Story by Dwayne Unger, Photos by Dwayne Unger and Taryn Allander
Flashback, February 2019, I am about to do something I never thought I would do—trade in my 2014 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon X for a new Toyota Tacoma TRD Off Road 4 door. Although it was simple, once I could get past the emotional attachment towards the Jeep, the question remained, why?
I was not rock crawling anymore and found myself doing more and more camping and was constantly cramming the small cargo compartment of the Jeep with my gear. I simply needed more storage for my essentials, as well as the emergency gear I always like to have with me. The solution seemed straight forward, a 4-door truck, including a bed with a tonneau cover. I figured I could load up a few totes and slide them in, under the cover, and lock up the tailgate. Easy breezy, right?
While this solution worked and I was able to tote around more gear, it was never quite what I was looking for. It could be difficult to remember which tote a certain item was in. The tote I needed was inevitably behind another tote. The tote required was all the way to the front and I had to open the cover up or find a way to reach it and slide it out. Plus, I was about to add another layer of complexity—a bed rack and a rooftop tent. The existing tonneau cover would not work with the rack and that meant I lost all sense of securing my gear in the bed of the truck.
Time to find a solution, and the solution was clear—The DECKED Truck Bed Drawer system.
DECKED was founded in 2013 after the inventors went through a similar storage experience as myself and many others.
They tired of homemade plywood systems, with makeshift drawers that never really worked well and were not capable of carrying heavy loads. In addition to the drawer load, the homemade plywood tops buckled easily under light payloads and nearly rendered the bed of your truck useless, aside from the drawers. Problems all addressed with the modern DECKED systems.
Made with pride in the USA, DECKED systems are made from ultra-high strength composites (HDPE) and treated with UV inhibitors to assure the system lasts as long as your truck. With the precise fit of your DECKED system, the drawers are waterproof, giving you the peace of mind that whatever you choose to stack your drawers with, the contents will remain dry.
You may be thinking right now “But how much gear can I really fit in these drawers?” How about up to 200 pounds of gear, PER DRAWER?? The roller system on these is really strong, and the urethane wheels roll extremely smooth. But don’t worry about pulling the drawers out too far, they have drawer stops to assure you do not end up with a mess—or worse yet a busted-up system.
Strength, durability and smooth operation are great features, but keeping them organized is where this system, yet again, shines. We all have a junk drawer (or two) in our kitchens, and while the drawers do their jobs it is nice to have a silverware tray to keep things neat and tidy. The designers and engineers at DECKED have an assortment of aftermarket organizers to help you, in much the same way.
Whether it is their weather sealed D-boxes, drawer dividers, Drawerganizer™ or the new D-Bag™, they have you covered, literally. The best part is, with every system you get 1 D-box, 1 Crossbox, 1 Drawerganizer and 2 drawer dividers, included!
Worried yet about this kick ass system taking up the entire bed of your truck? Don’t. At only 12 inches high, the DECKED systems give you ample capacity to stuff your drawers, but still keep room in back to use your bed like a truck bed was meant to be used.
The strong HDPE materials mentioned earlier are reinforced with a steel sub frame and allow the entire system to support a 2000-pound load when evenly distributed. What this means is, you can still load up your favorite ATV, motorcycles, mountain bikes, camping gear, etc. on top of the DECKED system and you will be okay (refer to manufacturer’s website for more details).
In addition to the 2-drawer system, on the top of the DECKED systems you will find 2 built in “ammo cans.” These offer additional, quick access storage from the top, and assure that you are maximizing the storage capacity of the bed of your truck.
You are probably already thinking about getting one of these for your truck but might be worried about the security of your belongings. Fear not, they even have that figured out for you, with a couple security features built into the DECKED system.
One, the specialized fit for each model assures that with a locked tailgate, a would-be sticky-fingered neighbor cannot reach in, open a drawer up and lift something out. Even on my Tacoma, where the fit is designed to be a few inches shy of the tailgate, you still cannot access the contents of the drawers.
Secondly, drawer locks are available for the systems, giving you additional peace of mind. I recommend locking both your tailgate and the drawers for maximum security.
What you decide to put in your DECKED drawer system is truly a “skies the limit” concept. Because of the design, the last part of each drawer does not pull-out flush, making this an ideal location to keep items that are not commonly used, or maybe some long handled tools that you can still easily grab.
Tools, camping gear, chainsaws, axes, stoves, shovels, rope, camera gear, first aid, hunting rifles, blankets, spare clothes, etc.—the list of possibilities is endless.
As a survival skills instructor, I can tell you how important it is to keep your vehicle prepped for everyday use, as well as any potential emergency that may come your way—whether involving yourself or someone you happen upon. Also, having a vehicle system that’s properly prepared will increase your odds if the SHTF.
I can honestly say that the DECKED system has helped take my vehicle preparedness to the next level. K&G
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Actual Specs will vary depending on final model of truck and/or size.Material: Galvanized Steel Reinforced HDPEHardware: Stainless Steel and Cast Aluminum HandlesOverall Weight: 205-230 poundsEvenly Distributed Payload: 2000 poundsDrawer Payload: 200 pounds eachOverall Height: 12 inchesOverall Width: Varies by truck model to be fitOverall Length: Varies by truck model to be fitAccessories: See website for various models and pricingWarranty: 3 yearsMSRP: $1349.99 (may vary by model)
DECKED(208) 806-0251www.DECKED.comFacebook: @DECKED.USAInstagram: @DECKEDUSA
Dwayne Unger is the owner/operator of Dwayne Unger Outdoors, an associate instructor with Estela Wilderness Education and online instructor for the Old World Alliance. Dwayne is also the 2018 Bladesports World Champion and winner of History Channel’s Forged in Fire: Knife or Death (S1,E4). Dwayne is a part time custom knife maker and has been published by several online and print magazines. Dwayne can be found on Facebook, Dwayne Unger and Dwayne Unger Outdoors and on Instagram @dwayneungeroutdoors.com
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