Friday, May 22, 2015

Transforming A Crew Seat Into A Gear Closet

Truck Campers are notoriously inadequate at providing storage ...

... and, any of us who owns one, knows that! Because of the locations we sometimes travel to, it's important we keep our vehicle as short as possible ... a utility gear trailer is not an option for us. We pursue and enjoy several outdoor activities and each of those needs to be supported with gear. Therefore, we look to the haul vehicle for our storage solutions and specificially to its' rear seat. 

In the following picture, I've unbolted the seat and prepared it for removal ... the storage trays, 6 floor level bolts and the 2 seat belt anchors were unfastened. There is also a single power point connection that needs to be dis-connected on the driver's side. This is a 60/40 split rear seat and it sags a little at the junction. The most difficult part of the removal was jacking the seat above the threaded bolts with a crowbar, folding the seat together and then lifting it out of the truck. The seat probably weighs 150 lbs or so ... it's an awkward 2-person job.

The seat takes up a lot of valuable storage

I built a 2'x5' platform using 1/2" plywood and elevated it about 8" above the floor. Long items like paddle bags, folding chairs, a collapsable camp table and fishing gear can be stored under the platform. I secured several eye bolts to the platform deck for strapping and anchoring larger gear items and containers during travel ... foldable bikes, canoe barrels and packs, york boxes, a scuba/snorkelling case, drybags and assorted miscellaneous gear bags etc. The platform got painted to match the camper trim colour and was secured to the existing seat belt anchor points. This isn't a permanent installation ... it can be easily removed and the crew seat re-installed if necessary.

I've also added a wire divider screen between the seat areas. It will be used to secure small gear items like binoculars, cameras, walkie-talkies, hats, day packs, travel itinerary case etc. All items are easily accessed from the truck cab while driving.

Crusty ... modifying

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