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Old 02-14-2012, 04:55 PM   #1
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Wood or metal?

We do most of our traveling in Texas and New Mexico. BLM, State Parks & National Parks whenever we can. Once in a while an RV Park. All of my hookup gear & breakdown gear(electrical cord, hoses, etc) of course is located inside the back doors. I'd like to have an outside box like I've seen others do on this site. However I am not a metalworker or welder. I do however have a hitch mount bike rack I can utilize. I'd like to build a box the will fit between the rack and the back of the van. I've got 8-10" of depth and 19" by 24" for height and width. Should hold my gray water hose, drinking water hose and electrical cord no problem. Question is, given where I camp do I need a metal box or can I do a wood box? All opinions are appreciated. Thanks
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:48 PM   #2
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Re: Wood or metal?

A lockable metal box is more secure.

Mike
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:22 PM   #3
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Re: Wood or metal?

wood does not getting periodically wet from road spray. Also a wood box is not as easily secured from bears unless it is really really sturdy. Bears can smell food products on your grey water hose. Thats why the National Parks and many state parks in wild areas use steel food caches
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:41 AM   #4
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Re: Wood or metal?

Thanks, I never thought about animals. I was mostly thinking about someone bothering to steal my hoses. Now I've got to find a watertight box my size maybe at an electrical supply or sprinkler supply?
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:11 AM   #5
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Re: Wood or metal?

look for a robust service box intended for outdoor job site or back of a pickup use. Otherwise it may be constructed with parts (hinges, latches and fasteners) and paint coatings that are not corrosion resistant. Road salts (used both for ice and in liquid form for road dust control) and harsh alkaline dust and road vibration might shorten the box service life or make it look pretty ratty quick. Most of the garage shop type boxes sold at Big Box stores will not hold up for for road use for that reason, including the stainless steel models as they seem to be made with a poor grade of SS.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:32 AM   #6
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Re: Wood or metal?

How about a nice diamond plate style aluminum under bed box like these from Jobox... http://www.deltastorage.com/configur...5&productid=31

I have no personal experience with them but I read a thread on another website where a guy had used several of these for several years, mounted under a flat bed, driving over dirt roads and through winter salted roads with no issues mentioned. They come in an assortment of sizes.
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Old 02-16-2012, 09:35 AM   #7
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Re: Wood or metal?

Thanks. I've looked at doing something underneath, BTW I have a 3500 Chevy EB, but I just don't see that much space there. Others on this site have built and installed some really nice boxes underneath. I was trying to make something that would utilize stuff I had and be easy to reach and still let me open the back doors. I didn't want to add anymore length to the van than I had so that we could still park it in urban areas. We're 70/30 wilderness & urban. The bike rack covers most of those bases, it only adds about 6" to the length. I need a box approx 24w x 24h x 6-8d. I've been searching the internet but haven't found anything yet. I guess I'll have to find a local welder who will build me a sheet metal box to my dimensions.
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:14 PM   #8
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Re: Wood or metal?

Aluminus could build a box that size. Sometimes a special box made by them could cost more than it is worth but I think it is worth getting a quote from them.

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Old 02-17-2012, 07:33 PM   #9
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Re: Wood or metal?

Thanks Angel. Good idea.
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Old 02-17-2012, 08:10 PM   #10
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Re: Wood or metal?

Dee Zee and Tractor supply sell between frame rail truck tool boxes that be modified and inset into the floor like the xl in floor box sporty installs
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