Drawers vs Storage crates


New Member
hey all i have 4 side by side drawers fitted in the rear of my 90 series Prado combined empty they weigh in at a hefty 120 kg's thoughts on getting rid of the drawers and going old school with some pelican storage crates ??
opinions welcomed


Well-Known Member
I guess it's a personal thing, and how handy you are to make something up. I too have a set of drawers that I love and hate due to the weight.

I tried to go back to other systems like boxes but the drawers do work far better, especially if you are on the move.

The number 1 rule is not having anything sitting on top of something else unless the thing at the bottom is emergency or seldom use only. Drawers and shelves address this really well.

I think you are better off to beef up your suspension, with airbags or a GVM upgrade if necessary. That's what I did. The alternative is to get aluminium drawers. ORS and a few others do them, but they are not cheap. Also MSa and Dunn and Watson have a few versions which seem reasonably priced.


Well-Known Member
i use four of the frontrunner wolf packs, two drifter bags (toiletries and coffee/kitchen) and a underbed shoe box as my "draw" system, frame is 12mm ply, other side is the fridge on a slide, total unit weighs less that 30kg. Have 3 jerry cans on the front of the unit, so hold 60l of water too.

This is in the back of a pathfinder so not much different in size to the prado.


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Well-Known Member
I have always used crates, it does take some better planning and not as convenient but the weight advantage plus the fact that always having draws limits the use of the car due to size reduction of other cargo outweighs the benefits of draws IMO.
Weight is the biggest issue for any touring 4wd for reliability and legal implications


Active Member
It's crates for me too, a habit I picked up driving small sedans. I use a mix of softer bags for odd shapes, cardboard for canned foods and harder plastic crates. Now I'm towing, there's far less need to stack things.


Well-Known Member
I went back to tubs from drawers to save weight , the only issue is moving a tub to get to another which isn’t bad with my setup but plan on doing some ply shelves that individual tubs can slide in to make it easier as a “ compromise “ between the two options
The setup like @smitty_r51 is a good example to work with. Plywood has a good strength to weight ratio as you can see on drifta setups
You could easily drop 100kg out of your setup losing the steel drawers


New Member
thank you all so much for the tips , it has given me some great ideas , so it looks like a trip to Bunnings for some materials

cheers again


Active Member
I've gone shelves rather than drawers in my Pajero because theres a space in the back where the 3rd row of seat is supposed to be. Thats where I store all the stuff that I hope I never need but will be thankful that its there if I do (i.e. tools, spares, jumper leads, 1st aid kit etc)
So I want to be able to easily get to that so the shelves and crates are ideal.

The crates are normally only used when I'm going away and contain camping stuff ( butane stove, cups, plates, cutlery etc)

The photo below is circa 2013 when I first built them and since then I've added a fridge slide and changed each of the 60l crates to 2 smaller clear ones for ease of finding stuff and to make each crate lighter to lift in and out so the missus can do it if she needs to.

The framework was built of 25mm*25mm*1.6mm box alum with plastic joiners to join them together (so no screws) with 7mm
plywood screwed to the top and sides. Its secured to the existing tiedown points with 1m straps.

Built as 2 sections for the flexibility of being able to remove one if I wanted to. So far I've never wanted to.



Active Member
I have a set of drawers and am not that keen on them for all of the reasons listed by others in addition to, in my veiw at least, not utilising the space as well as I could. I also found that I filled the drawers with a lot of unnecessary crap because I had the space to fill.
My last trip i used a mix 5 of canvas storage bags that worked very well and I still managed to carry everything we needed.
Very much a "horses for courses" approach needed rather than a one size fits all approach


Active Member
This is what I have in the rear of my patrol. I still needed to access the child restraints and most of the drawers on the market cover them so they are unusable and the ones that have the restraints built into them are $2k+. I have one of those All 4 Adventure cases that sits in the space next to the fridge with most of my camping gear in it and I now have a half cargo barrier too. Its not pretty but it does what I need it to do for the time being.

I had drawers in my last car and to be honest both systems have their advantages and dis-advantages. One thing I really like about my current set up is being able to take the case out from beside the fridge and use that space for other things when the car is on daily duties, I can also fold the seat down which gives me more space again.

rear setup.jpg

Aaron Schubert

Drawers are more convenient, but heavier. That said, you can do a lot to make them lighter. Polystone instead of runners, 12mm ply instead of 18 or 21, cutting pieces out that are not structurally integral or using different materials. We run 6 of the Bunnings Oates drawers, which are great for small items and weigh very little.



New Member
If you like or think about going there 4wd supa centre draws. They now make a table for it.

mate already have a set they are 32 kg each empty trying to reduce the weight in the back lol


Well-Known Member
I did the cape for 3 weeks with 2 people in the Suzuki all our gear and enough food to last 6 weeks. We just welded up a steel frame out of 20mm box threw some 6mm ply on it and some Astro turf and strapped it down. 6 tubs under the platform for dry food tub of spares and tools ect. On top went soft stuff like bags tents stretches Pillows and that sort of stuff strapped down. Weighed nearly nothing could be put in and out by 1 person. That platform was brilliant and came out after I was back. Probably cost less than $100 to make.

For the Prado I am going to make a slide out bed for the back. Probably in a 50/50 split so you only have to pull one side out at a time and can reach everything Because of the way the rear door opens on a prado. And use pelican cases again strapped in With any luck it will be under 30kg only steel in it should be the slides. And again when it’s not being used I will rip it out and have the car back to normal.


Draws are definitely heavy plus the weight when you fill them, would i go back to not having them, short answer is no I went without them for too long especially in The High Country, crap would be everywhere.

What would worry me if i made them myself and they were not in a tub environment and you rolled your vehicle it wouldn’t be pretty...


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Ditched the titan drawers for a cheap false floor which has been great. Titan drawers came in at 70kg empty. False floor has much more usable space. Only 2 layers deep of bags/boxes each side so no big deal reaching stuff at the back