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How I built an inexpensive laptop tray for my truck

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I love my Toyota Tacoma pickup truck. It is the perfect vehicle for me. I do a lot of traveling in it. I also go to a lot of estate sales and auctions in it. There's lots of cargo room in the back for the stuff I buy.

I usually carry a laptop computer with me when I travel to keep in touch, and to check what things are worth before buying them at estate sales, yard sales or bidding in auctions. I have a broadband access card for the laptop, so I can get online from anywhere. I've always wanted a built-in laptop / notebook computer tray for my truck. The commercially made units are pricey though. Several models I have looked at cost close to $300. Ouch! I suppose I could make one like the commercially made units, but they are made of metal, and I'm not much of a metal-worker. The commercially made units also bolt to the floor and take time and tools to install and remove. I always thought there had to be a better way.

One day I had a brainstorm. I figured out a quick and easy way to build a laptop tray for my Tacoma that only cost a little over $30! That's 1/10 of what the commercially made units cost! And it only took me an afternoon to build it. This instructable will show you how I did it. Please Visit my web site for more information on this and my other projects.

Before you all start writing me and saying how unsafe it is to use the computer while driving, don't panic. I don't use it while driving. I use it while stopped, usually at sales. It's a lot more convenient than trying to balance it on my lap or the armrest.
 
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ruffboy6 months ago
Don't forget most states have laws against computer use while driving. If they see your screen is lit, they will pull you over.
blinx11 year ago
Wow.that's really amazing! Impressive idea in making that laptop tray in your car!

Cell Phone Spy
dkelley11 year ago
Enjoyed the post and might do some tweaks on it myself. Will post if I do. Also enjoyed checking out your project page on your website. Thanks for sharing and keep up the exploration!
mganpate1 year ago
nice idea .. i will suggest you can make the vibration and movement while car that time its saf we will need the lapy.
siedpe133 years ago
great instructable, but the only thing that bugs me is how the pipes still look like pipes. i would wrap some kind of sleeve/tube around the pipe part in the same sense of how theres a cloth or leather shroud covering the stick of some manual transmission
i agree that would be the finishing touch@ Siedpe13... but this is great a job regardless
Great post.

Thanks for your simply functional post. Also I know about the piping. I would try to create this type of tray on my car recently. So that its also a helpful post for me.

wire loom
fredlb2 years ago
Great !
Simply but highly fonctional !!
hechtmp3 years ago
In my patrol car i have a commercial vehicle laptop stand and the main problem i see with this is that in a roll over you have two missles coming at your head. One the laptop when the velcro gives way and two the pipe and stand itself. This poses a huge safety risk to your cranium in that event.
I was thinking of something similar. At least for the laptop, I'm thinking you could insert a couple of small eye screws in the underside at the back and front of the laptop and add a simple strap that would either attach to the screws or simply use the screws as guides and tie the lappy down to the platform.

For the stand itself - maybe you could drill some small anchor holes in the cup holder and the stand and run some little dowels through them to anchor it to the cupholder? Getting them in might require some slight mods, but I don't think it would be too difficult. Of course, you then have some small holes in your cup holder...
Yep, I agree
abadfart3 years ago
very nice i think ill make one out of metal that attaches under the seat in my rv
I would be concerned about the ABS/PVC piping breaking when not expected... I would change the ABS/PVC to cast iron plumbing parts. (yes more weight, but it won't break) You could also use thinner diameter piping as well. I like siedpe13's suggestion on wrapping it with something- for wrapping, I would use split loom/wire loom, as it comes in all different diameters, and would cover up the "pipe parts" (and wires running to/from) quite well. I have a UMPC (mini tablet PC) in my car, and I use wire loom on the mount as well to "neaten up" the wires. (commercial mount thou) Link to wire loom- please note I am not endorsing this website in any way, it was the first result for me when I googled wire loom: http://cableorganizer.com/wire-loom/
That stuff is really strong, especially schedule 80.
rudadave3 years ago
EEEEEK Can't wait to try this!!!!
usmanghani3 years ago
excellent
pmartinez3 years ago
Fantastic idea, I will build one for my girls portable dvd player Thanks!
l8nite3 years ago
great idea, great follow through !
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