Don’t drop your drawers. When it comes to storage – do it once and do it right!
It seems we never have enough room for all of our stuff…
There are plenty of options available, some really good, and some, well, cheaper ones that may get the job done for now. I always look for quality and something that will still be there in 10 years time as I generally keep my vehicles for years.
There are a number of off-the-shelf options that will mix and match to achieve different things and there are also a number of custom designers who can build exactly what you have stored up in your head.
There is a bit of science to getting it right. The fridge should be accessible as well as the pantry draw while you’re cooking on the back. The tools all need to fit. You need quick access to the recovery gear without the drawer flying open on a hill and knocking you out unexpectedly.
The drawers themselves need to be able to handle weight when fully open but also withstand vibrations over miles corrugations, so the correct materials need to be used as well.
My ideal system would also house a third battery and all of the electrical power sockets and gauges to take of the 12V needs. While an inverter would be perfect for those things you might not ‘need’ but would love to have, like a coffee machine! It would also have a series of switches to turn on my camp lighting.
There would also be storage on the side, for those items you don’t need all the time. The fridge would probably sit on top of the drawers on a MSA drop down slide. The drawer under the fridge would hold my tools and recovery gear, with things like nuts and bolts, tape and spares for the 4WD in the side wing pockets.
The drawer on the other side would be split between plates, cutlery and cooking on one end; with the pantry on the other end for things like bread, cereal and spices. It would be ideal to have either a pullout table from under the pantry drawer or even a drop down table from the rear door.
The fridge would be encased in either a cargo barrier mesh type surround with hopefully a small shelf on top and then just space beside the fridge for things like my bag of clothes, a camp chair and whatever else.
I have thought about even using a foldout trestle table to use as a wall between my fridge and the dead space on the other side but all of that will depend on what 4WD I will end up with in the future.
Given room, there would also be a place to store a solar panel, but if not then a solar blanket might be best. Most likely a 200 Series will be on the cards so with a bit of planning and measuring my ideal set up may just one day come to life.
With everything, you need to have a plan either written down or really clear in your head, because what you build in the back effects everything.
The suspension will need to be set up correctly to carry a constant load with a full drawer set up. I use a rooftop tent mostly so I don’t need space to carry a swag, but again, the weight needs to come into consideration.
Other things to consider are an awning. With a new setup I keep coming back to a FoxWing type awning so that I can cover the cooking area at the rear, which then affects my Roof Top tent, which will then need to come off the side of the 4WD rather than the rear.
Yep, with my years of procrastination, and the fact that I have a young family. The ability to actually get myself into a new 4WD is still just that little bit too far out of reach, but by the time I get there my plan will be almost perfect.
I really think that it pays to have an idea written down or even a plan drawn up for you ideal set up. Find someone who can help you plan it all and do everything step- by-step so that you can achieve your perfect setup without having to repeat or purchase things twice.