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To clean up the mess of stuff in the back of my car, I made a simple and rugged trunk storage system. You can make one using simple plywood boards and inexpensive ammo cans, come see how!

  1. Plan Out Your System
  2. Build a Box
  3. Make it Strong

1. Plan Out Your System

Like anything we make, you could easily model this project in Fusion 360, a 3d modeling program, but this project is pretty simple, so pencil and paper will do. First I measure the available space behind my third-row seats in my SUV. I would like to access the items back there from the tailgate area, which consists of a raisable window and a drop-down tailgate. This storage solution should be viable in both arrangements, an open tray through the window and bin storage via the tailgate.

You may be wondering, “didn’t he make storage inside his tailgate?” Yes, yes I did. But it wasn’t enough. And you may also be wondering, “didn’t he make a system of drawers for the back of his SUV?” Yes, yes I did. But then I added another row of seats and I had to remove them. Now that I had a rough idea of how I can access the two-tiered trunk storage system, I can gather my materials and get to work.

2. Build a Box

The design for this SUV trunk storage systems is quite simple. It will be a rectangular box with an open tray on top and segmented cubbies on bottom. The tray will store quick-access items on top of a water-resistant mat and the cubbies will hold some inexpensive ammo containers containing various supplies. I cut some 3/4″ thick plywood on my table saw and miter saw to make up the box’s structure. Using glue and screws, I assembled the box together. Once fitted in the SUV, I’ll drill some holes in the bottom to secure it to the cargo hooks in the vehicle.

3. Make It Strong

At this point, the box is finished. To strengthen it and make it look rugged and cool, I added some aluminum edge trim. L-brackets and C-Channel pieces fit over the edges of the plywood and the top edge to protect it. I used some E-6000, a specialized adhesive to attach the aluminum to the plywood. It is an amazing adhesive that I use for dissimilar materials. Now that the box is done, I can use the holes I drilled to attach it to the securing points in the SUV. Once in place, I loaded it with the ammo boxes labels for medical kit, ratchet straps, jumper cables, and overnight equipment.

It Looks Awesome and Totally Works!

I am really happy with how this project turned out. My messy trunk space is now a nice-looking, organized area. This trunk storage system is really nice and wasn’t expensive to make. You can clean up the mess in your trunk using some simple plywood boards and inexpensive ammo boxes. It is totally worth it.