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Ingenious Hanging Cot Idea to Add Sleep Space to Your Truck or RV

It’s always enjoyable to stumble across an idea that changes one of the standard aspects of camping.

In this case – sleeping arrangements.

If your family is maybe just a little bit larger than your RV’s capacity, things can get cramped.

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And finding sleeping space in your jam-packed RV is always a challenge.

If you bring friends along for the ride things get that much more complicated.

Increase Your RV Sleeping Space With this One Simple Trick

When this hanging cot concept was submitted by Jason D. from Gulfport, MS, we knew this was something special that could help a great many of our fellow RVers.

And at a cost of $35, you can’t afford not to try it out!

Hanging cot for camping

The hanging cot design was originally developed by Brian at a few years ago. Since then it’s been continuously used and built upon by fellow campers.

The design calls for the use of schedule 40 steel pipe – making it very easy to scale for your needs. A pipe’s schedule just refers to the wall thickness of the pipe. If you’re curious, you can read more about pipe sizing here.

Though the hanging cot was originally designed for use in the front seat of a van, it can easily be adapted to work in a truck, car, or RV.

The original intention was to make this for children to sleep on. With the materials indicated, the cot will hold up to 150 lbs. It seems reasonable to expect that with some tweaking, the hanging cot could be used for an adult who’s a bit heavier.

As many folks who use this have pointed out, it also serves as a great stash for gear when not used for sleeping.

Plastic pipe with hole and knotted rope to hold bunk in place.

To suspend cot in air


T joints

Cab bunk ready for use.

Cab bunk ready for use


Most folks were able to build their version of the hanging cot in around 3 hours once all the parts were sourced.

Hopefully you have access to a sewing machine – you’ll definitely need it!

RV Hanging Cot Parts List

  • 1 1/4 “ Schedule 40 Pipe (some chose steel pipe)
  • 2x 50” Schedule 40 Pieces (measure your chosen hanging cot area before cutting)
  • 2x 24” Schedule 40 End Pieces (could be wider if necessary)
  • 4x Corners Pieces made from T-joints with one leg cut off and a slit for the strap to go through (slits and trimming of T joints optional based on application)
  • Screws for attaching long pieces to corners (Option of using glue, many prefer to be able to remove and clean canvas)
  • Straps/Rope for suspending cot
  • 3/4” Pipe to string rope/straps through to hold hanging cot in the air (some have used radiator hose to prevent damage to vehicle door)
  • Canvas/Fabric for sleeping hammock

RV Hanging Cot Building Instructions (Overview)

  1. Cut Schedule 40 Pipe to fit your desired area
  2. Cut your T joint pieces
  3. Fabricate frame without fastening
  4. Layout and Sew Canvas/Fabric to fit snugly inside your hanging cot frame
  5. Slide canvas onto frame and fasten joints with screws/glue
  6. Route straps so weight on the hanging cot holds end pieces in place

Some campers have taken the design a step further by installing a pouch for their accessories that hangs from the bottom of the rack.

Do you have any tweaks that you’d make? Any thoughts on the construction? Please share them with us in the comments section below!

Images via Keith Hunniford and

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