Last year, myself and my partner lived on the road for 6 months in our 4Runner and it gave us pretty much everything we needed. Occasionally staying in motels at the weekend and sleeping in the back of our vehicle on weekdays, it was ok, as the basic 4Runner storage capacity was just about adequate without the need for extra accessories to be added.
Getting everything we needed in our truck took a little ingenuity and more than a modicum of messing around – which could be a little irritating at times. You don’t realise just how many things you own – even out on the road – when you have to pack it up and unload it every night and morning.
We experimented with a few different 4Runner storage options, with some being more effective than others. That’s what we look at here now, so that you don’t have to go through the same hit and miss process that we did. Hopefully, by reading on, you’ll be spared making the same errors we did.
Option #1 – Bags and Bins
The first idea we had was to use duffel bags and plastic bins to carry our day to day stuff. It was a workable storage situation, but it was sometimes more than a little inconvenient. Sure, everything was kept safe and sound and out of the wet, but it made accessing everything a nightmare, especially when something was needed in a hurry.
Murphy’s law states that if something can happen, it will, and usually it did at the most inconvenient moments. I can remember one situation when I needed painkillers quickly and I literally had to spend 10 minutes unloading the truck to find them. It worked for a bit, but we soon realised it wasn’t the ideal 4Runner storage solution for the long term.
Option #2 – A Good Quality Roof Rack
The next storage solution we tried was to use a roof rack. What I can say is that this gave us lots of extra storage room, as we were able to keep our larger items up top, which gave us a bit more wiggle room when sleeping in the back. It was an improvement, absolutely, but it didn’t solve one of the most annoying aspects of living out of your truck – quick access.
It made finding things a little easier in a hurry, but it didn’t completely solve the issue, even if we did start to remember where certain things were kept. Plus, the tarp we bought to keep the gear dry on the roof had a hole in it – which we didn’t know about until everything had become soaked!
We knew that this was better, but we kept looking regardless.
Option #3 – 4Runner Storage Molle Panels
When it all came together for us was when we decided to give internal molle panels a try. These easily fitted metal grids look fairly simple at first glance, but they place everything within easy reach. We bought a number of holster and grip accessories that allowed us to put our mobile phones, tools and more within easy reach whenever we need them.
It allowed us to stop having to rifle through everything we owned when we were looking for everyday items. It’s not an exaggeration to say that spending just what I remember being around $80 for a set of these robust and sturdy panels completely changed the road experience for us.
For us, this setup saw us right for the rest of our time on the road.
Get the Storage Setup That Works for You
If you’re going to be spending any time out of the road in your Toyota, then you need to find the 4Runner storage setup that works best for you. However, what we can tell you from our experience is that a roof rack/molle panel/plastic bin solution served us really well.
It may take a few weeks of trial and error to determine which is the most convenient and practical method for your needs, but the best solutions will always show themselves eventually. You’ve made it through to the end of this blog – I hope that I’ve been able to make life on the road that much easier for you.