Thanks for the excellent DIY project!
Excellent write-up and photos. I had wondered about how much room was back there, but I never measured it out. This might help to save some money on long trips.
doane2u did have a good point about rough edges. I'd recommend taking a 1/4" roundover router bit around the edges of the wood, maybe even gluing black felt over the entire panel (or at least the edges). If you don't have a router, palm sanders are pretty cheap and work well with rough grit sandpaper.
If you wanted to keep the metal parts on permanent, you can use T-nuts instead of wingnuts to keep everything low-profile and flat (then use shorter bolts w/ a thread locker).
doane2u's Plasti-dip suggestion sounds good too. I haven't used it too often but it should work great over the metal and make the whole thing look store-bought.
If I try this, I might swap out the support straps and make supports to the floor, maybe attached to the main panel with hinges so everything stays together and folds up in storage. Thank you very much for giving me another project to experiment with. Having stuff like this to work on helps my diet by keeping me occupied instead of being a couch potato.
Electronic Hobbyist. Computer Geek. Handyman. Generally an all-around DIY'er with a nuclear propulsion background.
2009 Toyota Rav4 Sport in Magnetic Grey Metallic as of 5/10/2012.