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The drawer systems that you have in mind Big Pond, do not require the rear seats to be removed as they are built to fit behind them.....
However, our set-up was to remove rear seats and extend the top platform of the drawers to the front seats giving us plenty of room to sleep if required. The advantage of this is the storage space under the platform where the seats used to be. This means the platform only has water stored on it.
(Before anyone points it out - we will not be needing a guide so no need for additional seats)
... sorry Julian but I would put money on the fact that a set of drawers, Outback or Black Widow is going to weigh considerably more than the rear seats you remove, by a long way.
I'm with Roman on this. The idea of drawers is to be able to remove stuff from the bottom of the pile without having to unload the whole back end. Personally, I use Wolf boxes (any boxes will do, marine ply and a box frame. Whats great is that I can take the whole lot out when I use the car back home in London and al it cost was the boxes, the ply and the frame - which i already had.
Kind of depends on how you want to spend the cash... but the notion that these custom drawer systems weigh a little more than the third row of seats isn't correct.
Take as little as you dare ... you can always buy clothes en route after all.
How about a drawer system at the back using grp honeycomb material you once mentioned you can obtain? It is apparently very stiff and lightweight.
I'm experimenting with various drawer designs at the moment with the aim to make them out of thin steel or aluminium frames and then line with ply or composite - the aluminium/composite material will be lighter, but more expensive.
The adavantage of a bespoke system as opposed to most off the shelf drawers is you can be more flexible with building around other stuff you have in the car like water tanks, etc.
Originally Posted by Roman
But then, a drawer is but a box with the lid permanently attached to the car, so why bother with the mechanics of the drawer when strapping it down takes seconds.
Boxes are a very good cheap way around it, although it helps a lot to have a frame/shelving system to store them in - there is nothing worse than having to move several items to get to the one item you want.
Originally Posted by Roman
And in the LC80 the side doors can't be opened wide enough to pull out a drawer, while a box can be manuvered at an angle.
One thought I had was to look at extending the door catches so that you can open them up at 90 degrees so that drawers or fridges can be slit out.
This certainly has proved to be an interesting debate and I suppose it comes down to personal choice/budget/intended use. It is so interesting to hear different points of view - I love it!
Anyway, as far as we are concerned, our vehicle isn't going to be converted back into anything else. It's going to take us around the world and will be our home for three plus years. After that we will keep it as a souvenir of our trip because I really don't think we would want to be driving it around Noosa, on Queenslands Sunshine Coast, they probably won't even let us tax it!!
We will be removing all seats except the driver and passenger seats, we'll have some sort of system in the very back (too timid it say which yet as I might get pounced on), the area where the second row of seats is now will be converted into a flat area for more storage, we don't want to take any passengers, guides or otherwise.
It's not our clothes we are concerned about, we travel light in that way, it's all the other things like fuel, water, bull bars, roof tent, roof rack, winch, spare wheels (we are using alloy's so maybe that will start another debate!) the list goes on.
If you look on some websites and see the gear people end up taking it's scarey, we hope that it won't be us but we also realise that no matter what, you will collect things and throw things along the way, it's just the way it is.
Drawers or no drawers, will it make a big difference? Well it might and might not!! Who knows but it certainly is interesting to hear what people have to say. Thanks.
P.S. I'm getting the weight of the BW system and will let you all know asap.
Its difficult to make a decision on an expensive piece of off the shelf kit without being able to try it before you buy, but meeting up with people and seeing the different systems in place is a good start- like the cruiser meeting this weekend.
No system suits everyones needs and there is always compromise! But i know that its the little details on a big trip that make the difference between a system being a pain in the arse everytime you use it or a 'glad i did that'.
for me the outback drawer has and still is a 'glad i did that' choice. On a daily basis the hairy mut sits on top of it and i can still get my stuff. I can sleep on the it. Can stack more boxes on and still get to stuff blah blah! I love em. Yes expensive but used every day it makes life just that little bit easier and thats important on a big trip. I have taken one set of 2nd row seats out for the fridge and one left in for the little fella and it folds down for sleeping or when in 'van' mode.
If i dont sell the cruiser soon then there maybe a 2nd hand Outback drawer sytem for sale... would be a shame to have to take it out tho.
Rubbermaid Boxes and Wooden Drawer under rear Seat
I always stick with Rubbermaid clear poly boxes which are pretty much indestructable and u can see wats in em(don't buy cheap ones).Loads of teatowels stuffed in will dampen noise considerably.I find this arrangement together with strong straps and lashing points gives loads of space around and above the boxes for all the other 'stuff'that you just cannot find a home for no matter how hard you try.
I gave up on neatness;offroad overlanding will cure this disease pretty quickly but,no substitute for good quality packing boxes.
Another great idea I put into a Disco was to raise the rear seat about 50mm with steel spacers and put a purpose made wooden tray under there for tools etc.
Obviously new here and this is my first post, so take it easy on me!! Anyway, for those of you who don't frequent ih8mud, I have really been admiring this setup. Also, if you do a search on storage drawers, rear storage etc you will find numerous ideas there!
For my LX450 I went the African Outback route and can say for fact; it's much heavier than the replaced seats!
Sorry if I'm just pointing out the obvious!
Looking forward to some good discussion here! I'm in the process of buying a very nice Volvo TGB 11 (C303) to setup for travel from Alaska to Argentina...
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