For my main project I decided on making a camping table to attach to the back of my car. It took me some time to decide on doing this, and I went through a mind map of topics I’m interested in to plan something for my main project. One major topic I wanted to cover for ideas is camping. I am a fan of camping, and usually go a few times a year. I use my Toyota Forerunner to get around campsites and thought I could make something that fits in the back of my car for ease of access. I also wanted something to use to cook, as trying to cook food over an open fire without any kind of table is pretty difficult. 

With these wants in mind I decided on making a table that folds up completely and attaches to the trunk of my car. I wanted it to fold down to a small size that I can easily put in the back of my trunk, so I could easily store and set it up. I have been wanting some kind of table attachment for my car to use for camping since I bought it, and thought that this project would be the perfect reason to do it.

I would describe the aesthetic for my project as “Western”. The main reason I chose this aesthetic was that I am going to mostly use this table camping, and since I grew up on the west coast and now go to school in Colorado, I am going to drive through the western U.S. and the drive between Colorado and California goes through deserts and mountains that make me think of cowboys and western movies that I love and I want to emulate. 

The route to home from Boulder

Here are some of the photos I have taken on the drive between Boulder and home:

Off a biking trail near MOAB

Zion Canyon

I used wood to build my table to fit my aesthetic, and instead of using one flat plywood I used a couple boards to make it look more like a picnic table. I made the top out of cedar, and the color of the wood will perfectly match the red desert so common throughout the western U.S. I really like the idea of it looking like a picnic table, as it gets me excited about camping. 

My initial plans were to build a table that folds halfway along its length where the legs fold out on one end and the other attaches to the back of my trunk. I had planned to use a cross bar from my trailer hitch to support it but I think I am going to make that one of my iterations in the future. 

Here is my drawing for the project plan

Currently the top of the table is finished, and the legs are done (but need to iterate on them to make them more stable). I also need to attach the carabiner that I am going to use to attach to the back of my car. All of these final changes are going to be finished this weekend so that they are done before the second part of the final report.

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • John Bileschi
    May 1, 2024 3:02 pm

    What? Gary, this project is such a cool idea and I really like the direction you have taken it in. I think your mechanical intuition for a project that will be functional for your road trip home is a great idea. I look forward to the many fun times that we will have using this in the future.

    • Garrett Miller
      May 7, 2024 10:50 pm

      Thanks for the comment John! I am also looking forward to the fun times that can be had by all for this table.

  • Vidhan Rallapalli
    April 29, 2024 12:23 am

    Your camping table project sounds like a well-thought-out and practical solution for your camping needs, blending functionality with nostalgia for the Western aesthetic. It’s inspiring to see how your personal experiences and interests have influenced the design choices for your project, creating a meaningful and useful addition to your camping adventures.

    • Garrett Miller
      May 7, 2024 10:51 pm

      Thanks for the comment Vidhan! I really wanted this table to be something that I enjoyed a bunch, so I am happy with the way it turned out.


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