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theksmith

JK Unlimited Rear Storage Solution

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My solution for cargo organization in the rear of my JKUR is a work-in-progress - here's what I've got so far...

 

First, a baseline shot of the empty rear area:

 

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It all started wanting a new larger fridge than my previous Edgestar 43qt. I went with the Dometic CFX-65DZUS. It has a removable divider so you can run it with both freezer and fridge sections, or use the entire space at one temperature. Dometic is also called Waeco which is somewhat lesser known in the US but has been a well respected brand internationally.

 

 

False Floor

 

First step was a false floor that mounts to the existing tie down points so I could mount everything else without drilling any new holes in the factory floor.

 

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I used 1/2" King StarLite material, cut to size from Boat Outfitters for the floor. It's more expensive than plywood, but pretty much indestructible. Once you figure in the cost and hassle of putting a durable coating (bedliner) on plywood, the extra cost for the Starlite makes more sense. I'd use 3/4" for a stiffer base if I had to do it over.

 

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Some strips of the same material where used as spacers to level the floor with the subwoofer grill and OEM plastic panels. I ditched the OEM fold-up piece around the subwoofer since it wasn't really providing any structural support.

 

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I went 39" wide and 34" long so that it covered 99% of the floor and I only had to dremel out a small area on each side where it would have pushed against the factory plastic.

 

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A piece of neoprene rubber (a trivet mat from Walmart) was placed on top of the subwoofer grill to ensure it didn't rattle against the new floor.

 

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There are only 4 factory d-ring attachment points that I could fasten too, and I was worried that wouldn't be strong enough. I added some long reach U-Nuts to the slots where that factory fold-up piece slid into to have 2 more spots to tie into. The factory d-ring nuts are M6x1.0, so I used the same thread here.

 

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The sub can vent to the sides, but that back edge of the new floor wasn't fastened in any way so I worried about rattles from there. I ended up drilling one hole in the factory floor just to the rear of the subwoofer. That made for 7 total attachment points.

 

 

Continued... next up: the Fridge and slide.

 

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Fridge Slide

 

I actually purchased and then returned the Dometic slide - it was a little big and heavy for my taste, plus I had a new metal saw that I needed to get some use out of - so I made a custom slide.

 

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It uses Centerline 758 series drawer slides in the 28" length from Rockler.

 

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Everything was made using 1/8" thick angle steel - 1.5" x 1.5", 1" x 1", and a couple short pieces of 0.625" x 1" for the cross braces under the fridge. The slides cost me $55, and the steel was probably another $50 only because I purchased it from Ace hardware last minute instead of going to a steel supply shop.

 

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This is a great easy welding project since you don't have to crawl around under the vehicle and weld in weird positions - and the beads don't have to be the greatest looking.

 

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The finished slide is attached to the false floor with 1/4-20 stainless T-Nuts on the back side.

 

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The little cover for the factory jack storage area is still removable. I keep an older style Jeep jack in there, plus the tire-iron, a comprehensive tire-repair kit, and a giant ratchet strap to help re-seat a tire bead if necessary.

 

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The Dometic fridge has 4 nuts built-in to the base to attach it to a slide tray, so there's no need for tie-down straps.

 

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It just fits length-wise, leaving a little triangle area for storage in front of it.

 

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I ran both the 12v and 120v cords in some split loom down beside it, then into the facotry plastic side panel.

 

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The both pop-out at the top of the panel. The 120v cord is there so I can easily plug in an extension cord to pre-cool the fridge when loading it at home. I cut the end of the DC cord off and replaced the cigarette lighter style plug with Anderson PowerPole 30 Amp connectors. I had already run dedicated large gauge power wire back to that corner.

 

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I posted details on how the lock in/out mechanism works here: https://offroadpassport.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4751

 

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Continued... next up: the Front Runner rear shelf.

 

.

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Nice work!

Great idea on the added U nuts to give you the two additional tie down points.

I'm going to pass that on to my neighbor.

 

Are you still considering being able to sleep in the JKU in a pinch?

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Does your subwoofer sound any different? I'd be concerned the bass would be somewhat muted with a neoprene mat and the flooring covering it.

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Nice work!

Great idea on the added U nuts to give you the two additional tie down points.

I'm going to pass that on to my neighbor.

 

Are you still considering being able to sleep in the JKU in a pinch?

 

thanks! yes i already have the sleeping platform figured out - just waiting to buy materials and assemble it. i'll add that to this thread once it's done too. it's pretty simple but still trick!

 

 

Does your subwoofer sound any different? I'd be concerned the bass would be somewhat muted with a neoprene mat and the flooring covering it.

 

low frequencies are not particularly directional so placing something in-front of a sub has a minimal effect as long as there's enough room for the sub to still seem "open air" on the outside of its box.

 

the neoprene is sandwiched between the top of the grille and the bottom of the floor, but the grille sticks up 1.5 inches all the way around, so the sub breathes out the sides of that raised grille and then has enough open space under the floor and to vent out the sides of the floor as to not be a huge concern.

 

my initial perception was that there sounded like there was more bass with the floor in... which i found strange so i did some RTA comparing with/without the floor installed. what i found was that 3 sub-bass frequencies in my RTA graph were attenuated just 2 or 3 dB (centered around 80 Hz if i remember correctly), but the 125 Hz bar actually increased by about the same amount. i believe the boost is from the false floor acting as a large passive radiator, with a resonant frequency near that 125 Hz mark.

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Front Runner rear Shelf

 

My friend Chris (defectivemonk) gave me his Front Runner JKU interior rack (rear shelf) for the price of a song, which was pretty awesome of him.

 

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I knew I'd need to adjust it some in order to fit. We had to put 1" spacers underneath when he had it installed to clear his ARB fridge, and my Dometic was even taller.

 

Here's how it came out in the end, just clears the fridge after several changes...

 

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I ended up needing to lift it 1.5" even after flipping it so that the front/rear lips stuck upwards. This meant the mounting brackets also needed to be re-drilled to move them 1" forward so the shelf wouldn't hit the slanted roll-bar.

 

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The bolts that hold the individual slats together protruded below the shelf quite a bit. I swapped them out for some thin nuts inside the channels with socket-head bolts going up into them, this gained me another 1/2" of clearance.

 

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The new shelf height didn't affect visibility or usefulness. It came out almost in-line with the top of the rear seat.

 

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Continued... Next up: Mods & accessories.

 

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Related Mods & Accessories

 

I ordered some extra goodies from Front Runner - 2 pair of movable tie down rings, and a couple "Stratchits". I'm really digging the Stratchits and will order more - they are basicly adjustable bungee cords; almost like a lighter-duty Shock-Strap.

 

vriO6B7H5kiuJvB_QDq_ZBgHivzApLuTssH7lrTv436MAG1siVlRZlK4lW0sShleGDavT0dmMC4ZMyvhb3YTA6dHuMinh4T0_Ze8iBL2c2zzBocNku8Z1FXwwDiKwGFSUCE98AKndbffuXYQAt9Zans011HEenhvzZdaKoi8saOE9AwTUV7aMtWK0pExf51fc7eg4uyJzibs-o8L-4eOF6XGHTyNbY1y13zVId6VSNtA6_ZFR9SjcExTA8jCQTL5RDrMzt_95zJ6rBSsX2PednIvyH5djggNnlbEZk8b0_5BfY6at2x7BJYaj8SdUJvBoJj_zvArzkKyB0-Xj8PO0A1HvzVxiD07EeAIRKq9lrxzfz1DJZmNgwEn_Q5VZ4o39fS7UmcailxkTSewbxBG4v-yX-cEUm0K8RalZF7hplfPtQ9KCoZpKMVoxP51MuglrfHIAMO3nJeFMHWPmSiBiQT-6aAvDnhaNRJgpEk9K5kcI_M5qqO8PckPGzD9m0g2Ratt9gOmCZWB26JnQ1Hx-XFZ7hWBTcui6LhfHOleXrIbn89IiLWtAAZT8PF4EfIRGiVDEaqmfrcJdIyViD6Ut9tmsNTmNNNuUDzWueimZoDoBtTm=s800-no

 

I added some pieces of airline track (aka S track or L track) for tie-down points on the false floor.

 

9DzIyKlmGuvUVHAmA3AFqPTX5MC_XG_nFsjYjR8VMP3IvLksaoc6H12ocAWAOu16vKYpIqp0E5MojOV9rWt1-xRBPGpvKS2acMUw4lYdyKojGYSYS8ADBwYGEDPH1bMvCXw0GtOlhHi5JsjZAjttCVx2bS_A66kE6cboWEOFmhRL6Pw1bFFt_zOPaejD-sjgaW-wWibeLVQ9cs4jndy_hFTdq1HCFRKX2xq-gtQl81vjebYJcTjo1I6BZSRrJBJYjOsm7iF9fUFiLGkabObTIembhgiYt2UMRukTUkcWLfSlUIZ_QVzxnSie5ccfLi6Ns4t5XubTcUc_wHcfIhCgwPVUHCab-tlfUo1Y0vu_Yzms9Tijk3ctfXxzoo4KDqeGcM8aotpJBOODEePD_eP2GVOsABPj1ciAQh2TYW87cXD0IYbu6Q5-n4ciSPoyen0aOGiP9I1GI54sh7IVmS-Y1tjKvfz_PH_j2J0qpbSXAzRN9uh7m2hjTd-8fTVQOOCvXuolR5ZjW_NzMz8uO6IPeb2QTciXjiTKk3umaXq6vEmtLISQbb1Khkp8kxM37gDGDV5JbDiL2O74Y_aGcXuCgkI3gWZPG6nfgDxFoLuVQ7pqZ_lJ=s800-no

 

I like that you can adjust placement or entirely remove the spring-loaded stud rings so they don't rattle when not in use.

 

lokE9cDEgZiPEkOZEBD4UmDep-wMEMIvjm0ivxmCzCjSoJmjCaNdccdxaTLs3tr41oP7WWaoTtN4u4kRAbN3fGwhqfduEYq3yY3K3C34jQk-aLQQE4QQxe5gbz80mnVewCSHiBjfLWNqL9GzRuX-6YZ5un79iOYBs42p0UD-GtvwMD9_E1_YcZi6NoSk29glip9WpWxVJSyQ4aayxMLUOJO5Cpr4DaRLCqalOCYzmIYVroGzygMrdShnrEzR8tVAvINwLsUEF447vfRUznGGoTSwJvsdxtOF4lBZYSaBHXMCDhYMFP6vzVP5AirDftmuQI1DImwPtGQQHdQmdFEeI79fAwIemoDuoZUw7asvlOu4g3vJfBtYVB-dxWhXxl2aRirV5gNQtQUxL8r8bAYKFKEla9VNombtGVdxeWhwewP8EQkRv3xqQbWEoUflKKgc6ONVYEd4Z2dZ-TQ6oWvKOMqYShgfE_iAHO44pD9AEA2buPOYq8k6CBH010EQhlVNwTztSdJaeZfNxMPnjsvjhTJ3r9IFDihMqlQGGUt-zFPO9_8DGcyTK72OkgX9d_KwB5ghg3SAVpaVbLtMzkSjsAgWmYGiivjdBPaltdOMTaysTtm_=s800-no

 

I don't have a hard-mount air compressor yet, but I already ran the wiring for it. I wanted to also run the plumbing before I added all the stuff to the back.

 

h0Wy2rrGVsAgPHyodoG3C2QLD8i7rOvm1NM6TCQlUSwN9VUkXmyd993yk0bh-k_PvT9UB18cSDEkTCcIehyz78ssCtsqhEox19yytStnfdrgUG8kO45cx6XDvk3BeAZnohAQK9w_Ohy2T4Lw9KgGRYKtid-XBRcQppsAdLa-YfPst9Fs5lq_G1Pn-hA92-0Kt-J7Yp7_ZewuD9NNnghs1JHUscYLG6oVsVORWKzx5CEqcVlMQ7Th6eZLSNCnOzyIGYQOjISV5M3lJiLrH1ar7SDn6RHEJySq4u0CCTFQuY0Nk4E2u1X5AOCFocJD9_B5doqFKjNHEQdSu2SloMo7KeO0HTeVQNTmESZIV-dZ1UFNHHeD2Z7yOEbue83P7taJ_AWtmeNwD2NHBbODR1hz2hslVyoWxJTk5iS6O32pYhlgHEyF-uHSOvl88nAkTujbnpp6ZzAaBxv6FjiGv_D2bIlcbOJX2VByLenrQ2vNHDCswZ0qI01E0HX6wVGfb_Qi1VMzxjG-0VKQQ3fhMKDT5a9ZLPnOiTBUadDtHdBzCjM8OM2v_Y0u7YcG0LQA8CJBp8bZ2ocXRhZ4Borpd_yfFMf33lOwDaTQYZmOjE2Lp-AgLb-w=s800-no

 

3/8" hard tubing was used for the air line and a quick-connect fitting was mounted to a spare stainless steel CB antenna bracket I had laying around. This will give me an easy place to plug in my Powertank coiled hose.

 

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The extra wire seen above with the Anderson PP30 connectors can be used for any 12v accessory, but I placed it there primarily for hooking up my 12v oven.

 

 

There's a few additions already in the works and so I'l be updating this thread soon. I'm almost finished with a small hanging drawer and then I'll get the removable sleeping platform constructed soon too. There'll also be some mods to keep junk from falling all over the place when things are stuffed tight and I need to slide the fridge out.

 

Another shot of everything as it currently sits:

 

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A little organization goes a long way to making camp stress-free. Hopefully this gives you some ideas for your own rig - if anyone has any questions, please just ask!

 

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Wow! I really like the look of your project using the StarLite material. It gives the Jeep a clean, "HiTech" look. You just might have convinced a woodworker like myself to switch from Baltic Birch plywood! The StarLite backsplash on your tailgate is a nice addition that I had never really considered.

 

Your shelf is way more sophisticated then my Harbor Freight hitch basket shelf. If you find yours half as handy as I find mine you're going to love the addition.

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Wow! I really like the look of your project using the StarLite material. It gives the Jeep a clean, "HiTech" look. You just might have convinced a woodworker like myself to switch from Baltic Birch plywood! The StarLite backsplash on your tailgate is a nice addition that I had never really considered.

 

Your shelf is way more sophisticated then my Harbor Freight hitch basket shelf. If you find yours half as handy as I find mine you're going to love the addition.

 

Thanks Jim!

 

How did you attach the Harbor Freight basket? I probably would have never paid full price for the Front Runner shelf. It's very nice, but Teraflex makes a basket that adjusts to several heights for quite a bit less - I probably would have gone with that for simplicity as it would have fit the fridge without any changes. I'm imagining the Harbor Freight basket is similiar to that... let's see some pics!

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Here's the link to my basket thread

 

https://offroadpassport.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4395

 

I used the angle iron that I had on hand. I'd like to redo it with something lighter and maybe raise the basket I bit higher at the same time.

No current pics as I removed it a couple weeks ago and reinstalled the rear seat. We have friends coming to visit this weekend and I've promised Jeep rides to the kids.

 

I'll take a new pic next time I have the fridge installed with the basket. You've really got me thinking about a slide now, thanks a bunch. Lol! The slide would allow me to move the basket back to nearer the original location which was closer to the gate.

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