Since my dog goes on a lot of the offroad trips with me, I basically loose all my cargo space to the dog and the cool box. I have since bought an Engel fridge as well, so I wanted to make a system that will maximize my cargo space with dog and fridge. I also wanted a slide for the Engel fridge and make it safer with the dog in the back..
I decided to first build a prototype system and live with it for a while and then see what changes I want to make before I make a final system. I got a lot of ideas from James and the 80s NorCal group. Since the 4R roof line is pretty low in the back, I decided to only make a single drawer and a fridge slide. AT the time I made this I could not locate a pre-made fridge slide, so I just did a home made one. I have since ordered an Engel slide and should receive it soon.
Plywood was used as the material of choice since it is pretty cheap and easy to work with. I first cut a base and had to figure out how to secure it. I removed the 4Runner doubledecker cargo board, which made 2 bolts to the body available and freed up an extra inch of vertical space. I then used the stock 4 tie down bolts and used the ones closest to the rear to make a strap and bolt down in one. All the pics are in the gallery at the bottom.
I then constructed the single drawer and made the top level with the wheel well. This made the flat surface slightly bigger for the dog and if I used the space for something else. I made a simple fridge slide with stock drawer slides and a piece of plywood, this will need replacement soon. To strengthen the base on the fridge side I added vertical pieces of plywood running right to left and back to front. This helped a lot to stabilize the base, and also for the fridge’s power cord when it slides out.
I noticed a lot of space not used to the side and the top of the fridge. Also as the dog sat higher there was a need to prevent him from flying forward in case of an accident. SO I build a cage with aluminum flat bar and angle bar. I use 1” flat and 1/2” angle bar. (For the final version I will use 1” angle for more strength). This allowed me to put stuff on top the fridge area and to the side.
All in all I gained a lot of extra room in the cargo area for camping equipment and tools. Also Bliksem (my dog) has a better view now and the fridge or cool box can now slide out for better access.
Ok added my Engel fridge slide recently and it seems to be working really well. tested it out with the fridge fully loaded jumping dunes at Pismo and it seems to be holding up really well. Added some pics below.