Making the most of the space inside a dual cab ute

April 2019 | Words by Daniel

Dual cab utes are super practical when it comes to exploring - having a tray outside gives you a huge range of options when it comes to packing your vehicle. One downside of a dual cab though is the lack of interior space for things you’d rather not keep outside…

In previous trips we’d just chucked our gear on the backseat, which never really worked - things don’t really stay where you put them and stuff likes to fall out every time you opened the door. You also waste quite a bit of space - behind the seats in our Hilux is an extra 20cm or so of space that sits empty. And then there’s the depth to the seat backs themselves, all space that could be used more efficiently.

Knowing that I’m not the most organised person in the world (If anyone can’t find their shoes or phone in the morning, it’ll be me) and that we had three weeks on the road coming up I was determined to give us a bunch more usable and organised space in the cab of the Hilux to store things we want to keep dry and safe.

Removing the rear seats was the first step - we don’t use them overly often and definitely weren’t going to need them down south. Knowing the floor wasn’t going to be completely flat I popped out to our local hardware store to pick up a few bits of wood to build a basic platform to flatten things out.

Now, me and woodwork are not things that go well together, I once built a table that wasn’t even remotely flat… No idea how - so simplicity was key. And carpet. Carpet hides everything.

Using some L brackets and the seat belt bolt holes to secure everything, I built a super simple platform that sat high enough off the floor to provide extra storage space and used up every last centimeter of space from the back wall to the seats - around 1100mm.

My initial plan was to leave it as bare wood but it was a bit too slippery and didn’t look all that nice, so popped down to the hardware store again and picked up some cheap marine carpet. Using tacks to hold the carpet in place, I managed to produce something that actually looks half decent and seems to support the weight no worries. It bounced around in the back of the truck for 7,000kms of South Island without an issue, so overall pretty pleased.

The final result came up pretty well - added six tie down points to keep everything in place. Paired with two large plastic containers and the space around them, we ended up with a large amount of usable space that we didn’t have before. It’s also super quick to swap back to the rear seats and easy enough to store when we don’t need it.

Highly recommended modification if you have a ute and need more storage!