If you have a truck with a topper, this instructable will show you how to design and build a sleeping platform for the bed of your truck. The platform will allow you to store your camping supplies underneath your bed and eliminate the need to set up a tent. Having a camper in the back of your truck provides you the gas mileage of tent camping with some of the organization of hauling a trailer and you won't get as wet when it rains. Because the requirements for everyone will be different and all truck beds are different I wont provide you any specific measurements.
This project can be completed in a weekend or take several weeks depending on how complicated your design is.
Basic woodworking skills are required and previous project design experience would be beneficial. Cutting a 4' x 8' sheet of plywood can be difficult to do with a table saw by yourself, so I would recommend finding a friend to to do this.
When complete you'll be able to take a quick camping trip whenever you want.
Step 1: Designing the Platform
Measure your truck bed and supplies
The first step is to accurately measure your truck to figure out how much space you have to work with. The size of the supplies you want to take should also be determined to see what will fit where.
The bigger equipment that I designed for included
battery for charging my cell phone and laptop
toolbox in case of emergency
winter clothes because I am using this for spring break in March.
To fit the grill and my toolbox underneath I needed the bottom compartments to be 12" high
Since I'm an engineering student I have access to several different Computer-Aided Drafting software for free, but Google sketch-up is a free program that can be used or the old school way of pencil and paper can also be implemented.
How you choose to layout your compartments is up to you, I laid mine out like a boat with several small compartments to keep the gear from sliding around and can be accessed from above. If you need to fit longer equipment, like skis or snowboards underneath your bed, the center board can run the full length of the truck bed.
• For ease of installation, design the platform in 3 sections.
2 Outer boxes to go over the wheel wells
1 Center section to tie the outer edges together
• You need to have a support board in the middle of the bed otherwise the boards will sag and possibly break.
• Leave a little extra space around all of your supplies to ensure they will fit