Been talking about it and doodling plans for over a year. I finally started turning money into sawdust a couple days ago. No major progress yet, have been pre-cutting a lot of parts and should have some major pieces built over the next few days / week.
My concept for the whole vehicle is sort of stealth. It's also a daily driver. So most of the improvements I've been making are out of sight or not really noticeable to the random person.
To that end my idea for the platform is to keep it as low as practicable, top it with matching / close auto interior carpet, so anybody peering thru the windows doesn't really see anything.
The platform itself is basically three modules. Two large drawers, roughly 20"W x 10"D x ~55" long. They'll run up to the step in the floor behind the 2nd row seats. The 3rd piece is a 'power module' which will be filled with all sorts of power adapters, inverters, some smallish sealed 12v batteries, solar charge controller, etc. Both ends of this portion will be filled with various power ports with the goal to be able to connect and power just about anything. USB 5v, 12v cig / power ports, Anderson power poles (defacto standard in HAM radio), 110VAC plugs, breakers and cutoffs and a voltmeter too.
At the Liftgate / hatch / drawer face end, I'll be facing things with a nice piece of finely figured hardwood. The power module face, the two drawers, and a pull out flat slide / table, all cut contiguously from the same board. Walnut, mahogany, cherry, haven't decided which yet. But it will be a rich darkish tone.
The top rear edge is going to be fitted with some milled edge trim, like a bullnose edge above the drawer faces and will cover the top edge of the carpeting. Painted a black satin, same as the paddle latches I've obtained for the drawers and tying in with all the black power fittings.
I'm planning to skeletonize the bottoms and sides of the drawer modules to save weight and just because I like messing with wood. The sides and bottoms are 1/2" sanded plywood. The top deck is a fine grade of pine plywood, 3/4", which looks a lot like birch plywood, but under $30 a sheet. One sheet for this project.
The 'Tool' drawer will have all the roadside emergency, recovery, maintenance, repair junk I haul around in a plastic footlocker now and which used to stuff behind and under my pickup bench seat. The drawer is about 5cu'. There will be a pull out table extension under the drawer, full length but hinged in the middle. It can serve as a table but can also be pulled out completed and turned into an easel to mount a map or radio frequency lists etc on (think CERT or Search & Rescue).
That module will also have a top hatch near the front / Liftgate end, so essential recovery gear can still be accessed if the liftgate or drawer can't be opened.
The second drawer will be roughly the same size, a bit deeper without a pullout under it. It will house radio antenna, 'bugout' bag and first aid kit, and is sized to just fit standard .50cal ammo cans. And will be set up as a rifle drawer for range trips. Some padded dividers and cushioning at the ends.
The power module is 28" long and reaches to just behind the 3rd row seating. Its entire top will hinge open for access and in case of an electrical fire. It will be semi-permanently installed, whereas the other two drawer modules will be removable when the 3rd row seating is desired.
Some of the design scribbles
I've previously added a lot of butyl rubber window flashing and a purpose made sound deadening sheet rubber product to the cargo floor and rear sidewalls and wheel tubs, really killed most fo the road noise from the rear. Been detailed in other postings. I'll be continuing that forward as opportunity presents. I mention it now as it's made a difference in the floor height in this particular year rang eof vehicle. As it stands now I can use a 1/2" thick material as my base and a drawer will slide off of it and completely clear the factory cargo area trim and the latch hoops of the liftgate. Previously I'd have need a 3/4" base to accomplish this.
This was just a bit of figuring out clearances for the full hinged top deck of the power module. The third row seat back is canted rearward 8-10deg, so the module can't be built up against the back of the seat or the lid won't open.
My large rolling work table matches the height of my table saw, so it works nicely as a feed support and makes breaking down full sheets of material pretty easy. The other picture is working on the skeletonizing of a drawer module.
Stay tuned, lots of pics to come in the next couple weeks.