In preparation for a trip from Adelaide down the Great Ocean Road, I kitted out our new(ish) Pajero with this custom-designed rear cargo storage system. Many hours were spent standing and staring into the back of the load area, taking measurements and contemplating how to make the most of the space available.
NW and NX Pajeros are designed to have third row seats that fold flat into the floor. Our ex-Queensland Government example came with all of that removed but a descent, factory-fitted cargo barrier made by a local company.
The “Floor Hole” left by the omitted seats turned out to be a great place for storing all manner of handy things, the likes of which you always want to have in the car but not just kicking around on the floor. Its position dictated how far forward and low the cargo slides could be.
The design requirements revealed themselves to be:
- As space-efficient as possible.
- Structurally sound for driving over rough terrain with a full load of camping gear.
- Access to the floor hole must be retained to the greatest extent possible without having to unload anything on top of it.
- Include a slide for a Dometic CFF 45 portable fridge with sufficient air flow around the compressor.
- A slide-out lower shelf with tie-down points for heavy loads.
- An upper shelf with enough clearance overhead for my existing plastic tubs or milk crates.
- Make use of existing threaded holes and mounting points for the third row seats and cargo barrier to keep from marring the interior trim.
- Using materials easily available from Bunnings or a local steel supplier.
The left slide and top shelf were finished with marine carpet. This gives storage boxes something to grip meaning they mostly don’t slide around, even when not strapped in.
The intention was originally only to fit it when needed for a trip but it has proven itself useful and adaptable enough to leave in all the time. The shelf doubles as a rear compartment blind and actually increases the amount of easily reachable load area. Plus, the fridge has gotten quite a bit of use over the summer.
Too bad our Great Ocean Road trip was scheduled to start March 21 2020, AKA pretty much exactly as South Australia was shutting down for 20 months of COVID isolation. Oh well, one day.
Want to make your own? See below for design drawings and entirely too many full-res photographs. If you make one, post some photos in the Pajero Forums. If you make lots of them, post me some money.
Download the plans (PDF 670KB)
Many, many photos (ZIP 827MB, 123 JPGs within)