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The Right Truck Box

One of the downsides of pulling a 5th wheel is the hitch which takes up a great deal of space in the back of your truck and prevents you from using a shell. That forces you to use the interior of your truck to store most of your shopping bags and miscellaneous gear for security and to keep them from flying out of the back of the truck or getting wet in rain. If you have a crew cab, it isn’t so bad because you can store in the rear seat area. However, if you have a standard cab, you have very little space to store anything and none if you regularly have a passenger. I knew this would be an issue when I bought my truck. The solution, of course, is to add a truck box. Truck boxes are available in many stores such as Wal-Mart or auto stores but you can also find them on Craigslist, Ebay, and Amazon. There are may different designs to choose from so you need the dimensions of the available space in your truck bed and you need to carefully consider what your needs are. When I bought my truck, the owner also had a truck box to sell which unfortunately someone talked me into buying. It was totally wrong for my use and I knew it would cause problems but I bought it. It was more suitable for someone not towing at all or towing a travel trailer. It was all wrong for towing a 5th wheel because it sat 4 inches above the truck rail which meant it would hit the 5th wheel every time I turned sharply on uneven ground which could not always be avoided. It got very stressful when I started gate guarding where I move my RV often to new gates and am usually backing in and turning on uneven ground. It also sat so high that it blocked my view of the hitch so that when hitching up alone I had to constantly stop, get out of the truck, and go check my position. This made hitching up take much longer and contributed to me being unable to pull myself out of a flood in time when every second counts. Below is the old box sitting on the back and up for sale after I removed it from behind the cab.

Old truck box

I finally found the right box for my truck and bought it recently. I knew I wanted it to sit on the floor of the truck bed for proper support for heavy items I might place in it. I knew it should be no higher than the truck railing to avoid hitting the 5th wheel and allow me to see the hitch. I didn’t want the paddle handles to open it because they hurt my hands. Push buttons would be much nicer. I also wanted the biggest one I could fit in the space to not only hold the usual items but also hold packages, shopping bags, and a suitcase or two when I go on vacation. BTW, duffle bags are a great alternative to suitcases for RVers because they can conform to the space of a truck box easily and when back in your RV, they fold up small for easy storage in a closet or under the bed. After spotting what I thought I wanted at Tractor Supply in New Braunfels, TX, I had a chat with a salesman about my needs. He went right to the box I had picked and told me I was the second person that week who had come to him with those same needs and that was the one to go with. Lucky me, it was also on sale $50 cheaper. Woohoo! Deal!

New truck box

Removing the old box from the rails took a little effort and body twisting to reach the nuts on the bolts but I got it off. Installing the new box was a breeze. I slapped on the foam they provided on the bottom and drilled holes down through the bottom of the box then screwed it down to the truck bed. After cleaning up and lining the bottom with plastic, I tossed in my usual stuff and OMG I had a ton of room left for lots of vacation things or other stuff, even a weed whacker. I am in LOVE! It is so much nicer. Hitching up is also much easier now. I’m a happy camper. I placed a For Sale sign on the old box and sold it off to someone who doesn’t tow and just wants to get his work tools out of the back seat of his crew cab. Now that is what that box was designed for.

Now I’m looking either for a V shaped box for the tailgate area (have seen one on a truck), a tall though smaller box for just one side, or I have a design to make a snapping vinyl cover for that area for grocery hauling. A net works but a solid cover would be better. About the time I get this truck exactly like I want it, I’ll probably sell it. Story of my life. LOL.

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