Modular Cargo/Camping platform | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Modular Cargo/Camping platform


November 8, 2007
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City, State
Pac NW
Year, Model & Trim Level
Thought I'd throw up a quick post to gauge interest about my home built camping rig (under $100). I'll be happy to add more detailed measurements and photos for anyone who's interested in building one for themselves.

The platform measures roughly 76" by 50" but there are some subtle "gotcha" dimensions that make the design a little tricky. Wheel wells, seats, doors, etc. The blue padding is cheapo camping pad.

This is the window screen system and bedding. I'm 6' 2" and can sleep stretched out, but it requires tipping the front seats forward a smidge. The window recesses make it seem much bigger inside if you build the platform the right height.

The front seats must be slightly forward when driving with the bed made. Not terribly uncomfortable for a 6' 2" driver and 6" passenger but not fully to the rear. Also, the front pieces can be easily overlapped on the rear piece to shorten the platform without disrupting the bedding.

I have a full size memory foam mattress topper that fits with room to spare in there now, and it's better than most motel rooms. The Mrs and I can comfortably sleep together, but head room is limited. You can't sit up by any stretch of the imagination.

All in all, the whole apparatus is suitable to be left installed for all but the tallest drivers, and allows for an EXTENSIVE amount of equipment to be hauled underneath the platform. My wife and I "car camp" in luxury with a motorcycle on the back (and related tools/gear) and room to spare.

Let me know if anyone is interested in the dimensions and design detail. There is an enormous amount of room for improvement, so feel free to give suggestions. I intend to build version 2.0 sometime soon.

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I do alot of camping out of my truck also when it's just me and the wife.


When the kids go or it's a long weekend I have a trailer setup for camping that works great. The trailer has more clearance than my truck and is very stable with a heavy load.



Not sure if I want to do the platform inside but I do want to strip the carpet and put bedliner down. I will be starting to build a rack for the top real soon that will help with storage. I like the window screens, are they held on by magnets?

The platform works great for me cause it's generally just my wife and I. With my motorcycle on the back and all the associated gear, there just isn't enough cargo room inside the truck without it.

Your trailer rig is pretty slick. Looks like it would go just about anywhere the truck would.

As for the screens, they are velcro. I used sticky backed velcro strips and regular nylon door/window screen cut to size. The adhesive is actually no good, and I will have to redo it for the summer. When the sun beats down on the truck the adhesive gets gooey and doesn't stick well.

...I just seen this, nice job and very creative...:biggthump

...I would like to see some more detailed pics of it...Also, some info on how it stows and if it's foldable would be nice...:popcorn:

...I just seen this, nice job and very creative...:biggthump

...I would like to see some more detailed pics of it...Also, some info on how it stows and if it's foldable would be nice...:popcorn:


Damn im jealous..

Wish i could get my girl to do that..:rolleyes:

But she´s afraid of getting attacked by a bear or a wolf.. :p: She´s a city-girl.. And generally afraid of the nature.. :rolleyes:

Looks nice, though! I envy you.. :)

Currently, it's all loaded up and covered with our bed (2" memory foam mattress topper:biggthump). Next time I pull it apart I'll get some pics.

I generally leave the rear piece in at all times (see 3rd pic). This makes for double the storage convenience, and makes it easy to toss stuff in the back window.

When I'm camping by myself, I leave the smaller front piece at home and sleep on the passenger side (see pic 2)

If the Mrs and I are both camping, but hauling passengers, I just take the front two pieces and flip them upside down on the rear peice with their legs sticking up. I then pack our gear on top of them around the legs. Usually have to use the roof rack for all the gear when we have more than just ourselves along.

I'll try and get pics and dimensions soon.

Looks good. Looks like a lot of fun. I have a folding pad I use behind the passenger seat and it fits well with my oversized sleeping bag. My little beagle and I sleep very comfortable for two or three days. I can pull my boat behind and have a place to sleep off the ground. My camping gear stacks on the side along with my fishing gear. but I like your system. Would like some more diminsions if possible. Doesn't look too difficult to copy even for an old poop like me. Thanks for sharing.

Looking to do something similar, are you taking out the two back seats to make room for the camping platform? I have a '95 explorer xlt, if anyone has any plans to share that would be awesome. Thanks!

Anyone have any ideas for doing this in a 97 Sport (2 Door)?