Exploring the untamed wilderness in a 4×4 vehicle opens up a world of adventure and discovery. However, without proper organisation and storage solutions, your journey can quickly turn into a chaotic and frustrating experience.
Sure, getting out in nature sounds fun, but when you start thinking about all the packing and everything you need to get in order, sometimes you just rather stay on the couch. If you’ve ever felt this way, it’s time to start thinking about better storage solutions for your 4×4.
To ensure that you make the most of your off-road escapades, it’s essential to equip your vehicle with the right tools to keep your gear secure, accessible, and organised. In this article, we’ll delve into five indispensable 4×4 storage solutions that will help make your escapades hassle-free.
The Best 4×4 Storage Solutions
#1 Spare Wheel Bag
Adding a spare wheel bag is the easiest way to extend the storage space in your 4×4. Spare wheel bags are designed to fit snugly around the spare tyre, utilising what is typically a wasted space. These bags are often used as rubbish bins, but they can hold smaller items like recovery straps, first aid kits, or dirty boots.
Related: The Best Spare Wheel Bags Australia.
The reason why spare wheel bags work particularly great for rubbish is because they are outside of the vehicle. If you’ve ever tried to keep rubbish inside your car on a hot day, you know how smelly and messy things can get. With a spare wheel bag, you can keep the smells (and creatures that are attracted to the smell) outside.
The same principle applies to any kind of dirty or wet gear you might have on hand when driving back home: simply toss it in the spare wheel bag and there is nothing to worry about.
These bags are usually made from rugged materials like canvas or ballistic nylon, and they often come with a thick PVC lining on the inside and drainage holes on the bottom. This means you can simply hose down the bag once you are done using it.
#2 Clear Top Canvas Bags
The key to properly utilising the storage space in your 4×4 is good organisation. Plastic tubs are an old budget-friendly hack for organising your gear, but there are better solutions nowadays. There are many options to choose from, but our favourite are clear-top canvas bags.
Designed to withstand rugged terrain, these bags combine durability with convenience. The canvas exterior has a natural feel to it, but it can withstand a lot of wear and tear. There are canvas bags available in all shapes and sizes, but we strongly recommend those with transparent lids because they let you see exactly what is in each bag without needing to open it. No matter how much gear you need to pack, using these bags will keep everything in order and easy to find. Some of them also come with PVC lining on the inside to make them waterproof as well as adjustable dividers to help keep everything in its place.
#3 Drawer Systems
Drawer systems are a game-changer when it comes to keeping your 4×4 organised. These customisable storage solutions consist of sliding drawers that can hold everything from tools and recovery equipment to camping accessories. Drawer systems maximise space utilisation and provide effortless access to your belongings, eliminating the need to unpack and repack items every time you stop.
Drawer systems look great and really let you make the most of the storage space in your 4×4. However, the thing to keep in mind is that most of these systems are designed to be permanent solutions. Getting the whole drawer system in and out of your vehicle is not very practical, so you should make sure that it’s compatible with your day-to-day needs. For example, a set of side-by-side drawers at the bottom of your cargo area will reduce the overall height of the space, so you’ll need to think through whether you are willing to live with that permanently.
#4 Roof Racks & Boxes
Utilising the roof of your 4×4 can greatly expand its storage capacity. Roof storage works especially great for bulky but lightweight items like surfboards, canoes, tents and the like. Many roof rack systems are modular, meaning you can attach accessories like cargo baskets, bike mounts, and more, tailoring your setup to suit your specific needs.
A simple roof rack with crossbars is the classic solution since it’s easy to use and very versatile. An alternative for utilising your roofs are cargo boxes which do a better job of protecting your stuff from the weather but also offer limited space. In the end, the choice will depend on what kind of gear you plan to store up there.
#5 Cargo Barriers & Shelves
Cargo barriers play a crucial role in enhancing safety inside your 4×4. They separate the passenger compartment from the cargo area, preventing loose gear from becoming hazardous projectiles in the event of sudden stops or collisions.
However, by utilising barriers and dividers creatively, you can also maximize the use of space inside your vehicle and bring your setup to the next level. Additionally, cargo shelves provide tiered storage, making it easy to access items without digging through piles of gear.
Venturing into the wilderness with your 4×4 is an invitation to discover the extraordinary, but without the right storage setup, you might end up spending more time fumbling around searching for the right piece of gear than actually enjoying your time. Hopefully, these five storage essentials will help you create a system that lets you get out of the door in no time and straight into adventure mode.
The beauty lies in the fact that no packing method is wrong, as long as you follow some fundamental principles. Light gear finds its place on the roof, while heavier items settle low within the vehicle. Everyday essentials are positioned for easy access, and you stay within the limits of your vehicle’s payload and roof load.
Related: Top 10 Camping Hacks.
It’s an uncomplicated approach that yields great results. By adhering to these guidelines and letting experience and your unique circumstances guide you, you’ll be able to create a setup tailored to your specific needs. With your system in place, all that remains is to choose a destination, follow a map, and immerse yourself in the thrill of the adventure that awaits.