After spending a lot of time searching online for storage methods for the bed of my truck, I decided it was time to just go for it. I went for simple storage compartments over the wheel arches and a tray that could be be pulled out to make loading easier, it could also double as a table when camping. It ended up being a very cheap project! So far.
First things first, I worked out what materials i would need.
- A couple boards of plywood
- Batons for the frame
- Wood screws
- Self tapping screws to secure the frame to truck bed
- Bed liner paint for a tough finish
- Wood filler
- Silicon sealant to make the bed watertight.
First I went around the bed and used the silicon sealant to fill any places in the bed where water could get in.
Once this was done I grabbed a piece of cardboard and started to draw out a design that would fit my bed. I decided that two storage compartments over each wheel arch would be sufficient, with the side rails of the bed still accessible. And then a sliding tray in the center.
Once I was vaguely happy with the design I decided to jump straight into building it. The first thing I did was to measure out 6 identical lengths of baton that would become the main frame. I secured two to the floor of the truck bed using two large self tapping screws for each, to ensure a sturdy base. I then decided to secure a baton to the bed liner on the side of the bed with screws. I figured by building the base of the frame in this way it should be sturdy enough for daily abuse.
Once I had the base batons secured to the bed, I measured and built a simple framework. Then measured, measured again, and cut the plywood to cover the frame. I cut two large holes cut in the top board for doors to the storage compartments, I then cut two slightly larger rectangular boards to become the lids, once the compartments were finished.
And now on to the sliding tray.
This turned out to be a lot easier than I imagined. I had plastic inserts in the bed floor C-channels, so I cut one of the inserts into two foot-long sections. These were screwed to the ends of two batons the same length as the storage compartments. They then slid into the C-channels easily. Once they were fully pushed into the bed I measured and cut a large piece of plywood and simply screwed it into the batons. I then capped both ends of he tray with sections of baton. This also meant that the tray could only be pulled out a certain distance before the plastic inserts, screwed onto the batons, hit the tailgate. So there we have it. A sliding tray. Simple.
Once everything was in place I was pretty proud of it, but the gaps between the plywood sections were very visible. Wood filler time! I filled in all the gaps and even covered the screws where I had secured the plywood to the frame, waited for it to dry and gave it a good sanding. Once I was finally happy with it, it was time for paint.
I decided to go with a cheap bed liner paint that was about £10 per spray can. It was pretty durable and the same paint I used for my sidesteps. Unfortunately Halfords have now stopped selling it, bummer, I’ll have to find something else next time. Luckily I had enough to cover the whole bed. The plywood also gave it a kind of camouflage pattern so it looked pretty cool.
So there we are finished! It turned out to be a fairly cheap addition to the truck, it will keep all spares and tools nicely organised when we are on the road now.
There’s still a few things to do. I need to paint the lids and attach them once I’ve found the correct hardware., like hinges, handles, support for the table, etc.
I’ll do another post when I have added more things, like the lids!