DIY Sliding Out Bike Storage for Van

DIMENSIONS

THE DRAWER INNER DIMENSIONS ARE 19″ X 60″:

60″ is pretty much the minimum length for two bikes, but it’s probably possible to reduce the width depending on how you plan on fitting your wheels…

DIY Sliding Out Bike Storage for Van with VD2576 drawer slides
VAN INTERIOR HEIGHT DIMENSIONS:

You can adjust the height to your own bikes (measure them!). Maybe just keep a few inches buffer in case you change bike(s) or if you invite a tall friend to join you in your adventures… Note that we have 40″ clearance under the bed, but if we had to start over we’d go for around 36″ instead.

DIY Sliding Out Bike Storage for Van with VD2576 drawer slides
MAKE SURE TO GET EXTENSION SLIDES THAT LOCK WHEN FULLY RETRACTED / EXTENDED!

So the drawer stays in place when driving or when parked on incline.

DIY Sliding Out Bike Storage for Van with VD2576 drawer slides
DIY Sliding Out Bike Storage for Van with VD2576 drawer slides

TEP 1: BUILD THE DRAWER

CUT 4 PIECES OUT OF THE 5’X5′ BALTIC BIRCH PLYWOOD SHEET AND ASSEMBLE TOGETHER:

-1-

  • DIMENSIONS: 19″ X 60″
  • THICKNESS: 15MM (5/8″)

-2 & 3-

  • DIMENSIONS: 3″ X 60″
  • THICKNESS: 15MM (5/8″)

-4-

  • DIMENSIONS: 3″ X 20″
  • THICKNESS: 15MM (5/8″)
WE ADDED CORNER BRACES AS WELL FOR MORE STRENGTH…

STEP 2: BUILD THE STRUCTURE

CUT 2 PIECES OUT OF THE 5’X5′ BALTIC BIRCH PLYWOOD SHEET (OR WHAT’S LEFT OF IT…).

Don’t assemble anything just yet.

-5 & 6-

  • DIMENSIONS: 4″ X 48″
  • THICKNESS: 15MM (5/8″)

STEP 3: PREPARE THE WOOD FOR FINISH AND PROTECTIVE COATING

SAND THE DRAWER AND THE STRUCTURE USING 220 GRIT SANDPAPER. TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO SMOOTH OUT THE SHARP EDGES!

Oil (finish coating) highlights scratches, so sanding enhanced the appearance of the wood. Smoothing out the sharp edges will prevent cuts when operating the slide-out bike rack…

STEP 4: APPLY FINISH AND PROTECTIVE COATING TO THE WOOD

WE APPLIED 2 LAYERS OF WATCO DANISH OIL:

Bare wood deteriorates with time (dries, swells, gets dirty). The finish enhances the appearance of the wood (color), prevents drying, swelling, and protects against stains.

WE ALSO APPLIED 2 LAYERS OF POLYURETHANE COATING.

This is an extra precaution because the tray will sometimes be exposed to water, mud, and dirt. As opposed to Danish Oil, Polyurethane does not penetrate wood. It dries on top of the surface and becomes a clear, hard finish that provides an abrasion-resistant seal for the wood.

STEP 5: INSTALL THE VD2576 DRAWER SLIDES

STEP 6: INSTALL THE EXTENSION SLIDES TO THE STRUCTURE

6.1- PUT THE DRAWER ON THE VAN’S FLOOR. TO CREATE CLEARANCE (GAP SHOWN IN THE PHOTO BELOW) BETWEEN THE DRAWER AND THE FLOOR, INSERT A SHIM (WE USED A 3/8″ PLYWOOD PIECE) BETWEEN THE VAN FLOOR AND THE DRAWER.

The gap is to ensure a smooth operation of the drawer without rubbing against the van’s floor.

6.2- PUT THE STRUCTURE ON THE VAN’S FLOOR.

Mate it with the drawer, where it belongs.

6.3- WITH A PEN, MARK THE LOCATION OF THE EXTENSION SLIDES ONTO THE STRUCTURE.
6.4- USING THE MARKS FROM THE PREVIOUS STEP, SCREW THE EXTENSION SLIDES INTO THE STRUCTURE.

You can do this outside the van as it will be much easier to work that way (that’s why we marked the location of the slides in the previous step).

6.5- HERE, WE ARE MAKING A SMALL CUTOUT TO THE STRUCTURE SO IT CLEARS THE NOSE STAIR:

STEP 7: INSTALL THE SLIDE-OUT BIKE RACK TO THE VAN’S FLOOR

7.1- ALONG THE EXTERIOR OF THE STRUCTURE, WE USED 2″ X 2″ CORNER BRACES EVERY ~12″ OR SO:
Like it or not, the slide-out bike rack looks like the perfect seat when it’s fully extended… You won’t do it, but a friend surely will at some point! So don’t cheap out on the corner braces; it has to be able to withstand the weight of a person on it (the bikes are not the worst case)!
7.2- ALONG THE INTERIOR OF THE STRUCTURE, WE USED 20MM X 20MM CORNER BRACES.

The 2″ x 2″ corner braces wouldn’t fit here because it would interfere with the extension slides.

STEP 8: INSTALL THE FORK MOUNTS

WE USED #12 X 1″ ROUND-HEAD SCREWS (WITH LOCK WASHERS):

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