Fourby Storage units

Submitted: Friday, May 22, 2009 at 15:56
ThreadID: 69073 Views:9522 Replies:12 FollowUps:13
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Considering getting some storage drawers for the 4WD. Looked at quite a few and Black Widow very common but exy and not exactly what i want. Fourby Fitouts seem to provide a bit more for a bit less. Interested on feedback from people who have fitted the Fourby system and if you are happy with them.

On a related issue, if you fit 2 side by side drawers, the fride is quite a bit higher but you have a flat floor when the fridge is taken out. For height challenged people like myself it means carrying a step but wonder if you get sick of this and if its better to go for the low fridge slide system

comments on storage welcome

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Reply By: beelzebug - Friday, May 22, 2009 at 16:03

Friday, May 22, 2009 at 16:03
Maybe you could consider just a one side drawer system.
Leave the fridge on the floor on the other side. Anyone do this kind of system?
AnswerID: 366192

Reply By: Bruce M - Friday, May 22, 2009 at 16:23

Friday, May 22, 2009 at 16:23
I have Black Widow in my 2005 Prado. Two drawers on the bottom (his & hers) and a deeper one on top drivers side (maintenance and recovery gear). Black Widow will configure whatever you want. Their gear is pricey but top quality.

On the issue of fridge height, have you considered a drop-down fridge slide? Have a look at as an example. I don't have one, but recent a thread suggests it is good.

Bruce M
AnswerID: 366199

Reply By: Patrol22 - Friday, May 22, 2009 at 17:02

Friday, May 22, 2009 at 17:02
I've run Off Road Systems storage units in both my Patrol and the D40 Navara. Excellent quality albeit a bit pricey. Can get the drawers folded up in either gal or aluminium.
AnswerID: 366207

Reply By: toyotabits - Friday, May 22, 2009 at 17:31

Friday, May 22, 2009 at 17:31
G'day, what is your 4WD? regards, aussiedingo
AnswerID: 366211

Reply By: vk1dx - Friday, May 22, 2009 at 17:39

Friday, May 22, 2009 at 17:39
We have an LC with the outback twin drawer system and a bed extension. All rear seats were removed. We can sleep in it if the weather makes it difficult to put the tent up. We also put a drop down fridge slide in the back. It takes a bit of room away from the "bottom" of the bed area so our feet may be a bit close. But what the heck at least we are dry, the fridge is easy to get at and we have a bundle of extra storage under the "front" half of the bed.

Wouldn't do it any other way. Cannot carry passengers but thats not a problem. Our family all have their own means. We don't need a trailer or anything on the roof either.

Cost a bit more than we expected at the start but we are comfortable, dry and definitely not overcrowded.

I hope this link to a photo of the setup (no drop slide yet) works:
LC setup
AnswerID: 366212

Follow Up By: tim_c - Friday, May 22, 2009 at 17:51

Friday, May 22, 2009 at 17:51
vk1dx - that link takes me to Facebook - you want me to add you as a 'friend' so I can see the pics?
FollowupID: 633917

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Friday, May 22, 2009 at 18:06

Friday, May 22, 2009 at 18:06
That was not the idea. I have enough friends so if you don't mind I will be ignoring any requests.

Another reason I used the montage of the ones I took. The motor is there to see where the pump is installed.

Sorry but I think you fully understand.

FollowupID: 633918

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Friday, May 22, 2009 at 18:08

Friday, May 22, 2009 at 18:08
Maybe I missunderstood the question.

Can you see the one I linked to?
FollowupID: 633919

Follow Up By: tim_c - Friday, May 22, 2009 at 18:23

Friday, May 22, 2009 at 18:23
Sorry Phil, it won't allow people to view unless they are your 'friends'. Perhaps if you just go to the album that the photos are in and change the settings of that album to allow everyone to see it (not just your 'friends') then we should be able to follow the link.
FollowupID: 633921

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Friday, May 22, 2009 at 18:38

Friday, May 22, 2009 at 18:38

Can you try this link: Rear setup
FollowupID: 633926

Follow Up By: tim_c - Friday, May 22, 2009 at 19:00

Friday, May 22, 2009 at 19:00
Yes Phil, that works now. So I'm assuming if you use the platform as a bed, everything you carry (except obviously the fridge and bedding) is stored beneath the platform?
FollowupID: 633933

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Friday, May 22, 2009 at 19:11

Friday, May 22, 2009 at 19:11
Since the fridge was installed we put a barrier across behind the front seats and we do carry "light" things in the back that we tie down. I hate things running around and loose. Its safer tying them down also. There is so much room and its warm in there. It was -3 degrees when sue did her course and I would hate to be in a tent. We just cuddle up under the home quilt.

Now thats what I call roughing it!!!

FollowupID: 633934

Reply By: Crackles - Friday, May 22, 2009 at 17:52

Friday, May 22, 2009 at 17:52
I found the best system for us when touring is to have the fridge as low as possible for easy access with 2 draws to the side. This allows bags, tents or crates to be stacked on top of the false floor & a simple 1/2 cargo barrier to stop stuff coming forward. In front of the 2 draws there is a small cavity where a 50L water container fits with a 12V pump. Either side there is room to stuff sleeping bags, shoes, coats & pillows etc.
I've looked around but found no company that makes this setup, especially one that can be removed in under 15 minutes allowing large items to be carried or 3rd row seats refitted. Engineering workshops will custom make all or part of them for a similar cost or in my case 1/3 the price as I did most of the assembly.
Cheers Craig...............

AnswerID: 366215

Follow Up By: tim_c - Friday, May 22, 2009 at 18:19

Friday, May 22, 2009 at 18:19
That's a nice looking setup there Craig - that's something like what I'd like to put together - although I'd like to think I wouldn't need the top drawer
FollowupID: 633920

Follow Up By: Crackles - Friday, May 22, 2009 at 18:43

Friday, May 22, 2009 at 18:43
If you are touring then both draws will be full. If you only need a single draw then a wire shelf with a couple of plastic crates & a seperate fridge slide would be far cheaper We put food/plates etc in one & tools/recovery/spares in the other. The success of this system is being able to remove it completly when not in use.
Cheers Craig............
FollowupID: 633928

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, May 22, 2009 at 19:37

Friday, May 22, 2009 at 19:37
When I've had wagons, I've settled on the same setup as Craig.
With the two drawers, I like to have them different depths - one at 22cm deep is used for the food as it takes the taller milk cartons and casks, and the second drawer at 31cm deep is the same depth as a 2 burner Coleman stove, and our cooking gear. They add up to a similar height as a 40L Engel.
FollowupID: 633940

Reply By: tim_c - Friday, May 22, 2009 at 18:14

Friday, May 22, 2009 at 18:14
Hi Epicurean, I'm also considering the same sort of dilemna. What to do? I had a bit of a look at as they seem very good value for money. I'm actually leaning away from drawers at the moment. While they allow you to easily organise things neatly, I think there's a bit of wasted space in the drawer mechanisms. And unless they are custom-made to fit all your specific equipment, you'll always be left with some unusable space in each drawer because you won't be able to fill them all completely.

My brother just made a very simple storage system: basically a platform about 30cm above the floor of the car, supported on verticals just inside the wheel arches and a divider running long-ways. He loads his recovery gear in one side in strong plastic crates/cubes and food/cooking stuff (again in strong plastic containers/tubs in the other side. He's also put a front on it to stop things sliding forwards on the seat backs (and give lateral strength). A layer of auto-carpet on top and he chucks everything else on the platform. Importantly, he's got turnbuckles to secure the platform to the anchor points in the floor of the car.

I'm currently toying with the plan to build something similar myself. My wife is very short so couldn't even look into a fridge that is mounted on top of a drawer or platform and I think the "drop slides" are a bit of an unnecessary complication. Personally, I would have the fridge slide at floor level and a cabinet built around it (with ventilation gaps) which mean I can stack things against the sides and above it without them caving in when I slide the fridge out. I would then have a false floor next to this - I could store the recovery gear etc. underneath (for easy access) and other stuff on top. It would be a "shelf system" rather than a "drawer system".

If you make your own, don't forget to leave room to access the jack etc. through the side panels - I once loaned my jack and wheel brace to a guy who'd built himself a storage platform hard up against the jack panel and was faced with unpacking and unbolting the thing in the carpark.
AnswerID: 366221

Follow Up By: HGMonaro - Friday, May 22, 2009 at 23:53

Friday, May 22, 2009 at 23:53
Tim, I made something similar.

my shelves

The numbers are where I put stuff

1. Chairs and table
2. Box that holds Camping and recovery gear
3. Tent, air matresses, pillows and other stuff
4. Water, Sleeping bags, other stuff

For running around town I change to a simple false floor.

For many ideas have a look at thisthread at PradoPoint
FollowupID: 634000

Follow Up By: tim_c - Saturday, May 23, 2009 at 14:55

Saturday, May 23, 2009 at 14:55
That looks good HGM, and lot simpler than the drawer systems. I was thinking of making it from plywood but the steel frame is a good idea I hadn't considered. Did you need to cross-brace it - it looks like it might flex laterally when loaded up and driving? I'd probably also put a shelf over the fridge for light things like chairs etc. but that would mean you couldn't open the fridge without sliding it out. Thanks for the links - more things to consider!
FollowupID: 634070

Follow Up By: HGMonaro - Saturday, May 23, 2009 at 22:23

Saturday, May 23, 2009 at 22:23
I haven't noticed it vibrating or anything. The shelf panels (ply) are bolted on so probably give some extra stability. You could add some diagonal bracing without adding too much weight. I had originally planned to but decided it didn't need it. In that pic the fridge is sitting on a piece of MDF which I'm going to change for some ply as it's as heavy as the rest of it combined.

Mine was a budget job so no fridge slide, plus I wanted the fridge that side as I can get at it without opening the door fully (even though it's on the side away from the door opening) which would probably be needed to use a slide effectively, especially a drop down one.

Good luck with your considerations! By the time you read everything you'll be thoughly confused! :)

Cheers, Nige
FollowupID: 634121

Reply By: Best Off Road - Friday, May 22, 2009 at 18:26

Friday, May 22, 2009 at 18:26
We manufacture these things for a living and advise most of our customers to stick with the standard two drawer side by side unit.

Primary reason being that in normal day to day use they are still functional ie you still have useable floor space (being the deck of the drawers) with the space of the drawers underneath. Therefore there is little need to ever remove them.

The "Double Stacked" style of unit is next to useless in day to day use.

A single (deeper) drawer on one side with the fridge slide at floor level is another, cheaper option but is still not as practical as a flat unit.

You also need to ensure the fridge slide is easy to remove on a flat unit so that it can quickly revert to everyday use.

As far as the extra height goes, keep in mind most drawers are only around 300 mm (12 inches) high. A simple little plastic folding step (about $10) at K Mart will solve your problem. Carrying the step is no problem at all, it folds up like a book and takes about 5 seconds to set up.

As for Fourby Fitouts, I don't consider them as a direct competitor to us as they operate in the top end of the market where we are at the value end, so I'm happy to comment on them. I reckon they leave Black Widow and Outback for dead in both design and flexibility. They offer excellent "modular" designs that are very adaptable.

Hope this helps.


AnswerID: 366227

Reply By: dazza62 - Friday, May 22, 2009 at 18:52

Friday, May 22, 2009 at 18:52
Went through the same process earlier this year.

Inspected all of the options mentioned and decided on Fourby Fitouts for our NS Pajero.

Since having system installed in March, we have undertaken 4 trips and will be heading across the Simpson in July.

I have no association with any of the providers of these systems and can only speak highly of the service and quality we received from Fourby Fitouts.

Not only will you get a great product, you will find Mark most knowledgeable on places to go and anything to do with 4 x 4 camping trips.

We certainly don't regret our purchase and when the time comes to change vehicles we will install another Fourby Fitout for sure.

AnswerID: 366231

Reply By: A J - Friday, May 22, 2009 at 18:55

Friday, May 22, 2009 at 18:55
outback epicurean - we have used a system built by Off Road Systems which has three drawers on one side and only the slide on the other. This is a good set up as the wife in not all that tall.

We have been away at times with only the fridge slide in the back, which is convenient as we have not required the drawers for that trip.

Off Road Systems was the best we could find and would build they way we wanted them.

They have a web site.


AnswerID: 366233

Reply By: vk1dx - Friday, May 22, 2009 at 18:55

Friday, May 22, 2009 at 18:55
Sorry people. Still learning this site.

A link to a photo of our system is above in the followup to my in itial posting. Seems I have a lot to learn here.

Have a look at the last follow up at the words "Can you try this link"

AnswerID: 366234

Reply By: Carlin - Saturday, May 23, 2009 at 08:02

Saturday, May 23, 2009 at 08:02

When looking for a drawer system for our Prado I think I talked to just about everybody that markets drawer systems. One thing I discovered is that there is quite a difference in the size of the drawers - both length and depth - between the various manufacturers. We ended up with Black Widow because they were the biggest drawers (volume wise) that I could find, at lease for off the shelf systems. I am not going to recommend any manufacturer to you but suggest you ask a lot of questions about exactly what you are getting so when you buy you get what you expect.

One of the things that I also discovered is that if you buy drawers with a built in frdge slide the slides can be quite wide. so if you fridge is small-ish like ours (50l Waeco) then you end up with quite a bit of unusable space either side of your fridge.
AnswerID: 366297

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