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!
- 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!
Edited by BigRanchInSky, Yesterday, 02:30 PM.