Shogun Sport Overland Storage System [DIY]. buying plyboard, cutting and fitting to a first gen Shogun.
Overland storage systems range from the simple to the expensive and complex, for us it was always going to be a DIY affair from both a customization stand point and the amount of money spent.
Why build one in the first place? Well, with a roof tent most of the storage space on the roof is out so the majority of the gear has to go in the boot of the vehicle and no matter how organised you are it usually ends up looking like the local dump – plus, whatever you need is always at the bottom.
Splitting the boot compartment horizontally offers one major advantage in that it immediately halves your gear storage issues, introduce drawers or boxes and things become much more organised for trips away.
The intention for our shogun sport overland storage system was to build a simple frame setup and utilize plastic storage trunks both underneath and on top with the addition of a pull out table which can be slid back out of sight, out of mind.
Overland Storage System for Shogun Sport
Our particular Shogun has existing storage in the boot, we have the usual side pockets and also two large compartments and two smaller side compartments on the floor, we decided to keep the two larger compartments as they are very handy for tool storage and all those items you don’t need regular access to.
The two smaller side compartments in the floor would have to be sacrificed as the way the compartments are laid out means that the legs of the build will go over them and the lids cannot be opened.
The key to get the build right in the rear of the Shogun was going to be exact measurements as there is only 30mm to work with between the floor storage legs and the inside of the wheel arches, getting this right and all else should follow without much problem. This is how we did it:
- Phillips screwdriver
- Angle square
- Wood glue
- Linseed oil
- Tape measure
- Spirit level
- 16mm screws
- 36mm screws
- For added strength whilst remaining as light weight as possible we opted for 3/4″ [19.05mm] plywood.
- 135 x 96cm Top platform x 1
- 88 x 96cm Pull out table/shelf x 1
- 93 x 20cm Legs x 2
- 88 x 20cm Rear cover panel x1
- 88 x 20cm Spare
- M5 Tensioners x 4
- D ring tie downs x 4
- Eye plates x 4
- Felt strips [2 meters x 3mm]
- Aluminium angle iron x 2 [100cm x 3cm x 3cm]
Cutting the template:
Using a large sheet of thin chipboard [anything similar will do] gave us the opportunity to create a template for the wood that was on order from the local carpenter. The height was to be 20cm from the boot floor of the Shogun so we cut the width to 135cm and started designing cardboard templates to adopt around the curves approaching the rear hatch and the wheel arch.
Only one wheel arch need to be cut around if you decide to go at this height and it’s the one on the right which is a different shape de to the filler pipe to the fuel tank, the board will rest on top of the arch on the right.
Tip: getting the whole thing in the vehicle
The template and the final design need to be shoe-horned in, it won’t fit through the boot hatch no matter which way you angle it. Open the rear doors, slide both front seats forward and remove all headrests.
The unit needs to enter the vehicle sideways through the boot, angle upwards on one side and turned over the top of the front seats, this is the only way we found of getting the beast in the right way! [the reverse applies for removal]
Step1: Assuming that your template measurements are spot on the only piece of plywood that needs modification will be the main shelf [plus the two access covers which we’ll come to later]. We had ours arrive as a rectangle ready to cut around the template.
The curve around the wheel arch will need sanding around the fuel filler bulge around the top of the left wheel arch, ours was sitting slightly above the left leg panel so the answer was to sand off the underside to drop the shelf 2-3mm to sit flush with the leg.
Step 2: Once you have the main shelf sanded and a snug fit the next step is to attach the legs. There are two ways of doing this – rely on your measurement and marking and do it outside of the vehicle [only way of you are going to secure with pocket screws] or, join everything up in situ.
We decided simply to screw through the top of the main shelf and we did this while everything was set up in the boot, doing ot this ways ensures you get the unit exact in order for the bottom storage lids to still open.
Once screwed in and secure remove the unit from the vehicle ready for finishing and adding the attachments you need. [Measure up for your D-rings and twist locks when the unit is in situ]
Step 3: Cutting the angle iron, lengths come in a minimum of 100cm so the ends will need trimming with a grinder. Once cut, measure up gaps for drilling holes [we used six screws per side.
The angle iron will also need degreasing/wiping with alcohol before applying the adhesive felt strips.
Step 4: Turn the entire unit upside down and place your table shelf in the bottom, then position your angle iron in place and mark your holes for drilling. Pilot drill the holes and screw in each length of angle iron.
It’s a good idea to test fit the table at this point in case it’s too tight.
Step 5: Next up is to pilot drill some holes ready to attach your D rings on each side.
Step 6: Access covers – we went for access to the wheel arch area through the front of the unit instead of cutting flaps on top. You might have noticed that there is a spare length wood on the list above and this is what that piece is for.
Grab your template and cut out each flap – they should be exactly the same for each side then it’s a trial and error job, at the same height as the legs they should fit snug in place and not move but there will be sanding required to match up to that curve in the Shogun’s rear plastic trim.
Step 7: We decided to treat our plywood with Linseed oil [very common in Spain], we gave the whole unit a generous coat then concentrated on the table top, the edges and the shelf top itself with a further four coats and left to soak in for 24 hours.
Fitting the unit
Once the wood is fully dry with your treatment of choice it’s time to fit, be careful not to knock the legs when turning the whole thing around inside the vehicle, position the unit when it’s supposed to be and check your Shogun boot storage in floor still opens [it will be very, very tight!]
When you are happy with the fit, insert the twist locks to the D rings you fitted on the legs and the D rings on the Shogun floor, tighten up and you should be rock solid.
€9.50 D ring tie downs
€9.00 Eye plates
€9.00 Felt strips
€8.50 Angle iron
€3.00 Wood glue
€1.50 Linseed oil
TIME INVESTED: 16 hours approx
Did we change anything from the original plan?
Yes, originally we were going to have the USB 12v panel positioned on the floor near the Mitsubishi cigar lighter, we were also considering cutting storage flaps both left and right for access to the storage areas in the care interior trim and also the space around the wheel arches – this changed once we test fitted the unit as we preferred a solid, seamless top so we decided access to the wheel arches would be better [for us] through the front.
The 12v panel was placed on top, proud of the shelf to prevent it being hit by sliding boxes etc. The key was to wire up first as there is very little room to work over that wheel arch once the unit is in place.
Leaving a foot or so of live and earth cable from the 12v panel plus the same at the other end from the 12v supply from the car will allow you to connect the wires up then tidy up the wires over the wheel arch [we ran our cables from the car through the grommet located in the storage panel then up through the storage panel lid].
Shogun sport overland storage – Conclusion
The build is very easy, even with basic tools, the main component is getting the measurements right – just a few millimetres out and your storage lids in the floor won’t open, that is of course if you have them as some Shogun Sport’s don’t.
It’s also a cheap job, okay you might need to buy some wood glue and some fixings etc but providing you have a drill and a jigsaw then you can create a storage unit like this for well under €150 euros/pounds.
Looking at the outlay [and your time] compared to the functionality a storage solution like this provides it really is a great solution without spending hundreds or even thousands. It’s simple, straight forward and it works plus there is of course the job satisfaction you get when you stand back and admire your work plus every time you use it.
Want to know how it all held up? Check out this build after 6 months overlanding