I built a small console shelf for my first Westy a few years back so that I'd have a place to put my phone and a couple of water bottles underway, but it lacked storage. It worked great for a while and then I sold the van.
Last fall, I was heading out to a campout in Ferdi and wanted a cup holder, so I looked around the garage, found an old wine box, cut 2 holes and voila. I figured that would get me through the weekend and I could tackle my "real" console later. Well, that wine box lasted almost a year before I finally got around to doing the console.
|My "Wine Box Quickie"|
Here's what I had listed for "console criteria".
1. storage for small items. chargers, wallet, flashlight, 2-way radios, paperwork... things that typically would end up in the glove box.
2. Cup holders! 2 for travel mug/coffee cups and 2 for larger water bottles (32oz+)
3. I wanted to still be able to step through to the back of the van
4. I wanted it to be able to support my weight
5. I wanted the storage to be less obvious in case some non-vanagon-privy tweaker broke in, he might not realize that there was a compartment there.
6. I also wanted it to look like a custom fit and not just a box on the floor.
|quick sketch of what I wanted|
|Vanagon Life Console|
Total time to build it, was about 4-5 hours including one trip to Home Depot for wood. I used a jigsaw for all my cuts and added some dark stain to finish it off. I also have a piece of carpeting cut out (not pictured) that lays onto of it so that you can't tell it's a console.
The advantage of using wood, is that I can cut holes if needed, mount things with screws easily and wood is easy to work with. I also rounded off the edges around the parking brake so it's easy to get your hand under it. Total cost, about $50 including the hinge and stain.
|framing it in. Notched for the seatbelt bolts. Eventually I'm going to upgrade to the newer belts with longer receptacles on both sides.|
|Framing the front around my Big Shot Shifter|
|The divider is a support to hold the weight of one large adult.|
|Stained and ready for action|
|Doubles as a Cornhole game on rainy days.|