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This homemade unit stows our necessities and weighs very little.


We all know that weight is the enemy when you’re packing your 4WD or camper. Here’s one way of reducing weight while providing a great storage solution.


Some of the essential items we carry are very heavy – spare wheels and tyres, for example – and they need to be stowed strongly and safely. But there’s a heap of other essential ‘stuff’ that you need that isn’t heavy.

Our solution for stowing these items was a set of home-assembled drawers, inside aluminium square tube framing. We bought the whole kit from Bunnings for a lot less money than you’d shell out for a set of heavyweight drawers.

The square tube stock came in various lengths and a drop saw made short work of cutting the lengths to size.

The tubes were joined by plastic connectors that simply hammered into place.

We were worried that this friction-connection method might not stand up to the inevitable vibrations caused by corrugated road driving, but they’ve withstood the worst tracks we’ve come across.


We sized the framing to enclose various sizes of Oates plastic drawer units. Each drawer or side by side pair of drawers comes with an outer housing. This company also makes stacking frames, but they’re plastic and quite unsuitable for bush travel demands.

Since fitting our kit in 2017, Oates has been taken over and the new owners have discontinued the drawer product line. However, Officeworks has alternative drawer units that can be adapted.

We checked out various means of keeping the drawers shut while we were travelling and the best solution we found was a length  of shock cord laced in front of the drawers. We planned its layout so that a single length covered the wide drawers and two lengths covered the pairs of drawers.

The shock cord needn’t be disconnected to open the drawers, because it can simply be pulled to one side, letting the drawer come out.

We stacked heavy stuff – jacks and tools – in the lower drawers and lighter stuff above.

The finishing touch was some Dymo labelling, so anyone can find what’s in each drawer.






























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