How to Make a DIY Truck Bed Drawer Storage System?

Truck owners searching for best truck bed drawer storage system mostly end up with dissatisfaction and compromises with the handy market available storage system. The handy truck boxes have limited accessibility and less gear. Factory manufactured storage system block the floor and doesn’t retain the use of your truck bed floor. Hence the custom made or the self-made storage systems are cheaper in value than the factory made storage systems. To get rid of all the problems you are facing from the factory made storage system and to create storage for trucks we will guide you through the steps to achieve your target.

The custom built truck bed storage system provides good space for tools and materials as well as allows to retain the use of the truck bed floor. While traveling tools are at the top of the priority list, and the factory made an option of bed shells leave a lot to be desired. The level of security is the same in both factories made and self-made.

Custom made storage system can be of the owner’s desired measurements, whether from a 5-foot truck bed to an 8-foot full-sized bed. In custom made to retain the use of the bed, sliding drawers in shelving with a sturdy top are used to cover the entire shelving area. Adding a locking system on it, provide you a secure and easily accessible storage system solution with the least amount of space.

It’s affordable and there are no advanced techniques required and you can easily avail all required tools to find your own storage space. We will explain the complete design and build process for the truck box storage system. follow up the steps below.

Required Tools and materials:

  1. Table saw
  2. Miter saw
  3. Wood drill
  4. Pocket hole jig
  5. Jigsaw
  6. Braid nailer
  7. Tape measure
  8. Sander
  9. Plywood
  10. Common board
  11. Wood screw
  12. Pocket screw
  13. Wood glue
  14. Brad’s nails
  15. Drawer pulls
  16. Paint

STEP 01: Design and build process:

Purchase all the listed above tools and material to start, if you have any then no need to buy. Start from unloading the truck and measuring, measure the space of your SUV/Truck in terms of height and width, based on the measurement you need to cut the woods into two equal halves. The drawer system needs to be organized in such a way that all your items or material could fit into it. Make sure to make notes on wheel wells, permanent tool boxes, spare tires and any other feature that may extend into the storage space.

Take all the tools and other items to be stored and measure bulkier items. By all these measurements you will get a rough idea of how to design the storage space, according to your needs.

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To get a rough instance sketch out a scale drawing of the storage unit, based on the measurements for the truck bed and the main items to be stored. Also, plan some extra space to store new tools and other acquisitions for future use.

Step 02: Build the truck box:

Take the plywood and start making the box. The truck box will have long drawers supported by vertical dividers, and also have smaller drawers. Take the table saw to rip one sheet of plywood to the measurements of dimensions for the vertical dividers from the rough design sketch.

Using the saw start cutting the sheets of plywood for the top and bottom of the box. For the vertical support carefully measure and snap chalk lines. The vertical dividers are spaced apart by the width of the drawer plus half an inch. Before assembly sand interior side of all the panels to smooth as it will be harder to do after installation. Take the vertical divider up with the chalk lines and fix using wood glue and drywall screws.

After attaching all the dividers, lay out the structure so the dividers are sticking up. Now take another sheet and carefully position on top of the dividers and screw it in place with drywall screws.

Step 03: Drawer Box Assembly:

For the drawer boxes, rip more plywood strips to form the bottom, sides, and ends of the drawer. Assemble the drawers with wood glue and drywall screws. Start attaching from the sides to the bottom. And at last the end. Once you are done with the drawer boxes, clamp them together and drill holes through the center partitions for the barrel bolts that will hold the two sections together.

Step 04: Slides Drawers:

If you opt to use drawer slides instead of a roller, follow some instructions for drawer size. Long, heavy duty drawer slides made by different vendors are available online for $290-$600, depending on length and width.

Step 05: Drawer Carpet (Optional):

it is optional if you need it then go ahead or you may skip. You can paint the drawer for instance later and that is also included in this blog later on. for carpet, You need to Cut the bottom and sides of the drawers first and carpet them properly in order to have a good look and feel. Cut the carpet a bit larger size, glue it on as per the instructions, and then trim it with a sharp razor blade. The Next step is to screw the sides to the bottom and measure between the carpeted sides to determine the width of the front and back. Screw the front and back to the sides. Place the Carpet and install the rest of the dividers according to your needs and design patterns.

Step 06: Build the Wings:

Take the table saw and rip smaller pieces of plywood for the wing boxes that slip in next to the main truck box. Do it also in the same process, assemble them with wood glue using a nail gun to tack the plywood into place. After building the boxes assemble them using nails. Slide the drawers into the wing boxes to check their fit.

Step 07: Install a Drawer Lock and Pull:

Take a ruler and measuring tape and determine where the center of the drawer is. Mark that point with a marker. attach the chosen lock in the spot to ensure that the bolt of the lock will extend far enough to catch.

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After that fix it by drilling. Drill a hole where this shaft will go in the drawer. After drilling takes some sandpaper and sand down the interior edges. Remove the O-ring and bolt from the shaft, and insert the lock from the front into the drilled hole. Note here the key slot is in the vertical position. Once the slot is in place put the O-ring back into the shaft. Press the ring to the backside of the draw and then start screwing. It will replace the lock bolt.

Step 08: Painting the Unit:

If you don’t want to carpet the drawer then ought for painting, choose a paint color coordinating with the truck; as it will look good. Remove the drawers and use exterior and interior grade paint to paint the outer of the truck box. Do not paint the runners along the bottoms. Allow some good time to dry completely. Adding the finishing touch wax the drawers brackets to keep it in place and waterproof.

Take drywall screws to attach the wing boxes to the main boxes. And place the entire unit. To screw the unit to the truck bed use galvanized L-brackets. Wax rub the runners on the bottom of the drawers and the slide drawers. At last screw small metal brackets to the ends of the vertical dividers so they overlap the drawers slightly. This is also called as stoppers. As this will stop the drawers to slide out from the box when the tailgate is down.

Step 09: Waterproofing:

To weather guard the drawer unit. Use a rubber liner to cover the drawers and overlap the top of the unit with about half an inch. As you have already the measurements, cut the rubber guard liner and position it to fix. Nail it to the unit using nails. While placing the liner make sure there will be no air bubbles inside it. As this completed the project of DIY truck drawers.

Installing a Fridge with a Storage System(Optional):

To add on advantages you can add a fridge beside the drawers. Buying any brand truck fridge of your choice and install it with the organizing drawers. These fridges are generally powered by a 12-volt processor. And has energy saving capability. As a built-in drawer compartment. The operation of the fridge requires DC(12 AND 24 VOLT). Enjoy Camping or even rides with chilled drinkables. The installation process is very easy, to install any fridge in your truck bed follow below instruction.

Step 01: The fridge comes with a mounting frame. Remove the mounting frame from the fridge.

Step 02: place the mounting frame into the position you wish to install the fridge. While making drawers if you want to install a fridge leave accurate space to fix a fridge.

Step 03: Find the screws provided within the fridge to fix the mounting frame to be base.

Step 04: after that insert the drawer fridge onto the mounting frame to fix it. And ensure the locating lugs are securely inserted into the location slots. Locating Lug Securing slot Mounting Frame.

Step 05: Using the 4 screws provided, secure the fridge to the mounting frame. This is the simple way of installing the fridge into the truck bed beside the truck bed storage system.

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Advantages Of Truck Bed Organizers:

Increase Your Cargo Options:

truck bed storage comes under the section of truck bed accessories. Including dividers, pockets, drawers or attachment racks to add onto the base organizer. You can keep everything you need in the bed of your truck. This allows you to carry a wider range of cargo safely. And you find them inside the dwarves quickly.

As it has a number of storage units, you can separate tools and materials items easily. You can even keep your foodstuffs . some drawers have ammo cans so they are perfect.

Custom Made:

As discussed above the organizers can be custom made. you can build one for your truck.


Custom made can add anti-slip liner mats and factory manufactured has inbuilt rubber liner. As a result, damage free and scratch free bed.

Heavy Duty:

All the truck bed storage organizers are heavy duty as they can hold over 2,500 pounds of gear. That a great value of storage capacity. Each small drawer usually holds 150lbs, and a bigger one more than that. Must have in your truck accessory

Easy To Install:

As you see in the above method, the installation is very easy. Factory made storage systems can be installed without drilling while using existing tie-downs in the there is no chance of damage to the truck. Easy install and easy removal. If you know how to use tools like ratchets, wrenches, and screwdrivers than there will be no hassle to install any.

Shelf Systems:

The storage system includes a rack and shelf system. A great option when it comes to organizing things. These are a great combination to have it installed in the back of the truck bed. The storage system has distinct drawers or pockets to allow storage inside. As a benefit, while traveling, everything will be in its respective place and will be secure and they don’t go flying. The deck system is one of the best options since you get a draw for small items. One more advantage of this storage system is that you can also haul things above the truck bed organizer, at the top of it. Your cargo will be secure inside the drawers with lock system.

As said before hauling in the top of the truck bed storage system, saves space. And it is strong beyond your imagination. You may put the bikes in the truck, and transport them. By securing them on the organizer’s deck, without any problem.

Related Question:

How many people needed to make a storage system with investing how much time?

Two people can make this super easy DIY storage system for truck beds. The time needed depends on the makers. If they have good skills then 4 hours is enough. Generally, people take 4 hours and if you have more helping hands then it will reduce the time consumption.

Does the DIY storage system are waterproof?

Yes, this can be waterproof. If you install a liner over the storage system. In this post, you can find how to waterproof your DIY storages systems. Adding waterproof liners and wax is the best solution for waterproofing. the

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