Storage Drawers - with power system

No worries Muzz, I posted in the hopes that others might get some helpful ideas, if you want to copy then I will take that as a compliment.

Maybe wash your pants first though :eek::eek::eek:
No worries Muzz, I posted in the hopes that others might get some helpful ideas, if you want to copy then I will take that as a compliment.

Maybe wash your pants first though :eek::eek::eek:
lol, yeah i should wash my pants 1st... can i ask roughly how much it cost to build the unit,not including all the accesories, just the ply/carpet/runners ect.

cheers Muzz
Hey Muzz,

I used 2 1/2 sheets of 17mm ply and 1/2 a sheet of 12mm ply (12mm was the base and inside the wing panels), I just bought full sheets which left me with extra for other projects so the prices below are based on 4 sheets of ply and all prices have been rounded up to the nearest $10, so this should be a worst case scenario.

Plywood - $250 (Bunnings)
Carpet - $80 (Bunnings budget cabin carpet 4mtr @ $20 per mtr)
polyurethane glue - $20 (Bunnings)
contact adhesive - $60 (Bunnings - I ended up using 3 x 1ltr it would probably work out cheaper to buy the bigger tin.
50mm decking screws - $20 (Bunnings)
Paint - $20 (Bunnings)

So that'll get the most of it done for $450

now its up to you if you want to include drawer runners or the cheaper plastic slides that some guys make from boat trailer skid material. But make this decision before you build because it will affect your drawer dimensions.

I used Heavy Duty Self Locking 125Kg runners that I got off eBay $174 for two pair, most places sell them for double that price, I got in touch with the seller to query the quality and these are the same as the expensive ones. Basically, he sources in bulk for fitting out his own automotive race trailers and passes on the savings while getting rid of the excess stock on eBay, you can find his ebay store here

I put a similar effort into sourcing the tie-down system, even looked at purchasing from USA but postage is the killer. I was about to give up when I found the Australian distributor for Core systems. The kits come with 2 x 1mtr tracks and 4 x tie-down rings plus a bag of nuts and bolts for fitting and each kit is $99, I bought two of these kits but only so I could have more tie down options when I load up with my radio control planes for a day of flying hahahahaha (Red Jack is a multi purpose vehicle) :)

The Distributor for the Uni Trax 1000 is Dark Violet Auto Accessories they are in Brisbane and the guy there was really helpful

So, leaving out all the electrical goodies, dual battery systems and solar stuff, my investment was about $820 plus labour.

It's not hard to see where the retail price comes from when you consider labour, but the satisfaction of doing it yourself and the unlimited potential to have it exactly the way you need it........... priceless :roll eyes:

I hope you have as much fun with your project as I had with mine
Mate thats real craftsmanship there. I agree with others that Ive never seen such top notch quality drawers before. They look brilliant. Love all the ideas you crammed into it as well, thats one SWEET setup mate you done yourself proud

Thanks for sharing it with us all :)
Cheers Prawns,

you've been around here for a while mate so I really appreciate the compliment. I'll be doing a lift plus airbags plus ball joint flip plus heavy duty tie rods sometime this month, so I'll post those mods as well, I didn't expect so many positive responses, but if it helps others, then I'm happy to keep posting :)

Gday mate

I know I've already said it but awesome job love your work just a quick question how have you wired your compressor in ( I assume you hard wired it )

Cheers Dan
Hey Dan,

Yes, more or less hard wired, My amp meter is the kind that uses a "shunt" to measure current flow on the negative wire and given that I wanted to be able to measure all current draw on my Aux battery, I have a common earth point on the shunt but if you're not concerned with amp measurement, then you can go right ahead and connect directly to the battery.

I wired in an anderson plug (put a fuse or circuit breaker on the positive wire) and then chopped the alligator clips off the compressor wires and replaced with another anderson. this way I can easily disconnect it if needed.

Then I had the challenge of switching it off and on........ You'd need a 75amp relay if you were going to switch the main feed but then it occurred to me that the switch that was already on the compressor was just a light duty switch and so all the necessary relay and circuit breakers were already built in.

Hmmmmmmm, so I pulled the unit apart enough to get a look inside the black cover and sure enough, only very light gauge wires going to the inbuilt switch.

soooooo, off to the local electronics shop to buy a two ping plug with matching socket (could use a headphone jack and socket if you wanted) and a length of twin core cable. I cut the feed wire going into the switch and soldered the cut ends to the socket and installed it in the housing.

Basicly, this is just a bridge, The compressor switch has no effect at all unless you bridge this open connection, but once bridged, the compressor switch functions as normal.

So then you just solder your length of wire to the plug and put a switch on the other end, Now you have a remote switch :)

But I still wasn't completely satisfied, what I really wanted was a way to turn the compressor off and on while I was at each tyre, so instead of putting a switch at the end of my wire, I got one of these remote switch units

$12 incl postage, it was cheaper than a manual switch from supacheap and the thing has a 1Km range. So firstly, my air hose isn't that long and secondly, if my tyre is that far away then I've probably got bigger problems LOL.

So, my compressor is switched of and on as required, using one of the buttons on the remote control. There are another three switching channels on the unit which are not used yet, but could be used for anything up to 10amp. Hmmmmmm remote control camp site lights perhaps :)

I seem to have run out of photo space on this forum, so I'll just jump on Tapatalk and publish a couple of photos for you. If you're taking a trip up this way, I can help you with the wiring but it really is pretty simple.


My compressor modification for remote switching

And with the remote cable disconnected to give you an idea of the fitting that I used.

No idea what the fitting is called, but it has two pins and the plug fits on with a quarter turn lock ring. I chose it because it won't vibrate lose or disconnect when I'm doing the rough stuff :)

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The holes on the bottom board and the shaping on the back edge are to fit around the seat lockdown points for both the rear seats and the 3rd row seats

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Thanks for your help craig very much appreciated sorry about the late reply.
Just a quick question how do you find the compressor copes with heat dispersion it doesnt over heat does it ??

Cheers daniel
Hey Daniel,

Haven't had any issues with the compressor, it still has plenty of air flow around it as the back is open to the cabin.

If it's a warm day, I just open the rear doors to allow a bit of air flow while I'm using it


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muc the truck

Well-Known Member
I know, I know......... drawers have been done to death but have a read anyway, I'm pretty sure you'll pick up some new ideas :)

There were a few things I wanted to do to set the Jack up for day trips and camping, my wish list looked something like this.
- dual battery system
- Alternator charging
- Solar charging
- storage drawers
- 240V power
- able to sleep onboard (for quick overnighters)
- maybe build in the portable compressor (because I'm lazy :rolleyes: )
- do it all on a tight budget

SO............ looking around at what was available........... F@#$ ME........ certainly nothing that I could afford. I put the whole idea on the back burner and decide to just sort out the extra battery and power system.

I already had a 100ah AGM in a portable box and a pair of folding solar panels, I just needed to figure out a nice way to fit the battery and some sort of on board charging system. After a fair bit of research on dual battery systems, I realised that it would be better for my AGM battery to live in the back rather than under the hood but the last thing I wanted, was a battery stuck in the back with wires everywhere so I decided that it was time to get creative and entertain that old saying......... "if you want it done properly, then DIY"

A picture's worth a thousand words, so I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story :cool:

View attachment 21352
The Black strips on top are Uni Trax 1000 Tie Down Tracks which I rebated into the top surface for a flush finish. Power panel on the right, drawers are different widths to meet my specific needs and that little white thing on the left is a four way remote control switch (its just sticking to the carpet with velcro) currently it is only being used to turn the compressor on/off when I'm crouching at the tyres, but the other three switches may come in handy for lights etc.

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The Power panel.......... (top to bottom) 600W/1200W inverter, Dual USB sockets (left) and Merit socket (right), Dual standard accessory sockets, Solar Panel input (red anderson plug), combination Volt and Amp meter (shows both charge and discharge amps), Dual 50amp anderson plugs (the grey ones). The vertical row of red buttons on the left are all circuit breakers, I couldn't find a nice place to mount a fuse box so I went with breakers which also eliminates the need to carry extra fuses. The black thing next to the grey anderson's is a quick release air line fitting, just plug in the air hose and switch on and off with the remote.

View attachment 21354
looking from the other end, with the rear seats folded up so we can see. The compressor is bolted down to the base panel, the black dot just forward of the right side of the compressor plate is one of 5 high tensile countersunk bolts which hold the two boxes down to the original tie down points (the fifth is in the centre child restraint point)

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on the drivers side is where the battery lives, the red knob is the main isolator switch, it switches off everything at the power panel but leaves the charging circuit operational, the red anderson is for linking in an extra battery if needed. (if its cloudy and the portable battery needs power, then it can be linked in for charging off the alternator or it can just be linked in to double the on-board capacity)

View attachment 21356
back to the business end, one thing I hate on a day trip is not having somewhere to make lunch or put a cooker, so I made up hinged bench tops for both drawers. Instant table or bench and one less thing that I need to pack. Drawer runners are heavy duty self locking type and yes, I can stand in the drawer when it's fully extended.

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both drawers out with the tables lifted and that's a lot of storage space. Internal measurements - The large drawer is 820x520x240 and the small drawer is 710x340x240. (the small drawer is shorter because the battery is wider than the compressor)

View attachment 21363
Under the right side wing. I decided to box in over the wheel arch, it was a bit fiddly shaping around the extra row seat mounts etc, but it meant that I had a nice way to mount the inverter and the Ctek 250S Dual. All the wiring was done below the fill-in panel and incorporated into the unit. (that means that I can undo 5 bolts + 1 earth cable + one power cable and the whole lot can be removed in two pieces in about 10 minutes)

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Under the left wing. thats the problem with doing one side all pretty, you feel compelled to make the other side look nice too :eek: So once again, boxed over the wheel arch but this time I stopped at the end of the arch, leaving a full depth cavity which made a perfect pocket for the first aid kit and still allows full access to the original bottle jack and tools.

View attachment 21365
A closer look at the Uni Tax 1000 tie down system. Simple and bloody strong. According to the manufacturer, when tested to destruction, the track fails first at 2000Lb so that gives me a safe working load of over 300Kg per tie down point !!!!!!

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The Portable (campsite) battery, strapped in and linked in for charging and/or added capacity - (Who me...... power hungry.......... Noooooo :rolleyes: )

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Right then....... back to the check list....... what have I forgotten.......
Oh yes, the ability to sleep on-board...... OK, I didn't really forget, this was the part of the requirement that determined the exact height of the storage unit. You see, the rear seats shorten the storage area when they are folded up but if you just fold the backrest down, they are incredibly strong and will hold a lot of load stacked directly on top. Thats where these extra four panels come in to the game. (they store away in the large drawer when not in use.

View attachment 21359
with a little bit of planing and some careful routing, keyhole fittings (the kind used for hanging cabinets on walls) do the job of locking the four panels together

View attachment 21360
All locked in, it only takes a couple of minutes to convert to a full flat bed and the perfect size for a double mattress. So why did I split the extension panels into four separate panels? and why are they different sizes?
Well firstly, I wanted them to fit in the drawer so that they were always onboard when needed and secondly................

View attachment 21361
sometimes, you need an extra seat

View attachment 21362
and sometimes you need an extra two seats ;)

A bit of careful design and now the storage space can be configured to suit simply by removing two of the four extension panels to allow for extra seating.

Ok, so that's my DIY storage unit and triple battery system. It was a fun project and yes, I did all the work myself. I hope you have picked up some ideas for your own vehicle or at least enjoyed the post :)

I made a set up for a friend for his jackaroo. I made a hinged head board at the back of the front seats so nothing can slide into the cabin front. when the seats are tilted forward the fold down head board extends the raise floor to make a total flat level length of 2100 or 7 foot . all rear seats were removed so its a 2 seater. this means its like a panel van to sleep in and plenty of leg room.
The volt/amp meter was from a Hong Kong eBay seller for about $33, I will have a look for the details and post a link when I get home from work tonight


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