flip up window blank ideas


I've got some window blanks on my van, currently just mounted using the stock mounting hardware. I added some L track for future plans to use for storage on the outside, and in winter will be used for a ski rack. Anyway, I'm trying to find a good way to make it flip up and use the inside of it for tool storage. currently its just empty space between the window and cabinets I made, so would be a nice place to store most my tools.

I'm looking for ideas that anyone else might have used on theirs. I'm thinking two gas struts and some kind of latches to secure it really well. I think i can figure out the gas struts, but if anyone has ideas for a hinge to use and decent looking maybe flush latches that can somehow be used on the outside that would be super helpful. problem is since the blank sits basically flush with the van body if not a little inside, whatever latch would need to push the blank in towards the van. I couldnt do a latch on the inside as its inaccessible due to my cabinets.


What about using a key to open them and not having a latch? You can get various key cores that turn a lever on the inside, that lever can engage a hoop to close, lock, and latch. If you have a rubber bulb seal around it, the seal should maintain spring pressure and prevent rattles, push in slightly as you unlock to release tension, then lift with the key. Pick a core with a large or strong key for better life. Instead, you could use a spring hinge or gas struts, but they might not be needed based on the weight of your doors?


Check out utility body windoor latches like on the ARE caps, etc. Boat hatch latches may also be a good option. I am contemplating doing something similar on my 89 suburban driver side cargo window. On my work truck cap (ARE DCU) the recessed t-handle latches pull the door in for a tight seal. No leaks with just a bulb seal sitting flush on a flat surface and they were keyed to my ignition key as well.

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Expedition Leader

They make keyed versions too.