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Technical: Discovery I
Boot Tidy

Not so much a modification as an addition, this one.

One of the few things about the Discovery that's a bit disappointing, at least when compared to a more traditionally shaped Land Rover, is the boot space. Whilst it's a large volume on paper, in practice it's an awkward shape with nowhere to tie anything down to.

On previous specific occasions, such as when loading for our trip to Morocco, I'd temporarily solved this problem by removing the rear seats and using the seat mounting points for securing purpose made racking or brackets, but this wasn't very practical for day-to-day use. The addition of a dog guard helped by providing somewhere to  fix a cargo net to carry lighter items, but this didn't help with the heavier stuff that seems to accumulate in the back of a Land Rover such as tools or torches.

Initially, I was taken with the idea of a metal 'store drawer' but apart from the cost, which is not insignificant, they have a number of other draw-backs: the rear dickie seats are rendered useless and, because the drawer must be bolted down, it's not easily removable for those occasions when the whole of the load space is required.

After some time spent deliberating all of this, I worked out that what I really needed was a box to fit in the awkward space behind the rear seats to contain all of the loose stuff that I seem to carry around. Then, as I couldn't find anything on the market to suit, I decided to build my own and this is the result:

Closed box behind rear seats

The box is 1070mm wide, which is the full width between the insides of the wheel arches, 250mm high and 350mm deep at the base. The back of the box is angled at 66 degrees to match the rake of the rear seats and the whole thing is designed to be as big as possible whilst still retaining full use of the dickie seats. The bottom panel of the box extends forward under the rear seats by approximately 100mm The box does not interfere with the dickie seats and has four slots cut in it to accept the metal feet of the seats. In this way, the box is locked in position when the seats are up, without the need to drill any other mounting holes in the vehicle, and can be easily lifted out of the way when the seats are folded forward.

There are also two larger slots in the base to allow the seat belts through.

The box is constructed from 9mm plywood and all the joints are glued and screwed to resist the effects of vibration. The top and front panels are hinged to provide a wide access, and these are held closed by two over-center catches. The lower 50mm of the front panel is fixed so that, if the vehicle is parked on a hill, the contents don't slide out of the back. The inner edges of the two front panels are clad in aluminium to protect them from damage when objects are taken in and out.

All the accumulated junk safely packed in the boot tidy

Below is a diagram showing a section through the box to illustrate how it fits in with the seats. All dimensions are in millimeters. 



Page created: 14-Sep-04

Last updated: 16-Oct-2011