Hammond Organs





creating 4wd Australian Outback Adventures on DVD



Budget Drawer System

Now a drawer system for a 4wd costs somewhere around $3000, and for your money, you get a nice looking system that looks like it belongs, and allows plenty of space on top to stack things and put your fridge.

I was looking at a s/h drawer system that was advertised for $700, and the drawers were stacked one on top of the other on the RHS, and the LHS was a hole containing the fridge slide.

Now I have a theory about where the fridge should go in the vehicle. I've been over some pretty rough roads in the few years that I have been doing this, and I also did physics at school ...... hey hang on, you're saying. What is this clown on about?

Let's think about a see saw. The plank has it's fulcrum in the centre, and the rider goes up and down at either end. (Makes you wonder if riding a see saw is a form of "planking" ...... doesn't it?) Now consider where you sit in the vehicle. You are slap bang in the middle between the wheels, and when the car is pitching all over the place, you are least likely to get tossed around, which is important, because you need to maintain control of the vehicle. But what is happening up front, and more importantly, down the back, where everything is being tossed around, including your fridge. OK, so it is strapped to the slide, and the slide is stopping it from being thrown around, but the ride would be pretty violent. Not good for the fridge I reckon. And so my fridge gets securely strapped to the back seat where it is at least close to the fulcrum, and is on a soft surface which acts like a shock absorber.

So what has this got to do with the drawer system I was looking at. I didn't want that fridge drawer, and so I rang my mate Gil, who is a wiz at fixing all things wood.to ask him if he could put drawers in where the fridge slide was. Too much trouble was the reply, we could do a better job by building the drawers from scratch.

Ok, so I pulled around to his place, he asked me what I wanted, and we (he) got to work. I decided that the commercially available drawers were a bit wimpy, and that I wanted more internal space, and therefore taller. The idea was that I could replicate inside the drawers what I had been doing up until now, which was to have a heap of plastic boxes which all carried specific cargo. And so, the drawer on the LHS has a box which contains all my cooking utensils, and another box which has the food. Packed around them are the other bibs and bobs that you would use in the kitchen. The RH drawer has all of the recovery gear that you don't use very often (if at all) in the front box, and the tools, hoses, sprays, battery charger, spare globes, and stuff you always seem to need in the back box. Because of the height of the drawer, the stove slides in on top. Then all the soft stuff gets chucked up on top of the drawer system.

Now Gil works in wood, and so his approach was totally out of left field. He did the measurements, and sent me off to buy a couple of large sheets of marine ply type stuff. I was sent on my way and he would tell me when to come back. When I was eventually allowed to see the work of art, it took me by surprise. Instead of expensive aluminium rails, Gil had used Pine rails, and the rollers ..... well they were toy truck wheels bolted through the casing. The casing wasn't just stapled together either, it was screwed and glued. Instead of expensive catches, he used a gate bolt. I was flabbergasted. We then attached it to the floor by using the vehicles internal tie down hooks.

The first trip we did using this system was the Anne Beadell Hwy, and that was as rough as we could get. When we got back, Gil brushed past me, demanding to see his baby. And it was still in one piece. And three years later and some 100,000 kms later, it is still in one piece.

All up cost of materials $700.


The drawers fitted to the back of the "Cruiser"

Toy truck wheels are used as rollers.

The rollers and the wooden slide

The stove just fits nicely on top.

If you would like to contact me or email your thoughts or comments, please feel free to do so. I would love to hear from you

For more photos, visit Lesley's site. Queensland, Australia

Lesley Bray Photography




Updated 2.6.2011

2011 lauriekibblewhite.com