Do it yourself

Honda Ridgeline

Camper/Tailgate Tent

Necessity is the mother of invention. Every other truck model on the market has a ready made tailgate tent kit. Not the Ridgeline. I modified an earlier concept made with telescoping 2"-3" pvc square framework covered with a blue tarp and a lot of duct tarp. This version uses 3/4 pex tubing and a heavy duty silver/brown tarp with not so much gorilla tape and rope.


Tools you will need

Fit and Drill Tubing

The pex tubing can be formed into shape. It is strong so there is initial resitance, but work with 2-3 foot sections at a time to persuade the tubing to desired form.

FIt one length into the front of bed, mark two places on each side where the tubing meets the built in brackets. Drill a hole through the tubing at each mark.

Repeat at the back of the bed, making sure the ends are in line with the front hoop.

Stack the two pieces side by side (not nested) and mark the top center point. Place the mark where it will accept the roof support that runs parallel to the floor. Drill through both pieces of tubing.

Install the frame

Fit the drilled hoops back into the bed and secure to brackets using one 18" length of line per drilled hole. You may wish to knot the line to the tubing before anchoring to the bracket, to preserve line.

Reinforce with gorilla tape to bedliner, between brackets.

Prepare the Tarp

Silver side UP

On the side with seven grommets, count in to the third grommet from either corner and tie a long piece of line. NOT bungee, use clothesline or something not flexible. There should be one grommet between the two tied lines. If there are more than two grommets then you are on the wrong side.

Install the Tarp

Leave the tarp folded in thirds. Start at the rear, and carefully pull the folded tarp - tied end leading - up and over the installed hoop supports. Extend the tarp to the front edge of the rear door. Cross the lines and anchor to a secure object. NOTE: The hoops stay anchored even tho they will move during this step. They will be adjusted later when the roof support and third hoop support are installed.

Fine tuning

insert a fiberglass pole into predrilled hole at top center of each of the hoop supports. Adjust to fit the length of bed, and tape mated roof poles together with gorilla tape.

Slip the third piece of pex tubing between the roof support and the tarp, guiding the ends outside of the bed. Position this support in the center and anchor with gorilla tape.

Anchor ends of center hoop support to lower edge of tarp with gorilla tape.

Insert tent poles at rear of bed to prop up awning for daytime use. Leave the rear windows open for ventilation even if it rains. Front windows weather dependent.

The still image is early design/build stage.

Watch the YouTube video: