Guest post by Lorraine Marie from YEG Inspired.
In an effort to build a deck for Olive the Empress, I turned to my usual culprits of Pinterest and Google to see what inspiration I could find. Our trailer needed something portable and movable that wouldn’t cost us a small fortune! I had about $250 in the budget and my goal was to keep it under. I searched for RV decks, many of which were to big and too expensive, and I searched for boardwalks, low profile decks, and while some of the sites I found had some great ideas, they weren’t exactly what I was looking for. I then stumbled upon pallet decks, coming across a site offering open source plans featuring plastic pallets! Finding this link inspired me to create our own for our trailer. The site is in Japanese and we’ve modified our version to create a portable deck.
I looked on Google for plastic pallet decks. Uline did offer some, but they were out of my budget. My next stop was searching the buy and sell sites and low and behold, I found one company reselling their used plastic pallets for $10 a piece! I made the arrangements with the buyer and purchased three of them for our deck. It was a tight squeeze fitting them into our SUV, but with a little puzzling, we got them in!
The plastic pallets will work out great, as there will be less wood rot versus traditional wood pallets! The pallets measured 42 x 42 x 5 inches. Using three plastic pallets would give us an 11 foot deck.
My next task: I went to our local hardware store and purchased the wood and deck screws.
Because, we’re up at our site at Nakamun RV it’s important the deck be movable and could come apart in sections if we needed to change campsites, or if I find my forever piece of RV land. The other stipulation was I wanted our deck to be relatively maintenance free.
- 2 x 4 x 12 foot lengths of sienna treated wood x 3 cut into 6 foot lengths. Cost: $26.81 ($8.51 each).
- 4 x 6 x 8 sienna treated wood x 15 boards. Cost: $104.70.
- A pack of deck screws ( 8 x 2 ). Cost: $10.98.
- Lynx Levelers for $51.55.
- Plus 3 plastic pallets used. Cost: $30 ($10 a piece).
Total cost: $224.04 (just under my budget!).
We created the deck structure to float on the sides of the pallet (pictured above) with the planks going across and drilling into the floating frame using the 2 x 4’s we had cut into 6 foot lengths.
We cut the boards into 6 foot lengths so if we needed to pack the deck up and move it in sections it would fit into my husbands work van.
The planks running across were 4 foot lengths providing a little overhang over the 2 x 4’s and using two deck screws on both sides to adhere to our floating frame. I could have purchased a few less of the 6 foot boards. We had 4 extra boards left over, which would have brought our cost down, but I didn’t want to underestimate the wood we might use. Plus I didn’t want to make an extra trip back into the city (45 minutes) if we were short.
Once we finished building the deck, we tested out how portable it was, easily lifting the deck up and off by removing the end caps.
Last, we used the Lynx Levelers to level out our 11 foot deck, where the ground was slightly uneven. These levelers are not only great for the stability of our trailer, but came in handy for our portable deck.