you would be better to try hanging outside of the truck, using the truck for one end of the hang.

    Also, the depth of the bed is very limiting. Figuring the sag and adding in the depth of the hammock, I don't think you would find it possible to get any hammock within that depth. Even if you were able to get a gathered end hammock to hang properly within that depth, you would likely find yourself scrapping the bed bottom whenever you moved and bounced slightly. Also, the hammock would be within 1" to 2" or less of the bed bottom, so that just getting down to the hammock and sitting in it to lay down would be very difficult, especially as you get older and less flexible. Getting into a hammock that almost on the ground can be very difficult. Ideally you want your hammock at sitting height, which would be about level with the top of the bed sidewalls. With the hammock almost on the ground, when you sit down you will find your self actually sitting on the ground. When you hang the hammock that close to the ground, about the only way I can get into a hammock that low is to kneel on the ground beside the hammock and then more or less fall sideways into the hammock - my knees are getting rather cranky and just won't bend very well any more.
    Those who sacrifice freedom for safety, have neither.

    Do not dig your grave with your teeth. (Unknown)

  9. #9
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    Ok, to try and recover some pride, I have another idea. For at least one point of your hang, it would probably be possible to fab up something that would fit into the receiver. If you're not a metalworker and don't want to fab, you might be able to modify one of those bike racks that fits in the receiver.

    That wouldn't give you two points, but TeeDee just pointed out that you might have a problem with that anyway. At least with a receiver mod you would be able to hammock hang without making some sort of major and irreversible mod to your truck like installing hooks into the cab.

  10. #10
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    thanks everyone. i can weld up a frame, but thought to try staying inside the bed first. (anyone else come to the conclusion that sewing is like welding? ) the bed extender and canoe goalpost are also interesting alternatives.

    TeeDee- the sag in the body of the hammock is what i am most concerned about. weight is not an issue, i can carry anything with me.

    i am not sure on anchoring the spreader bar to the ends of the bed. don't you need the body of the hammock to roll so you can get in and out?

    Dennis

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