Tilbox develops custom boxes for the 4x4electric expedition
It’s official, Tilbox is a partner of 4x4electric. Both organizations love a challenge when it comes to traveling in challenging conditions. 4x4electric will drive a regular electric car from the Netherlands to South Africa and back, charging the car with 60m² of solar panels that they lay out in a field. The founder and owner of Tilbox, Frank Tilburgs, completed the well-known Dakar rally twice. The experience of Frank and team Tilbox comes in handy to properly prepare for the never-before-completed 4x4electric expedition. The challenge for Tilbox? Being able to safely store the 60m² solar panels in the car during the 4x4electric expedition.
Tilbox, located at Valkenswaard, is the supplier for storage space between the wheels. Since 1994, the company has focused on the continued development of surface-mounted and substructure boxes for the automotive sector. Tilbox’s standard boxes were not the reason we approached this organization. We were looking for a high-quality storage system for the solar panels in the car, a protective box for the charging system, and for a tailor-made roof box for behind the roof tent.
A storage system for the solar panels
To complete our unique charging technique, we needed a high-quality storage system. The 60m2 solar panels will be loaded and unloaded many times and can not be damaged. Frank and his employees helped us with this challenge. Together they developed a custom drawer system that fits exactly in the car. A lightweight frame with 10 drawers, and 6 solar panels in each drawer. It prevents the panels from sliding and being damaged and requires minimal space. After all, there still had to be room for a spare tire, refrigerator, and all other necessities for the expedition.
A tailor-made roof box and box for the charging system
Tilbox also developed a lightweight tailor-made roof box. This fits exactly behind the rooftop tent in which the couple will sleep for a year. In total, this box creates 200 liters of extra storage space. Finally, Tilbox produced a custom box for the charging system. This box had to ventilate well, but also keep out dust. For added convenience, folding legs were developed.