Using a Gun Case as a Cargo Box for Off-Road Accessories and Recovery Gear

Using a Gun Case as Cargo Box for Recovery Gear

Mounting a Gun Case to your Roof Rack as Cargo Box for Recovery Gear

When I got my LFD Off-road roof rack, my intention was to carry most of my gear using Plano sportsman’s boxes to leave the cargo area of the 4Runner accessible for sleeping.

After some time of putting heavy boxes up and down on the roof rack hassling with strapping them down, I decided that it was more trouble than it was worth.

Unloading the boxes from the roof only to pack them up the next day was a drag. Leaving them on the roof rack and having to get things out as needed was equally annoying.

I looked into getting a rack cargo carrier such as the ones from Yakima or Thule but they were a bit pricy and I also wanted something that was a little slimmer while still maintaining a rugged look.

So I came up with a solution to keep some of the more permanent gear that I always carry in my vehicle out of the way. I went down to the local Academy and picked up a Game Winner 54in gun case (model FSGWSA2090).

The case is similar to the Pelican cases but at half the cost. They can also be found at the local Harbor Freight under the Apache brand.

Gun Case Options & Mounting

The Game Winner 54-inch gun case is constructed of hard high-impact plastic and according to the specs, it is dust and water resistant. It also comes with three types of foam to protect any sensitive gear.

The Game Winner also has wheels for easy transport and four locking points and two padlock points.

I decided to permanently mount it to my roof rack and carry all my recovery gear and vehicle gear such as jumper cables, boots, gloves, tools, snatch strap, shovel, and air compressor.

To mount it, I simply drilled some holes for some u-bolts.

I recommend using the square kind instead of the rounded ones, but either one will work fine.

I also sealed the holes with rtv silicone to keep water from getting in. I added two overland roof rack padlocks to discourage someone from stealing anything.

I suppose if someone was motivated enough they could unmount the whole thing and take off with it, but after three months I haven’t had any issues yet.

For anyone that’s considering an alternative to cargo rack carriers, you might consider this option.

Permanent or Temporary Solution?

Using a Gun Case as Cargo Box for Recovery Gear

Both as a permanent or temporary solution, gun cases are usually a much more affordable option as opposed to cargo rack carriers. While most cargo carriers from Yakima and Thule range anywhere from $300-$600, gun cases range anywhere from $60-$200 and offer a similar amount of protection and storage.

For a permanently mounted solution, just know that you will have permanent holes in your storage box and if you ever go to reuse the box outside of your roof rack, you will need to seal those holes back up. That is why in this case, you may want to go with a cheaper Harbor Freight version or something under $100.

For a temporary storage box, you may want to go with a higher-end brand like Pelican or Plano.

Different Gear for Different Storage Boxes

Gun Case as Cargo Box

For the price, the overall construction of the Game Winner 54in gun case is top notch. I’ve had it on my roof rack for over three months in extreme heat and downpours without any issues.

The case fits all the dirty gear that I don’t want in the car and best of all, I don’t have to keep putting it up and down. At some point, I plan to mount my recovery tracks on the lid to free up some space on my rack.

All my other gear like food, camp gear goes in two Plano sportsman’s boxes in the cargo area. When we get to camp we simply take those out fold down the seats and we have the cargo area free for sleeping in the car.

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Rapa
Rapa
27 days ago

You can theft-proof it by flipping the U-bolts upside down with the fasteners inside the case. Then cut the remaining bolt with a dremel or a hacksaw. It will look cleaner as well. Great idea for an inexpensive low-profile storage case! Thanks for the inspiration.

Zakken
Zakken
8 months ago

Great walk through, thank you! Is the case shown in these photos the actual 54”? I measured my rack from the end to about the center on the rear passenger window (like your photo) and I was getting closer to 42”. I have a prinsu 3/4 rack so I just want to be sure before I pull the trigger on the 54” from harbor freight, or if I should get a 42” Plano or GDT.

Joe
Joe
9 months ago

You could turn the u bolts the other way so the nuts are inside of the locked case. It would prevent someone from unbolting it while locked. They can still cut the locks or saw into the case, but it’s a simple change that adds just a little more security.

concerned individual
concerned individual
11 months ago

very attractive to thieves..

flatwerx
flatwerx
1 year ago

Did you ever mount the recovery boards? Curious to see that!

Scott Conley
Scott Conley
1 year ago

if you get a SS nut, winged bolt, and washer with a rubber washer on the outside you could reseal it without any issues.

John Ahmed Hakami
John Ahmed Hakami
1 year ago

What’s the cabin noise like at highway speeds?

GX460
GX460
1 year ago

Also, isn’t that silicone sealant in your link a permanent bond? Would you still be able to remove the case if this is used to seal up the drilled holes in the case?

Could this be used, a silicone-based sealant?

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002BBX3U/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o0

GX460
GX460
1 year ago

What do you use the Anti Seize Lubricant for?

Bobby
1 year ago
Reply to  GX460

The U-Bolts – prevent elements from seizing them together.

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