Introduction: DIY Truck Bed Camper!

I wanted to make a camper bed with pullout drawers for my truck. After getting a truck cap, I gathered up some reclaimed wood from pallets and old shipping crates and went to town breaking them down into usable lumber.

This is a quick and easy way to create a simple camping or working platform that can easily be removed from the truck when the bed is needed for other uses.

My goal was to keep it simple, lightweight, free, and modular.

The camper platform is comprised of three flats with a center supporting platform with the two wings resting on top.

The drawers are completely removable, with the center one on a track, and the outer ones just sliding on the bed.

I hope you enjoy and please check out the video on my Youtube channel and subscribe for more!


Step 1: Making the Center Frame

Picture of Making the Center Frame

The center portion is design to hold the large deep middle drawer and the two side wings that will rest on it. It is constructed from scrap 2x4's that are screwed into the sides.

Step 2: Making the Platform

Picture of Making the Platform

The center portion as shown here has an attached plywood platform on it, while the two wings just consist on plywood floating on the center platform and then just two small 4x4 legs. Check out the video for more details!

Step 3: Making the Drawers

Picture of Making the Drawers

I just used plywood and 18 gauge nails make some simple drawers. No fancy joinery, just cut and nail the sides together, check out the video for more details on the drawer construction.

Step 4: Drawer Fronts and Assembly

Picture of Drawer Fronts and Assembly

I decided to spice up the drawers with some pallet pieces nailed to the front. It gives it a much cleaner look just regular old plywood.

The assembly is simple, there are 6 parts total.

The center platform is dropped into the bed and floats in the middle. It is fairly heavy from all of the 2x4's so it doesn't slide around. Then the two wings are placed on top of the center platform into their grooves. This whole portion fits snug inside the bed frame. Lastly the three drawers are inserted into their slots.

The whole thing takes 1 person and about 2 minutes to assemble or take apart.

Overall it was a great build, FREE, and easy to make in an afternoon, with a great work platform and storage or top sleeping arrangements for a camping trip!

Check out the youtube video and subscribe to my channel!



esd61 (author)2017-11-26

Its amazing what you can do with salvaged pallets and ply.

Pride is a pleasure well deserved ,enjoy it and great job.

privatier (author)2016-06-08

I built something similar for my Mazda5 minivan. I built a platform by fitting a plywood sheet to the interior shape of the car, cut in half, with hinges across the middle. The second row seat is removed, and the front part of the platform rests on 6 milk creates with camping stuff. The crates are sturdy and easy to carry from the car to the camp site.

WayneT13 (author)2016-05-11

Couldn't have come at a better time. Recently retired and bought a mini-van with the thought of making it into a part time camper with lift out bed. The very next day this article appeared on my FB page. Its bookmarked so it will be easy to find when I'm ready to build. Thankyou

that is so awesome! post up a video or photo on my facebook after you finish it

drjeronimo (author)2016-05-14

NIce work

you could make an extension if you open the drawers you could fit wood plies the size of the truch back door when its open.

hope to see the final proyect

the final project is in the works! but excellent idea I have been thinking about adding tops to the drawers to cook on!

Lourensd1 (author)2016-05-11

I have made a similar contraption to utilize the empty space underneath my kid's bed.
Thanks for posting this!

No problem! glad you checked it out!

TeresaM7 (author)2016-05-09

I am so going to do this! Then I'll need an 'Ible on building the camper :)


RitaS11 (author)2016-05-09

years ago I went camping with my 2 daughters and only a Grand Caravan minivan. I found that a 4 X 8 sheet of plywood fit perfectly in the back when the rear seats were removed. I just put sturdy milk crates filled with our supplies on the floor for support, and put larger items between them on the floor. Then the plywood on top, and on top of that a 48 inch mattress. When we arrived at the campground, the plywood with the mattress on top was pulled out and placed on the picnic table, the van unpacked and 3 small tents erected (one for each girl and one for the supplies and a changing room for me etc) and then the plywood and mattress went back in the van for my bed! Easy-peasy, no carpentry skills required!

thats a great idea!

Littledum (author)2016-05-08

I wanted to do something similar for our van by taking all the back seats out but never got it done. It's like we think alike. Really, really like it!

thanks so much for checking it out! you gotta build one for the van!

HavelockT (author)2016-05-08

I did something like this in my old Plymouth Voyager; very primitive but it worked. I camp in my current Dodge Grand Caravan, but just on the floor. You have inspired me to try it in the Caravan. I'll let you know how it turns out, maybe post here.

definitely post it up on here when you are done! I would love to see it, thanks for checking it out!

INFINITEKIFF (author)2016-05-08

I'd add some 1/4" nylon rope attached as a D handle for the middle draw so you can pull it out with ease and a finger hole in each of the smaller draws. But very nice build and so glad to see you've used reclaimed timber, well done! Now I'm off to build myself one as I can't afford those expensive bus floor styled boxes that some fabricators make!? Cheers and thanks for the inspiration;-)

thats a great idea I may add those, reclaimed wood is the best to work with, i was able to make this completely from free materials. thanks for checking it out, glad it inspired you!

DDW_OR (author)2016-05-08

did something like this to a friends "gutless wonder" Toyota pickup.

used 2x3 and 2x2 and 1x2 to cut down on the weight.

Into the Dirtshop (author)DDW_OR2016-05-09

nice! you gotta love the toyota pickups! thanks for checking it out!

robthefireguy (author)2016-05-08

Great build, this is exactly what I want to do with my pickup I store out of state. I especially like the simplicity yet ruggedness of the build. Also great video! What kind of energy drink did you use?

thanks for checking it out! simplicity is key, i used red bull as my energy drink of choice!

CurtisK4 (author)2016-05-08

Looks good and stout but I would add a thin piece of plywood under the frame that's above the drawer. Interior exposed framework will catch items that have shifted upward and can make it very difficult to slide the drawer open.

Thats a good idea i may have to add that at some point! thanks for watching and checking out the instructable!

gm280 (author)2016-05-05

Looks like over-kill in the design effort. But that is okay, nothing wrong over designing things. If you want the same capability, you could have used a lot less supports and thinner plywood and it would still offer the same capabilities but be much less weight. But again, over-kill never hurts either. Good project.

Into the Dirtshop (author)gm2802016-05-06

Thanks for the comment man! I appreciate you checking it out! I put over 500 lbs of tools on the center portion on a regular basis for work, so thats why i built it heavy duty! and actually the plywood is 11/32. so pretty thin!

tomatoskins (author)2016-05-05

This is such a great setup! Thanks for sharing and welcome to the community!

Thanks for checking it out! Its really fun to use, and so easy to disassemble because I always need my truck for other purposes! The modular option is definitely the way to go!

About This Instructable




Bio: Welcome to my Empire of Dirt. DIY Projects, Wood Working, Metalworking, Dirtbikes, Motorcycles, Jeeps, Small Engine Repair, Auto Repair, and Construction. Help support the channel ... More »
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