OAUSA Net - June 15, 2017 - Vehicle and Camp Storage Solutions

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OAUSA Net - June 15, 2017 - Vehicle and Camp Storage Solutions


Post by DaveK » Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:49 pm

The net this week will cover the many options for storing gear in your vehicle for camping, hunting, exploring, and expeditions or just weekend type trips. We will also discuss storage options for your campsite. Rough roads, dusty conditions, wet weather, and rough camping conditions can all take their toll on your gear. Protecting it and keeping it as clean, organized, accessible, and safe as possible will be the main points of our discussion.

While having the right storage devices and gear are important, securing them in the vehicle is a safety concern which must not be overlooked. When your rig is comfortably sitting in the driveway, and is packed up for your trip, all is well. But when you hit the road, the possibility of highway accidents or trail roll overs will quickly turn your neatly packed vehicle into a cabin full of unrestrained heavy gear that can kill or injure the occupants. Even a panic stop or swerve can be dangerous. That 100 pound fridge can become a lethal projectile in a big hurry.

We know our views when it comes to storage ideas and we want to hear yours as well. So, post your thoughts and pictures here on the website about how you store gear and secure it in your vehicle.

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Re: OAUSA Net - June 15, 2017 - Vehicle and Camp Storage Solutions


Post by NotAMog » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:30 pm

I've been using this setup of Zarges boxes in the Pinzgauer for the last year. It's worked out very well and has been tested on some very rough trails. The ratchet straps hold the boxes down fine with no shifting or movement. The biggest drawback is that I still find myself shuffling the boxes around to get at stuff but it's far better than the multiple duffle bags and plastic Costco boxes I used in the past.

These are Zarges K470 series boxes. They have reinforced aluminum corners to aid in stacking and the smaller boxes are rated as IGBC bear resistant. I use small spring clips through the locking holes in the handles to keep our ursine friends out of the boxes should they try to get in.

The custom ratchet straps are from strapsworks.com. I needed flat hooks on the ends which I couldn't get from the local hardware store. I like the buckle pads that protect the boxes from being scratched up by the metal ratchet hardware.

Pinzgauer Zarges Boxes 1
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Pinzgauer Zarges Boxes 2
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Last edited by NotAMog on Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OAUSA Net - June 15, 2017 - Vehicle and Camp Storage Solutions


Post by toms » Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:31 am

Got a new vehicle - or new to you? After you put the lift on, bigger tires and rock sliders, you still have a major task ahead of you. How do you get all that stuff you want to take in the vehicle?

Sure you can just make a big pile. The trick is how to organize it so it can be retrieved quickly (read that – move as little other stuff out of the way to put your hands on the item you want). And how can you store it safely and securely. Hit a big rock or flop your vehicle on the side, you want most (actually all!) of you gear to stay put.

Mandatory Quick Access

Make it a RULE to always have very and I mean very quick access to these items.
◾Shovel & Toilet paper
◾First aid Kit
◾Recovery Strap & D ring
◾Go Bag
◾Hammer (to setup your tent in the rain)

What else would you add to the list???

Outside Storage

As a rule anything that you can conveniently bolt on the outside of the vehicle, under the hood, or on the bumper is worth considering, because it saves space inside.

Under the hood, you ask? Sure! That’s a nice spot for an air compressor. This will not only save space inside your vehicle, it will also save setup time when you need the compressor. Certain tools, parts and fluids can be stored under the hood, as well. Be mindful of the warm temperature in there. Tape, hoses, and some fluids break down in extreme heat.

Just like lifts, tires, wheels, and armor there are a staggering number of options on the market from simple boxes to fully customized build in drawer systems.

If you have the money, now the time is ripe to finally decide on your rear bumper system. The right one can carry many items you want to get out of the interior space - shovel, jack, tire, gas and water.

If you are not sure what you want, start with two simple items – a roof rack and a shelf.

Roof Rack
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A roof rack can get bulky, odd shaped, dirty items out of your interior space. Fire wood, fire grate, BBQ, spare tire, pull pal, hi-lift, gas cans, and water cans all come to mind.

One drawback is that it can be difficult to lift and retrieve heavy objects. Bring a ladder. Get help if needed. I prefer to NOT put my Hi-lift jack on the roof rack. I will try anything to get my buddy to use his Hi-lift before attempting to bring mine off the roof rack.

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A shelf to divide the usable space in half is one of my first solutions. Want a simple, quick and temporary solution? Place two 2x10 (or 2x8, 2x12) boards the full length of the space (tail gate to the back of the seats) and cover it with a sheet of plywood. Find a way to attach the 2x10 to the floor and glue carpet on the plywood.

Be sure and tell yourself that this is only a temporary solution. But as a RULE: Temporary solutions tend to stick around for 5 years or more.

An unbelievable number of small bags containing heavy items can be stored under the height provided by a 2x10. This is the ideal place for tools, recovery gear, winch kit, spare parts, spare fluids, and 16 oz. propane bottles.
StorageOptions001m.jpg (269.99 KiB) Viewed 1655 times
Organize so you can retrieve your stuff easily and quickly. For example, pack the most commonly used items within reach. Lesser used items can be buried toward the back of the shelf.

Typically most of the gear you put here will always stay in the vehicle.
Tie down your camping gear and other boxes on top of the shelf and you are good to go.

With a bit of thought, your shelf might even work to sleep inside the truck. Provided you don’t mind leaving a pile of gear outside at night for the bears.

Longer term, there are many manufacturers that offer products for purchase that are an improvement over this basic concept. The shelf will fit better, be lighter, and have trap doors or other unique ways to make use of space. They might even have built in drawers and sections that fold up and out of the way. I will leave the details to others on the net tonight.

Camp Box
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A fully functioning kitchen is a must. Without one, the trip could be a bust, regardless of the scenery and the climate.

The foundation of your kitchen is a camp box. Sometimes called a chuck box, the camp box contains many of the tools and non-perishable food items you’ll need. Compact and rugged, it fits neatly into your vehicle and withstands the rigors of off-road driving. When opened up, it offers just about everything you need to get started on your next meal. A camp box turns an ordinary vehicle in to a meals on wheels.

I purchased mine, but you can build your own. A quick internet search brings up links to numerous Web sites offering plans, including this one which offers a workbook for sale. http://www.blueskykitchen.com/Grubby_One.html

Many folks use Pelican™ cases for camp boxes. Check out their large selection at http://www.pelican.com. Someone else tonight will extoll their virtues more!

Regardless of whether you build or buy, make sure your box offers a sturdy flat work surface. On some models you can use the top. Others have a pull out shelf. Still others allow you to flip the box on its side and use the door as a work surface.

Keep in mind that your camp box isn’t just for camping. If you’re every forced to evacuate, your camp box will become a very important survival tool.

What’s in a camp box?

A camp box is as unique as its user. Still, certain essentials are found in nearly all. Those include pots and pans, plates and silverware, cups or glasses, large knives and spoons, matches or a lighter, and even a corkscrew. Add in some non-perishable food items such as coffee, tea, hot chocolate, cooking oil, flour, salt and pepper. Make sure they’re in small packages or containers. Use a separate box for larger quantities.
Over time, you will find the right combination for your needs.

No need to get fancy with the dishes. In fact, many people use hand-me-downs or goodies they found at garage sales. You’re going off-road, for crying out loud. Do you really want to pack your best stuff?

How many pieces of each you need depends on the size of your family and amount of space. Many people pack for a group of four. Take a few moments to calculate your needs. You can always revise that later.

Food Box
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Next is a box of dry goods, condiments and related staples. These include paper towels or napkins, tin foil, cereal, and bulk quantities of various items in your camp box. Toss in a can or two of soup, tuna fish, and beef broth (if you like making soup). You may also want to include a roll of toilet paper and some handy wipes.
See you on the Trail!

Badlands Off-Road

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Re: OAUSA Net - June 15, 2017 - Vehicle and Camp Storage Solutions


Post by DaveK » Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:27 pm


Securing your equipment, supplies, and gear needs to be a top priority safety concern, both for the items inside as well as those on the outside of the vehicle. Normally, items stored on the outside are heavier, more difficult to store and often, potentially dangerous (gas.) Keeping them securely attached to the vehicle keeps them safe from loss, but more importantly, it prevents them from coming off and thrown into lanes of traffic. If for no other reason than liability, your pre-trip preparation must include safety checks for anything attached to the outside of the vehicle. Some things of greatest importance include:
  • spare tires
  • gas cans
  • Hi Lift Jacks
  • firewood
  • chairs
  • tables
  • roof top tents
  • roof racks
  • sand rails
  • rakes and shovels
Here are some examples of ideas for securing items to the outside of your vehicle.


Here is an example of a NATO style 5 gallon gas can carrier. It is a powder coated, fully welded steel unit (not modular) which is bolted to the roof rack floor. This carrier was made to specifically fit these cans. Also note the locks.
Gas Can Carrier.jpg
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When you're camping, especially in remote areas, you need to bring more gear, such as tables, chairs, extra gas and water, etc. With few exceptions, if any, there is not enough room inside a vehicle to store everything. Enter the roof rack. One of the trends these days that still puzzles me is the roof top tent. When one opts for a RTT, one loses all of the space normally available for storing things that shouldn’t or can't be stored inside the vehicle, like gas. So, I reserve space on the roof rack for gas, water, a chair, firewood, and ammo cans into which I store various items like vehicle fluids, parts, etc. It’s a great place to put things that can withstand rain, dust or wind.

There is one other circumstance where the space on the roof is particularly valuable, and that is when you have more than one person in the vehicle. When you have a spouse or other family members or friend along for the trip, all that space in the vehicle that used to be for storage is now for passengers and their gear. Here is when the roof rack becomes indispensable.

This rack is a powder coated, fully welded steel unit (not modular) that uses the entire space on the roof of the Hummer. Fortunately, the H2 came from the factory with two steel roof rack rails, which this rack utilizes. As seen in the picture below, the rack is held in place, in the rails, by 12 stainless bolts.
Roof Rack-2.jpg
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Roof Rack Attachment-1.jpg
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There are times when your passengers occupy all the room in the vehicle that you usually reserve for storage. That is one of the occasions when having a roof top carrier, with a weather proof enclosure, really shines. The cover makes it possible to store items that require protections from the elements, like sleeping bags, clothes bags, etc. Here is an example:
Roof Top Cover.JPG
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Re: OAUSA Net - June 15, 2017 - Vehicle and Camp Storage Solutions


Post by DaveK » Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:54 pm


Securing items inside your vehicle is a top priority concern, for you and your occupants. In a sense, strapping and securing these items is just like using your seat belt -it needs to be stout, robust and sufficiently strong to do the job. On just about any camping trip, your vehicle is filled with heavy stuff, such as ice chests, refrigerators/freezers, water cans, cooking gear, tents, etc. In a roll over or a collision, these items can become lethal projectiles. Even panic stops or swerves can produce dangerous conditions. On bumpy, rocky or rutted roads, everything in the vehicle will get jostled and possibly damaged if not restrained. Properly securing all of these items must be part of your pre-trip preparations. We have found that the most effective means of keeping things well secured are ratchet straps and turn buckles, both of which come in a large variety of strengths. For those who have the skills, fabricating specific mounts for your gear is also a great way to keep things in their place.


A good source for ratchet straps is a company called Ratchet Strap USA (https://www.ratchetstraps.com/) They have a huge selection of straps in varying strengths and their prices are great. Here is an example of a heavy duty 2 inch strap with the following specs, (from their website):
Ratchet 11,000 lb B.S.
Web 12,000 lb B.S.
Assembly 3,335 lb W.L.L.
Ratchet Strap HD-1.jpg
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Turn buckles are available from many sources. Be careful what you buy and make sure the source is reliable and, if possible, buy quality items made in the USA. The benefits of a turn buckle are mainly strength and the ability to get a really secure attachment. I use 4 to secure the Fridge Freeze in the Hummer. A few very important notes if you choose to use them for your refrigerator or ice chest:
  • Make very sure that the handles on your unit are capable of handling a really tight attachment point
  • Use a D style ring that is rated similar to the turn buckle
  • Attach the D style ring to the floor of your vehicle with a sufficiently large backing plate. DON'T just screw it into the floor.
An example of a turn buckle with a WLL of 5,000 lbs.( http://www.fehr.com/1-x-12-forged-hook- ... -9hh100x12 )

Turn Buckcle.jpg
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Here is an example of a D style connecting ring with a 5,000 lb rating:

Ring Connecter.jpg
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Like so many of the things associated with camping and 4WD trips, you will need to do your research. In addition to your research, we have discovered a number of ways to get ideas for securing your gear, including conversations with others who do so, examining other vehicles on camping and off-road trips,and using this forum.

Here are some examples of secured gear:


A filled 5 gallon water can is very heavy, weighing is at about 50-60 pounds, depending on the type of container you use. While carrying filled water cans on the roof rack can be done, it will have an material effect on your center of gravity. If room permits, consider storing them in the lowest part of the interior of the vehicle. And, for your safety, keep 'em well secured. Here is an example of water cans which are ratchet strapped to a platform, which in turn is bolted to the floor.
Water Cans Straped-2.jpg
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My kitchen gear includes everything we need when camping, including a stove, stove fuel, pots, pans, utensils, seasonings, dishwashing stuff, coffee pot, cutting board and plates. Because I usually cook for 5 or more people, I need to include enough gear to accommodate the entire group. I have tried several solutions from plastic storage bins to wooden boxes. Each had serious flaws, from weight to poor protection. The solution was storage boxes made by the Zarges company. They have 25 different sizes to fit into almost any space that you may have in your vehicle. I selected two Zarges boxes into which I have fit every kitchen item that I need. Zarges boxes are lightweight, built for rough conditions, dust proof and water resistant. From the Zarges website ( https://adventure-ready.com/product-cat ... num-cases/ )
Zarges K470 cases are the original, used by expedition, military and aid organizations on every continent. What’s the difference? Thicker and higher-quality aluminum, welded frames and solid-riveted panels, stainless steel hinges and hardware, quality one-piece continuous moisture and dust seals. These are truly lifetime cases.

These dust-proof, water-resistant, extraordinarily durable cases are ideal for packing and transporting adventure equipment – from kitchen supplies to clothing.
In the pictures below, you can see the great fit I was able to manage and the slide out tray that I use to access the boxes. See: http://www.zarges.com/fileadmin/user_up ... _EN_02.pdf

Also note the ratchet straps which hold the boxes in place. They are Ratchet Strap USA products, with the following specs:
Ratchet 3,300 lbs B.S.
Webbing 6,600 lbs B.S.
Hooks 3,300 lbs B.S.
Assembly 1,100 lbs W.L.L.
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Re: OAUSA Net - June 15, 2017 - Vehicle and Camp Storage Solutions


Post by kevinhum55 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:47 pm

Early Check in



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Re: OAUSA Net - June 15, 2017 - Vehicle and Camp Storage Solutions


Post by KK6GFF » Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:17 am

Pls check me in. Thanks!

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Re: OAUSA Net - June 15, 2017 - Vehicle and Camp Storage Solutions


Post by N7AJJ » Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:53 pm

Early check in please...thanks much!
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Re: OAUSA Net - June 15, 2017 - Vehicle and Camp Storage Solutions


Post by JackM-KK6WXQ » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:25 pm

Looking forward to hearing about storage options!!

Please check me in for tonight's net.

Thank you, Jack M. KK6WXQ

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Re: OAUSA Net - June 15, 2017 - Vehicle and Camp Storage Solutions


Post by KAP » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:48 pm

Dave Tom
Please check me in

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