If you haven't heard of Goose Gear, maybe you've at least seen images of their tidy setups on Instagram or Facebook. At first glance the "sticker shock" might send you back to your garage with a circular saw and a few sheets of plywood but take a closer look at the product and you'll see attention to detail that can't be surpassed.
Paired with quality craftsmanship and top notch customer service, Goose Gear's corporate DNA dates back to 1952 and their years of experience crafting cabinetry translates into product that's both aesthetically pleasing and extremely reliable. Whether you're in the hunt for custom work or searching out individual boxes to outfit your rig, Goose Gear has you covered.
Toward the end of 2014 I started rethinking storage in the bed of the Tacoma. My dad and I had previously built a full pull-out drawer system that functioned perfectly but it was time to redesign a storage solution that would accommodate a fridge/freezer and slide.
The new design started on paper with multiple trips to the back of the truck to remeasure. The new storage units would include one large drawer on the passenger side that was the length of the bed plus a smaller storage unit tucked up against the cab on the driver's side.
Thinking through the work involved with building a new setup left me searching for someone to build a custom solution that had experience enough to craft a rigid platform for our adventures in the Appalachian Mountains.
Based on your particular build, you can be looking at just a few weeks before your modules ship and this left me just enough time to hunt down some birch plywood and cut a base plate to fit in the back of the Tacoma. The base plate covers the entire floor of the bed. It's anchored to two factory tapped holes near the tailgate and I marked and drilled two additional holes near the cab.
The next step was removing the drawer from the long box and laying out a drill pattern for each unit. I used T nuts and button cap bolts to fix the units to the base plate before lifting the entire setup into the back of the truck. The four base plate bolts were set before I started reinstalling the drawer.
Overall, the install took one evening. I've since perfected the process having removed the units at least twice for hauling purposes. The majority of time spent during the install was measuring and remeasuring before I drilled new holes in the back of my truck [insert tears].
For almost 1 year I've hauled Goose Gear in the back of the Tacoma and I couldn't be more pleased. These Adventure Boxes have seen mud, rain, dirt, dust, dogs, loads of heavy gear and miles of rough roads, washboards and still keep my crap in check.
Each unit serves its own distinct purpose. The small box behind the driver is reserved for less frequently used items. Specific to MSO, I store my jumper cables, tools, winch remote, recovery gear and other items that can typically weight until the next campsite or trail. To access the equipment I either climb in the back of the truck or reach through the side window of the cap and left open the lid to grab my gear. The lid rests on a piano type hinge and latches when closed.
In the large drawer I keep everything else - clothes, food, awning and tent accessories, headlamps and camera equipment. This is my "essential container." The items in the drawer are typically things I need in a moments notice.
On top of the drawer and smaller box, I installed L track from my local Northern Tool store and cut a truck bed mat to sit on top. The L track gives me options for anchoring down coolers, Pelican Cases and other itemsI can't store on the roof. The rubber mat assists in transporting my 3 pups so they have a comfortable and secure place to sleep and stand.
Look around and you'll find a lot of great products designed to fit a wide range of vehicles, but Goose Gear is your only professional, custom vehicle storage builder. Sure, all the "do-it-yourselfers" will likely have another plan in mind but few can build a product as clean and as well constructed as Goose Gear does.
The drawer unit that was built for the back of the Tacoma was one of the largest modules Goose Gear had ever built. They informed us prior to the build that we may have to revisit installing a latching mechanism to keep the drawer closed tight when loaded heavy but I chose to give it a test run on our first trip of the season. Sure enough - after traveling miles of rugged terrain in southern WV during late May, we blew out the tiny tab on the heavy-duty slides that kept the drawer shut.
Within the first week after arriving home, Goose Gear had shipped me a new set of slides, a compression latch and specs for a cutout. The adjustable compression latches ensures that the drawer is closed tight and eliminates weight shifting completely. Once the new slides and latch were installed I made my adjustments and haven't had a lick of problems since.
The biggest advantage aside from the form and function of Goose Gear boxes is the creative minds that build each unit. The consultation process prior to the build offered loads of insight and resulted in some design modifications that would have otherwise been overlooked during a personal shop project. Whether you're looking for someone to build your box or seeking some fresh ideas Goose Gear is out to serve adventure travelers abroad.