While we store our cooking utensils in our Scamp Trailer, it’s rare for us to cook and eat a meal inside the camper. It’s a pain going in-and-out of the camper to prepare a meal. I’d rather grab these from the trunk of our SUV.

I’ve started investigated DIY cargo storage solutions for our SUV to give easier access to these utencils.

The basic design of cargo solutions

Most of the solutions I’ve found have a low-lying deck (max 12” off the floor) with optional drawers underneath and a fridge slide on top. Here’s a sampling of options starting with pre-built solutions:

ARB ($1k+)

A heavy duty system for off-roading easily runs $1+. Above is an example system from ARB with sliding drawers. We aren’t taking our Scamp off-roading, so these feel like more than I need.

Kitchen System

Overland Kitchen makes an interesting kitchen solution when off-roading. These stack higher than the low-profile deck systems I’ve seen and include a built-in stove.

We generally prepare our meals on a picnic table so a full kitchen solution accessible from the back of the car is more than what we need.

Fridge Slide

There are several companies that sell slides for fridges/coolers. These are nice as it is difficult to access the contents of the cooler when it is inside our vehicle. This fridge slide from Dunn & Watson (pictured above) is about $325 with a capacity rating of 176 pounds.

However, $325 feels like a lot for a convenience item. Our cooler is well under 176 pounds as well when fully-loaded.

DIY Drawerless Drawer system

My favorite tutorial for creating a simple cargo storage deck is this one from All-Terrian Family. It contains a well-done video of the build, detailed instructions, and a complete list of parts.

This build has a slide out table, which we don’t need since we prepare our meals on a separate table. It doesn’t have sliding drawers - just a box placed underneath. However, the primary structure seems widely applicable.

My Custom Adjustments

Starting with the DIY Drawerless Drawer system from above, I’m planning to:

  • Add a drawer with removable bins - Most of the drawers I’ve seen are fully contained within the cargo system. Instead, I’m thinking of having a guide rail-like structure hold several removable bins. This would make it easier to carry utensils back and forth and load our equipment.
  • Add a fridge slide - I’m going to checkout the options at our local hardware stores first before shelling out the big bucks for a dedicated fridge slide.
  • Skip the sliding table - Not needed as we prepare meals on a separate table.

Off to Home Depot!