Truck Camper Side Storage Box Modification

Side Storage Box Truck Camper Mod

The Adventurer 89RB is designed to work equally well with long bed and short bed trucks. I prefer short bed trucks for the ease of handling and parking. So after purchasing my 89RB I realized there is a huge amount of unused space behind my truck under each wing of the camper.

I went to a local sheet metal shop and had them fabricate two sheets that would form the bottom and 1 end of each box. Then I located a supplier for two exterior doors. I made a template out of plywood to help me mark and cutout the boor openings in each wing of my camper.

I did a dry fit of metal to ensure a good fit, and then I mounted the template and cut out the door openings. Next I installed the metal boxes using self-taping screws, then finished project with installation of doors. In retrospect, I should have installed the doors before installing the metal. That would have made it a lot easier to work on the backside of door while installing.

This was an easy and very inexpensive project to complete. I couldn’t be happier with the finished product. This provides space for my small propane bottles, gas lantern, electric cords, water hoses, ropes, etc.

Details of the project are:

  1. Piedmont Sheet Metal, Winston-Salem, NC: Fabrication of two boxes, $45.00.
  2. Challenger Doors, Nappanee, IN: Fabrication of two compartment doors, $135.00.
  3. Home Depot, Winston Salem, NC: Stainless screws and caulking, $30.00.
  4. Required about two hours to design and cutout templates for sheet metal shop and door supplier.
  5. Required six hours to cutout door openings, install sheet metal and doors. Since I was cutting holes into a brand new RV, I proceeded with extreme caution before I made the first cut.

Final result is I have a box on each side of my unit that greatly improves my exterior storage capacity. Each box measures 20 inches tall, 21 inches deep and 19 inches long at the bottom (each box slants forward to the top). The reason I made the boxes with a slant on the front was to follow the outline of my unit. There is plenty of room to increase the length at the bottom to create a square box, but I did not want the boxes to be visible when viewing the camper from the side.

Side Storage Box Truck Camper Mod
View of wing before project.
Side Storage Box Truck Camper Mod
View underneath wing where box will be installed
Side Storage Box Truck Camper Mod
Template made out of luan. Shows outline of box and door opening.
Side Storage Box Truck Camper Mod
Fabricated metal with template. Checking for fit.
Side Storage Box Truck Camper Mod
Rough cut out for door
Side Storage Box Truck Camper Mod
Dry fit metal box
Side Storage Box Truck Camper Mod
Inside view of the storage compartment.
Side Storage Box Truck Camper Mod
Outside view of the completed storage compartment

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About Thomas Wilson 3 Articles
Thomas Wilson served 8 years in the U.S. Navy, then moved to North Carolina where he began a career in software engineering. He retired in 2005 and continues to make North Carolina his home. Thomas and his wife, Joyce, enjoy camping and boating and have been doing so together for over 40 years. In their new Adventurer 89RB truck camper, they have ambitious plans to visit and camp in all 50 states.

8 Comments

  1. Someone else pointed out that you had moved your rear tiedown points, I assume it was because of this mod. It’d be interesting to see what you did there as well. Thanks.

    • Yes, I have moved my rear tiedown points forward. The original position was so far back that my tiedowns angled to the rear. While I was making my boxes I decidied to install a thick wall 2.5″ angle to the factory bolts. I drilled a new tiedown point forward enough to provide a slight forward leaning tiedown. I believe this gives me a more stable 4 point tiedown system, even though I see a lot of campers with tiedowns sloping to the rear.

    • Yes, I have moved my rear tiedown points forward. The original position was so far back that my tiedowns angled to the rear. While I was making my boxes I decidied to install a thick wall 2.5″ angle to the factory bolts. I drilled a new tiedown point forward enough to provide a slight forward leaning tiedown. I believe this gives me a more stable 4 point tiedown system, even though I see a lot of campers with tiedowns sloping to the rear.

  2. Excellent. I really want to do this mod to mine as well. Do you remember what size the doors are? you seem to have picked a good size the scale fits very well.

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