Rear door mounted storage?

fish sticks

New member
I'm thinking about building a storage box to mount on the rear door of my t1n sprinter camper conversion. I've seen the boxes that are mounted to a swing arm on the rear bumper, but for my application mounting the box to the door would preferable. BUT, I'm worried about putting too much weight on the rear door. I've seen some brackets out there for mounting the spare tire to the rear door, so it must be able to carry SOME weight at least, but how much?
 

john61ct

New member
Not that much.

Certainly not the spare tire IMO, especially on rough roads will over the long term pull the hinges out of alignment.

But I could be wrong, the Sprinter door design may be fundamentally different from other mfg's lines
 

InterBlog

Member
I did some research a few years ago and found sources that warned against door deformation. I wish I'd saved that info because the topic comes up again and again on forums.

Have you considered putting the same kind of box apparatus on a slim hitch carrier instead of on the door? That's the way we went with it. Not one of those sloppy large carriers - we designed and welded this thing ourselves (info). It was built for our Yeti cooler but I use the Yeti to carry more than food - often carry kayak stuff instead in it (seats, PFDs, pump, rope, etc.).

Pic:

 

Midwestdrifter

Engineer In Residence
Mounting with most of the weight carried directly by the hinges instead of the door is the only way to go. This surco tire carrier and other homemade racks mount directly to the hinges with a single bolt mounted near the central latch. with a good size backing plate on this area of the door there is not much chance of damage. I have a spare tire weighing about 65 lbs mounted like this on the back door. With over 50,000 miles including thousands of miles of dirt and back roads I have no issues to report with the set up.

The majority of the door is lightweight sheet-metal and will stress crack if not extremely well reinforced. Mounting to the hinge and near the Hardpoint by the latch is essential the only way to attach significant amount of weight to the door without risking failure
 

InterBlog

Member
Another comment on this back door issue --

The OP did not state what he intended to carry in the rear door storage, or how often he needed to access it. That could influence the choice of solution.

Here's another option. I recently adapted an ATV cargo bag for the roof area immediately above the back doors. We had a roof rack already in place, so it was easy to add this. I use a Telesteps 1400E telescoping ladder, lashed to our hitch platform, to access it (the ladder stores behind the driver's seat). It takes me about 3 minutes to put the Telesteps in place for easy access. My 6'1" husband can stand on top of our hitch's Yeti cooler and access it without needing the ladder.

This bag has about the same amount of storage volume - or more - as a door-mounted box, but was very low in cost, and the roof in that area can easily take a bit of weight (I used a cut piece of a rubber restaurant mat to put beneath it so it would drain rainwater and not scratch the roof - sourcing details here).

This was a major storage space win for very little time, effort, and money. Bag fit:



Ladder access:

 

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