Custom Bed

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 subframe - this left a gaping hole in the flooring, as well as 4 very large holes in the floor.
  • Cut a piece of 34 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 34 inch birch plywood, held together with aluminum angle - this will be what the “platform” rests on in the front.
  • Cut sections of 34 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?

seat up

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