Since there are just two humans and one cat that travel in this van, and since the built-in bed leaves much to be desired, we decided to remove the back seat (that folds into a bed), and build a platform bed that can still turn into a seat for eating, etc.

I added another post with more details here

Since I did not take any photos during the construction, I will try my best to explain:

  • Removed the back seat and frame - this left a gaping hole in the flooring, as well as 4 very large holes in the floor.
  • Cut a piece of 3/4 inch birch plywood to fit this gaping hole, countersunk the “stock” bolts into this piece of wood, bolted in to the floor (using silicone around the bolt holes) then sunk 4 brass inserts into this piece of wood - the “new” seat uses these inserts to bolt to, so it COULD be removed if needed.
  • Made a box out of 3/4 inch birch plywood, held together with aluminum angle - this will be what the “platform” rests on in the front.
  • Cut sections of 3/4 inch birch plywood to form the “platform” - sections are held together with brass piano hinges, allowing the sections to be folded “up” into a bench seat.
  • The seat is held in the “up” position with some cool pins.
  • The “front” of the bed needs a support - I made one out of scrap plywood - it folds up to fit under the seat.

This allows us to sleep on a bed that is almost as nice as home. The great folks at Soaring Heart Futons set us up with a foam mattress and wool topper that fit just right. We chose a single bed size, for ease of finding sheets, etc.

Ah heck, how about some photos, OK?

Bed 1 Bed 2 Bed 3 seat up