9 Smart Van Table Ideas for Vanlife: Folding, Slide Out & Portable!
There are a lot of table options for vans, but the best option is the Lagun Table Mount.
The Lagun Table Mount is easy to use, inexpensive, and can be set up in multiple places.
The Lagun is the Best Table for Vans
- Versatility: The standout feature of the Lagun Table 1 is its versatility. The adjustable arm allows you to position the table at various heights and angles, which makes it perfect for small spaces.
- Space-Saving Design: Unlike fixed tables, Lagun Swivel Tables can be stowed away in seconds. This is crucial when making the most out of limited space.
- Stability: Despite its flexibility, the Lagun Table is pretty stable. Whether you’re cutting vegetables or typing away on your laptop, you won’t have to worry about the table wobbling or falling over.
- Ease of Installation: Installing a Lagun Table is straightforward and can be done with basic tools. The mounting bracket secure to a stable flat surface, and the table attaches and detaches from the arm easily.
- Long-Term Investment: While the Lagun Table is not cheap, its versatility makes it a good investment for anyone who plans to work while traveling.
The Elwell is the Best Fixed Table Base for Vans
The Elwell Fixed Table Base 2 telescopes, turns, and slides so you can use it as the centerpiece of a convertible dinette setup. Getting around the table is easy because it rotates, and at night, you can lower it and put cushions on top to convert the area into a bed.
- Why It’s a Good Choice: The Elwell Manual Table Base is very adjustable. With its push-button operation, you can easily adjust the table’s height from a minimum of 13.5 inches to a maximum of 30 inches.
- Unique Features: What sets this table base apart is its rotating table top slider. The sliding mechanism contains ball bearings, which allows the table top to glide smoothly and quietly. To operate the slider, you simply press the lever down to move the table in any direction. When the handle is released, the table stops. The slider can also lock at 90 degrees, which provides additional stability.
- Construction: The table base is constructed from galvanized steel with a plastic coating.
- Installation: Given its features, the installation is more complex than other fixed island table options, but no other fixed table base comes close to its adjustability.
- Who It’s For: This table base is ideal for campervan conversions that feature a fixed island table setup at the center of a convertible dinette layout.
CUZURLUV are the Best Brackets for Foldable Van Tables
- Why It’s a Good Choice: CUZURLUV Folding Shelf Brackets 3 are nothing revolutionary, but they work perfectly for foldable pull-down tables. Made from premium grade stainless steel, these hinge table brackets are designed to resist daily wear and tear.
- Unique Features: CUZURLUV pull-down table brackets are ideal for maximizing space. They come in sizes ranging from 8 to 24 inches.
- Installation: Installation is straightforward, and the hinge table brackets come with all the necessary mounting hardware. Just make sure to mount the brackets to wall studs or a sturdy kitchen galley.
- Strength: With a triangle structure, CUZURLUV brackets can support up to 550 lbs, making them suitable for any table use, from workstations to pop-up counter tops.
- Who It’s For: This option is perfect for van lifers who want to add additional counter space or a pop-up hinge table for working.
AOLISHENG are the Best Drawer Slides for Slide-Out Van Tables
- Why It’s a Good Choice: AOLISHENG Drawer Slides 4 are great for slide-out van tables. They are made from high-strength, high-density, high-quality cold-rolled steel, and can support up to 150 lbs.
- Unique Features: The slides offer full extension, allowing you to access the entire table top. They also feature removable ball-bearings for smooth operation and easy maintenance. The slides are treated with galvanized sealing so they resist oxidation and corrosion (important for not sticking over time).
- Installation: These slides come in a wide range of sizes, from 12 to 40 inches. Installation requires a clearance of 0.50 inches on both sides. Note that screws are not included, so you’ll need to purchase M4 screws separately.
- Who It’s For: This option is great for adding a slide-out table from a fixed bed, or kitchen galley. It can also be used to build an outdoor slide-out table.
Best Portable Van Table Options
Portable tables are dead simple and probably worth carrying even if you choose a more permanent table option. If you need an additional surface or extra space, portable tables are a great option. Here are a few of the best portable outdoor table options:
Large Size: ALPS Mountaineering Dining Table
- Why It’s a Good Choice: The ALPS Mountaineering Dining Table 5 is popular among van lifers for good reason. It’s lightweight, durable, and sturdy enough to be the centerpiece for a group cookout.
- Unique Features: The ALPS table is made with a sturdy aluminum X-frame and fold-up top, and features no interfering side supports, which allows chairs to move up close without hitting your knees.
- Ease of Use: The rectangular table sets up quickly and collapses easily for compact storage. Its dimensions when set up are 43″ L x 28″ W x 28″ H, and it weighs just 12 lbs.
- Who It’s For: This table is ideal for van lifers who want a portable table for cooking and hanging out outdoors.
Medium Size: KingCamp Bamboo Folding Adjustable Height Table
- Why It’s a Good Choice: The KingCamp Bamboo Table 6 is a bit nicer looking than the average portable table thanks to its waterproof Bamboo top.
- Unique Features: The KingCamp comes with a mesh shelf for extra storage and can be adjusted to three heights. The frame is made from lightweight aluminum, and the kit includes a carry bag with handles.
- Ease of Use: No tools are required for assembly, and you can set it up in seconds. The table’s dimensions when unfolded are 39.3″ x 25.6″ x 17.7/ 20.5″/25.6″, and it has a weight capacity of 176 lbs.
- Who It’s For: This table is perfect for van lifers who want a stylish portable table for outdoor (or indoor use).
Small Size: NEMO Moonlander Dual-Height Portable Camp Table
- Why It’s a Good Choice: The NEMO Moonlander 7 is compact enough to carry around yet sturdy enough to hold up to 100 lbs.
- Unique Features: The table features dual-height adjustable table legs, aluminum hinges and a heat-stabilized nylon tabletop that’s easy to clean. The table can be adjusted to 16 inches for use as a side table or 4 inches for a picnic setup.
- Ease of Use: Setup takes just seconds, with aluminum poles that twist-lock into place. When not in use, the legs lock into a storage area on the underside of the table. The NEMO also comes with a padded carrying case for transport.
- Who It’s For: This table is perfect for van lifers who want a secondary table that’s light-weight and portable.
Van Table Recap
There are a myriad of vanlife table options that are suitable for van conversions. No type of campervan table is right or wrong, as long as it fits your travel needs. Here’s a quick summary of best options based on the scenario:
- Best Overall Van Table: The Lagun Table Mount is the best choice for most people because of its versatility, space-saving design, and ability to work in multiple locations.
- Best Fixed Van Table: The Elwell Table Base is the best fixed table option because of its unique ability to telescope and rotate.
- Best Foldable Van Table: CUZURLUV Folding Shelf Brackets are the best option for building foldable van tables because of their sturdy construction (capable of supporting up to 550 lbs) and low cost.
- Best Slide-Out Van Table: AOLISHENG Drawer Slides are the best option for building slide-out tables because of their quiet ball bearings, galvanized seal coating, and weight carrying capacity.
- Best Portable Van Tables: ALPS Mountaineering, NEMO, and KingCamp, all make great portable van tables – just pick the one that looks the best to you.
The following version of this article ran from June 29th 2022 to October 6th 2023.
No van conversion is complete without a table.
A table offers a convenient place for preparing food and eating, playing games, and getting work done.
The downside? Tables are often bulky, expensive, and annoying to setup.
That’s why it’s important to find the right table for your build.
In this article, we’ll go over the best campervan table ideas, from simple DIY options, to full outdoor prep stations.
Slide-Out Van Table Ideas
If you’re looking for a vanlife table that saves space, the slide-out table may be for you. This model is connected to another furniture item (typically a fixed bed) and can slide out of sight when not in use. In addition to being compact, it’s multi-functional and fairly easy to build. Here are a few of our favorite slide-out van table ideas (keep in mind that these options are DIY, as each one requires custom fitting).
Four-Person Slide-Out Dining Table
As the name suggests, a four-person slide-out van table can accommodate up to four people (which is helpful if you’re traveling with family or intend to invite friends over). This campervan table is folded into a drawer located underneath the bed. To use it, simply slide out the table and extract the single metallic foot (which provides support). This van also features drawers that function as seats.
Slide-Out Workspace Table w/ Leg
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are working from home. With a slide-out workspace table and internet connection, you can carry on with your workplace duties from the comfort of your vehicle. This van conversion table is supported by a single metallic foot. It easily slides out from the rear end of the bed, transforming the space between the sleeping area and kitchen into a cozy workspace for two.
Outdoor Slide-Out Table for Food Prep and Dining
After a long day on the road, it’s nice to relax with a homemade meal. An outdoor slide-out table gives vanlifers a spacious (and al fresco) food prep and dining area to enjoy. In this set-up, the table is located underneath the bed, which is in the trunk. All you have to do is open the trunk, slide the table out, and setup a portable propane or induction campervan stove. A huge perk of this concept is that it doesn’t consume any interior space. Not to mention, it’s fun to eat outside during warm months. On the flip side, the table is virtually useless when it’s too cold or rainy out.
Tiny Bedside Slide-Out Table
Nearly every residential bedroom comes with a bedside table where users can place their phones, alarm clocks, water bottles and other small items. However, since space is limited in a van, installing a full bedside table may be challenging. That’s where this compact, bedside slide-out table comes in. Made of sturdy wood and supported by a metallic frame, it slides out of the bed and can be pushed in when not in use.
Van Pull-Down Tables
The next camper van table idea on our list is pull-down tables. Also known as camper van folding tables, they consist of hinged, foldable tables that are “pulled down” from a wall, then folded in when not in use. The end result is a convenient table that maximizes interior space (especially floor space). Similar to slide-out tables, these are usually custom-fit for each van build. Below are some popular ideas.
Pull-Down Two-Person Work Table
Are you looking for a simple work table that doesn’t take up much space? This table, which is built into a cabinet door, has a small handle cut out to promote easy opening. It’s held up by a board attached to the custom van cabinets (although you can attach a removable leg for extra support). And, thanks to continuous hinges and a slide bolt or lock, it doesn’t swing as you drive.
Cable-Supported Pull-Down Table with Storage
You won’t find many van tables as functional as this one. Situated against the wall, it folds out to reveal a wooden storage area used to hold van supplies. It’s hinged on one end and supported by two cables connected to the storage cabinet. While it may not look strong, this small van folding table gets plenty of support from the cables and can be used for everything from reading and writing to meal prepping and dining.
Outdoor Mini Fold-Down Table for Food Prep and Serving
This ingenious campervan folding table takes advantage of your unused door space. Positioned against the rear door, it folds out and is supported by two cables. The resulting table serves as the perfect platform for preparing meals, serving food or carrying drinks. It goes especially well with an outdoor slide-out table — you can conduct meal prep here, then move the food to the main table to eat. However, it can only be used when the weather is nice.
Fixed Table Ideas for Vans
Fixed tables are the most well-known table type out there. While they’re commonly found in residential homes, there are small versions available for vanlife. In this set-up, the table is bolted to the wood subfloor (meaning it can’t be folded or slid away when not in use). It may not help save space, but it does provide a stable surface for working, eating and meal prepping. Here are two of the best fixed table ideas for vans.
Table for U-Shaped Dinette Booth
If you like the idea of a fixed conversion van table, but still want to save space, then this concept is for you. It features a U-shaped dinette booth with a small table positioned between two benches. The table rests on a metal foot that raises or collapses the board. During the day, you can use the booth for anything from working to dining. Then, when nighttime hits, simply lower the table until it aligns with the benches. This provides a flat surface that can function as a bed.
Narrow Ikea Table with Storage
Unlike slide-out and pull-down van tables, fixed tables don’t have to be DIY. If you’re not a great woodworker or if you’re short on time, you can always opt for an Ikea table. All you have to do is find space in your van, then either bolt the table in or hire a professional for the job. Although this table may consume some space, it makes up for it with the expansive storage compartments fashioned into the underside. Not to mention, since it stays permanently in place, you don’t have to worry about daily assembly.
Best Portable Outdoor Tables
Believe it or not, you don’t have to install a table to enjoy all the benefits this piece of furniture offers. If you don’t want to build slide-out and pull-down tables or sacrifice interior space with a fixed table, then a portable, outdoor table may be right for you. All you have to do is buy the table, store it in your van, then fold it out when necessary. You can use it indoors (if you have enough space) or set it up outdoors for a quick picnic, work set-up or food prep station. Let’s check out some popular portable tables.
KingCamp Bamboo Folding Table
The KingCamp Bamboo folding table is a rectangular table made from horizontal boards of bamboo. Due to the nature of the bamboo, as well as the table’s aluminum frame, it’s fairly lightweight. Don’t let this trick you into thinking the table isn’t strong — on the contrary, it’s very sturdy and can hold several items. It’s supported by four adjustable metal legs which can provide three different heights. And, when it’s not being used, the table can fold down into a flat board (which is then slipped into an easy-to-carry bag).
NEMO Moonlander Table with Dual Height
A sleek design, customizable build and easy-to-use features are the hallmarks of this vanlife table. The NEMO Moonlander consists of a smooth, heat-stabilized nylon tabletop, which means it’s easy to clean and can withstand exposure to the elements. As a dual-height table, it can open to two different levels: a low, picnic set-up, and an elevated, side table option. The picnic version, which stands at four inches, gives you a low platform to use during outdoor meals. The full table mode, on the other hand, stands at 16 inches.
ALPS Mountaineering Dining Table
The ALPS Mountaineering dining table is small, yet packed to the brim with functional features. It measures at 28×34 inches and stands at 28 inches — however, when it’s folded, you can rest assured it’s very compact. The table is fitted with an adjustable, aluminum x-frame that collapses easily. And, with a weight of just 12lbs, it’s fairly easy to carry. The whole thing can fit into a 42x8x28 inch carry bag.
What is the Best Material to Use for a Van Table?
Whether you’re interested in a space-saving slide-out table or leaning towards a full, fixed table, it’s important to think about the material you’re going to use. Generally speaking, the best material for van tables is wood. Not only is wood fairly inexpensive, but it’s also easy to work with (which is especially helpful if you’re not used to building things yourself). As a malleable material, it can be quickly cut into the desired shapes for your custom van interior.
If you’re wondering which type of wood to use, the answer lies in your budget and preferences. Depending on what you’re willing to spend, you can utilize anything from simple plywood to more expensive, solid hardwood. As long as you put effort into the construction (or hire a professional to do it), you’ll end up with a classy, natural wood dining van table.
How Do I Secure a Van Table?
A common issue with van tables is stability. When you’re constantly on the road, you might worry about your table slipping and sliding during the journey. The good news is, slide-out and pull-down tables typically come with built-in security mechanisms. Slide-out tables are secured by whatever drawer or compartment they’re in, while pull-down tables are held in place with latches or rope. However, if you have a fixed table, you might need to install some extra security yourself. Here are two top options.
Option #1: Use a Lagun Mount
The Lagun table mount is as synonymous with vanlife as the Sprinter van – and for good reason. With a simple to use mounting system, a fully adjustable arm, and the ability to move the table to multiple locations, the Lagun is quite simply the best table option for vanlife. To install, all you have to do is mount the base plate, attach a bracket to the underside of your table top, and put the two together using the 360 degree height adjustable arm.
Option #2: Use a Height Adjustable Pedestal
Option #2 is a fixed position height adjustable table pedestal from Springfield. This table mount provides a sturdier way to mount a table in your van than the Lagun, with some of the flexibiltiy. Although you cannot move the table pedestal to different locations, you can adjust its height up and down making it great for convertible dinette beds as it provides a really sturdy way to convert your table into a bed.
Option #3: Use a Fixed Table Leg
The fixed table leg option is the least sexy of the 3, but its great for 2 reasons: It’s very sturdy, and it’s cheap. If your camper van layout provides enough room to mount a table that doesn’t need to be moved, a fixed table leg is a great option because it provides a full-time place to hangout, and a place to put items without needing to set anything up.
What Type of Van Table Works Best for You?
Now that you’re familiar with your van table options, it’s time to pick one for your own vehicle. Since each table has its own unique benefits and drawbacks, this may not be an easy decision. However, you can narrow it down by considering the following factors:
- Van size
- Desired layout
- Number of people in the van
- Purpose of the table
If you have a small set-up and minimal users, you’ll definitely want a space-saving option (such as a slide-out table). However, if you have more room to work with, you might be able to spring for a fixed table. You could even mix and match by getting both an indoor and outdoor table. Still can’t settle on a choice? Feel free to contact our team. Our experts are on hand and ready to help you make the best vanlife decisions!
- Lagun USA is a well-known brand in the marine and RV industries. The Lagun Table Mount is one of their flagship products.
- Elwell Corporation is an RV and Marine parts manufacture that’s been in business for over 20 years. The Elwell Adjustable Table Pedestal is one of their most popular products.
- CUZURLUV is a popular brand on Amazon that specializes in home improvement products. Their folding shelf brackets are inexpensive and have a great reputation.
- AOLISHENG is a leading manufacturer of drawer slides. Their products undergo rigorous testing and are known for their durability.
- ALPS Mountaineering is a company that specializes in outdoor gear, including tables, chairs, and tents. They are known for their durable and easy-to-use products.
- KingCamp is a global leader in outdoor camping gear, including tables, chairs, and tents. Their bamboo table line is particularly popular for its blend of style and functionality.
- NEMO Equipment is an award-winning outdoor gear manufacturer that focuses on creating innovative, high-quality products.