Many truck camper owners gravitate toward some kind of rear patio and for good reason. It provides an extra space where you can store items temporarily, like shoes, a convenient place where you can sit, and more importantly, a deck from where you can safely step into and out of the camper. Many pop-up truck camper owners—and some hard-side owners—simply use the tailgate, which works exceptionally well, but many who own truck campers with a rear overhang don’t have that luxury. In this article, Chris Tenbusch details how he built a simple folding patio deck out of aluminum and composite decking.
My son and I purchased a truck camper to use while surf fishing on the beach. We needed a patio deck on the camper where we could remove sand and our waders before entering. It would also be beneficial for extra storage.
The folding patio deck is constructed of 6061 aluminum for less weight and composite decking material for ease of maintenance. I used stainless hardware to avoid rust. The brackets I used to attach the deck to the camper jacks were sourced from Ballistic Fabrication located in Tucson, Arizona (ballisticfabrication.com). The cables that support the deck are 1/4-inch stainless steel which we crimped. All of the cables and hardware were purchased at Lowes and Home Depot. The build cost approximately $200 and was a weekend project.
The parts needed to construct this folding patio deck follow:
- ¼-inch stainless cable cut to length needed
- (4) ¼-inch cable crimps
- (4) ¼-inch cable loop eyes
- (4) 2-inch OD tube clamp with mounting tab (Ballistic Fabrication)
- (16) ¼-inch Allen bolts
- (16) ¼-inch stainless nuts
- A box of Teks 2-¾-inch self-drilling screws wood to metal #12
- (2) clevis shackles
- (2) stainless steel eye hooks
First, we constructed a frame by welding the 6061 aluminum angle cut to desired size.
We welded crossbars for support. I recommend spacing them approximately 16 to 20 inches apart. The frame was then painted. I recommend powder coating for durability. We attached the composite decking to the frame using self-tapping screws. The screws were trimmed using a cut off wheel under the deck after assembly.
The patio deck pivots on the lower brackets so that it can be folded up for storing when traveling or during the off season. It folds up and attaches to the upper cable brackets. We attached the deck to the camper jacks using the tube clamps at desired height. One end of the support cable was attached to the eye bolt on the outer corner of the deck which we installed. The cable was then crimped. The other end of the support cable was attached to the upper tube clamp on the trailer jack using a stainless steel clevis. The cable was cut to length and crimped. That procedure was repeated on the other side.
Be careful with choice of eyehooks, as the cheaper ones are cast & will break easily, allowing the deck to drop while you’re travelling.