Sometimes you reach a point where it is necessary to upgrade some of your overlanding gear. We feel we have reached that time with our current storage system in the back of our Lexus. Lexy is our trusty steed, a Lexus GX 470 that we love and have kitted out as an overlanding rig. We felt that our storage system could be (greatly) improved upon. So, we contacted Brian Fulton and Matt Hebel of Goose Gear in Westminster, CA to custom build us a drawer system with a fridge slide to be accessed from the rear door.
Some of the factors we discussed with Goose Gear was that we wanted to be able to store most of our valuables and gear securely out of sight within, between and beside lockable drawer unit. Our current drawers did not open all the way up, requiring us to unload the front of the drawer to access the contents in the back of the drawer. This needed to be remedied. So, the drawers had to open all the way up to allow easy access to all of the contents. We needed to have space that would fit our current 82 quart ARB fridge that would enable it to slide out for easy access and still have useable storage above it. Being able to securely strap larger things to the top was important to us as well. In the event of a fender bender or just a rough trail, no one wants to be clobbered with gear that takes flight. Last but, certainly not least, we let them know, we have a deep loathing for squeaks and rattles. As you may know all too well, squeaks and rattles are the banes of anyone that drives on long, bumpy, rocky, rutted, washboard roads and trails.
The obligatory “before” image
Removing the carpet in preparation of the installation.
With all of these necessary things discussed, Brian and Matt confidently let us know, all of our wishes could be accommodated. Out of the many color choices, we chose gray and red. We sent him some measurements and set a time to drive to the Goose Gear headquarters to have Lexy retrofitted with her new Euro style storage system. The day before we left home, we unloaded all of the camping gear that lives in the back of Lexy into reusable shopping bags and removed the current storage system.
We had decided to camp for a few days at the coast while we were waiting for the Goose Gear to be installed. So, the bags of our gear got put back into Lexy, we loaded the fridge and excitedly took off to CA the next morning. Each day we would drive to the Goose Gear shop, unload the camping gear, let them do their work, at the end of the day reload the gear and drive to the coast to camp. We stayed at Crystal Cove campground. It was a comical situation for the next few days, as we tried to locate all of the various types of gear that we thought we had placed in the bags in an organized manner. Things quickly became even more disorganized with all of the loading and unloading. The second morning, it took what seemed like forever to find the coffee and the tools necessary to accomplish brewing and enjoying a simple cup of it. This was the moment when we really began to look forward to getting the Goose Gear storage system installed and things solidly organized again.
We had the rare opportunity to get a tour of the Goose Gear workshop. We got to see a glimpse of how Brian and Matt, with experience and care, measure, program and set to work the CNC machine and handcraft various components of the Goose Gear storage system. Then we got out of their way to allow the masters to complete the masterpiece that is now securely in its new Lexus home. Truly, what they do there, is create high-quality, functional works of art. We are grateful how they listened to us about the things that we required in the design of the storage units. Not only do we appreciate the outstanding quality and workmanship of this drawer system, but we also love the clean Euro appearance.
After the Goose Gear storage system had been installed, we placed and organized the pile of what appeared to be junk within the drawers. There was so much room to spare, we kept wandering around looking for what we were sure we had forgotten. Only when we were comfortably certain that we had not forgotten anything, did we say our goodbyes and how grateful we were to have our custom Goose Gear storage system. We are excited to get the chance to use it in a few days when we go to Cruiser Fest near Salt Lake City and on to some Idaho adventures after that. Thanks go out to Brian and Matt for the phenomenal job they did at custom building our new and improved storage system!