Mounting tailgate table


JK Enthusiast
Mar 28, 2022
I have a plan to build my own table, and unlike most, I don't plan on leaving it attached/connected to the tailgate except when we plan on needing it.
I'm designing a shelf/table with the primary intention of using it to support a cook stove, or for tailgating.
I'll be using a set of metal shelf standards like this to create 2 vertical supports approximately 18"-20" apart, mounted directly to the tailgate, just below the plastic wire cover. These will remain in place at all times.

For the brackets, I'll use a set of these (or similar):

For the shelf itself, I plan on using a length of this, (which I will permanently secure to the above brackets):

I'll probably mount it 'upside down' to give the shelf a short lip on the front edge, but I'll see how it works both ways before deciding anything permanent.

So my real question is this:
What types of hardware are folks using to secure to the tailgate?
I'm figuring I need rivets, nut-serts, or some type of expanding anchors as the tailgate is hollow.
The good news is that by using a 10"-12" length of material for the vertical supports, I'll have 3-4 mounting points on each side, so that should be plenty strong.
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View attachment 120860

I think I'd rather drop the $80 rather than trying to invent something myself.
But, if you click the link and open the instructions, it will tell you what size to drill and fit the nutserts you're looking for.
I'm a bit of a fabricator, and all of the reasonably-priced tables that I found were like the one pictured above; too low. None that I have found 'flip up'.
I want my table to be about here when in use, and the only way that i can see that working is if it is removable rather than foldable.
Yeah, the only 1 I know that flips up is by Smittybilt, but it has a nice price with it too.
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TBH, that's a nice little tailgate table. Not sure how useful it'll be since it is quite small. But aren't most of these about that size? I gotta check. Be regardless, 80 rocks isn't too bad.