We’re closing in on almost ten months since we acquired our 1999 Toyota Land Cruiser, a budget overland project vehicle whose purpose is to serve as our vehicle-borne adventure and outdoor recreation workhorse.


If you’ve been following along with the OVR LC100 project, you’ll know that we’ve sorted out a few mechanical gremlins and have had all of the necessary maintenance done to our Land Cruiser. Our project partner, RPM Off-Road Garage, has also helped us install a host of exterior and performance upgrades and now it’s time to turn our focus on the SUV’s interior – or more precisely, its rear cargo area.

Our previous overland vehicle, a 2004 Land Rover Discovery II, only had a single Tuffy security drawer mounted in its cargo area. While it served its purpose well, it was a spartan setup. Not offering a Disco specific application, the Tuffy drawer we chose was originally designed to fit the smaller dimensions of a Ford Escape. 


The Tuffy security drawer in our previous ride, a 2004 Land Rover Discovery II.

We installed it into the Disco anyway with room to spare. The drawer was certainly secure but the extra few inches of perimeter space around it left us with less-than-useful storage space that was awkward to take advantage of. This time around, we wanted a more functionally robust and better fitting storage system.



The ARB Outback Solutions Drawer System as configured in the OVR Land Cruiser 100 Series.

Wants & Needs
Before deciding to add a storage system to the rear cargo area of your car, truck or SUV, you’ll want to figure out what you need it for and how you want to use it. Adding drawers has its obvious benefits but it also adds weight and may decrease flexibility on how the cargo space or pickup truck bed can be used. 

In our case, we want a storage system that is flexible to use and not permanently installed; an installation that entails no cutting or drilling into the vehicle if possible. It should have a dual drawer system that looks more or less OEM in appearance and look like it is built into the cargo area.

We also need it to serve as a sleeping platform for one, possibly two people when the rear seat is folded down, but it should still seat three in the rear when the seat is up. It should also have a sturdy place to mount our Dometic onboard refrigerator too. With those wants and needs in mind, we went drawer system shopping.



Both drawers can be pulled out past the Land Cruiser’s tailgate making them easy to access, load and unload.

Finding A System
When it comes to drawer systems, there is an abundance of options out there. There are many custom builders that can build you anything you can think of. There are also plenty of DIY options, aftermarket bolt-in applications and it’s even possible to repurpose drawers meant for another vehicle (like we did in our Disco) to help create a custom setup. 

Each of the above scenarios has its pros and cons. A full custom-build would be great if it wasn’t for its custom-build-cost. We want a system that we can afford on a budget after all. On the other end of the spectrum is building drawers yourself.

We’ve seen many great homemade drawer systems that use 80/20 aluminum extrusions. This is probably the most affordable of the options, but it takes time and the final result largely depends on your imagination and fabricating skills. We were looking for something in-between.



This ARB drawer setup includes roller floors on both drawer units that allow their “tops” to be pulled out as far as the drawers themselves.

A Decision Is Made
We ultimately chose ARB’s Outback Solutions Drawer system, an aftermarket bolt-in option that has OEM-style looks and functionality. ARB’s modular system consists of a varied collection of drawers in different lengths, depths and options such as sliding tops. ARB also offers “Side Floor Kits” that help blend the drawers seamlessly into your vehicle’s cargo area for a factory designed look.

Outback Solutions Drawers seemed to check all of our boxes. When priced against other pre-made drawers and drawer kits, the ARB units were either comparable or even lower in price depending on the retailer we shopped at.

At a ballpark cost of between $2,500-3,000, an ARB dual-drawer system costs much less than a typical custom build (which can run double that or more) but likely costs more than a DIY-80/20 build if you don’t factor in your own time into it. The more we looked at the ARB system, the more we were convinced that it was the solution we were looking for.


Doing Homework
We referred to ARB USA’s website for product dimensions and other details, but found that the company’s website fell short on the information that we were seeking. Surprisingly, the website also didn’t seem to list every item in the Outback Solutions Drawers line-up either.

Instead, we found the info we needed from ARB retailers including Slee Offroad and 4 Wheel Parts. Speaking of Slee Offroad, the shop has an excellent interactive 80/100/200-series Land Cruiser-specific ARB drawer bundle creator that takes out the guesswork of which components are needed on their website. 

We also talked to three people who currently own ARB drawer systems and found that although each of them loved their drawer systems, they did mention a few drawbacks. Amazingly, two of them said that at least one of the ARB drawers that they ordered came damaged during shipping. They ordered their systems from different sellers so it seems as if these drawers could be more securely packaged from the factory.

They also unanimously said that they ran into confusion with the DIY installation of the drawers. We downloaded the installation manuals and saw why there could be some confusion. Certain parts of the instructions didn’t seem very clear. Undeterred, we figured that we’d be able to sort it out when we did our install.


Forming A Sleeping Platform
ARB drawers are a modular system with many different options. In the Land Cruiser 100 Series – as with most SUVs, there’s enough space to place two drawers side-by-side. Their modularity also means you can stack them two-high to create a four-drawer system or possibly even three-high for a six-drawer system.


Not only used for storage, we also intend on using the drawer as a sleeping platform. When folded down, the rear seat is almost level to the height of the ARB standard height drawer, perfect to lay a memory foam mattress on top of.

To meet our goals of creating a sleeping platform so that we could sleep inside the Land Cruiser when desired as well as having a place to secure our fridge, we planned to stick with a two-drawer side-by-side setup. The only question now was exactly which of ARB’s drawers would make the perfect fit?

Outback Solutions drawers are available in several heights, so we took some measurements and found that the standard height drawer, which stands at 11-inches, would create a near perfectly flat sleeping surface when the rear seat was folded down. 

The folded seatback is a little over an inch taller, but we felt that this was a negligible difference. So that checked the box for our sleeping platform. We next looked for a drawer suitable for fridge mounting.



Our setup allows the fridge to be accessed from outside the Land Cruiser and its lid opened without interference from the rear hatch.

Fridge Access
Our Dometic CFX3 55IM stands 19-inches tall and would surely fit inside the Land Cruiser on a standard height ARB drawer, but we wanted to use ARB’s Roller Floor models of drawers so that we could pull the drawers’ roller floors out for easier access to both gear stored on top of the drawers and the fridge itself.


The 7.5-inch tall mid-height ARB drawers worked out perfectly for our fridge setup.

Aside from the standard 11-inch height drawer, ARB also offers shorter 7.5-inch mid-height and 5.5-inch half-height drawers. Instead of choosing two standard height drawers, we decided on one standard 11-inch height drawer and a shorter 7.5-inch mid-height drawer. The mid-height drawer lowers the fridge enough so that its lid could open all the way without hitting the Land Cruiser’s rear hatch when the roller floor was completely extended. Because no one retailer had everything in stock at the time, we ordered our parts from both 4 Wheel Parts and Slee Offroad.


OEM Look
We really like the finished look of the ARB system. Thanks to a series of finishing kits that are available for a wide selection of vehicles, ARB has made sure that their drawer systems look like they came fitted from the factory.


Here is a mock-up of what ARB’s drawers would look like without the Side Floor kit installed.

For our build, we ordered a Roller Drawer Side Floor Kit that’s made for the Land Cruiser 100 Series. This kit blends the drawers in with the surrounding factory cargo area plastic trim for a finished look.


We found that the storage areas on either side of the drawers formed by the Side Floor Kit are suitable for the storage of things like tools and extra supplies. We like how these areas are made useful thanks to the kit.

A bonus to the Side Floor Kit is that it turns the gaps at either side of the drawers into covered storage areas. These cubby holes are accessed with self-securing removeable lids. Land Cruiser owners should take note that there are two Side Floor Kit types, one for Land Cruisers that don’t have rear factory air conditioning and another that does. Our LC100 has rear AC, so we ordered the later. 


ARB’s Side Floor kits and other finishing trim parts are available for many vehicles. The result is a clean, OEM-look.

The Side Floor Kit comes with parts for a dual-standard height drawer install. Since we are installing a mid-height drawer, we had to order an additional kit, the Roller Floor Drawer Right Side Floor Adapter to properly complete the installation. ARB offers both left and right-side versions; we chose the right-side since that’s the side we decided to place the mid-height drawer.


Damaged Upon Arrival
Just as the other ARB drawer system owners experienced, one of our drawers came damaged in shipping. It looked like it was dropped on its corner at some point, shattering its plastic trim and damaging its metal frame. That was tremendously disappointing.


Drawer carnage. One of our drawers was damaged during shipping.


We had to refuse this shipment due to damage.

Wary of this exact predicament, the damaged unit in question was originally ordered from 4 Wheel Parts for in-store pick-up, thinking that we could avoid shipping damage. Evidently, that was a futile attempt. We examined the drawer’s packaging and saw that the corners of the drawers simply aren’t padded enough for such a hefty package. We’re curious why this is.

The staff at 4 Wheel Parts in West Covina, California, was really helpful and immediately offered to source us a replacement. It arrived a few days later unscathed. Our sales rep told us that they have retuned many ARB drawers for this same problem and that they asked the distributor to not “UPS-it” but to have a courier hand deliver it. Now that’s great service.



Unboxing the drawers and taking an inventory of its parts.

Tackling The Installation
We’re well-versed at doing light assembly and installation work so we thought we should be able to tackle the system’s install without much issue. This was true for the most part, but we have to say that ARB’s installation manuals could use some work.

Although the manuals are illustrated, not all of its steps or photographs were clear and easy to understand. For that reason, there was some trial and error when fitting some parts but we eventually sorted it out and completed the installation.


The drawers’ metal framework bolts directly to existing holes in the vehicle’s floor, giving it a very strong and secure foundation. The system uses the same threaded holes that the third row seats used. 

Importantly, the installation of this system did not require any cutting or drilling and is completely reversible. That’s not to say that it’s quick and easy to swap in-and-out; consider it a semi-permanent install. We probably aren’t going to take it out unless we had to for some reason. But if we had to, it would leave no trace that it was ever installed.

Installation took us a full afternoon using mostly only hand tools. We also used a 3/8” cordless driver, but it’s not necessary. It does make the job go faster though.


Readying a set of Mac’s Custom Tie-Down VersaTie Anchor Plates and quick-release tie-down rings for installation.

Thinking ahead, we also installed a set of anchor plates onto the mid-height drawer’s roller floor to help secure the Dometic fridge with. We chose a set of VersaTie Anchor Plates made by Mac’s Custom Tie-Downs. These plates may be over-kill in terms of strength but they are the right size and look nice as well.


Here’s a look at the underside of the roller floor that we installed the anchor plates to. We removed some plastic to allow the plate to sit flat.


The low-profile anchor plates are sturdy and unobtrusive. Its quick-detatch tie-down rings are easily removable.

The anchor plate and fastener pack include 2.5-inch tie-down rings that can be can be pulled out when not in use. This leaves only smooth contoured, low-profile black anodized anchor plates that will not get in the way when if the fridge is removed and other cargo is stored.


After the installation was completed, we marveled at the Outback Solutions drawers’ features. Not only do the drawers look fantastic, they are smooth to operate too, even when loaded up with heavy gear. The standard height drawer and both roller floors move on ball bearings for ultra-smooth sliding action.

The mid-height drawer does not have bearings due to its more compact height. It sits on plastic friction rails, which makes less slippery, but is still easy enough to open and close.

The drawers and roller floors have the ability to lock in place when fully extended in case you’re parked on an incline. Be aware that from what we understand, the plastic parts that hold the drawers in place when fully-extended are known to snap if the drawers aren’t gently stowed back into place. We’ll have to remember not to allow them to slam shut.


The drawers’ black felt lining likes to hang on to lint and dirt.

The drawers are carpeted on their exterior and lined in durable black felt in the interior. For the neat freaks amongst us, it’s worthy to note that we found that the black felt likes to grip onto lint, grass, sand and dirt, so cleaning the interior of the drawer can pose a challenge if it gets really dirty.


The standard-height drawer is lockable, note the lock’s keyhole just above the ARB badge.

The standard height drawer comes with a pair of keys and is lockable for security, while the mid-height drawer cannot be locked. The rolling action of both roller floors can be locked so that they solidly stay in place in their closed position if desired.



Fridge & Mattress
We placed our Dometic fridge onto the mid-height drawer and found that with the Land Cruiser’s tailgate down and hatch opened overhead, the roller floor can be fully extended and the Dometic cooler’s lid opened all the way without touching the hatch. This combination worked out perfectly, with only about an inch to spare.


A perfect fit. The Dometic CFX3 55IM’s lid clears the open hatch by only about an inch.

Since the fridge moves in and out of the truck on a roller floor, we installed an ARB Cable Guide to help keep the Dometic cooler’s electrical cable from getting pinched or tangled. We really like ARB’s clean looking solution for fridge cable management.


Similar to what you may see on a 3D printer or CNC machine, ARB’s Cable Guide keeps the cable in place and out of the way as the fridge slides in and out of the cargo area.


With the seats folded down, there’s a large flat area that can be used for storage or as a sleeping platform.

As for the sleeping platform, we placed a memory foam camping mattress made by Gaialoop over the folded rear seat and top of the left-side drawer. The one-inch or so incline created by the folded seat being a bit taller than the drawer is barely noticeable. It’s really quite comfortable, but remains to be seen how comfortable it is over multiple nights in the field.



Final Thoughts
With the drawer system installed and fridge securely placed, we reveled at its factory look and high-quality feel. ARB’s Outback Solutions drawer system gives us the ability to store and organize gear while creating a safe place to strap down our fridge and provide us with a sleeping area. It’s been quite the journey but we think this upgrade was well worth the effort and price.

OVR Land Cruiser 100’s Drawer System Parts List
ARB Outback Solutions Roller Drawer with Roller Floor - RDRF1045
ARB Outback Solutions Roller Floor / Mid-Height - RFH1045
ARB Roller Drawer Side Floor Kit, 100 Series Land Cruiser - 100AIRFK 
ARB Roller Floor Drawer Right Side Floor Adapter - RFFKADP1045R
ARB Cable Guide – CABRUN
Dometic CFX3 55IM Ice Maker Powered 12 Volt Cooler, 53L
Mac’s Custom Tie-Downs VersaTie Anchor Plate Assembly - 2.5” Fastener (4-Pack) 
Gaialoop Thick Memory Foam Camping Mattress Sleeping Pad



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