Side storage boxes for 2021 Tundra

Moyshe Kapoyer

Active member
Hello,


I am looking at improving the storage in the bed of my Tundra (I currently have nothing) and I need some inspiration. If everything went my way, I would get a set of the OEM side boxes off the Trail Edition Tundras and use them. The problem is they are hard to find used (they are around 800.00 each from a dealer) and because of the way they are shaped they waste a lot of space. I am thinking of building something like what’s in the pic below (stolen from a Tundra forum) except mine would be out of marine grade plywood and have a lid. They must sit under a tonneau cover and leave 4' of bed width free. They will be glued and screwed together, sprayed with bedliner, and have aluminum L channel on the edges to protect them from damage. I don’t need a bed slide or anything else, just the storage on the side for tools and such. Since the Crew Max Tundra lacks storage under/behind the rear seat, everything goes in the bed.


Thanks in advance for any advice or suggestions and I would love to see pictures.






00C44719-741D-4FC1-BD2E-12D4C86D19F8.jpg
 

sancap

Active member
Similar to your image I built these out of 80/20 aluminum extrusion and light weight birch veneer. You can make them any size you like.
 

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Moyshe Kapoyer

Active member
Similar to your image I built these out of 80/20 aluminum extrusion and light weight birch veneer. You can make them any size you like.
Oh man, that's sexy! I haven't even considered doing them that way, thank you for the pics. The light weight part is pretty importany, my trucks payload is 13xx pounds, so it's not all thet generous.

How does the birch hold up over time? I assume that you varnished both sides and the edges?
 

sancap

Active member
It held up ok but I am going to use a car wrap PPF on the panels so it will clean easier. Mine was a DC and I had an issue with the bed failing. The DC bed does not have frame supports all the way forward as the Crew Max does. The camper now sits on a Ram Power wagon.
 

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Moyshe Kapoyer

Active member
It held up ok but I am going to use a car wrap PPF on the panels so it will clean easier. Mine was a DC and I had an issue with the bed failing. The DC bed does not have frame supports all the way forward as the Crew Max does. The camper now sits on a Ram Power wagon.
Oh wow, I didn't know that about the bed.
 

dstefan

Well-known member
How does the birch hold up over time? I assume that you varnished both sides and the edges?
I have counters made of Baltic Birch plywood in my camper. They are finished with Minwax Wipe On Poly sealer and a coat of furniture wax. It’s super easy to use and only needs a few coats to get good protection. Far easier to work with than varnish and tougher. We spill water on the counter all the time and it beads up and leaves no damage.

FWIW, I have a pecan slab kitchen table I made and finished with about 5 coats of the stuff with a final wax coat. Nothing penetrates it, and liquid can sit overnite and dry with no damage. Plus multiple coats is easy — 30 mins in between coats and hit it with some fine sandpaper or steel wool and do the next one.
 

Moyshe Kapoyer

Active member
Plot twist. After mulling it over, I think I am going to build the boxes, but instead of making the top a lid, I'm going to use black boat hatches (16x20") on the sides. This would allow pretty good access to the inside, be pretty water proof, and probably hold up better. Everything that would go in the boxes is already in bags, so I think it would work out pretty well.
 

Moyshe Kapoyer

Active member
Step one: quick cardboard mock up to see how it looks and what size doors to order. Looks like two 14x20 boat hatches on each side will allow plenty of access.


20231104_124409.jpg
 

NatersXJ6

Explorer
Hard to tell in the pics, did you build them with solid tops?

Do you think that having to unload the center in order to open a hatch will become a problem?
 

Moyshe Kapoyer

Active member
Hard to tell in the pics, did you build them with solid tops?

Do you think that having to unload the center in order to open a hatch will become a problem?

Yes, the top is solid. It seals to the truck bed with a diy gasket to keep it mostly water tight. So far no water has gotten in, but the tonneau cover is also almost always closed.

I'm not really worried about having to unload it to reach things, I put things that I use most often in the rear (tools, straps, etc.) and things I rarely use in the front (jack, recovery gear, fluids, tarps, etc.).

When I travel I typically put every thing in large totes, so it's really easy to load and unload.
 

brogo

New member
It held up ok but I am going to use a car wrap PPF on the panels so it will clean easier. Mine was a DC and I had an issue with the bed failing. The DC bed does not have frame supports all the way forward as the Crew Max does. The camper now sits on a Ram Power wagon.
Curious to hear how your bed failed?
 

rruff

Explorer
It held up ok but I am going to use a car wrap PPF on the panels so it will clean easier. Mine was a DC and I had an issue with the bed failing. The DC bed does not have frame supports all the way forward as the Crew Max does. The camper now sits on a Ram Power wagon.
Yep, I noticed that also. Pretty bad to have an extra foot of the bed forward of the mount and not reinforce the bed appropriately. Would have been best to have another mount like the 8'. Trying to save money no doubt.
 

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