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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Has anyone come up with good storage solutions for the Wagon's cargo area?

I am thinking of making something that I can mount on some brackets to keep it from sliding around and be able to take it out or swap in and out different totes or something.

Just figured I would look for suggestions in case others have come up with good ideas or easy places to install mounting brackets.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
To elaborate, I am looking to do a few things:

1) My dog regularly rides with me so the rear seats are mostly down and I can't have cargo sliding around.

2) I camp a lot so I was looking to install a ceiling mounted TV on a sliding rail so that it can be moved to the middle of the cabin for use in the rear seats and also slid to the back so it can be used when a bed is made in the rear.

3) I want to mount an aux deep cycle battery for accessories and such when I am camped for a couple days.

4) I would like to have some mounts for a tote so that I can switch between a few different totes packed with different gear. I kayak, paintball, camp, fish, haul tools, etc

If anyone has any ideas it's much appreciated!
 

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I would just mount a screen in the back of one of your headrests. It's been done numerous times and would be simpler/cleaner then mounting brackets on the ceiling, I would think.
 

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IMO I would keep all technology as portable as possible. Get an iPad instead of mounting a TV in your car....

As for the rest; your needs seem pretty specific so it looks like custom is going to be your best option.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah, I might get a ceiling mount TV/DVD combo and make a track bracket for it.

I am going to see how much work/space taken up will be involved in making a case for a deep-cycle battery and inverter combo to put in the rear of the car. I might make a platform to go where the seat flips up instead and put the stuff underneath it with the seat removed so that I have bed space and storage underneath.

I have also considered going to the junk yard and getting an extra seat bottom for the rear, cutting it to the size of the single seat part of the split bench and that way I can still seat 3 if needed with the camping option installed.

I have a bunch of ideas but want to try to keep it practical. I haven't found anyone else that went to a custom camping mod for their wagon so I guess I will have to take pics as I go for any projects I decide to embark on and post them. [wrenchin]
 

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Might also want to think about the theft part of things too.

Go putting all these big screens in the car on mounts and stuff, and your car becomes more of a reason for someone to take the legal risk of steeling it.

Might want to look at some better security systems.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Limo tint all the way around except the fronts where I am going with a light tint. That's one of the reasons I wanted a flip up roof mounted TV on a track too. Kinda up out of the way and not obvious.

I also live up in Gods country where we leave our doors unlocked.

Oh yeah, I have a 90lb Shepard/Husky that is almost always in the car.
 

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Wow, someone else on here who wants to turn their ZXW into a weekend camping rig!! My wife and I traded our XTerra in (didn't take it off road very often and gas costs were killing the fun!) for the wagon (I previously owned two Focus sedans). We enjoyed "truck camping" in the back of the SUV, and now we're in the process of fitting our Focus Wagon that we bought last month for some escapes from the summer desert heat. So I kinda know where you're coming from.

I have to say I'd agree with the others who have suggested considering using portable entertainment equipment rather than perminantly fixing monitors in your vehicle. It will be easier to maintain, upgrade, and protect. Also, you'll be able to easily position it anywhere you want, including outside of the vehicle, should you decide to sit outside and watch a movie/listen to music. Its fun to refit our cars, but the convenience and expense saved will proably allow you to get more/better gear if you arent having to spend a bunch of money and time on built-in mounting and track systems. Just a thought... of course its YOUR RIG, so do what YOU like! :)

I love the idea of having an aux battery. I'd love to hear your ideas on that, as that is something I'd like to figure out and add to ours.

Also, we have an "SUV" air mattress that fits in the rear bed of the car with the seats folded down. However, to fit comfortably (even though Im not very tall) I plan on removing (temporarily) the rear seats completely, that way the bottom cusion which is normally folded, will afford a few extra inches to stretch out. I'm thinking about buying some plywood or panel board and some fabric, and cutting a "bed" to span the entire area from behind the front seats to the tailgait... to give a nice flat surface for the air mattress to rest on. It would be removable of course, so the rear seats can be re-installed. I know there is at least one company who makes a "rear seat delete" that looks cool, but it looks as though they only make one to fit the ZX5 and I havent found anything for the wagon.

By the way, have you invested in "Skeeter Beaters" window screens for the car for your camping trips? They make an awesome product that fits over your rear-seat windows to keep bugs out and allow you to open the windows. Its an awesome product made here in the U.S. by a family-owned company. Their product is awesome and their customer service is amazing. I have no relation to the company other than as a repeat customer, but if you want info, PM me and I'll send you a link!

Share some pictures of what you do... I'll post on the forum too when I get around to making some progress here as well!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the post N4niner. I was thinking I was the only one wanting to camp with my wagon. Haha.

I actually made the first version of the box this week. I will have to post pictures of it and I will make a step by step of how to cut the pieces and make it.

I went with a semi permanent design that screws into the original seat hinge hole. It also folds down to allow the drivers seat to be slid back and recline while not in use while having the dementions I was looking for to put the battery in.

I havn't put the fabric on it yet and I have a cardboard cutout of a battery that I was using in the design. The angles were really odd to make this so I will do my best for a tutorial.

I did use it twice and it gives me the room that I needed to be able to lay down. I have to finish the 3rd seat cutout (behind the passenger) and get the final logistics worked out of the battery, prop system for the fold up panel and inverter. The access is kinda tough to get into the battery/inverter area and even screw it in so I might tinker with another design and see if I can come up with something better.

Version 1.0 isn't too shabby though. I will try to post pics of the progress Sunday or Monday.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
V 1.0 Pics

Well, here are the initial pics. I thought I would be able to provide more specific measurements but it turned into a trial and error type thing due to the weird angles and the space needed for the battery area.
When I finalize it I will do my best to make a "How to" if anyone is interested in making one.


Here is the box


Box proped open (I am debating on using a hatch strut or something but am using a simple prop for now)


Here you can see the odd angles


Here it is showing the mockup battery I used for the dementions



Here is it neatly tucked behind the seat. It is bolted into the hole used for the rear seat hinge.



Here it is extended out. I had a piece that covered the middle cup holder area but cut it off since it wasn't worth it due to the folding logistics. Plus it made it kinda look dumb IMHO.



I slept in it a couple nights ago to test it out and I had a really nice amount of room now. [sleeping] I am 6'3 so sleeping in here without the extension was about impossible.

I am installing an outlet box on the side near the cupholder and a switch for the inverter. Once I have that and the battery I will use official ford focus seat felt that I got from the junkyard to cover it all and make it look all nicey nice.
 

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... Once I have that and the battery I will use official ford focus seat felt that I got from the junkyard to cover it all and make it look all nicey nice.
Now thats smart thinking, its going to look really clean and perfectly matching when its done in the same fabric.

Look fwd to seeing pics when you got it completed.

I wish I had a wagon now, sometimes it would be great if I could sleep in it on occation seriously camping like that is great, it just makes the vehicle so much useful with the extra space, lots more options are open to you.

I mean you never even think of car camping at all until you have to drive 21hours, like I will coming up, I wish I could try to sleep in my car comfortably...hmmm.
 

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Now thats smart thinking, its going to look really clean and perfectly matching when its done in the same fabric.

Look fwd to seeing pics when you got it completed.

I wish I had a wagon now, sometimes it would be great if I could sleep in it on occation seriously camping like that is great, it just makes the vehicle so much useful with the extra space, lots more options are open to you.

I mean you never even think of car camping at all until you have to drive 21hours, like I will coming up, I wish I could try to sleep in my car comfortably...hmmm.
Yeah its awesome! I owned two Focus sedans in the past until I traded in for a Nissan XTerra. We went camping in the XTerra and had a blast... but I still missed my Foci. So when we traded the XTerra last month for something more fuel efficient, I knew I had to get the newest, lowest mile wagon I could find, since they stopped making them in 2007. Wish they still built the wagon. The 5-door is nice, but the little bit of extra space in the wagon is great for sleeping in. Our "SUV Air Mattress" fits great in the back with the seat bottom cushion removed.

By the way Chaput, it looks AWESOME! I don't think I'll be going nearly to the depth as you on a power center. When I get around to it (and set aside a couple bux), I'll probably try to do something contained within a plastic battery box or something along those lines. Yours looks great, but I could see myself becoming very frustrated trying to build it, and I doubt it would turn out as nice. But, Im sure once I see yours all covered in carpet and looking like a stock accessory, I wont be able to resist trying. Keep up the work! Hey Chaput, we should try to start a wagon-camping thread. Too bad you're on the opposite coast, would be cool to get together and fab stuff together for that purpose. I'm looking forward to seeing more ideas from you. [cheers]
 

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Discussion Starter #17
V1.2

Here it is with the felt. I also cut out the spot for the outlet.

I decided to spray paint the sides rather than felt it for 2 reasons. First I ran out of felt. Second I didn't think it really needed it. Maybe I will get ambitious and felt the rest of it sometime.












With the bench out and seat back up





With drivers seat slid back (The unpainted wood on the side is the prop I use)



Sleep Mode
 

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Discussion Starter #19
V1.5

Thanks N4.

I added the inverter (I installed a 400W for now to see how that works out because they didn't have the 750W that I wanted in stock.)

I put a 6 outlet adapter so that I don't have to deal with a power strip If I have a few low drain devices in and if I plug something in that covers a couple outlets up I still have open ones.

That slot also has a purpose. It's for ventilation if I use it while I am mobile and don't have the cabinet propped open and also for the vehicle power wires to run through to recharge the battery once I install that. I might upgrade my alternator first though. Until then I will just charge it before a trip.




Here is the view without the Battery. I just made some simple brackets and it lets me take out the inverter if I want.



Here it is with the battery. I made a slide down brace to hold it in (modified for a better fit after this was taken). I didn't make the battery an actual part of the cabinet because it weighs >50lbs and would be a real struggle taking it in and out.

 

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Discussion Starter #20
Extra Rear Seat

I cut the bench seat down that I got from the junkyard. I cut the foam right at the fabric seam and kept extra fabric that I wrapped around the bottom. I used some of the rubber that goes around the edges to cover the metal edge that was cut.

Now I can take 2 other passengers rather than one and still have the camping box installed.

Seat Folded up with back down flat


Seat Back folded up


Seat folded down.


Time to make: About 1 hr. Cost $12
 
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