We didn’t want too much weight up high, but needed more storage. I really like Peter Masson’s implementation of soft-sided upper cabinets using simple duffel bags, so we copied it.

This required L-track along both the upper rail on each side of the van, and between the top crossbars. I continue to use the 8 mm hex rivnuts mostly to maintain consistency in attachment. The hex holes aren’t available everywhere, but a round hole slightly smaller than the hex will also grab the rivnuts thoroughly. I installed the rivnuts using an Astro 1442 hand rivet nut setter. Others have used wrench-driven rivet nut tools, which are better in small spaces.

Since I wanted to attach the L-track using existing holes, I ordered some with no mounting holes from Cargo Equipment. I used flanged L-track on the ceiling and angled on the upper rails. The flanges on the ceiling will hold the plywood in once I get to that.

rivnut hole

rivnut install

I also needed to anchor the L-track to the rear of the van a combination of aluminum angle and aluminum bar did the trick.

rear attachment

One thing I noticed when attaching the L-track is the holes in the roof beams are not symmetric. I used the same holes in each side and the driver’s side track ended up about an inch further from the wall.

Next was installing grommets into the duffel bags. I used the General Tools Multi Grommet Kit and some extra 12” grommets.

making holes

To make the holes in the duffel bags, I used a soldering iron.

installed grommet

I attached the grommets through both the bag fabric and nylon straps for added strength.

test install

Initially I skipped the upper support board, but later I added one to help the bag hold its shape. I still haven’t added anything on the bottom of the bag, but may do so later.

NOTE: The rivnut locations do not always line up perfectly with a circle on the L-track, which can make drilling holes a bit challenging. I saw an idea from someone to machine out the L-track mount tabs, but I cheated and just drilled out the areas needed. Also, countersinking the holes will make for a neater install. Eventually I’ll go back and clean them up.