There’s nothing quite like sitting out on a finished deck on a warm summer evening. If you’re an RVer who resides in your rig seasonally or long-term at an RV park, you can easily add a beautiful deck to your campsite. While it may seem like a lot of work, there are a variety of RV deck build options for amateur DIYers, as well as some pre-purchased options for less handy individuals.
This article will examine the factors you should consider when choosing an RV deck, the various design options available, and even a guide on how to build your own! With that, let’s jump in.
- Benefits of Installing an RV Deck
- Things to Consider When Choosing Your Deck
- The Best Travel Trailer RV Deck Ideas
- Adding Outdoor Furniture to Your RV Deck
- RV Decks With a Grill or Smoker
- How to Build Your Own RV Deck
- Conclusion: Enjoy RV Life With a New Deck!
Benefits of Installing an RV Deck
Adding a nice deck to your RV is an amazing way to enhance your lifestyle. Some benefits include:
- Extends Your Living Space: Adding a deck can add some serious square footage to your rig, essentially adding an entirely new room!
- Looks Awesome: Your neighbors will gawk at your setup once you’ve installed a full-sized porch onto your RV.
- You Can Relax Outside: Add some deck furniture and you can kick back and relax, all while taking in some fresh air.
Things to Consider When Choosing Your Deck
Before you jump head first into an RV deck, there’s a variety of considerations you’ll need to make. Let’s look at some of the most important factors involved in your deck decision.
Build Your Own or Purchase One?
Deciding whether or not you’d like to build your own RV deck is the first decision you need to make. If you’re handy enough, constructing your own deck is a straightforward and rewarding process. Alternatively, you can also enlist the help of some people experienced in carpentry.
If you’re not looking to put in much work, you can choose to purchase a portable folding RV deck or come up with a solution that doesn’t require advanced woodworking skills.
Permanent or Removable?
Deciding on a permanent RV deck or removable one is entirely dependent on the way you RV. If you own your own camp, installing a permanently fixed deck is the way to go. If you keep your RV at a campground seasonally or reside at an RV park, this option can also work but be sure to check the policies of the establishment you’re staying at.
If your RV park or campground doesn’t allow permanent porches, investing in a portable deck that can be easily removed is the best option.
Cost of an RV Deck
If you’re looking to build a proper deck, you should be prepared to spend anywhere from $1,000-$2,000. Lumber is expensive, and if you choose expensive finishes, stains, or fixtures, your price will only increase. Makeshift decks can dramatically reduce costs and can be constructed with pallets and salvaged wood.
Portable RV decks are also quite expensive and can cost anywhere from $1,200-$2,400.
The quality and grade of materials you select when building your deck are the biggest factors in determining the cost, as well as the appearance. You’ll want to invest in treated wood, as the deck will be exposed to outdoor elements. If you fancy a higher-end RV deck, you can choose from premium wood selections like redwood and cedar. Once the deck is constructed, you’ll also have to decide on a stain and top coat to finish off the project.
A final consideration to make when constructing your RV deck is accessibility. Will anyone that’s mobility impaired be using it? If so, you may want to consider a deck that’s low to the ground or consider installing a ramp instead of stairs for guests to walk up.
The Best Travel Trailer RV Deck Ideas
Ready to add a deck to your camper? Great! There are countless design options that you can draw inspiration from, and even more ways to decorate the deck once it’s built. Let’s check out some of our favorites.
Sunrise Decks makes a variety of custom fabricated deck options for your camper, fifth wheel, or travel trailer. These decks are highly adjustable to fit the exact dimensions of your rig. With telescoping legs, they quickly match the height of your camper, and you can purchase modular options to add additional deck space. No carpentry is required!
While expensive, these decks have an extremely secure construction and are perfect for pets and folks with mobility issues.
A floating deck is one of the easier RV deck ideas on this list. If your campsite is frequently affected by rain, and you’re sick of stepping out of your rig into a muddy mess, installing a floating deck will keep you elevated from the ground.
Fabricating one of these is super simple and just requires pallets and cinder blocks. Do your best to excavate the porch area to make it level, place supporting cinder blocks on the corners and in the middle of the deck area, and lay down some weather-treated pallets. Place some screws in between the pallets to keep them secure, and you have yourself a quick, functional RV deck!
This is one of the more permanent RV deck ideas on the list, but if you have the space and DIY knowledge it’s a great option! Adding a roof to your existing RV deck requires more advanced carpentry skills, but doing so will greatly enhance the functionality of your porch.
A covered RV deck will block the sunlight, offering much-needed shade on those hot summer days. It’ll also allow you to enjoy the outdoors even in rainy weather. Nothing is better than relaxing on your porch with a cup of coffee during a morning rain storm!
Similar to a covered deck, adding a screened-in option around it is only an option for more permanent RVers. If you RV in a location that commonly has insect problems, a screened-in deck completely mitigates the problem of annoying bugs. No more need for mosquito repellent, tiki torches, or fly swatters! You’ll be able to enjoy the summer nights in peace.
Adding Outdoor Furniture to Your RV Deck
Once you’ve got your perfect deck installed, decorating and furnishing it is crucial! This will contribute to a homey look that makes your RV deck look like a warm, inviting living space. Some options for outdoor furniture and accessories include:
- Outdoor Sofa: A comfy outdoor sofa that’s water and UV resistant is a necessity for your porch. You can sit back and enjoy a good book or even take a little cat nap.
- High Top Drink Bar with Stools: Turn your RV deck into your friend’s favorite gathering point. With a fully functioning alcohol bar and some high-top bar stools, good times are in store.
- Propane Fireplace: Make a propane firepit the center place of your RV deck. Kick it on late at night during the summer for some smores and stargazing.
- String Lights: Everyone loves accessory lighting. Install some LED string lights around the perimeter of your deck, on the railing, or high above, to liven up the space.
RV Decks With a Grill or Smoker
Adding an outdoor kitchen is one of the top RV deck ideas that many RVers go for. Everyone loves grilling outdoors, and you can easily set one up on your new porch. If you’re really into grilling, consider getting an outdoor smoker for some delicious homemade BBQ.
How to Build Your Own RV Deck
Unless you’re willing to dish out a few thousand dollars for a manufactured portable RV deck, building your own is your best option. You can choose the simple route, and stick with cement blocks and a couple of pallets as mentioned earlier, but if you’re looking for a quality addition to your RV, build a proper deck.
A basic deck requires very little construction knowledge to take on, and a simple assortment of materials. The tools you’ll need for the job include:
- Drill Gun
- A Circular Saw
- Decking Screws
- Measuring Tape
Here’s a quick breakdown of how to build your own RV deck in just 6 steps.
1. Grade the Landscape
Before you even start constructing your deck, you’ll want to make sure that there’s a nice clear plot of ground to build on top of. Spend some time stripping away any grass or weeds that are currently growing. If your campsite is naturally rocky, use a hoe to pry up some of the larger rocks. Finally, scrape down the exposed dirt with a rake to make a nice smooth surface to build on.
If you have the time and patience, it’s also worth leveling the area you’ll be building on. You don’t need to be absolutely perfect, but digging out uneven ground will make the installation much easier.
2. Lay Concrete Pier Blocks
Once you clear the land, you’ll need to lay a proper foundation for your deck to rest on. Add rows of deck blocks where you’ll be laying joists to support the deck. The more pier blocks you add, the sturdier your deck will be, so don’t skimp! A good rule of thumb is to lay one block every one foot, separated by rows that are three feet apart.
Be sure to purchase blocks that have a natural 4×4 recess in them so that your pier posts slide right in! Once each block is laid, use a level to ensure they’re all flush. If needed, lower higher blocks into the soil slightly.
3. Add Piers and Joists
Once your deck pier blocks are added, cut the same number of 4×4 posts to the desired height of your deck. Slide these posts into the concrete blocks and secure them, if needed. Double-check with a level again to make sure that everything is even.
Add some flanking joists, in the form of 2×6 planks, width-wise across the deck. Screw these into the 4×4 piers.
4. Install the Decking Boards
Once your piers and joists are all installed, it’s time to add your decking boards! Choose the wood material of your liking and adequately screw them into the joists at each pier location.
5. Add Finishes Steps, Ramps, and Banisters
With the piers, joists, and decking boards installed, you can choose to install extra fixtures like stairs or a railing. If your RV deck is low enough on the ground, you can choose to skip the stairs in lieu of a small wooden step or concrete slab.
6. Stain and Weathercoat!
For the finishing touch, sand down the deck and stain it with your preferred finish. Be sure to add enough layers so that it’ll last, and top it off with strong weather coating sealant.
Conclusion: Enjoy RV Life With a New Deck!
If your campsite or RV park allows it, installing a deck on your RV can be a beautiful addition. Building your own is an easy DIY project that can be accomplished in a couple of days, leaving you with a lasting outdoor extension on your RV. Fortunately, there are even options for those not looking to take on a carpentry project.
With these RV deck ideas, you’re well equipped to start turning your RV deck into a relaxing outdoor living space. Kick back, relax, and enjoy everything that the space has to offer.