Another, more expensive option, would be plastic boxes or cases (eg. Pelti or Storm). Whatever type of box should be lashed down or prevented from moving some other way. However, I usually transport my stuff in bags, which are easier to carry and stand out less when undertaking other activities with friends. Using boxes, cases etc is also not a very flexible system. If I want to carry a large object, I would have to remove all the boxes and store them somewhere.
It would be a simple option to find and buy some strong boxes of the right size and place a board on top of them as a sleeping platform. If I could find strong enough boxes with flat lids, I wouldn't need to use the board.
I could make my own boxes from chequer plate to the size I want, or at least pay somebody that can weld aluminium to make them for me.
Dedicated Metal Cages
A box in the footwell, a removable shelf in the back with bins to either side and a table on the rear door for cooking looks a very good idea. Note the shape of the foot well cage allowing for the seat belt reel. The above stowage solutions were supplied by Overland Expedition Company, but their web site http://www.oec4x4.com/ does not seem to work fully yet (August 2006).
I saw the Mantec version first, but have not photographed it.
Drawers and Shelf on Rear Door
Another popular commercial option is a metal drawer supplied by Mobile Storage Solutions. The Mobile Storage System’s drawer is not as long as the load bed. The remaining bit of the load bed is filled with a chest. There are various sizes for the different Land Rovers. They also make a matching side bin. More details, including the cooker shelf also shown below, can be found at their web site http://www.mobilestoragesystems.fsnet.co.uk/.
It would be cheeper if I made my own wooden drawers. The shelf on the back door is good for cooking on. I could buy one ready made, or build my own.
It is normal practise to ‘line’ the back of a van with plywood to protect the bodywork etc. This can incorporate shelves or little cubby holes for stuff, tools, materials etc. It is an option with Land Rovers, but usually the ones equipped with hard tops. Plywood can be resistant to water, strong and easy to work (cut, join etc) at home without the need to weld. It is possible to incorporate a false floor or sleeping platform with this sort of system. Plywood can also be used to build a bulkhead to separate the ‘cab’ and ‘back’ of the truck. I however have the 5 door Country Land Rover, without the bulkhead, so I can push the driver’s seat further back for a more comfortable driving position.
This solution also incorporates a sleeping platform, not usually needed by labourers, but useful to Stig, who owned this Land Rover Defender 110.
A set of side bins are boxes that go on top of the wheel boxes at the side of the pick up bed. Stuff can be put in them to stop it rolling around, and keeps the deep bit of the load bed clear. The boxes don’t have to be solid. They could be made from mesh on a metal frame, or just the space left next to a sleeping platform like the ‘dedicated metal cages’ elsewhere on this page.
This is a popular solution for the back of vehicles (Defender 90s) used in winch challenges.
I wanted a roof rack to carry large sheets of wood or chequer plate, but I did not want to store stuff up there. I will probably produce a seperate page on my chosen roof rack solution, but for now, here are some pictures of other roof racks used for storage. A roof rack is also a good place to mount addition lights (another seperate web page int he future!).
On the Bonnet
Apart from being an alternative location for mounting the spare wheel, I could carry some stuff on the bonnet. I could use bungy cords, a cargo net or a special tray designed to carry a camouflage net. Not very secure and not very well protected from the elements. Probably just a good spot for your recovery gear that is already attached, or your camouflage net.
I don’t copy other peoples’ (copyright) material, so if you would like to know more, take a look at;