How to Build a Wood Truck Topper

by Robert Dyer

Making a topper for your truck provides you with a place to sleep when camping, along with the ability to carry items in your truck and keep them out of the weather.Using some basic materials and a little know-how, you can build a truck topper fairly easily, providing many years of good use. The topper fits a truck with a 4-by-8-foot bed.

Glue into position a 4-foot-long 2-by-2-inch board at each corner of the 8-foot-long truck bed using epoxy glue. This step positions the four uprights needed to make the support box for the truck's topper.

Fasten the remaining two 4-foot-long 2-by-2s at the top of the uprights along the 4-foot wide sides of the truck bed using a drill, screwdriver bit and 3-inch wood screws. This step makes the cross support pieces of the support box for the truck's topper.

Attach the 8-foot-long 2-by-2s to the top of the support uprights where they are parallel to one another and parallel to the 8-foot sides of the truck bed using the drill, screwdriver bit and 3-inch wood screws. This step positions the length support pieces of the support box for the truck's topper. At this point, you will have finished the truck topper's support box. It should stand about 2 feet above the top of the side and front guards and tailgate of the truck.

Position two 2-by-8-foot 1/2-inch-thick plywood sheets along the 8-foot sides of the truck topper's support box on opposite sides from one another. Attach these sheets to the truck topper support box by driving 3-inch wood screws through them with the drill and screwdriver bit and into the upright and lengthwise supports of the support box for the truck's topper. This step positions the sides of the truck topper.

Position a 2-by-4 foot 1/2-inch-thick plywood sheet along the front 4-foot side of the truck topper's support box. Fasten the piece to the truck topper support box using the drill and screwdriver bit to drive 3-inch wood screws through the 2-by-4 foot piece and into the uprights and width supports of the topper's support box. This step positions the front side of the truck topper.

Position a 4-by-8-foot 1/2-inch-thick plywood sheet onto the top of the truck topper's support box. Attach the plywood to the support box using the drill and screwdriver bit to drive 3-inch wood screws through the plywood sheet and into the lengthwise and width support pieces of the box. This step positions the top of the truck topper.

Position a door hinge into each of the top corners of the back side of the truck topper box. Place these where they will open toward the back top of the box. The hinges will allow you to open the back side of the truck topper. Attach the door hinges to the top corners of the box with 3-inch wood screws.

Attach the remaining 2-by-4-foot 1/2-inch-thick plywood piece to the door hinges positioned in Step 7 using 1-inch wood screws along with the drill and screwdriver bit. This step fits the back of the truck topper box to the truck's topper.

Attach a two-piece door lock latch to the bottom of the truck topper's back door you positioned in Step 9 and to the top of the truck's tailgate using 1-inch wood screws and 1-inch sheet metal screws. This step positions the locking latch so you can secure the door to the truck topper during travel.

Seal the seams of the truck topper with caulk and a caulking gun. This step makes the truck topper weather resistant.

Apply paint to all sides of the truck topper with a paint roller to make the topper completely weather resistant. Allow about one day for the paint to dry completely before using the topper. At this point, the truck topper should be ready for use.

Items you will need

About the Author

Robert Dyer has worked as a freelance writer since 1998. He has had articles published in "Mississippi Gulf Coast Historical Quarterly. Dyer has a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of South Alabama.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera pickup 4x4 car from above image by alma_sacra from Fotolia.com