What do you use to get a dog in and out of the truck bed?

One of the main reasons I’m getting rid of my traditional RTT for the GFC as our 75lb Golden Retriever is getting pretty difficult to carry up and down a ladder (especially after a few drinks). I need this dude to start pulling his own weight and get himself in and out of the truck.

I’m curious what everyone uses to get their dog up and down the tailgate when camping. I was planning on getting a small folding step stool for my wife and I, but it probably wouldn’t be big enough for the dog. Small on space and light on weight is preferred.

Yeah, I can see how a ladder would be tough. I wouldn’t try that with my pup because she gets squirmy.

She would like to jump up herself but at 11 years old she doesn’t have the vertical anymore. So I lift her (65 lbs) up to the tailgate. Then climb up myself and lift her upstairs if she is sleeping up there. It works pretty well.

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My dog jumps from fridge up into the camper. I had to use treats to teach her to jump on fridge and then up into the camper. It’s worked great for us to get our dog in and out.!


I like this, and think we can get him trained to do something similar. How do you get her in truck bed in the first place?

She jumps in the bed anytime I have the tailgate down. Here’s a pick of my fridge and the first camp trip with assuie when I had my fridge in truck.

I do heavy deadlifts. You just need to get more muscle bro. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Just kidding but it helps.

I built a ramp for our 14 yo pup using legs from a folding table and a piece of plywood. Then a friend had his dog pass away and gave us this ramp. It is light, compact and sturdy enough. I believe he said he got it at pet smart.


At camp the first thing to come out of the truck is the yeti cooler and my dog uses that to jump up to the tailgate. Ive got 4 frontrunner boxes stacked and ratcheted in the back of the bed and she will usually hop up a duffel or whatever is lying there and then those to the top. It took her some getting used to, but we live in the truck so she figured it out fast. She’d rather be in the camper than in the cold and knows very well its her home. Been doing it for months now in and out without me, I just remember to pull the panels for her and if I forget she’ll remind me. The height of 3 or 4 boxes stacked really helps a lot to get all the way up to the tent, plus shes a smaller/medium sized dog. I also use the cooler for myself to step up to the tailgate and on whatever is in the bed to get up into the tent. I carry a ladder for the tent, but prefer going in from the bed, especially in cold or bad weather. I only really use the ladder if the bed is jam packed with gear.

As for your dogs, I would try to get them to go up things you already have in there if possible but realize all dogs are different. For my last dog I had a plywood ramp that slid-out to get him up into the bed (pre-GFC). He was 100lbs and getting old, though he refused to use it or anything else I tried and after he couldn’t jump I carried him up it till the day he left us. Im very glad this one has it figured out, especially when space is precious in a short bed, I dont need extra stuff taking up more space so everything must have multiple purposes. I also use the cooler or frontrunner boxes as seats around camp as well.

@LBS_TRDadventures Is your fridge platform bolted to your bed? Did you use factory mounting locations or did you drill holes? I kinda want a slide out but don’t want a full platform or build out. I like the relative simplicity of your set-up. At the end of the day I’d like my truck to still be able to do truck things.

@dbortz right now my fridge is mounted to a dometic slide on 3/4 piece of plywood I left over from platform build. The plywood isn’t mounted to bed yet as I’m trying to figure out where I want put it permanently. I’m not sure what I want to do in my Tundra build, trying to keep it simple as well!

Cargo strapped in place for now, not pretty but works