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Cargo (outside storage) Management Solutions


dougi
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Now that we no longer camp in our 29 foot Arctic Fox 5th wheel, we rely almost exclusively on our tow vehicle for our outside storage needs.

 

We have a full size (8 foot) pickup bed with two lockable aluminum storage boxes, one just behind the cab and one in the rear. The box just behind the cab is inconvenient to access, but it is the largest of the two boxes.

 

The best solution to our outside storage problems would be to remove the factory truck bed and have a custom storage system built on our truck, much like the flat-bed commercial trucks you see with the convenient side access to the tool/storage boxes on the side of the trucks. That would be a very expensive solution, and I don't know where I could get that done in our neck of the woods (Central Texas). Aluminum (lighter and doesn't rust) would be the preferable material for our cargo management solutions.

 

If any of you know of or run across any good lighted, lockable storage solutions that would give us convenient access to our stuff (anything from extra clothing items, including extra footwear, to tools, to extra supplies of food and personal items, to two fold up bicycles) I'd appreciate it if you would let us know. We don't want to have to climb in and out of the bed of the pickup in order to store and retrieve our stuff (our pickup bed is high because we have a one-ton dually). We do not want to have to lift it any higher than we have to, preferable no more than about five and a half feet (my line of sight).

 

I have found companies on the west coast that do this kind of work (Highway Tool Boxes is one example), but I bet there are places nearer to where we live.

 

Thanks!

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Doug,

Depending on how long you're planning to be gone from home and what you want to carry, have you considered a hard tonneau cover for the truck bed? We have one on the half ton, and really like it. We also added a soft bed liner to the Dodge, so everything stays put, but we can slide it down from the front without a lot of effort. The bed liner is called a "BedRug", the top is a (relatively) lightweight plastic lid with locks on each side (can be configured for keyless entry fo more $, but we didn't) called "Under Cover" Might be just what you're looking for. Our tonneau came with hooks to mount in the garage when we don't need or want it. Paul & I have taken it off and stored when we had to pick up items that were taller than the truck bed, and we could manage it without problems. Kind of makes the pickup bed into a big trunk. Perhaps this would solve your problem, as it did ours, to store stuff out of sight and locked up without major changes to the truck. Our cost locally was less than the on-line price. Check the truck accessory stores near you. Just a thought. More expensive, and difficult to store/remove options, included a molded version which weighed too much for me to carry my end of the lid. I like this option. Tough & strong (either one of us can stand on it), and adding racks on top for kayaks, bikes, etc., is possible, but then you have the weight on the cover when you lift it to get to the stuff you want every day, like lawn chairs & etc. Our Honda 1000I fits under the cover, our Yamaha 3000 genset wont' quite fit. We still keep the genset chained to the bed, even under the lid.

Sherry

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Sherry, here is an option that looks good to me:

 

http://www.800toolbox.com/roller_coaster/roller_coaster

 

It costs $1,199.95, and when combined with this option:

 

http://www.800toolbox.com/pickup-pac/pickup-pac.htm

 

which costs $4,199.95, would provide an excellent cargo storage solution.

 

Now, If I only had a spare $5,400 sitting around somewhere I'd be set to go. With the current price of our mutual funds, selling more at this time to raise the necessary funds would be ill advised.

 

BTW, Alaska is calling us but I don't know if our wallets will provide. With the current price of fuel, the time to go may never be better.

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Doug, I love the slide out tray deal. Somebody (maybe Chuck/Tumbleweed) made something similar from plywood and rollers that I saw last year. I could see this being a very useful addition to the truck bed, if light enough to take in and out when we need the full bed for the ATV or hauling brush, lumber, etc.

 

For us, the UnderCover tonneau is a better solution because the two of us can lift it off/put back up/ reattach in minutes, allowing us to use the truck bed for other purposes (carrying the ATV, lumber,plywood, mulch, etc., as we often do.) What we can carry is locked up, and out of sight. We looked at some molded fiberglass tonneaus that were beautiful, and some camper shells, but we often use the truck for a lot of ...well... truck stuff. We take the ATV with us to the mountains, and at home, the truck is a utility vehicle plus Paul's main transportation. The aluminum topper with toolboxes wouldn't work for us, but it looks nice, and rugged.

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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