STORAGE BONUS – 5TH WHEEL TOOL BOX
AS SEEN IN JUNE 2015 ISSUE OF TRAILER LIFE MAGAZINE
~ Article and images by Bob Livingston, blog post by Brent C. Johns
Storage Bonus: Highway Products’ 5th Wheel Tool Box takes advantage of open truck-bed space to organize and protect supplies
A truck bed makes a good place to store stuff relevant to RV travel, but organization of the items is usually problematic, especially if the middle section is devoted to a fifth-wheel hitch. Plastic containers and bags can help alleviate that disheveled look, but stored items are still exposed to the elements – and thieves. People who use their trucks for work purposes have relied on toolboxes for a long time, and Highway Products, a company that has made an art form of building these storage systems, offers a product that’s aimed directly at fifth-wheel owners.
The 5th Wheel Tool Box is not just a box that you bolt in the back of the bed and call it good; it’s a critically engineered piece of equipment that’s designed to use limited space efficiently and not interfere with the truck’s fifth wheel when making sharp turns. It fits right against the front of the bed (against the cab), and there’s a notch in the backside of the box that allows the lid to open with just about no clearance between the bed and box. This fifth-wheel-friendly toolbox also mounts flush with the top of the bed rails, making it look like it’s an integral part of the bed.
Considering that valuable tools and equipment will likely be stored in the toolbox, owners will require strength and durability. This is where Highway Products really shines. Its boxes are constructed from 1/8-inch marine-grade aluminum used by the boating and aircraft industries and the military. The lid is strong enough to stand on, and overall, the side walls of the toolbox can take a lot of punishment. A one-piece piano hinge is used on the lid, and strong gas shocks assist in opening and stabilizing the lid. Opening and closing is an easy one-hand operation.
In addition to rugged construction, each toolbox is fitted with a stainless-steel T-grip lock that drives a 1-4-inch mechanism that pulls the lid down tight. A key lock immobilizes the T-grip handle for maximum security.
An automotive-type rubber seal is used to make the interior watertight, and the aluminum material is naturally resistant to corrosion. Items stored inside remain dry and safe at all times, regardless of the weather. Another added bonus is a rope hook welded to each end of the box. These hooks, welded from the inside so the look nice, offer great points for padlocking cable that’s used to secure loose items, like a ladder, in the bed.
Installation is Easy
- The 5th Wheel Tool Box is measured for centering between the bed rails.
- The floor of the box and the truck bed are drilled to accept the fasteners.
- Self-tapping screws are provided.
- Be sure to use caution not to hit the fuel tank or wiring when drilling through the truck bed.
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