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
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 stove just fits nicely on top.