FJ62 DIY Cargo Box

Dozer18

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Springfield, VA
 
So, I've been wanting to customize my cargo area for a while now, and finally designed a system built around an ARB 50qt fridge and a Camp Chef Everest stove. The box will have the fridge mounted on a slide on the far left of the cargo area (and I mean FAR left - the slide is JUST going to clear); a gear drawer in the middle; and a kitchen drawer on the right. The kitchen drawer will house a stove, two 2.5" tall drawers for knives and utensils, and a small cabinet. Nested under the drawer will be a 18"x12" Boos Block cutting board that extends out to the back; there will be a hidden 2" deep nested drawer that opens to the front (with the back seat down) that will hold spare parts and tools (by spare parts I mean hoses and small things).

Nested under the fridge slide will be a 2" tall, 2' deep drawer that will hold my tools. Obviously, I'm trying to use every cubic inch of available space.

The key to do something like this is having the skills to build the box. I don't have those skills, but my friend Matt R. does! He is skilled at woodworking projects and agreed to help me out in exchange for some cold beverages and notoriety on this forum.

Here are the pics thus far; first is laying down the base:

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Then routing the grooves for the walls:

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Dry fitting the walls:

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Fitting the top and screwing it together for fitting:

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And the prototype sitting in the cargo area:

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Dozer18

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The short wall on the left is just there to support the 3/4" thick, 24" long extra heavy-duty double locking slides that will support the fridge tray. The right drawer - the camp kitchen - will sit on the same locking slides but at 36". The middle drawer will sit on 200-lb full extension slides, but the drawer will be lockable so I don't have to worry about it opening and banging on the tailgate.

The base will be bolted to the floor utilizing the existing threaded bolts in the floor that once held the cargo tie-downs. I will Dynamat the floor before putting the base on top of it.

I plan to LineX the exterior of the box and put four eyelets on each corner of the top for tie-downs.

For the final touch, I designed a pull out extension and brace system that will turn the top of the box into a full-length sleeping platform, allowing me to use the back seat and still be able to fold it down and have a platform. You'll have to wait for pics because it's too hard to describe here...

Stay tuned for more. Due to some upcoming travel it's going to be mid- to late-May before Matt and I can finish. I'll post more as we go along.
 

Dozer18

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We got a bit more work done on the cargo box today. Glued and screwed the box frame together (all but the top). Then built the fridge tray and the tool drawer that will nest under the fridge on its own push-to-open slides.

The fridge platform is 28" deep and 17" wide; plenty of room for an ARB 50qt. The tool drawer is about 13" wide between the walls, 23" long, and 2" deep.

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We cut out the "secret drawer" door before gluing on the back. This will have another push-to-open tool/parts/etc drawer that will be about 16" long and 1.5" deep. This can only be accessed when the back seat is folded down.

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Won't have a lot of time to work on it during the next three weeks but hope to have it all together by June. I'll continue posting as we make progress.
 

Dozer18

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This is awesome. Is this short enough to also have your rear seat up?
Thanks! Yes, you can put the rear seat up. From the rear opening to the bottom of the back seat with the seat up is 44"; the box goes back 37" and is 12.5" tall. When the seat is up, it is about 40-41" tall at a height of 12" due to the angle of the seat back. So, I'll have a small gap between the box and the seat back, but I plan to put in three 12x29" planks of 3/4" plywood attached to each other and the box with piano hinges - so they fold on top of each other accordian-style - that will extend the box top to make a sleeping platform. Those planks will reside in the gap between the box and the seat back when the seat is up.
 

Dozer18

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Accessories for the box. 18"x12" Boos Block to nest in kitchen drawer; 10" magnetic knife block; and Osra socket rails (three total, only one in pic). These Osra rails are REAL nice; they'll mount to the inside walls of the tool drawer in the pics above.

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Also got the ARB 50qt in; everyone knows what those look like, but mine had some cosmetic damage on the left side vent. There was a big hole through the box and the internal cardboard packaging right where the vent is. I don't think there's any damage to the components; I plugged it in and it fired right up and cooled down to 33 degrees within about 30-40 minutes. Don't really want to go through the hassle of sending it back and exchanging it, even though I got it through Amazon Prime.

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Got the ARB wiring loom routed through the truck and out the panel where the original bottle jack and tool kit were. Will post those pics later once the socket is rigged up.
 

Dozer18

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^^ Awesome. Thanks for taking the time.
No worries; I saw the reply from the other box build and his is a bit more accurate. To accommodate the material over the wheel wells, we are going to have to trim off a good 1/4 to 1/2 inch between the wheel wells. That said, I want to fit in there pretty tight, almost wedged in. The fore/aft distance is just right. You can always trim/sand some off, but you can't put it back on!
 

Dozer18

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So finally able to get back on the box today. First order of business was trimming the base a bit to make it a little easier to get in and out. Then finished up the fridge mount by putting front and rear rails that provided mounting points for the ARB tie-down kit.

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Then went to work putting on the finishing touches for the tool drawer. My friend Matt had the excellent idea to flush-mount rare earth magnets to the bottom of the drawer to hold wrenches in place. Installed Osra socket rails on the sides; 1/4 and 3/8 rails in this drawer, and will mount the 1/2" rail in another hidden drawer.

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Dozer18

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Then mounted up the fridge slides. These are extra-heavy-duty double locking slides with 400lb capacity.

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Next up was mounting the tool drawer under the fridge in a nesting position. We mounted it on push-open slides, but it took a bit of sanding and planing to get the fit right so that the slides moved freely.

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Dozer18

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Put it back in the truck and it looks like this.

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Really, really stoked at how this came out. The push-open slides now work like a charm, and I have plenty of room to get into the fridge. Tomorrow I'm going to lay down a drawer liner over the magnets and put the tools in. We'll get the middle drawer done next week and get to work on the kitchen.

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Looks great, nice plan. That's big plywood, that thing looks HEAVY but very well built. My only thought would be to trim down the edges on the base so the whole unit can slide out the back, fridge and all. Looks like it has to tilted up to get out. Not sure how that would change your bolt down to the floor points, or other plans for the sides.

Love the idea of maintaining the back seat and having a folding sleep platform. Please post of your hinged design, very interested to see how that comes together.
 

Dozer18

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Springfield, VA
 
Looks great, nice plan. That's big plywood, that thing looks HEAVY but very well built. My only thought would be to trim down the edges on the base so the whole unit can slide out the back, fridge and all. Looks like it has to tilted up to get out. Not sure how that would change your bolt down to the floor points, or other plans for the sides.

Love the idea of maintaining the back seat and having a folding sleep platform. Please post of your hinged design, very interested to see how that comes together.
Thank you! You're right, it's heavy, but I accounted for the box when installing the OME lift last year. Just a bear to get in and out...

Going to take your advice and trim the sides down so it can go in and out easier. Since it's going to be bolted to the floor, no need to have everything wedged in there.

Learning a lot from this build; things I would do differently next time, things to keep, things to improve upon. Happy with what I have so far, though!
 

Dozer18

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My only thought would be to trim down the edges on the base so the whole unit can slide out the back, fridge and all. Looks like it has to tilted up to get out.
So, took Skniper's advice and trimmed off the "wing" on the right side of the box. Much easier to get in and out. I'm going to reattach the wing using a piano hinge so I can slide it into the back then fold it down.

Got most of the "Camp Kitchen Drawer" cut out and assembled yesterday. Here are a few pics of the nearly finished drawer:

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It's not bolted in yet; just checking the fit. How the stove will fit in:

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Dozer18

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Finished up most of it tonight; got the drawer slides in and the drawer front installed. The edges on the front aren't perfect, but neither am I. Close enough for government work!

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The side drawers will house knives, utensils, etc. As noted before, a 18x14x1.25 Boos Block will be nested underneath on push-to-open slides. Still need to mount a door on the cabinet opening; will be using soft-close hinges for that.
 
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