Storage totes or build ins?

I car camp in a small hatchback, 3 - 5 days a week from November to usually late June. Diehard skier. I’ve been doing it regularly the last 10 yrs.
I’ve removed my back seats, sleep on one side, storage on the other. I’ve been using storage totes, 1 x 27gal, & 3×5gal.
I’ve been thinking of replacing the totes with a plywood cabinet build. Something like this:

Im just looking for Pro’s & Con’s.

Pro would be durability, attractiveness, and ease of access to items inside.

Cons would be effort to build, weight, which could be a major problem depending on your vehicles weight handling capacity and what gear and supplies you bring with you. Inflexibility with layout, and amount of space it would use depending on design.

Foam / PMF construction of the cabinets would certainly address the weight issue, and CAN be easier to work on.

That looks way nicer than totes! The weight could be an issue but if it’s a 5 passenger van, shouldn’t be that much of one.

I’ve been using milk crates and tubs with lids. It’s generally working well, BUT! the issue I’ve run into with the tubs is this: I’m using the large ones I got for moving to a new apartment, and…

  1. They take up a lot of space
  2. I tend to fill them until they’re full, and not until I have what I need for the trip.

Since I’m keeping them organized by task (food, sanitation, cooking, etc.) I have waaaaay more food than I need because I packed to fill the tub, and not for how long I’m going to be out (3 days at the most).

So my advice is to figure out what you need, what you want, how you want to move it around (I repacked two or three times based on how much I use stuff). Flexibility, for me, has been the key so far.

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i chose to do a combo. totes that slide out on a wooden platform. the wooden platform acts like a table when totes are removed. and another reason i wanted the totes removed is they can be loaded in the house then placed into the vehicle rather than having “drawers” permanently stuck to the vehicle.

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Thanks for the replies.
I decides to stay away from wood build ins, weight, to permanent, hard to access spare if needed. I decided to stick with most of the totes & added a 4 drawer mesh unit.
It’s accessible form either inside, or from the outside back door.
Ski season is here so I’ll be testing next week.

Looks very practical. Have fun skiing!

Your setup looks great!

Another vote for storage bins. The small action packers are great for strapping on a roof rack and help to minimize weight: what fits, fits.

Different stuff for camping/life helps save go-time. When you’re ready to go, you just grab them and get on the road- no lost time hemming and hawing over spatulas and dish towels.

8 gallon

You can find them cheaper at ACE (26-28 bucks)

updated the ride…2023 Kia Sportage LX HEV.
Dumped the totes & did a simple pull out drawer on locking slides.

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