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#vanlife Drop Down Table

Thanks to REI’s post, I got my wheels turning. I thought the idea of having a drop down table out the back of my van would be perfect considering I want to do a pull-out kitchen on the opposite side of the back of the van. Without knowing what was behind the original decor of the van, I stripped it and was pleasantly surprised.

Original door
Bare door

I first added insulation inside the door because really, why not? I then measured and drew out what I wanted to build and how I wanted to relocate the speaker. I also wanted to use the cubby holes on the bottom to hold my spices. I cut a piece of 1/2″ ply for the back of the door. I used a compass to draw a circle for the speaker and cut this out using the jig saw.

I then cut another piece of ply for the actual table but then I started to look around my shop and decided to go the fancy route: use scrap wood and glue together a table that would look like a cutting board. While this increased the project time, I am happy I went this route as now it is a focal point in the van. I then painted the backboard the same color as I painted the platform of my bed.

For the legs, I had to make sure they wouldn’t interfere with the speaker. This is why one has a different design than the other. To attach the legs, I used 2″ hinges and simply put a screw on the end of each at the top; this is what the table will drop down into to keep anything from moving. I measured where I need to drill these holes on the underside of the table. I got one side slightly off which then caused the wood to crack a bit when redrilling so be careful on this step.

After I let things dry, I needed to figure out how to attach everything to the van. I did a few trial and error test runs and settled on following suit with how the REI article describes a curved door. I scribed a piece of wood and then cut this with the jigsaw.

I made two of these, countersunk the pieces and then attached them using self drilling sheet metal screws.

I then measured and countersunk where the screws were going to go to attach everything to the van. Again, I used self drilling metal screws for this.

Once everything was attached, I laid the table down, set it in place and then installed 1″ hinges from the back to the table (I plan to paint these). I then constructed my own bungee cord that I purchased on amazon with hooks to secure everything so nothing is moving when the table is not in use. I of course have the cord matching the inside accent of hot pink!

I can use the table with letting the bungee dangle or I can reattach it and hang stuff from it. I plan to add some decorative something or another over the insulation and keep my spices in the cubbies. I’m pretty stoked on this set up!


I started kayaking in Wisconsin of all places, because this is where I am from. I then moved to San Diego and took on kayak surfing along with heading to the Kern River when water was available. I then made the move to Asheville, NC and have been hooked on this sport since my Wisconsin days. With whatever it is that you do, do it because you love it, not because society tells you should or for other outside factors. Don't simply exist, live!