Adding a Rear Storage Drawer System
One thing that you can never take for granted when travelling or embarking on an extended road trip, is STORAGE SPACE…… every square inch counts. For any one who travels long term, making sure you have enough room for all your gear is paramount- and the strange thing is, no matter how much room you seem to have, or create- you always seem to fill it with more gear…… Why does that always happen??
As full time travellers ourselves, we have realised that making the most out of our space to safely store our gear is not always easy- you have to make sure you have easy access to your gear at all times, that what you carry is stored securely and safely and those smaller, more fragile items can be accessed without upending everything in the process of looking for them…
We recently traded our 2001 Landcruiser for a brand new 2015 Holden Colorado Dual Cab. We had purchased our Landcruiser back in 2013 which already had a set of quality storage drawers installed (storage drawer system)- we soon became very aware of just how valuable this storage solution was and how it proved to be very handy- especially for the myriad of smaller items we carry, keeping them safe and accessible. Needless to say, once we took delivery of our new ute, one of the first accessories to be fitted was a set of these storage drawers!
We started sifting through the product lists of manufacturers looking for a suitable product and hit some internet forums to get advice from others. It was suggested we try RV Storage Solutions as they made systems for commercial vehicles as well as systems for recreational vehicles. This one chap who told us about them was pretty pleased with the system he had purchased. (RV Storage Solutions are owned by the Oliver Family, the creators of Black Widow). They have branched out and gone onto bigger and better things and are now manufacturing for high end RV’s, caravans and commercial fleets. We browsed their model range and placed our order (we opted for ‘trade height’ to give us a little more room in each drawer).
Delivery from Melbourne to Cairns was around 7 days (we thought that was pretty excellent service). The unit was very well packaged and was secured to a wooden pallet to minimise risk of damage during transport. We opened the package and after admiring the contents for a few minutes we grabbed a cold drink, sat down and looked over the instructions. We put the cordless drill on charge, got the socket set out and found the tape measure- we couldn’t wait to get this installed.
First things first- A rookie error on our part. After taking the top panels off and removing the drawers to leave the just the main frame we attached the side wing brackets (as per steps in the instructions). Without even thinking we then went to lift it into the tub. The brackets made it too wide for the tailgate opening and because we have an ARB canopy we obviously couldn’t drop it in from above. Duh!. I think it was just an error in haste to get it in. But not a problem, we removed 3 brackets from one side which was enough to allow it to miss the sides of the ute and we simply re-fitted them once it was in place.
The next step was to attach the top rear wing panels (the pieces that hide the wheel arches). This was almost too easy as everything aligned perfectly. One last shuffle of the unit to get it just right and it was time to mark the ribs where the mounting holes needed to be drilled. The instructions that it came with were very clear, thorough and easy to follow and were customised for our particular vehicle model.
Small spaces call for small hands, so we popped our son up inside and with careful supervision had him mark out the holes (good job, Son!). We double checked underneath for any cables, hoses etc and lowered the spare wheel down for easier access to the bolts. A nice pilot hole first followed by a poke around with a step drill for a neat 10mm hole. We made sure we cleaned up all metal filings from the tray with a brush and a vacuum. A splash of lanolin oil around the holes to protect the bare metal. The 4 main mounting bolts were inserted and tightened (once again our son came in handy, this time to hold a spanner on the top bolt head as I tightened them). These drawers weren’t going anywhere!
It was time to fit the top panels and the front side panels. Everything fits so snug and the predrilled holes made it a breeze to line up and secure in place. Last but not least, the checker plate scuff trim was screwed into place and the drawers lifted in to position. Took a step back and said to my self, that’s one good looking drawer system! Now to fill them with all our gear.
I think it would be a challenge to find a better made, more durable set of drawers for your vehicle. The build quality speaks for itself.