This article originally appeared in the November 2019 issue.
For truck owners who think they have to choose between a weather-tight toolbox or a Tonneau cover you might want to think again. You really can have it all with the new Strong Box from Stowe Cargo Systems. The 2-in-1 Toolbox and Tonneau systems are available for most light-duty and medium-duty truck models including Ford, Chevrolet, RAM, GMC and Nissan, and are designed, engineered and manufactured in the U.S.
We loved the look of the low-profile design that integrates seamlessly with the lines of a truck so much we decided to do a full install on one of our own trucks. With a couple of guys and some basic tools we easily added the Stowe innovative truck toolbox and cover to a 2018 RAM Cummins and we actually learned quite a bit about the product during the process. For starters, Stowe truly offers a quality product that is engineered to be used (and abused). It’s built to last, and we were impressed by the over-built construction.
It comes in two over-sized cardboard boxes and everything was packaged and labeled very well. We tore into the boxes like it was Christmas morning and got right to work installing the cover. The actual paper instructions combined with the well-done step-by-step install video kept things simple and moving along so we wouldn’t have any miss steps.
Diesel Tech’s Jason Huff first loosened the back plate nuts so the front bed rail assembly could be positioned into place before tightening. Included with the kit was a plastic position template to help ensure the rails were mounted exactly where they needed to be. It really simplifies the install and takes the guesswork out of the process.
The cargo compartment was set into place, then Diesel Tech’s Greg Larsen secured it to the cross member that slid into position in the track between the side rails. The weather-tight Strong Box has a 400-pound load capacity and with the full seal around the perimeter of the lid it not only keeps water out, but dust and moisture as well. Plus the overall system features a high-tech aluminum and composite construction, making it a secure and rugged space to store all of your cargo.
Back To The Video
We used the included detailed instructions a lot, but whenever we had a question we were quick to pull out our phones and follow along with the installation video. It really made the afternoon install as easy as possible. Here Larsen double checks his work before continuing on.
Two Man Job
The install is quite simple and could be done by most DIYers, with that said, we wouldn’t recommend trying to do this by yourself. There was more than one occasion where having a second pair of hands was necessary.
The last step was to align the rear latches with the rear bed rail assemblies. Here Larsen tightens things up while Huff lowers and raises the cover to check the positioning.
Good To Go
Now complete, the truck has a secure compartment that provides a clean place to store, protect and organize tools and equipment in year-round conditions. Stowe Cargo Systems introduced the world’s first 2-in-1 Toolbox and Tonneau truck cargo solution in 2017 and the Strong Box is the latest example of Stowe’s commitment to integrated cargo management solutions.
The unit’s low-profile design provides a low lift-over height, and doesn’t block rear window visibility. Produced with premium automotive grade materials, the dent-proof Strong Box and Tonneau cover features easy-open stainless-steel push-button locks for quick access. The unit is also ideal for adding secure cargo space for fifth-wheel trailer towing if you’re not needing the Tonneau cover. For more information on the company’s line of truck cargo storage solutions, visit www.stowecargo.com.