Building Your Own RV Deck

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Building Your Own RV Deck

Building Your Own RV Deck

My latest obsession has been RV decks. We don’t have one but are seriously considering it, not just for cosmetic and convenience purposes, but practical reasons as well like keeping from tracking so much of the outside indoors. Also, there are several large trees on our campsite where we full time and some of the roots have surfaced making it a rather uneven surface for walking about under our awning. Several of our neighbors have the same issue and constructed decks for their RVs.

When you ride through the campground you’ll see some RVs with fancy decks (like my neighbor’s) with steps and a railing. You will also see some that aren’t so fancy; the owner just threw down a couple of shipping pallets and called it good. We are in Charleston, South Carolina and this area is very aptly called “The Low Country.” When you get a good rain you can also count on getting a fair amount of standing water is many areas – another great reason to build an RV deck.

Looking for “Parks Near Me” in South Carolina?

RV deck designs can be as elaborate or as simple as you prefer. Of course, if you are on super level land (which we are not) building your deck is much easier. Uneven ground presents more of a challenge, but it is still workable. If you can have the area graded before you build your deck that would be very helpful, but most campground owners aren’t going to take too kindly to that so you’ll just have to improvise.

Several of the how to’s that I read advocate using concrete pier blocks. This seems to be good for creating a stable structure that will stand up to the often rigorous use that is synonymous with RVs. This also keeps the wood from coming in contact with the ground, keeping it dry. Yes, I have seen some RV decks with the wood joists on the ground. I personally don’t think that this would work well, at least not in the long term, but maybe the intention was to create a temporary structure.

The type of deck you build depends on whether it will be temporary or long term. If you are only staying at the campground for a few days or a couple of weeks, a simple design or portable RV deck is probably all you need. If you’ll be staying put for a while, though, you want something a little sturdier and more stationary. Some people do just fine laying out an RV mat or even a rug and calling it good. There are also low profile RV decks that you can put on the ground then pick up easily and take with you when you move on down the road. Others elevate their decks several feet from the ground. It all comes down to personal preference.

Looking for more awesome RV upgrade ideas? Read: Stepping Up Your RV Flooring

Measure the area where your deck will be so you’ll know what your limitations are. This might sound like common sense, but I have seen way too many people begin building and it somehow gets away from them, ending up in the neighboring campsite or butted against the power pole. Take accurate measurements ahead of time, before you start looking at deck plans.

Once you know what space you have to work with, the fun part can begin. Now you get to look at all sorts of deck plans and ideas. There is no shortage of inspiration on the internet and I have found several sites that offer free RV deck plans. Just take the time to look around and dream a lot. If you are the crafty sort and have some carpentry skills, you could just design your own deck.

I am not that person. I need designs, blueprints, detailed instruction – and preferably a skilled carpenter to execute it.

USA Today published a pretty good piece on building a camper deck. They have some good information and take you step by step through the process. If you just want something simple without all the bells and whistles or fancy designs, this will probably do just fine. Of course, you could always check out Pinterest and see the nifty ideas of other RVers. And even if you never plan to actually build a deck, looking at what others are doing is always fun.

Do you have a deck on your RV? Are you planning a deck project? Tell us about it!

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Stephanie A. Mayberry

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Stephanie A. Mayberry

Stephanie A. Mayberry escaped the hustle and bustle of city life in Washington, D.C. where she worked as an analyst, FOIA officer, and technical writer for the U.S. federal government to pursue her first love, freelance writing, full time. She has been a writer, author, public speaker, and photographer for more than 25 years; now she, her husband, and little dog Gizmo enjoy the laid back lifestyle as RV full-timers going wherever the wind takes them. Learn more about Stephanie at stephaniemayberry.com

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