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Our Storage Solutions

Written by  Shane Williams
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As our family grows, properly organizing the limited amount of space inside the FJ has become even more important. When it was just Angie, our two dogs and I; simply dropping the seats down and stacking everything in the truck worked fine. With our first baby on the way, we decided to do a couple of quick mods to help us stay organized.

DSC_0035The first is one we’ve been thinking about for quite a while. We love the storage console between the front two seats, but the open top just increases the chance of that area getting stuffed with junk. The Roll Top Cover from Industrial Forming is a very functional, great looking, inexpensive way to organize that area. We chose the non-locking Panamint aluminum model, in black to match the TRD. Installation took literally two minutes, and the new cover works perfectly. We can now keep the bare essentials in the storage console, and all the junk can find a home elsewhere. The Roll Top Cover will also function well when the little one starts jumping around the FJ (when parked, of course), since it’s designed to hold up to 160lbs.

 

 

 

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DSC_0132The other major storage issue we’ve been experiencing in our FJ is our recovery & emergency gear. The first step in solving this problem was installation of the M-Pac rear door rack. The four large pouches are a perfect fit for most of our lighter gear. The First aid kit, jumper cables, straps, bungee cords, extra fuses, and of course duct tape all fit perfectly. The rack installed quickly & easily and looks great. That mod left our heavy recovery gear, backup air compressor, tool box, map bag, and tripods still floating around in the back of the truck.

 

DSC_0127We’ve seen (and covered) several different rear storage box options. From the expensive and bulletproof Tuffy drawer system to DIY wooden boxes complete with heavy duty sliding drawers, there is no shortage of ideas to organize the back of your FJ Cruiser. For our solution, we chose to do a simple, cost effective, and easy to do DIY project. Since we have a couple Toyota Trail Teams tool bags that we already use, we don’t really need a drawer or hinged top system. We just need to be able to get our gear out with the back door open. So after careful consideration of time, tools, and material, we chose to design a basic storage box.

 

 

 

The total bill for this box at Home Depot came to just $34.60.  Here’s our parts list:

  • 0.5" thick MDF Board pre-cut to 24” X 48” (2 boards total)
  • 1 box 1.5” wood screws
  • 10 foot length of 2”X6” wood board
  • 24”X48” indoor/outdoor carpet runner

The only other items used for this build were a circular saw, a drill with the proper bits, black finishing nails, and wood glue.

DSC_0141We chose to make our box the exact same size as the all-weather cargo mat, so it would be easy to protect with the mat (41.5” wide X 28” deep). So we cut the MDF boards to 41.5” wide, and used the leftover wood to create two 4” by 41.5” strips from the third piece to fill out our top & bottom. Then we cut our three support pieces 28” long from the 2X6. To keep things tight, we pre-drilled all the holes and used wood glue to seal the pieces together. We then covered the top with the indoor/outdoor carpet and transferred the cargo hooks from the floor of the FJ to the new box. We added the all weather mat and ran a bungee cord between the hooks to hold it down. We did have to cut a small hole in the right side so we still have access to the power outlet.

As you can see now all of our FJ Cruiser bags fit perfectly in the box, and the dogs have a nice place to hang out when we’re on the road. The best part is, we no longer have to worry about all of our gear flying around in the back of the FJ, and our rear storage area is very usable. This box was quick & easy to build and works great for our needs.

Have you built a custom storage box? We’d like to see it! Send your pics & description to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or use our photo upload form & we’ll add them to this article.


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