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RPOD Camper Modifications | Desk Built-In

This may not be an ideal modification for many but I'm a mostly full-time solo traveler (with a dog) so definitely an improvement for me. This modification was on my 2018 Forrest River RPOD 179RPT, towing with 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro. For me (and for many in the growing group of mobile professionals), it's more about having work and storage space than about sleeping more people.


I found the meager slide-out couch cushions giving out, so ditched this as a separate couch and decided get double use out of the bed by using this as a couch as well. I bought a sitting cushion which has proved great for reading, etc.

I hate not having the right tools (had pretty much everything I needed back at the sticks and bricks but sold a lot before leaving), but I also try to keep it minimalist and not rebuy stuff I sold or buy something I won't use again. I got away with just buying a cordless circular saw that worked with the DeWalt 20v Max Lithium tools I already had (screwdriver, light, etc.), then just two clamps and a pocket hole jig - not too bad and I can re-use for other projects. In hindsight, I should have rented the saw - probably will not find another occasion to use this.

All materials were acquired from the local Lowes, nothing too specific. Two 4x8' oak plywood panels, some solid oak trim, drawer slide hardware, and various screws, nails, etc. I used a "natural" stain (though I wished I could have found a way to preserve the unfinished light wood color), with several coats of polyurethane.

I removed the ottomans (which were already loose and gauging holes into the floor). This opened up a ton more space when the slide was out. I installed a small box to cover the wiring and ductwork under the left ottoman (also provides a spot to get the space heater and trash can out of the way).

I also replaced the slide power cable trim with a longer piece from Lowes - which conveniently matched the rest of the finish.

Already having a great office chair I wanted to use (hold-over from my administration days - super ergonomic and lightweight). I constructed a built-in desk/table with more storage space underneath (most of the time I prefer to just sit in the chair with my feet up on a pillow but added a slide out table panel as well for a true desk/table experience which also works as a nightstand if needed - fully extends to 22"). This eliminated having to unstrap and deploy the table between stops.

All this additionally means that the space is completely useable with the slide in as well (i.e. I have a table and place to sit things even with the slide retracted - and cushions don't fly all over the place while in transit - great for overnight travel stops).

Despite having a good amount of natural tension, I ended up having to install a lock latch to keep the slide from coming out during transit. I also added upper and lower securing loops for short bungie cords to keep the bins from sliding out.

I had some concern as to the added weight to the slide-out but my research was unable to find any data from Forrest River or any other sources regarding weight limits on the slide . . . it fact it seems the consensus that most if not all manufacturers do not specify this at all for their slides. Some also expressed concerns with the weight of the books in the overhead cabinet but in over 10K miles, it hasn't been a problem - that being said, in keeping with a minimalist philosophy, they are not meant to be permanent either - just the left-overs from the sticks and bricks that I still wanted to read (will donate after finishing - anything new is electronic - iBooks, Kindle, Audible, etc.). In about 8 months of traveling with this mod, had no issues with upper cabinets or the slide malfunctioning.




This was a re-post in blog format of my original post on the R-POD Owners Group on Facebook.

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