RPhil's Excursion - Sleeping Platform / Storage

RPhil

Adventurer
Time to start a build thread for my rear sleeping platform/storage area in the Excursion.

I recently went camping for a few days and camped out of the back of the truck with an air mattress. This gave me a decent idea of the direction I wanted to go.

I decided that I would like to leave the second row in the vehicle and build the platform assuming that this would be here and in my way. When I went camping, I used a full size mattress with the second row up and down. Since I am only 5'9", I decided that I would prefer having a second row over having the additional head/leg room.

Some of the additional constraints that I am taking into account:
-Accessibility to passenger side panel (where OEM jack and additional storage is located)
-34" spare mounted in stock location

I decided that I would like two slide-out drawers in the rear and additional hatched storage around them. The structure would attach with hardware to the spot where the OEM cargo tie-downs are currently located.

Plan is to use a sleeping pad on top.

First thing to do was take a picture (excuse the very dirty interior) and drawing up some very basic lines to get an idea of the direction I wanted to go:





Next, I found an image on google of a stock rear area that was a little cleaner that allowed me to sketch some more lines/ideas:




The images above should give a better idea about the aforementioned constraints from the access panel and spare tire.

I took a whole lot of measurements and then started CAD'ing up various ideas. Below is my idea ~90% of the way there:





The front of the platform is sloped because the Excursion floor drops down in this area. This will allow me to place some items behind the second row and under this sloped area. It is hard to describe without an picture.

I haven't finalized how I would like to close-out the area near the access panel. Shown in CAD right now is a simple structure that is not hinged and is easily removable.

I also need to find some extendable legs for the table that folds off of the passenger-side drawer.

I tried to keep most of the woodworking basic. I do not have an extensive woodworking background.

Plan is to use 3/4" plywood for most of the structure. I would like to find some nicer hardwood for the drawer fronts. I plan on placing carpet on the top.

Hardware:

Drawer slides (30"): http://truck-hardware.orrorr.com/item/drawer-slides/heavy-duty-full-extension-slide/h-8432
http://truck-hardware.orrorr.com/vi...vy-duty-lock-in-lock-out-full-extension-slide

Spring-assist hinges: http://www.mcmaster.com/#14785a51/=149tdx6
http://www.mcmaster.com/#14785a53/=149sipq

Piano hinge: http://www.mcmaster.com/#1605a77/=14ajsvu

Tie downs: http://www.mcmaster.com/#3076t34/=149nvyr

Recessed pull handles: http://www.mcmaster.com/#1759a28/=14a1z1s

Drawer handle: http://www.mcmaster.com/#13155a61/=1491ikq


After I finalize some of the details floating around, I plan on printing out a 1-to-1 sheet to lay down in the truck to ensure measurements are all correct.

I wish the full size spare wasn't a constraint, but it will be for now. I do not currently have the budget for a rear swing-out, so I will be building around it for now. I figure that once the whole vehicle develops, I will be able to remove this spare and gain this space back (and place some electronic hookups after the dual battery setup is completed...).

Cheers :smiley_drive:
 

TheCarpenter

Observer
Too bad rear swingers are so pricey! I would want the tire in a rear mount so you can utilize all of the interior space.
 

RPhil

Adventurer
Too bad rear swingers are so pricey! I would want the tire in a rear mount so you can utilize all of the interior space.
Yeah, it is quite the design limitation. Once I do have a rear swing-away, that just means I have to be creative in tying in the new section.


Question for all of you woodworkers out there- what is a good, simple way to join 3/4" plywood at a butt joint? Would I be OK using some 90 degree brackets and wood glue? I think that this would be much better than running screws into an edge.

Thanks in advance.
 

jgaz

Adventurer
Pocket Screws and glue (titebond 3). Google "Kreg". You don't need their fancy fixture for what I assume will be limited usage. Just get the basic drill guide with a step drill.
 

RPhil

Adventurer
Pocket Screws and glue (titebond 3). Google "Kreg". You don't need their fancy fixture for what I assume will be limited usage. Just get the basic drill guide with a step drill.
Good idea- I think my brother may actually have a kreg jig. I just toyed around with some 90 deg brackets in CAD and I would end up spending more than I want on them due to the quantity.

Thanks for the idea.



Plan right now is to have this built next weekend. Order has been placed for the slides and will get the order in for the rest of the McMaster items hopefully tomorrow :ylsmoke:
 

RPhil

Adventurer
Everything is on hand and ready to build (except the carpet). The slides are very beefy. I also really like the spring hinges I went with.

It's nice when you can fit 4x8 sheets of plywood in the back without issue:



Plan is to build the majority of the platform tomorrow. Will add the carpet at a later date (which means some of the pull handles may be added at a later date as well).

I think 3/4" may have been a bit overkill, but oh well.

Also decided to use some paracord I have laying around for the drawer handles, should be neat. Something like this:

 

RPhil

Adventurer
Crappy weather made for an interesting setup:






Unfortunately, my brother had dinner plans so we didn't get to begin assembly. We did get all of the pieces cut (26 in total). Also got the kreg jig set to the proper depth and used it on some scrap to verify. Just need to start assembly and pick out some carpet.

Anyone have any recommendations for carpet adhesion? Should I use tape or glue?
 

Cent

Observer
Have you made any progress? I am very interested in seeing the outcome of your project!
 

RPhil

Adventurer
Have you made any progress? I am very interested in seeing the outcome of your project!
I didn't realize anyone was really following-

Here is a very poor quality picture of the completed structure right before painting:




I decided to use Monsta Liner to paint it. Went with the desert sand color. Painted it yesterday and it came out pretty nice.

There are already a few things I would have designed differently if I were to go back and do it again but that was to be expected. The structure itself is pretty damn heavy. The only thing I have left is to finish up up carpeting the inside of the drawers and add the hardware. I went with a gray indoor-outdoor carpet that I am quite happy with.

I'll add some more pictures after I tie up a few of the loose ends.
 

rayra

Expedition Leader
Nice design concept and early work. Wish I'd got to the topic sooner, to mention that 3/4 is overkill for anything other than the upper load-bearing deck. And even there, if you've got a vertical support down the midline between the drawers. Wood is quite strong in compression but much less so in span. Could have saved a lot of weight and expense using 1/2" for most of the build. Glue and kreg will work fine with 1/2" too.

Your slide out table surface wont need legs unless you intend to put a good deal of weight on it. Design it to be trapped between the drawer and deck in a close fit and it will support itself and things like a camp stove or luggage in transition. See my build thread for more details. Just got around to doing my pull-out table in decorative hardwoods. I get about 3' extension with it (1' trapped in the platform design) and it will hold about 40-lbs without any serious deflection. Probably more, but I'm not deliberately testing it to destruction to find out how much.
 

RPhil

Adventurer
Nice design concept and early work. Wish I'd got to the topic sooner, to mention that 3/4 is overkill for anything other than the upper load-bearing deck. And even there, if you've got a vertical support down the midline between the drawers. Wood is quite strong in compression but much less so in span. Could have saved a lot of weight and expense using 1/2" for most of the build. Glue and kreg will work fine with 1/2" too.

Your slide out table surface wont need legs unless you intend to put a good deal of weight on it. Design it to be trapped between the drawer and deck in a close fit and it will support itself and things like a camp stove or luggage in transition. See my build thread for more details. Just got around to doing my pull-out table in decorative hardwoods. I get about 3' extension with it (1' trapped in the platform design) and it will hold about 40-lbs without any serious deflection. Probably more, but I'm not deliberately testing it to destruction to find out how much.
I have been through your thread quite a few times- impressive wood working skills.

The 3/4 is definitely heavy and was not cheap at all. Live and learn.

Kreg and glue seems to be working great.

The table surface needs some work and I am not too sure which direction I will go, but the original design isn't going to happen- I originally had it hinged and it would flip out after pulling the drawer, but it is way too high to be reasonably workable. I'll keep your idea in mind.

I'd say that I'm basically 90% there right now, and already would have done a few things differently! That's how it goes though. Looking forward to putting some miles and memories onto what I've got.
 

rayra

Expedition Leader
Thanks for the kind words.

If your table top idea was to turn a drawer into a counter, you could maybe float that sheet above the drawer, riding on the sides of the drawer. Make it half the length of the drawer and loose, such that its back out of the way for normal use of the drawer. Put the frequent need items in the open front of the drawer. Then you pull it out a bit past halfway to reach the table top and slide it forward to the drawer face to use as a counter.

My original plan was to do something like that, with a full length sliding top, but have tha ttop hinged in the middle so it could be flipped over and used as an easel, resting in notches in the top edges of the drawer sides. Something to mount a map / chart to, or a roster of redio frequencies etc. Multi-use for camping, mobile HAM operations, search and rescue. My awning designs, roof decks / backboards, the drawers / platform have all been done in ways that can serve multiple purposes and keep almost all of it out of sight in use as my daily driver.
 

Cent

Observer
Thank you for updating, RPhil! Looks like it will end up really good, although it does look heavy..

I am sure there are many people like me on this forum who don't post much (yet?) but love to follow the thinking process of projects like yours and admire the craftsmanship when it comes together in the end to gather some ideas for possible projects in the future.
 

RPhil

Adventurer
3D printed some spacers to account for the depth difference between the metal in the back vs. the top of the carpet where the base of the platform sits:





(Let's just go ahead and pretend like I made the area over top of the drawers removable so I can actually bolt the platform down since the anchors are under the drawers... gotta love 20/20 hindsight. So the platform just sits on top of these 4 spacers/the carpet and since is a heavy pig it doesn't really move.)


Here are some pictures of it basically completely done (still need to make my drawer pulls and bolt one of the hinges down):








Thanks to all for the ideas and insight in this thread and others. If I were to build another one, I have a bunch of items that I would incorporate/do differently. I really like the execution of the hinges. Some of the clearances are tight on the drawers causing very slight motion issues, which I will rectify with a belt sander

Biggest takeaways:
-Should have stapled the carpet instead of using spray adhesive cement. Would have been cheaper and faster.
-Drawers should have been made ~1 longer and seated against the front of the main base- I will likely modify my drawers to incorporate this at some point.
-Make tie downs actually accessible...
-Not use 3/4" for everything.
-Make whole platform ~2 inches lower.


I'll get some more pictures of it installed when I'm out camping this weekend. Also made a basic fold-down table on one side of the tailgate.
 

rayra

Expedition Leader
Nice color match on the paint with the vehicle interior.

Have you considered maybe using something like a WeatherTech(?) rubber cargo liner? It would also make very good camouflage against prying eyes.

I glued and stapled my carpet (as well as using the sacrificial edge trims), and need to staple some more. Unglued carpet will eventually stretch and bunch a bit, so I hit both it and the platform with 3M Super77 before placing it. I think it's also helped with sliding heavier objects on the platform, as the carpet stays put instead of trying to bunch under the leading corner of my telescope trunk, or my portable work table. Maybe less likely to tear, that way. And/but I'm using drop cloths when I'm loading building materials, anyway.

I used an upholstery (indoor outdoor) carpet with a short open nap. A loop rug would probably be better, but the cheap variants of those are NOT color fast. They'll fade quick.
 

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