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DIY Side Mount Table

DIY Aluminum folding table outdoor cooking

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#1 BigRanchInSky

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 08:02 PM

Backstory:

We tend to do most of our down time outside of the camper (it's pretty hot in southern Utah)—we love the awning and we like to camp by big shady trees too and sit outside. And as a special bonus my wife is a vegetarian and I'm a meat-a-sorrus, so I try not to cook hamburgers and salmon inside the camper. I enjoy cooking but need a lot of counter space. And don't forget a month ago in another post I was on a DIY high because I scored a bunch of aluminum bar stock. Hence the DIY Side mount cooking table!

 

Design:

  • Make a big strong, sturdy cooking surface that is easy to set up and rock solid to use.
  • Mount on side of rig so it doesn't need a bunch of legs, etc. hanging down and getting sand, mud on them. I really hate cleaning the legs of countless items up every time we wrap camp—hey I'm campin' not workin'!
  • Don't make any holes in the rig or the truck or scratch up anything.
  • Make it as portable as possible.

Alpha test model:

I don't think I completely nailed it, but I got close. I bent two 2-inch rods of aluminum into shapes that easily slide down the side of the gap between the camper and the sidewalls of the truck. The table thing below hangs on these two big hooks—they have furniture padding on the side facing the truck body to prevent scratching.

 

I ordered a 4ft x 18 inch stainless steal counter from amazon, along with two locking right-angle hinges.

I mounted the countertop to the hinges, and then built an aluminum frame out of right-angle bar stock. I added some wood to make it stick out more when hung (and right after I make these photos I put some thick pipe insulation on the wood parts facing the truck-makes it super soft on the truck spreads the weight out nicely, firms up the whole thing well.)

 

Good: It mounts on either side of the truck, is really strong (see water tank filled 3/4 full on table) and doesn't move around one bit. It's the perfect height (college pay-off: I used a tape measure), but I'll confirm this in the field once I cook on it a bit. Pretty bomber top too, love stainless steel. Deep enough for Coleman stove.

 

Bad: it's heavy, about 19#. And it's big, roughly 48 x40.

 

But al least it's thin, only two inches thick. On the weight there is almost nothing I can do accept maybe use and aluminum tabletop (I kinda doubt it would be very strong though). And part of what makes it stable is the weight, so...

 

RE the size I might be able to shorten the frame and lengthen the hooks(?).

 

Looking forward to cooking, we leave tomorrow for eight days in S. Utah!

Attached Thumbnails

  • BGRIS_sidemounttable__002.jpg
  • BGRIS_sidemounttable__001.jpg
  • BGRIS_sidemounttable__003.jpg

Edited by BigRanchInSky, Yesterday, 02:30 PM.

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#2 OffTheGridMaps-Montana

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 08:20 PM

That's pretty awesome, thanks for sharing.  Where does the table go when you are driving?  Do you remove it and put it inside the camper?  Or does it fold up and hang off the side while in transit?


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#3 BBZ

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 04:45 PM

nice.. can you find the link to the table on amazon.. 


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#4 BigRanchInSky

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Posted Yesterday, 02:21 PM

nice.. can you find the link to the table on amazon.. 

Angle braces, locking with little triggers to release (down): https://tinyurl.com/y4xh4ua8

 

Stainless steel table: https://tinyurl.com/y6o62m85

 

I used the table and can report that it works well and I especially like how it doesn't get dusty, sandy or muddy because it has no legs.


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#5 BigRanchInSky

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Posted Yesterday, 02:37 PM

That's pretty awesome, thanks for sharing.  Where does the table go when you are driving?  Do you remove it and put it inside the camper?  Or does it fold up and hang off the side while in transit?

No way I'd travel with this set up, it would launch right off. It's made for level static use.

 

I need to grab a photo of it stowed; it goes upright in the crew cab space. It has a tendency to droop (over onto the Border Collie, but she is a good sport) but we prop it up and it's no problem. The clips that hang the unit are smallish, they go in the cab space also. The angle braces have nylon around the fasteners so it helps minimize the metal-on-metal rattling sound.

 

I hesitate to put big metal things like this in the camper lest bumpy dirt roads rattle the table and also scratch up the inside of the camper.

 

We only got six days out trip—the bugs were driving us nuts so skedaddled back home—BUT the table was huge success, more than sturdy and great under the awning in the shade or rain. And stowing it away perfectly clean (no messy legs) is a big payoff for me.


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#6 Rdy2Roam

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Posted Yesterday, 03:34 PM

Nice! I seen one like that but smaller that had a base that fit over the tire which seemed pretty simple.
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#7 OffTheGridMaps-Montana

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Posted Yesterday, 03:40 PM

@BigRanchInSky, thanks for the reply.  I figured it would be too much to travel with, but was curious where it was stowed.  What you described makes sense.  Appreciate the info, great idea.


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