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Reinforce Cargo Area Panels

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by xAnarChisTx, August 29, 2014.

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  1. xAnarChisTx

    xAnarChisTx New Member

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    So I'm looking for a way to reinforce the cargo area panels toward the front, when the 3rd row seats are stowed away. I have read about issues where it breaks for some, when either heavy weight or knees come into contact with the end or corners of the panels. Reason being is that when the wife and I go camping, we just sleep in the back of the SUV since there is plenty of room, but I am afraid that one of us will accidentally break the panel.

    I saw that there are replacement panels for the 3rd row seats where they are reinforced with 2 cross bars, but I believe I cannot get that replaced unless mine were already broken, which is what I am trying to avoid.

    So, one option I was thinking of doing was placing a wood beam or a couple of wood blocks in between the panel and the floor so that there is added support. Any other ideas that would be good for reinforcing the panels? Thanks!
     
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  3. kirstenb

    kirstenb New Member

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    Would a large piece of plywood that covered the width of the seats work? I'm thinking that wouldn't be so comfortable to sleep on. However, I've read about these seatbacks breaking too. So I always thought I'd throw a piece of plywood back there whenever we have to carry something.
     
  4. xAnarChisTx

    xAnarChisTx New Member

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    That's what I was also thinking of trying, plus we would have memory foam under us for some padding.
     
  5. LukerDooker

    LukerDooker Active Member

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    I would think the foam would be enough?

    When I was driving off the lot in mine the tech was actually talking about the broken seat backs on another Ex with the sales person, and off handedly mentioned to me and him "...yeah well, dont put anything back there"...

    Its PATHETIC that this thread is necessary to review how to protect the seat backs from even kneeling on them.

    Other options easier to deal with than plywood:

    (Uline has all this stuff for packing, shipping:)

    Up to 2" thick cardboard-reinforced middle.
    The thicker sizes are stiff, a bit heavy, and can cut your hand like a knife.
    But cut into sections - easy to use.
    0.5" or less should be ok.
    Middle gives a bit and will stay dented but likely would be ok for sleeping with less foam needed, and would last quite a while.

    Thick foam core, black or other colors, slight ribbed texture or smooth.

    Gel mats from Home Depot - they recently added many sizes of gel mats, all $13 to $20 more or or less, including some rectangular grey and black mats.
    Long and wide you could cover the 3rd row with 3?
    They are not too thick but when protecting from a knee breakng the seat back, it may be enough.

    Lawn furniture couch type pillows
    - the slim kind - summer is over and get yours if you find the right color and sizes, water resistant/tough exterior better than the plush kind.
     
  6. xAnarChisTx

    xAnarChisTx New Member

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    These are all great options. Thank you for the ideas! Time to start testing things out!
     
  7. xAnarChisTx

    xAnarChisTx New Member

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    So I went ahead and purchased a piece of plywood, cut it down to size to fit the cargo area (39" x 45"), covered it with black felt and used spray adhesive to get it together. Was like an hour job to do it all.

    Now I have a cover for the cargo area, and when we fold down the 2nd row we just move the cover up towards the front so that we can lay ourselves or heavy equipment in without breaking the panels. Let's see how well this holds up!
     
  8. dco43054

    dco43054 Well-Known Member

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    I use some 3/8 plywood panels covered in cheap low pile carpet to cover the holes that still exist when all the seats are folded flat. It keeps the dog from stepping into one.

    I'd just use some 1/4" ply cut to fit the area, and that can be stacked in the back when not in use.
     

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