Storage Solutions: Overlanding with a 2-Door Jeep Wrangler

First off, I love having a 2-door Jeep Wrangler. But figuring out how to live out of the small space for weeks at a time is certainly a challenge. Especially if you don’t want to spend a small fortune on a custom drawer system. As a result, I’ve tried two different solutions (there’s plenty more, but these are the ones I have experience with) that won’t break the bank, but they each have pros and cons.

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Option 1: Rampage Rear Sport Rack

This is a cool little rack I picked up about a year ago to increase storage functionality. I ditched my back seat a long time ago, and this rack easily installed in its place.

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One nice feature about this rack is it can be flipped back to allow for taller cargo as needed.

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It operates as advertised, and easily held an addition two Plano Sportsman’s Trunks.

Build quality was decent, but I’d recommend giving it a good second coat of an industrial spray paint, as the factory coating was a bit thin.

So overall a really solid rack that definitely gives you more storage space… But I didn’t keep it. And here’s why.

First, I found it too high. I plan to keep a cooler on that level, and all but the smallest cooler’s lid would hardly be able to open before it hit the roof.

Second, it’s lifted position cuts off much of your cargo area. I was hoping it would fold up right to the back of the seats, but that’s not the case. As a result, there’s hardly enough room for my dog when he comes along. So this may work for some. Didn’t work for me.

Option 2: Smittybilt Security Storage Vault

After trying out the Sport Rack, I started leaning towards something like a drawer. It’s less flexible, but the dog could sit on top when needed, and a lower height would allow for easy access to a cooler. But the majority were well out of my price range. (i.e. Tuffy and ARB).

I lucked out and found a new-in-box Smittybilt Security Storage vault on Kijiji that I negotiated down to only $300 (and that’s Canadian so… what? $20US?…)

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It’s extremely easy to install, and is nice and solid, with the exception of the slides. They’re not bad, but have a lot of flex when the drawer is full, so I’ll likely upgrade those at some point. The fact that it locks is another bonus that wasn’t a priority, but is nice to have. Built in tie-down rings are also great for keeping things in place, which is important since things slide around on top very easily–including the dog. I plan to add a rubber mat to the top to help keep things in place.

There is definitely less space in the drawer than the two totes I was able to fit under the rack, so it will require more careful and strategic packing, but overall it’s turning into a better solution. I’ll update this post after our 3-week trek this summer, and we’ll see if my decision was a good one.

-Matt

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