Plastic Storage Boxes

One thing I have discovered while trying numerous plastic storage boxes is that the stated dimensions of the boxes are deceptive. They usually describe the largest outside dimension. All of the boxes I have tried had tapered bottoms so that they will easily fit inside each other during shipping. The bottom line is that modules rarely fit even though the stated dimensions indicate they would.


There is one that I have not yet tried but appears (again) to be big enough to work for a single. It is the Sterlite Latching Storage Box. The stated dimensions are 24 1/2" L x 17 3/4" W x 7 1/8" H so it should be large enough for a single though doubtful for a double.

If anyone has found a better plastic storage box solution for single and double modules please update this page.

16 January 2017
From Iowa Central Modular RR Group
Joe Ludley

We like the “27 gallon Tough Box” or similar black & yellow containers. They can be found in various big box stores and lumber yards. Originally I found the brand “homz “or “DuraBilt”. These are weather tight, water proof, varmint resistant which facilitates storage in garages or other storage facilities. The various brands of boxes appear similar but mixed brands may not interlock and stack. The price can vary from special @ 8.99 to $14.99.


When transporting, they will stack 3 high and 3 side by side in a Caravan, 2-3 high in a pickup and end to end in some pickups. The containers will hold 2 double, 4 single and possibly 3 doubles, depending on the scenery. When transporting 2 doubles, I build a shelf to support the upper module and it may have the center cut out to accommodate the scenery on the bottom. The shelf is also needed when transporting 4 singles, 2 up and 2 down. When transporting 3 doubles, spacers are added to the ends to keep the modules aligned. The upper 2 are actually resting on the module below. This works when there is minimum or low scenery. I also have some large radius super elevated curves that are made to fit 2 in these containers. They will accommodate 2 of the “standard” corners.


The bottom measurement is about 15” x 25 ½”. A 6” piece of ½” plywood at each end extending to the top will provide the needed alignment. Depending on the taper of the tub, a shim will be needed at the top to maintain the 24+” needed for a double module. If your scenery is less than 2”, modules can be stacked 3 high.


When stacking double modules, a ¾” square bracket 8” long can be placed at each end about 9” from the bottom at the ends. When there is a bracket at each end, a shelf can be added to accommodate either singles or a double. Another option for doubles is to make a 2 ½” bracket at one end with a 1 ½” vertical extension 3” tall. This makes the opening about 24” and will keep a double from falling.

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