Off Road EnhancementsEnhancements to improve your off road travels
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Skyrat's Rear Cargo Box and Sleeping Platform - 3rd Gen 4Runner
Skyrat's Rear Cargo Box and Sleeping Platform - 3rd Gen 4Runner By Skyrat
Editor's Note: The original thread for Skyrat's cargo box can be found here. His thread was reformatted and rearranged to create this writeup. If you'd like to see followup commentary and questions/answers, please go to the original thread.
I have been contemplating this for about a year. We do a ton of camping out of the 4Runner on wheeling and sight seeing trips. We used to use an inflatable mattress to bring the sleeping level above the wheel wells so that we could be comfortable with 2 across. After looking at Lee's design (the best I had seen) and some others (including some way expensive imports), I finally got around to building my own.
One thing I wanted that I had not seen in any other design was the ability to use this with the truck in the Seat 5 configuration, then adapt to a Sleeping Platform with the second row of seats folded down.
Originally I wanted to scribe the Platform Top to fit tightly inside the rear of the truck. But, after making a template I found that if I did it this way, I would have to remove the top (or fold it somehow) to remove the unit (since the rear hatch width is way less than the width across the inside of the cargo area). Since I also wanted to be able to remove and reinstall easily, and since I wanted to have the ability to access the storage door at the rear of the passenger side compartment, a tight fitting top idea was tossed.
I also wanted the Platform to be as low as possible while still allowing coverage across the tops of the wheel wells. The rear of the driver's side wheel well is much higher than the passenger side (due to the fuel filler). So, I scribed the top around the fuel filler portion to keep from pushing the whole platform approximately 2" higher. I left the carpet to overhang the scribed cut out to form a tight seal around that area, also since I am no upholsterer, that was easier.
Originally I also wanted full length drawers instead of drawers and a cubby. The problem here was economics. While I could find 36" Full Ext. Slides, they were about 3-4 times more expensive than 28" - 30" Slides. If I was going to have a cubby, I did not want one that was only 6" wide, so I went with 28" to produce a cubby large enough to actually use. I also lined the bottom of the drawers and cubby with rubber matting to quiet the whole affair and keep stuff from sliding around.
The other real issue design wise was how to make an extension for the sleeping platform. Well, originally I was going to make a hinged piece that would simply fold down. But, because of the cubby and the hinge there already, I felt that the 2" strip of the top would not support these two hinged pieces with all the force they can muster. Also, keeping the extra piece in the back (attached by hinges) all the time would make the rear cargo area tougher to use. I decided to make it removable. I cut a 45 degree bevel on the front of the main top, and a corresponding 45 degree bevel on the rear of the extension. Then I used draw catches (sort of like you see on the lid of a tool box) to pull the bevel of the extension tightly to the main top piece. The extension is held under the main top by the bevel, and a hinged leg drops down to support the front end of the extension.
Finally I routed recesses in the tops for the cargo tie downs and covered the whole lid with some outdoor carpet adhesive then rubber backed indoor outdoor carpet.
2- 28" Full Ext. 110# Capacity Removable Drawers
w/ Galvanized Paddle Latch Handles & Multi Height, Adjustable Dividers
1- 40" Wide Flush Cubby w/ Webbing Handle & Piano Hinge
6- Galvanized Recessed Tie Downs
4- Turnbuckles attaching Cargo Storage via Eye-Bolts and Tee Nuts
1- Add on Extension for Sleeping Conversion
1- Power Inverter
Indoor / Outdoor Carpet
None of the measurements in the designs below are final. They are all estimations on paper and do not account for actual material (vs. nominal material) thickness. Take this for what it was, brainstorming.
Here is the preliminary sketch of the space and the idea.
Here are some actual measurements.
Better concept, though the support for the extension changed and this had a design effect on the area between the drawers.
Some more measurements.
Overall I am very, very pleased and will take it out for a test camping trip next week. I will let you know how it goes.
The basic carcass with drawers
With the rear seats up
Sleeping Platform Mode
All the storage open
Way Cool Paddle Latch
A look into the cubby
Inverter mounting detail
Oh, Yeah...here is the front of the unit so you can see the turnbuckle and ext. mount.
SLEEPING PLATFORM EXTENSION PICTURES
The draw catch
The extension leg
If it looks like I will be using this without more than one passenger I may make another extension that is longer to be used exclusively without the rear seat bottoms.
I now use the long extension exclusively. Taking out the rear seat bottoms. The sleeping area is now much longer and a comfortable 6'3" or so, with even more room if I decide to move the front seats forward while sleeping.
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