While my Toyota Tacoma is our primary trail mapping vehicle, my wife’s stock FJ Cruiser has been called into duty on some lighter trails and often follows the Taco on our off-road adventures. It’s also our only vehicle with inside storage which means it’s the go-to for our myriad of other outdoor activities.
The FJ’s cargo area hauls hiking gear, camping supplies, drones and cameras, kayak gear, snowboarding equipment… the list goes on. And all of this while always packing the essentials: basic recovery gear and tools, first aid, jumper cables, etc. We’ve done the best we could with various plastic containers and bungee cords, but we needed something better.
And then along came Tuffy! Their FJ Security Cargo Drawer is exactly what the doctor ordered. The heavy-duty, roller bearing drawer is rated up to 300 pounds and features a hard-core, 1/4″ steel latch that locks with sturdy 10-tumbler security key! This key is beefier than the ones Toyota sold with the FJ!
We also picked up the optional Divider Kit to help keep stuff in place while the FJ trundles over the rocks or cruises around the mall. Tuffy sells Modular Gear Anchors and Multi-Point Tie Down Rails either of which can be installed on the top of the drawer box, but we opted for a smooth top.
At 56″ wide and 28″ long, this massive box of 16 gauge, powder-coated steel is no featherweight. The shipping weight is 120 pounds! (Lift with your legs!) The kit handles FJ’s both with or without the factory sub-woofer by switching a couple of alternate parts. The included hardware is all good quality stuff. The instructions are clear and easy to follow. (Although there are a couple of tight spots where ham-fisted individuals like me may require the help of daintier hands.)
The install is very straightforward.
– Lay down the back seats.
– Remove the factory floor tie-downs.
– Build the drawer frame and install it. (It bolts to the factory tie-down holes.)
– Install the side flaps over the wheel wells. (Only on one side if you have the sub-woofer.)
– Slide the drawer into place.
– Install the drawer dividers.
– Put the back seats up and load up the drawer!
The Tuffy Security Cargo Drawer kit includes the optional hardware and instructions to make the box even more theft-resistant. This involves drilling through the floor, so we opted out. Our install did not require any drilling and I’m confident that no smash-and-grab thief will go to the trouble of uninstalling the box.
We have the factory sub-woofer, so our install deletes the passenger side flap. However, this is where my Popeye arms were unable to thread the hardware into the floor. The sub-woofer makes the opening really tight. Thankfully, the wife had no issue getting things done.
This is also why the instructions start with a big, bold “IMPORTANT!” Getting to the factory jack storage compartment will be nearly impossible once the drawer is installed. Unless you’re a student of Harry Houdini, plan on relocating your jack. But hey! You now have a gigantic, lockable, storage drawer. I’m sure you’ll find a spot!
Likewise, if you plan to use the cargo area’s AC power outlet, it would be a good idea to plug in an extension cord before the install. We didn’t think of that, but once again, the wife’s dainty arms managed to get it sorted.
There are a few places where threading and tightening a nut onto a bolt is made much easier if you’ve got a helper. This is especially true on the side flaps and the drawer divider. It can be done solo, but you’d have to be more bendable than I am.
Once all the bolts were tight, we were amazed at how much we could store in the Tuffy Cargo Drawer! We got all the essentials packed with plenty of room to spare. Plus, with some creative packing, we were able to minimize any shifting or rattling of the cargo.
For instance, we used a hand towel (part of our essential equipment) to cushion the hand tools. And by hand-tightening the jack into its new home, it won’t bounce around.
We got our first chance to road test the Tuffy Security Cargo Drawer with the kick-off of the ski season. The snowboards ride on the roof rack, but we still have a ton of other gear that used to pile into the cargo area.
Amazingly, we were able to pack all the gear inside the drawer: coats, helmets, gloves, hydration packs, tailgating chairs, and even lunch. This left only our boots riding on top of the drawer. All of these occasional items packed in alongside all of our normal essential must-have items! Everything fit! I couldn’t believe it!
What’s more, the ride was remarkably quiet! Previously, when we had all that gear piled loosely in the cargo area, it tumbled and tossed over every bump and around every turn. But with everything neatly stowed in the drawer, we heard nothing!
Once we got into the icy and rutted Keystone parking lot, we did hear some “thunks” from the drawer itself when the FJ lurched sideways. It seems like it was just a slight amount of lateral play in the drawer’s roller bearing slides. But to be fair, while this will be more of an issue off-road, it’s still quieter than having all our gear bouncing around loose.
All of the plastic bins and bungees are retired! And now, I’ll have much more peace of mind when we stop for dinner after a long day of trail mapping with hundreds of dollars of drones, cameras, tablets, and such safely locked up in the back of the FJ. The Tuffy FJ Security Cargo Drawer will keep our gear stowed, organized, safe and secure! Highly recommended!
Tuffy FJ Security Cargo Drawer
Divider Kit for Drawer #145
Multi-Point Tie Down Rails
Modular Gear Anchors