Underbelly Storage tray for trailers
My beautiful 2015 LandYacht is really lacking in outside storage. Like the bumper and battery box... that’s it. So I’ve been exploring some alternatives and am reporting my results here and checking to see if anyone else is seeking a nice solution.
I read with interest the thread “Underbelly storage mod” where ptech took some existing bins and modified them to work under his AS. I’ve also studied the Lippert plastic boxes, but they are way too tall to fit under an Airstream.
So I decided to design my own. I just really want to be able to neatly store power cords, leveling blocks, outdoor rug, chairs and table and a bag of charcoal) without having to keep it in the car or crawling in and out of the trailer to get stuff that is only used outside. Easier access, neater and cleaner.
I worked within the limitations of my trailer (basically a 27’ front bedroom) and created a design that I am planning to have fabricated next week. The design is as follows:
1. Attaches just in front of the steps and behind the tires.
2. 18” wide and 6 3/4 deep (I have a lift kit and I believe this will work fine. Should probably even work without a lift kit, as it won’t stick much below the steps or stabilizers.
3. 80” wide, so it will sit inside of, and blend nicely to the black contoured metal that is currently the “bottom”. Full length tray so it can be pulled reasonably far out and still have lots of length in the track (and not fall out).
4. Simple sliding mechanism: channel aluminum attached to the frame with self tapping screws, and maybe a some additional support in the mid section.
5. Current plan is to make with 0.090 Aluminum, but may switch to 0.05” stainless if the fabricator has a strong opinion.
6. I’ve designed some dividers for the belly box to keep my stuff organized. My plan is to rivet them in later (they are nicely flanged so should be fairly easy).
7. No lid. Ptech’s experience indicates water doesn’t get into his boxes with a similar track design and open top.
8. The box will weigh about 40 lbs (aluminum) or 55 lbs (stainless).
Below is an image of the design.
1. Anyone have any words of wisdom?
2. Anyone want to be a guinea pig with me? As with most things, the fabricator will make two for significantly less than 2x making one. Contact me ASAP if you are interested, but because it’s 80” long you’ll probably want to be within driving distance of where I am having this done... basically Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
PM for more details.
This is a great idea!! Unfortunately I live in Wisconsin. But if this works, I definitely would be interested.
I'm getting shipping quotes now from other (online) fabricators. I'll post pricing.
Well, that was kinda funny. Turns out the online fab company was in England. The shipping quote was $1,200.
But Iíve now sourced it in Colorado. I am so looking forward to seeing it done. Iíve ordered the tray, coordinated a powder-coater, and also ordered the handles, track and bolts... everything on its way. And best part is the total cost is less than the plastic ones from Lippert (that wouldnít fit anyway).
Keep us updated! It's a great idea!
Glad I was able to inspire someone else to try. Wish you the best of luck finding the right fabricator to tackle this!
It really is such a wonderful addition to outside storage as I keep my carpet, fish poles, 1lb propane bottles, sewer hose supports, and bug spray in the drawer.
I'm surprised Airstream hasn't offered more external storage options over the years. Maybe everyone tows with trucks, but my preference is an SUV, and I store 99% of the camping and RV stuff, on the trailer.
If anyone wants to reference my original thread - https://www.airforums.com/forums/f48...od-172654.html
My underbelly storage box was delivered a couple of days ago, albeit unpainted (powder coater ran out of time). It looks very good. Bobbi and I spent an hour or so “test-packing” and riveting into place the spacers. Overall, it meets our expectations and moves outside gear outside, and keeps junk out of the TV.
It took me a few hours to attach some 3/16” support bars running from frame rib to frame rib, and then attach my aluminum channel that I am using for the “track”. A lot of time was spent trying to get that track reasonably level, as it required some spacers because the frame rails don’t seem to be even from the factory.
Track installed and bin painted with Airstream paint, we lined the track with silicone spray and slid the storage bin into pace. Fit beautifully and slides really well.
Here is a picture of the bin loaded but not yet installed.
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