Sunday, August 17, 2014

My Weekend Project: A PVC Camping Lamp Post and Flag Holder

I have seen a few of these around campsites and I knew I would like to have one. The only problem that I had is The Husband.

He already thinks we drag too much stuff with us when we go camping and if I had told him my desire to have a PVC Camping Light Pole he would have shut it down quickly!

So, that leaves a girl with only one choice: Figure out how to do it by herself.

I did some internet searching and found a few road maps on RV forums. They seemed easy enough!

I visited the local hardware store for the supplies:

  • An exterior post lantern light
  • 2 inch PVC pipe (I used 5 feet but had to purchase a 10 foot piece)
  • A 3 inch toilet flange
  • A 3 inch to 2 inch Reducer
  • PVC Glue
  • A 12 foot electric cord kit
  • 2 - 3/4 inch PVC Caps
I also used a few supplies we already had on hand:

  • White Spray Paint

  • 3 1/2 foot - 3/4 inch PVC Pipe
  • Drill Bits (1 inch and 1/2 inch)
  • Tent Stakes

  • The first step was preparing the lantern light. I could only find black in the store and I knew I wanted all white. I covered the glass with paper and tape then used some white spray paint I had on hand and painted the light. 

    Next, it was time to prepare the 2 inch PVC pole. I needed a 1 inch hole at the top to put the 3/4 inch pipe through. I also needed a smaller hole at the bottom for the cord to come out through. The Husband and his friend, Gary, actually helped with the drilling. We do not have a drill press so we knew getting the hole level would be tricky. If you can't tell from the photos, we are off a bit but I am okay with how close we got. 

    Afterwards, I trimmed up the smaller side with a saw. I put end caps on the two ends of the smaller PVC pipe. I glued one end cap on (the longer side) and did not glue the smaller end. (This will allow the smaller pipe to be removed.)

    The next step was to secure the pole to the base. I used the 3-inch toliet flange as a base. I read that you could attach the flange to wood but I decided that wood would take up space on the transport. So, I opted to use tent stakes to secure the flange to the ground.   Assembling this was easy. You put some glue inside the flange and push the reducer in. Add some more glue to the inside of the reducer and push the PVC pipe into it. 

    Normally my projects do not include drills, saws, and electrical wiring. After helping with the holes, I had to keep reminding The Husband that this was my project and I would ask him if I needed help!

    The wiring was easy.  I threaded the electrical cord in through the small hole we drilled and up through the top. The lantern came with two wires: a black and white. The cord kits also came with two wires.  I easily twisted the four wires together and put the cap on. Afterwards I pushed the extra back down in the pipe. 

    The final step was putting the lantern on the pvc pole. We selected to not glue or otherwise permanently adhere the lantern to the top of the pole. We wanted to be able to access the wiring if something went wrong. We were also mindful of storing and transporting the pole.

    To summarize, the light comes off and the small PVC pole can come out for easy storage.  The total project cost me about $50.  I have found and ordered a personalized sign that I will hang from the larger side of the 3/4 inch PVC pipe. I am so excited about this find! You can even personalize the camper to match your own camper! I found them on Etsy and you can check them out here!

                                                 Pop Up Camper Camping Campsite Welcome SIGN PERSONALIZED Weatherproof Great Gift

    This was a relatively easy project to make. I am thankful The Husband helped with the drilling, that would have been a bit intimidating for a newbie like me. However, I did manage to  use a saw and did some basic electrical wiring. 

    Happy Camping!

    I have linked up to these great parties!


    1. You did a GREAT job! Now if I could only do this, ;-)

    2. This summer came and went without any thought of using the tent, until early September when our church group organized a campout.

    3. How long is the 3/4 inch pipe ?

    4. Great job. It looks very professional. I might make this my next camping project.