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Old 05-30-2020, 12:20 AM #1
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JZiggy's storage/camping/sleeping platform

Hey dudes,

My cargo platform build is coming along and I thought I'd share what I have done so far. First off -- thanks to all the folks that posted up their own builds over the years. I studies dozens of them to collect ideas and it was great to see all these interesting builds to get the ideation going strong.

Goals for this platform:
- Minimize overall weight (my 3RZ will thank me *wheeze*)
- Able to make main platform out of a single 4x8 sheet of plywood
- Able to sleep a 6'4" person facing straight, not diagonally. Can accommodate two sleepers
- Rear area should be able to stay semi-permanently installed and act as a simple cargo platform for day to day use. But must be able to take it back out without much hassle
- No drawers but cargo area sized to accept cheap standard plastic bins that are readily available at Walmart in case they get busted or lost
- Front area designed for sleeping only, to be removed before driving. Not for storage or maybe only light items
- Front area needs to rest on top of rear area when not in use and able to take it out to leave at home when not needed
- Rear seat bottoms to be removed for sleeping but the rear seat backs always stay installed


So here goes! The rear cargo area is made with a single 2x8 as the center support. Lots of stuff attaches here so it needs to be stout. The rest of the box is 1x8 common boards and a 1x4 and 1x8 cross beam for support. Angle brackets are used underneath to stiffen it.


Rear platform on top is contoured on the passenger side to allow access to the wheel well tie down I added. Driver side is contoured more deeply around the higher wheel well. The sides are about an inch from the interior panels so you can still reach down into the cubby from the top. The width is the 48" that the 4x8 plywood is cut to.


Angle brackets are secured underneath and behind the main beam and borrow the holes for the front tie downs. I put a stud in place of the bolt which is really handy. When the box is placed inside you just slide it up and over the studs and it is in position. An M6 flange nut is used to fasten.


The front platform is contoured on the driver side only and rests flat on the rear area. It's 2.5" shorter than the rear area. Later we'll add holes to allow it to be pinned to the rear platform so it doesn't slide around when driving.


Front platform fits when the front seats are moved up a little and angled straight up. Later we'll add a cutout in the front center to allow access to the wonderful BHicks 3D printed cupholder.


Here's how it looks out of the truck.


Now it's time to get jiggy. I wanted the front platform to key positively into the structure since I'm not using a hinge. Cutouts were made and two pieces of aluminum flat stock are installed recessed with a 1/4" through hole that also passes through the plywood.



Two mating pins are installed in the center beam for these 1/4" holes to key into. I sunk two 1/4" lag bolts down into the beam and cut off the heads. The aluminum was used on the front section so that the joint is strong and the plywood doesn't wear with repeated installations.


Here's how the two platforms mate up when the front is dropped onto the pins.



The front section is supported with three removable dowel legs. The legs have little plywood biscuits as feet to spread the load out. I sunk hanger bolts into both ends of the dowel. The feet and the platforms will have tee nuts to let the 5/16" studs screw into them. These can be disassembled for storage. One nice things is that since the dowel is threaded on both ends so the support can be extended a bit if needed to level things out.


I want to be able to store my 7 gal water jug in the back here. I plan to cut part of the passenger side wing off and attach with a piano hinge. This way it can fold up 90 degrees to accommodate the jug and fold down for sleeping.



So that's where I am so far! More pictures to come of course. Next steps:
- Create the hinged side for the water jug
- Paint the undersides so there is no bare wood to give one splinters
- Install some automotive tan carpet with underlayment to soften up the platform
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Old 05-30-2020, 12:49 PM #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JZiggy View Post
Two mating pins are installed in the center beam for these 1/4" holes to key into. I sunk two 1/4" lag bolts down into the beam and cut off the heads. The aluminum was used on the front section so that the joint is strong and the plywood doesn't wear with repeated installations.
Man thatís a really innovative solution to locking that front platform in place. I like the idea of avoiding the use of hinges there. Keep it up looks good man!
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Old 05-30-2020, 01:14 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diy_overlanders View Post
Man thatís a really innovative solution to locking that front platform in place. I like the idea of avoiding the use of hinges there. Keep it up looks good man!
JZ is well-known around here for such. Go through his build thread, if you have not already...

JZ - If I were building a storage platform, I too was sold on the bin approach. Love it, for a few reasons. There are times I think of a construction project that permits access to my storage below. I have some ideas already, just not the perceived need for more storage...

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 05-31-2020, 12:30 AM #4
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More updates:

Close up of the pins that lock the front platform to the rear


The side beams are angled so when the seats are up they sit flush. Cutouts at the bottom allow a socket to access the nut holding the brackets.




More on the 7 gal Reliance water jug. I added a little wing to give a frontal support to the jug and a support to the hinged portion. There's also a little bit of trim added inside to support the hinge and the platform.


Hinged wing trimmed out and fitted with a piano hinge.







I got some carpet and underlayment from yourautotrimstore.com. This is 2.5 yards (72" x 90" nominal). The price was good and shipping turned out to be next day. They we're skimpy either as the final length was more like 96". I ordered the "sand" color which turned out to be a pretty good color match. The carpet is decent quality but not awesome which is OK. Rolled out


Underlayment trimmed and on the front section


It's kind of a pain trimming the carpet and cutting it so that it wraps around the contours. But it turned out OK with some care. I left a 4" flap loose on the back to cover the seam... might trim it up and adjust once its all done


Here's how it fits up against the rear platform


More on the front section support columns. I wanted to use a minimal amount of these to keep things simple and leave room underneath for storing stuff. I found that two columns at the corners and a single in the middle bridging the seat backs was sufficient. Here's how it looks from underneath when its all installed.


Tomorrow I will carpet the rear section. I had to finish up the woodwork and paint the underside and it needs some time to dry. I used some leftover gray exterior house paint.
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Last edited by JZiggy; 05-31-2020 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 05-31-2020, 10:19 PM #5
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Carpeting the rear area. Here's the underlayment trimmed for the hinge


All carpeted. Man that's a pain in the butt. I do not want a career in upholstery. Underside has been painted too.


Installed using the flange nuts on studs. I was able to sneak the cargo tie down hooks in there too. With motorcycle straps they can still be reached.


Rear platform installed


Water jug fits great


I got two 52qt Hefty bins from Walmart. These fit perfectly in the slots. They squeeze in a bit and are then slightly captured by the front 1x4 support so they can't slide back and forth.






Recall on the front platform I left a 4" flap of carpet past the seam. This turned out to work great




Front platform installed in "travel mode." The flap is hanging down and actually gets captures by the rear hatch so it cant move around much




Front platform installed in "sleeping mode." Here the flap covers the seam where the front and back sections connect. You can even tuck the little sides down so that its taut.


Another shot of the front support legs


Finished product


I weighed the individual sides:
Rear platform and box: 56 pounds
Front platform with legs: 30 pounds
Total is 86 pounds.

Concluding thoughts... this really turned out good. Better than I originally thought it would. The carpet plus underlayment really makes it comfy to lay on. I think a thin mat or even just a sleeping bag would be sufficient. I'm able to stretch completely out with my head against the hatch. The platform front and back is plenty stiff even with just the three dowel legs up front. I think the positive connection in the center really stiffens up the front platform.

I'm glad I took the time to make the door for the water jug but I realized that I need to also make some kind of flap for the front section. In "travel mode" the wing of the front platform covers this door -- crap! Well, one more little adjustment to make and then it should be done.

Then I just need to test it out!!
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Old 06-01-2020, 10:35 AM #6
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Top notch work as always! Clearly designed by a first class engineer ;).
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Old 06-02-2020, 07:44 PM #7
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Added a door on the front platform to allow the door on the rear to come up when installed in "driving mode" and make room for the water jug. As a bonus this door lets you access the area under the front platform more easily. Hinge was raised 1/8" to help the door go closer to flat when open.







And now I am officially done which is a relief since I am tired of working on this thing!
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Old 06-03-2020, 07:41 AM #8
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Quote:
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And now I am officially done which is a relief since I am tired of working on this thing!
Finishing out a project like this is the best!! Looks good man.

I know it was one of your goals to keep it as light as possible, just curious did you ever see how much this storage platform weighed in the end?
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:55 AM #9
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Finishing out a project like this is the best!! Looks good man.

I know it was one of your goals to keep it as light as possible, just curious did you ever see how much this storage platform weighed in the end?
I didn't reweigh after adding the second hinge but I doubt that changed it much.

The rear section is 56 pounds. The front, with the removable feet, is 30 pounds.
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Old 06-03-2020, 11:02 AM #10
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I'm wanting to build a rear storage area as well. I like this idea, has to be much lighter than adding drawers.
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Old 06-03-2020, 06:21 PM #11
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Clean! Looks really good!
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Old 06-03-2020, 08:25 PM #12
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Currently working on a platform myself with similar requirements. I might still go the drawer route but I like how you handled the front section. Simple is good.

Do the bins rattle around and make noise as you drive?
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Old 06-03-2020, 11:09 PM #13
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Currently working on a platform myself with similar requirements. I might still go the drawer route but I like how you handled the front section. Simple is good.

Do the bins rattle around and make noise as you drive?
No, they are pinched in there a little bit so they don't scoot around at all!
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Old 06-03-2020, 11:16 PM #14
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Great job man. I need to build one of these myself. It seems like such a huge time commitment though so it's hard for me to get started. How many hours do you think you have in designing and building this thing? Did you CAD it out first?
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Old 06-04-2020, 12:01 PM #15
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Cool design. I like the piano hinge wing & the bins to maximize storage space. Great idea of using compression to secure the bins. I like the finished product of upholstered stuff but doing it sucks if you want it to look right.
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