So I looked in the archive, and found this example of RVer creativity to share. If you are not an RVer, you may not know why you sometimes see a deep notch centered on a pick-up truck's tailgate. These allow the hitching pin on a fifth wheel trailer to slide into the truck's hitch (bolted in the bed of the truck) without lowering the tailgate. If you have a normal tailgate, you must open it, hitch, and then close the tailgate. I have a short bed truck, however, and I run the risk that the tailgate in the down position will hit the RV during hitching. My solution was to simply take the tailgate off, which works -- but it means I can't transport anything else in the bed of the truck when I travel. A notched tailgate is on my list, so when I saw this home-made tailgate in the park I had to check it out.
The tailgate is made with sections of PVC pipe, which allow it to be customized for this truck and the height of the hitch. I talked with the man who made it, and he said he used PVC glue to hold the pieces together, and then painted it to match the truck. He cut notches in the side to match the pins on the truck that hold the tailgate in the closed position, and added some wood reinforcement to the sections that connect to the bottom of the truck. It feels as firm and sturdy as any other tailgate. While I don't think I will actually do this, I thought it was a great do-it-yourself project -- RVers are a creative bunch of people!