Extend your RV’s small living space into the great outdoors! By adding a porch or side patio. If you like to stay mobile, either a portable porch or a built-in side patio is a great way to create an enjoyable space at every destination. When you arrive, assemble the portable porch or lower the side patio for lounging, dining, or socializing.
The entire family will enjoy the extended space. Children can play safely on fully enclosed side patios, in clear view from your sliding glass door. Pets can enjoy the fresh air without going astray by installing optional pet kennel gates on porch or stair platforms.
Extended spaces also accessorize your RV to make it feel yours uniquely. You can decorate the porch or side patio with flags, solar lights, plants, or another outdoor decor.
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Porches and side patios enhance your RV experience, but they require additional time and effort for assembly. When you are ready to mobilize, porches have to be disassembled, and the pieces can take up valuable storage space during travel. Side patios are handy when removed because they have a designated storage location built-into the RV. Of course, you will want to be mindful of campsite neighbors when using an extended porch or side patio to not extend beyond your RV site’s boundaries.
Overall, porches and side patios are easy to maintain, aesthetically pleasing, and improve your living space. Let’s delve into RV porches and side patios a bit more to see how either option fits into your RV lifestyle.
What Is A Side Patio?
Some RVs are equipped with a built-in, manually operated, or power-operated side patio. The side patio is stored neatly folded onto a section of the RV’s mid-exterior wall or rear-exterior wall. When you want to use the side patio, the section folds down and extends outward from the RV. Once extended, the patio is supported by two cables attached to the RV and legs on the ground. Side patios have a safety railing around the perimeter, which also folds snugly into the storage panel. You can easily access the patio from inside the RV through a residential-sized sliding glass door.
Below are some examples of RV’s that come equipped with user-friendly side patios.
Fleetwood - Southwind Class A
Wherever you travel to next, travel luxuriously with Fleetwood. The Southwind model is a 39’ motorhome with a GVWR of 26,000-pounds. Two power-slide-outs offer extended interior living spaces. Enjoy the outdoors from the power-extendable, rear patio. Read more about the Fleetwood Southwind here.
Fleetwood - Bounder 36FP Class A, Gas
Extended living can easily be found in Fleetwood’s Bounder model. The 39’ motorhome with a GVWR of 26,000-pounds has a snap-in, rear patio system. Durable and adjustable, the patio with snap-on stairs can easily be set-up on any terrain beneath a legless, slide-out awning. Light up the night with standard LED patio lighting. Read more about the Bounder 36FP here.
Can I Buy A Deck For My RV?
You can buy pre-built, portable decks and stairs for your RV. Choose from various decking materials, select your deck platform's size, and choose the number of steps to reach the height for your RV’s entrance. Portable decks can be freestanding or attached to the RV as part of the assembly process.
Portable RV decks require very little maintenance when fabricated from plastic, metal sheeting, or composite materials. Decking materials come in an array of colors to coordinate with your RV’s exterior design. These long-lasting decking materials are easy to assemble, lightweight for storage, and resistant to mildew and insect infestation. Interlocking tiles can generate any size deck over a hard, level surface. Plastic, metal sheeting, and composite decks drain water efficiently and have non-skid surfaces. These quick-drying materials will not be susceptible to rot. Check out the eco-friendly options, Pure Garden slat-pattern deck tiles, or the Acacia Hardwood interlocking tiles. Is there a downside? Just be aware that plastic and composite decks do not withstand the excessive weight.
Wooden decking, such as Bare Decor’s teak deck tiles, is an aesthetically pleasing, durable material. Teak is a hardwood that weathers well with low maintenance and resists mildew and insect infestation. Is there a downside? Teak is a dense material when stowed that will add more weight to your RV than plastic, metal sheeting, or composite deck tiles. The vibrant color of teak can fade in the sun over time, but the application of teak oil can refresh the color and protect the wood.
Sizing Decks & Stairs
Decks and stairs can come paired together or as separate features. You will want to select the deck platform's size, or stair platform, and the number of steps to access the height of the deck or the RV’s threshold. Although decks can be customized and expanded, a standard RV deck platform is 45” by 45.” The narrowest stair width is 36,” and stair heights can vary from as few as 2-steps (14 inches high) to as many as 6-steps (42 inches tall). Safety is essential when using an RV deck platform and stairs, so you might also consider adding deck railings and stair handrails.
Most portable decks and stairs are equipped with adjustable leg bases to adjust to the height of your RV for a neat finish. Adjustable legs also enable the deck platform and stairs to be set level atop the uneven ground.
Can I Build A Porch For My RV?
A portable porch can be a relatively simple DIY project, much like building a deck for a house just on a smaller scale. You can find design inspiration for RV porches on Pinterest. Start this DIY project by considering the best decking material for your RV travel style and budget. Determining the porch platform's size and height of the stairs, just as you would do if buying a pre-built extension, is the next step. Do not forget to consider the available storage space in your RV for the disassembled porch tiles, stairs, and base support structure.
You can find various online DIY deck plans; the Spruce features nine examples here. Floating, freestanding, or island deck plans could prove very helpful in designing your RV porch. You will want a dependable yet easy to disassemble base to support the deck tiles. Pre-planning is essential to a completed project. Once you have taken measurements and gathered all the necessary materials and tools, have fun building! Soon enough, you will enjoy the view from your RV portable porch.
How Much Do Portable RV Porches Cost?
Pre-built portable porch systems cost between $1,075 and $1,500 depending on the size of the platform and height of the stairs. This range is based on Sunrise RV Products' pricing and does not include shipping to your location. The cost of a DIY portable porch system will, of course, depend on the building materials you select and the size of the platform.
Add A Portable Porch To These RV’s
We’ve found some great examples of fifth wheels and motorhomes with sliding glass doors and power awnings, ideal locations for adding a portable porch.
Heartland - Charleston
There is no better way to spend quality time in the Heartland than with the Charleston model’s extended living space features. Heartland’s 41’ fifth wheel with a GVWR of 18,000-pounds has optional interior slide-rooms. Add a portable deck beneath the double power awning with LED lighting. Read more about the Charleston model here.
Forest River - Cedar Creek 341K Hathaway Edition
Getting outdoors has never been easier than from Forest River’s 37’ fifth wheel, Cedar Creek model, with a GVWR of 16,190-pounds. Add a portable patio off the sliding glass doors. Soak in the scene from beneath the shade of the power awning. Read more about the Cedar Creek Hathaway Edition here.
Forest River - Salem Villa 42QBQ
Forest River RVs let you experience the beauty of Mother Nature from the comfort of your own home. The 42QBQ model is a 12’3” fifth wheel with a UVM of 11,759-pounds. Extend the Salem Villa's living space by adding a portable deck off the sliding glass doors beneath the 20’ awning. You can also enjoy the optional outdoor kitchen feature. Read more about the Forest River Salem Villa Classic here.
What Accessories Can I Add To My RV’s Portable Porch Or Side Patio?
Check out these fun accessories for your RV’s porch or side patio:
- An awning sunshade affixed to the front or awning sunshade attached to the side of your porch gives relief from harmful UV rays with a bit of added privacy.
- Encase your porch in a breezy screen house to enjoy being outside bug-free.
- Set the evening mood with globe string lighting.
- Lounge for the afternoon on this inflatable chaise lounge, then easily stow it away to get back on the road.
How Much Do Portable Stairs Cost?
Detachable, foldable stairs for your RV can cost from $375 to $600 depending on the height and platform size. This range is based on Port-a-Step pricing for sets of stairs from 2-steps to 5-steps, including a 23-inch by 31-inch platform. The price range does not include shipping to your location. Similarly, these MOR/ryde steps cost $341 and do not have a platform. Including a platform at the top of the stairs is a matter of personal preference. It can be a beneficial drop spot when trying to enter your RV with groceries or laundry, needing to free up your hands for the doorknob.
Can I Buy A Ramp For My RV?
Do not let a couple of steps prevent you from the RV'ing lifestyle. You can buy a Roll-a-Ramp portable system for your RV for ease of entry and exit. This ramp system is designed from aluminum for easy assembly and disassembly with quick-connect pins and adjustable legs. Systems are available for Class A, Class C, and fifth wheel rigs. The ramp includes handrails, either for one side or both sides. The ramp's length can be extended, or a platform can be added simply by adding aluminum tiles. A Roll-a-Ramp system cost ranges from $4,000 to $7,860, not including shipping to your location.
With so many available options for RV portable porches and side patios, you are sure to find the best fit for your RV lifestyle. Check out VEHQ’s RV section for more ideas about available floorplans and extended living spaces.
Looking for something to decorate your RV's patio or porch? Check out 12 Fun RV Accessories That Will Take Your Rig to The Next Level.