For my final project I decided to build out the back of my truck for camping. This ended up being a one big “box” with two drawers to hold my stuff. As discussed in my design preview I really wanted to create a space that I could use as a base camp of sorts for ski adventures. Ever since entering college I have wanted to spend a winter break road tripping around the country and skiing all the iconic resorts that I haven’t been able to visit yet.
Since I had been thinking about this for so long, I already had somewhat of a list of things that would make this trip the most feasible. Because of this my design was largely driven by function. My specifications were:
- Needs to provide a sleek way to organize all my stuff
- Needs to have room to store at least 3 or 4 pairs of skis underneath the platform
- Needs to be easily removable from my truck
- Needs a dedicated space for my camping stove/ equipment
- Sleeping platform needs to be big enough to accommodate two people
- Needs to be durable, weather resistant
When I first started this project, I wanted to utilize the space around the wheel wells. I had also planned on having two drawers and an additional space for skis. Additionally, I planned on having the sleeping platform span the entire width of the truck bed. I had also played around with building hanging drawers that would be mounted on two 2” x 10” boards spanning the width of the truck bed. With all of these ideas, I turned to the dozens of projects posted online to see what might work best. I didn’t find any designs that incorporated hanging drawers. Since I was the most skeptical of this idea to begin with I decided to scrap it. A lot of the designs I saw had a sleeping platform that spanned the entire width of the truck bed, but their build processes were a bit on the complicated side.
I ended up drawing a fair bit of inspiration from Sam Chou and his K.A.M.P. drawers.  He also built a two drawer system to slide in between the wheel wells of his truck. One thing that I specifically took from Sam’s design were his drawer slides. Originally I had planned on buying premade cabinet drawer slides. Sam used ⅕” steel tubing that slides on bearings. I realized that this would be a much cheaper option; not to mention sturdier. Instead of using steel tubing I went with closet tracks since they would be a lot easier to work with.
In the end I decided to just build two drawers to maximize the storage space. I also decided to just build my drawers to fit within the width of the wheel wells. I wanted to finish the bulk of this project over spring break, so this seemed like a good way to simplify the project.
Since I had envisioned a vehicle for adventure and function, I chose a utilitarian aesthetic. I wanted to keep things as simple and sturdy as possible. I ended up painting the drawers black in hopes that the black might hide some of the dust and dirt associated with camping. I also went with simple stainless steel latches; they won’t rust and they’ll get the job done (I also think they look pretty sweet).
I haven’t gotten the chance to go camping yet, but I think I have nailed the functionality pieces. I have a dedicated space for my stove, a long drawer for cooking utensils/ food, and another drawer that can easily fit three skis. I haven’t tried to fit four pairs of skis in the drawer, but I’m sure I could if I put some more thought into their placement. So far the drawers seem pretty durable and have done a good job transporting my skis during day trips. I also think my drawers look pretty utilitarian. They look pretty simple and don’t have any additional bells and whistles.