The Making of Ruby- Part 3
A lot of thought and planning went into the outside of Ruby to make her fit our needs, but just as important for a touring setup was the interior of the car. These are the modifications that make the most difference to a cars usability, when it is going to be lived out of for a year or more.
As Ruby is a 76 series Landcruiser the interior is already fairly simple and functional, however there were a few key things that we decided to do in order to improve storage functionality and space. Top of the list was a set of roller storage draws in the back. When looking into this we had a couple of key requirements. We wanted a drawer set that sat flush across the entire cargo area of the car, this meant that as well as a set of draws, the storage system would also need to incorporate inserts on the sides to fill the odd shaped spaces left by square sided draws. Secondly we would need the draws to incorporate some type of fridge slide, to enable easy access to our Engel fridges, and finally we wanted to include a cargo barrier at the back of the draws to separate the luggage area of the car from the rest of the cabin.
|Fridge slide built into the drawers on the right and the MSA fridge slide on the left|
The outback until also incorporates an easy to install half height cargo barrier that has made both the rear and central storage areas easier to use.
|Outback cargo barrier|
In the rear passengers area of the car it soon became obvious that the rear seats were taking up valuable space and were unwanted weight. After confirming QLD Transports rules on the removal or rear seats (you can temporarily remove seats from a vehicle in QLD as long as the change is not permanent. We were also advised to keep the seat belts mounted and to carry the relevant QLD transport guideline with us in case we were questions by Transport Authorities or Police) it was a simple matter of removing 2 bolts and un-clipping the seats to take it out in one piece. This has given us heaps more space and removed approximately 40kg of unwanted weight from the rear of the vehicle. We also added a piece of rubber matting cut to shape to protect the carpet in the rear passenger area.
|Rubber matting on the back floor|
|Closer up of rubber matting - the seat belts are still installed|
|Front seat interior|
|Outback roof shelf|
Lastly we added a set of Genuine Toyota canvas seat covers and Sandgrabba floor mats. We have had these in our vehicles previously and have been impressed with their durability. The seat covers give a snug fit on the seats and look good. There are other more heavy duty canvas seat covers available, but we have found that the Toyota ones have a softer material and are not as slippery, making them better for long days sitting in the seats.
The Sandgrabba mats have been great for protecting the carpets in Ruby and making cleaning the footwells out a breeze. Sandgrabba make floor mats to fit specific vehicle modes as snugly as possible. Ours have withstood many camping trips and days out 4X4ing and still come up looking like new after they have been vacuumed and wiped over. Our only issue with these is that they would be better if they had a deeper dish in them to catch a little more dirt and mud, but as long as you empty them regularly they will last for years and keep your carpet's looking like new underneath!
|Sandgrabba Floor Mats and Toyota canvas seat covers|
Posted by Mat