A Mobile Office in a Van:

Several years ago I had a custom Chevy van that served as my office on wheels. It had everything I needed – all the comforts of home and all the technology of an office. At the time, I was running a small software consulting company designing and developing applications for the government, large and medium sized companies and school systems in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. My office on wheels was always near by. Then one day someone crossed the yellow line into my side of the road.

Life goes on: I don’t have that custom van anymore and my business has changed. However, my thirst for technology remains strong. I can now be connected to the Internet nearly 100% of the time. I carry my laptop with me most of the time. So, I need a desk for it where ever I go. Here are my recent creations…

My 1st Cup Holder Laptop Desk:

The following PVC Pipe Laptop Desk was for a rental car that had two big cup holders between the bucket seats. It worked well. I just pushed the desk base into one of the holders and found a perfect fit! The big test was when I drove from Arlington, MA to Goshen, Conn to a RE/MAX seminar. It was two hours one way. I had GPS connection all the way and I had Wireless Broadband connection most of the time.


  1. I only read and responded to emails at rest stops.
  2. I was using Microsoft Streets and Trips 2007 with GPS Locator stuck to my laptop’s cover using velcro. No need for a long USB cable. I just use a retractable cable.

Here’s a picture of the laptop desk before I took it apart. I didn’t cement any of the pieces together so I could re-configure it for another vehicle – my Beetle as you will see:

Car Laptop Desk
PVC Cup Holder Laptop Desk for Vehicles


My 2nd Cup Holder Laptop Desk – for My VW Beetle:

This was a bit more of a challenge to make with the tight space, but so far it seems to work well. If you are familiar with PVC pipe and fittings you’ll notice that this has two joints that allow the desk to swivel for comfort and can be easily removed. After I’ve used this laptop desk in my car for a few days and I’m convinced the design works well, I’ll paint it black to match the Beetle’s interior:


VW Beetle Laptop Desk
PVC Laptop Desk for VW Beetle

For now it looks more like a sink drain than a desk support:

VW Beetle Laptop Desk part 1
PVC Laptop Desk for VW Beetle

PBC Laptop Desk - base detailPBC Laptop Desk - base detail

Click on Images for larger view

UPDATE: 12/18/06, changed PBC to PVC

I used to work at IBM, where this time of year was PBC time.

  • PBC = Personal Business Commitments
  • PVC = Polyvinyl Chloride

Seasons greetings to my friends at IBM. I’m thinking of you. When I figure out what I can make out of PBC I’ll let you know. For now, I’ll stick with PVC.