IsDons articles and blog

Lockable steel storage boxes

Category: My first slide-on campervan. Published: 23 Jun 2009

My first slide-on campervan was designed to fit on the back of a ute and I was loading it onto a flat-tray 4WD. This meant there would be a lot of wasted space underneath the van where the sides of the ute would normally be. I had two options: rebuild the bottom section of the van or install storage boxes on the back of the truck.

Cut-out section under the slide-on campervan.

The space under the van that needed to be filled.

Rebuilding the bottom of the van would be a lot of work and it would take time. Getting aluminium to match the rest of the van would also be difficult. Storage boxes on the truck would be quicker, and would also give me a lot more storage capability when I was driving the truck on its own. So I decided the storage boxes were a better idea. Of course, none of a suitable size were available so I had to have them custom made.

I did have to make a small adjustment to the van to allow for the boxes, but nothing too difficult.

I had to be precise with the measurement and placement of the boxes.

Cut-out section under the slide-on campervan.

The boxes under the van. Notice the section at the back that has been removed from the first photo. Later I painted the boxes the same colour as the truck.

The jacks (legs) are permanently attached to the van so I made sure the boxes would fit in the space between the jacks. That's why there's a gap at the front (right of picture). This allows the door of the boxes to be opened free of the jack, it also allowed easier access to the chains that held the van on the truck.

During my travels I found there also needed to be a small gap at the back of the truck between the end of the boxes and the back of the van. I started with the boxes at the very end of the truck but found that if I didn't put the van on the truck perfectly straight then one box or the other would push against the back of the van. The storage boxes just had to be moved forward a centimetre and problem solved.

The boxes actually made it easier to load the van on the back. I had the boxes built to give me a 5cm gap on each side. When reversing the truck I just lined up the side of the van with the back of the box and as long as I kept the van roughly 5cm from the box on the drivers side I knew the passenger side would be fine.

Note: as I no longer own the van I thought it best not to show the full images.

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