Improving Accessibility of Under-bed Storage in T@G

Adding a strut and hinges to the T@G under-bed storage opens this wonderful storage area to easy access, making it much more usable.

Our teardrop camper is a 2015 T@G XL from NuCamp. It fits perfectly in our garage and pulls like a dream with our Subaru Outback. The cabin fits a king size bed with small cabinets above the headboard and footboard. There’s not a lot of space for things like hoses, tools, outdoor rugs, etc., so every square inch is important to recapture, and because it doesn’t require an investment in a tow vehicle or off-site storage, we’re gonna make it work. The magic lies under that bed.

The bed sits on a platform of two pieces of plywood split down the middle sitting atop 1×3 framing. The 3″ height of that framed area adds up to a lot of storage space which is only accessible by manually lifting the lid with the bed and linens on top. It’s difficult at best and discourages use of the storage area.

Solution: hinges and struts

Shopping List:

  • Hinges
  • Strut Mounting Brackets
  • Struts – If I had it to do again, I’d look for 80lb struts. The 100 lbs are a bit tough to push down to close. The 20″ length is important to stick to given the measurements I’ve provided.
  • Storage Bins

Tools Needed:

  • Power screwdriver
  • Tape measure
  • Another person to help hold the lid
  • A cocktail depending on who the other person is and how they behave when given instructions
  • Dremel tool to notch out the space for the strut — this is what I had. You may be able to do it with a wedge.

Step 1: Attach hinges to bottom frame

Tips to make it easier:

  • Take the lid off and move it out of the way.
  • Open the hinges – makes it easier to see the screw holes. If they’re already open, you’re in luck. They’re really tight!!
  • Install all of the hinges , aligning the top of the hinge with the top of the middle frame.
Hinges installed on bottom half

Step 2: Install the strut mounting bracket

Don’t overthink the struts. They work even though they defy logic.

  • Install the mounting bracket (the one that is a flat triangle) to the bottom frame first. About 3.25″ from the middle (left edge in picture) and flush with the top edge.
  • Install the other one to the lid. It’s best to do this outside on the ground with the lid upside down. Come down about 7.25″ from the top edge and 29.25″ from the right edge and align the top of the cleat to the 7.25″ mark. TIP: Don’t screw in fully as they pierce thru to the outside of the lid.
Underside of lid from passenger side of camper
The top of the bracket should align with the 7.25″ mark with the ball face toward the middle of the lid.

Step 3: Attach hinges to the lid

This step requires a helper to hold the lid steady. The hinges are like miniature little crocodiles and the lid tries to jump out of the way when the screw approaches.

You may need your cocktail in this step. Tools are much easier to direct than people.

  • Set the edge of the lid down the middle of the frame on the opposite side of the hinge.
  • Close the hinge so it snaps to the lid.
  • Have your person put pressure on the bottom of the lid so it doesn’t move as you screw the hinge in.
  • Screw in all four screws.
  • Try closing the lid to be sure you’ve got it seated correctly.
  • Repeat for the rest of the hinges.

Step 4: Attach the strut

You’ve now got all the hinges and the strut mounting bracket installed. All that’s left is to put in the strut.

  • The connection of the strut to the cleat requires the use of a flat top screwdriver to wedge the brace open. It’s a little tricky unless you have three hands.

Step 5: Notch frame to give Strut space to close

If you try to close the lid the strut will bump into the frame. You can see the little notch I carved out to allow it to close. I used a Dremel tool.

Happy Camping!

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