09 September 2023

Building a Storage Platform

Since we need a space to store some of our personal gear, food, recovery gear, tools and the like, we took the rear seats out of our Jeep Gladiator. The rear area is surprisingly roomy and opens up significant space. The main problem is, that the original trim is rather bulky and in the way of what we plan to do, so we took pretty much all of it out, including the subwoofer, that takes some of the space behind the rear seats. 

Once everything was out, we put some sound deadening mat in. We also added 3M Thinsulate as well as some foam blocks to prevent rattling of the new, straight, rear panel. The new panel is made from 6mm Baltic Birch plywood, cut to fit around the various welded in holders for the rear seats as well as child seats.

The raw new panel

To mount the new panel, we cut some aluminum brackets, which we attached to the bolts that hold the rear part of the hardtop roof in place.

Rear panel brackets

The finished panel looks pretty nice and makes the truck significantly less noisy.

Now, with this out of the way, we started building mounting brackets for the rear seat platform. They attach to the original mount points for the rear seats, so will definitely provide the strength to support our gear as well as a 12V fridge.

It took some time to sort out the correct height, so that our fridge would still open fully without hitting the rollbar of the Jeep. We still got it just slightly wrong and left more space than needed at the top. We could have built the platform a bit higher, but in the end, it works.

The final platform, in basic form.

Since we wanted this to be a nice fit, there was a lot of small detail work to be done to get around all the nooks in the truck:

Working around all the details in the truck

And the final platform, with the mounting for our fridge in place. We'll likely finish the platform in a few weeks when we have tested it properly and are relatively sure that we don't want to add anything. 

The l-track will take some tiedown rings and the fridge will sit with its feet in the small cutouts in the alignment panel. It'll be tied down with straps and should be safe and stable there without problems. Testing to come.

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