When it came to our bed design we really wanted something that was set up all the time and would be comfortable. We have owned travel trailers before and in both cases, we had to spend some time putting together the bed each night. And most times it was putting cushions together and this is not the most comfortable.
So with that thought, the idea of building a full tempurpedic bed mattress across the back of the van came into existence. We started with measurements and building the bases on both sides. We have incorporated storage on the driver’s side and our 21-gallon freshwater tank is on the passenger’s side (we did this as the gas tank is on the driver’s side and we wanted to equal out the weight). For the base with the water tank, we created a cut-out slot so that we could easily see how much water we have in the tank. We then added storage on top that can hold our straps and small items in place.
We built both sides out of 3/4″ plywood and pre-painted all the wood before we built and installed it. To install the bases we used rivet nuts and added 8 locations of connection to the walls of the van. This has worked extremely well. One thing we like to do is take a trip in the van after each project completion because the one thing we do not want is a lot of rattles and noise. So far so good.
Next would be the base for the bed to rest on. We watched a lot of videos and read several good blogs on making sure that the mattress is getting ventilation. The bed frame is made of aluminum. We had Display by Choice custom build use two panels with coroplast and then had two inch holes cut in this plastic sheeting to create that airflow. Each panel can be removed or stacked to give us extra height if we needed to move something tall.
My wife and I are both under 6ft tall so having the bed run sideways in the van gives us more room, and we were able to get two drawers and our two bikes to fit. We used the extra space in the van wall inserts to give us more room. We used Thinsulate on the walls and then put a thin sheet of wood to cover that. Once we topped the wood with carpet the interior really started to come together.
We now have a very comfortable bed that is set up for easy use on long trips. We have a little over 3ft above the bed to sit up because of the high roof model. We will soon be adding a cabinet at our feet for clothes and a small shelf above our heads to set our phones or tablets when we go to bed.
Let me know if you have any questions or would like to share your bed set up. Some of the ideas I see online really blow me away and I love the design process.