Organising your trailer to maximise the efficient use of space usually involves building some sort of storage system, augmented by drawer slides for ease of use. With different types of slides on the market, it can be difficult to decide which ones are best for your project. If you are considering adding storage to your trailer this year, here is a short overview of the basics you need to know.
Do you want centre-mounted, side-mounted or under-mounted drawer slides?
These slides come in three different types of handy mountings; which one you select depends on how you want to mount the drawers. A centre-mount slide is installed underneath the drawer and along its centre line. Options include classic wood or a ball bearing mechanism, but you need to have enough clearance underneath the drawers to install these slides. They are sold as single units, so if you have three drawers for example, you need three centre-mount drawer slides.
Side-mounted slides attach to each side of the drawer, and are available in either a roller or a ball bearing mechanism. They are sold in pairs and require at least a 1.27 cm gap between the edge of the slide and the side of the cabinet. On the other hand, under-mounted slides are installed underneath the drawer, but along each side, so they are sold in pairs as well, but are only available with a ball bearing mechanism. They also need less clearance than the side-mounted slides, generally 0.6 cm or less.
If you don’t want your drawer slides to show when the draws are open, your best options are the centre mounted or the under-mounted slides.
Length, extension and weight loads of drawer slides
Whilst slides are available in almost any lengths (necessary for custom applications), generally they range from 25 to 71 cm. For under-mount slides, you need to measure the length of the draw, because the slides must exactly match this length to work correctly. For centre and side-mounted drawer slides, you need to measure from the front edge of the cabinet to the inside of the cabinet’s back and then subtract 2.5 cm.
The next step is to decide whether you want a ¾, full or over extension. The ¾ extension is ideal for small spaces where it’s not possible to open the drawer completely, the full extension opens the door to the full extension of the slides, and the over extension allows the drawer to open beyond the full extension.
Weight loads of drawer slides are generally 34, 45 or 68 kilos, although some can go up to 100 kilos and you will find some that have lower ratings as well. If you want to store generators, ice chests, tool boxes and other heavy equipment, the weight rating is an important factor and needs to be considered when making your selection. Last, you can opt for different opening and closing mechanisms, such as push to open, self closing or even soft closing drawer slides.