Finishing the Interior: Cargo Bay Storage

With the receipt of our shipment from South Africa last week there is suddenly a lot to do.   Among the things we have is an ammo box drawer system from Frontrunner Outfitters designed to fit between the wheel wells of a Defender.

We had long planned to install this, but dithered about what material to use for the “floor” that it allows one to create across/between the wheel wells.  We decided this week to go back to the lumber yard at Newtown for some 1/2″ plywood that we had at first thought was too expensive at GHC 110  ($65).   The largest gap is only two feet and there is little weight that will  go on this so 1/2″ thick  is plenty.  It may be we were looking at 5/8″ before, or maybe we just negotiated better this time, but we got a 4×8 sheet for the “real” price of $40.   I took a sheet and a half so we have enough to put short but usable sides in between the wheel well and the window that we can bolt things to, like the fire extinguisher. I took all these pieces to Agoma, the fellow who had carpeted the front front and redid the ceiling and had him cover the plywood in the same carpet as the rest of the vehicle.  It looks very finished, this really seems to impress the Ghanaians who see the vehicle.   We also had enough plywood to create a raised floor behind the front passenger seat to hold the refrigerator.

The Front Runner drawer system gets bolted to the floor below and the floor above, which in turn is bolted to the wheel wells, so it is all very solid.  There is abolutely no rattle.  The Frontrunner design ensures the sliders sit solid and I added more soundproofing onto the wheel wells before putting in the upper “floor” across and along the top of the wheel wells.  This is a somewhat improbable feature of my design – the cardboard I used to raise the `floor` between the wheel wells above the Front Runner drawer storage system.   The cardboard actually comes from a pallet` that was used by the freight forwarder to load our our shipment of overland gear from South Africa.  If the 2″ thick cardboard that the shipping  pallet was constructed from was strong enough for that then they should be able to handle supporting our upper floor, and they add virtually nother to our running weight.   With these as a cushion between the plywood upper floor bolted to the top of the wheel wells it is quiet – at least for a Land Rover.

Cargo Bay Storage System with new“floor“ above