Overlanding Bed Rack Tool Storage

rifle case mounted to pakrax bed rack for tool storage

As we transition from our F150 which has the fiberglass bed topper, to the Raptor which is now running a PakRax bed rack, we’re finding that although the rack doesn’t provide shelter from the elements (we’ll have a tonneau cover for that), the rack is an excellent way to get some items off of the truck bed floor. In the past we had the air compressor just thrown in the bed, bouncing around on dirt roads, which is not only unnecessary wear on the compressor, but also makes it harder to neatly stack all of our tubs (see camping essentials article).

lockable rifle case mounted to pakrax bed rack for tool storage

We wanted to make a tool storage solution that organized some of the misc items and gave them a permanent place. After some research we settled on a 52in rifle case (Plano tactical rifle case); the form factor is perfect, it is durable, water proof (in theory), and has locking accommodations. The case mounts up to the rack using carriage bolts in the existing PakRax slots and can’t be removed without access to the inside of the case.

rifle case mounted to pakrax bed rack for tool storage showing air compressor air hose, and recovery gear

The Smittybilt Air Compressor and our DIY 4-Wheel inflation hose fit the case perfectly, with a bit of room left for a tow strap and eventually some basic tools. To make the setup at all usable, we cut off some 1in ratchet strap material and attached it to the lid of the case; this way it doesn’t slam down into the fender, and also becomes a surface to place things on.

traction boards mounted to pakrax bed rack

In the effort of getting everything off the bed floor, we also mounted our traction boards to the other side of the bed rack; again using simple carriage bolts through the PakRax bolt slots.

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