Bed Platform Feedback Request - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-30-2016, 06:45:PM Thread Starter
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Bed Platform Feedback Request

I have started working on Gidget's bed and I'm interested in what the community thinks of my plan:

  • Full size bed mounted perpendicular to the van
  • High enough that the bed will fit into the middle section of the van at the widest point and provide plenty of space underneath the bed for storage
  • Low enough that we can still sit in bed on one side (other side will probably have overhead cabinets)
  • Mount 2 2x6 on the sides of the van using 4 bolts on each side (2 M8x1.25 and 2 1/4-20)
  • Span the van with 6 2x3 to act like slats
  • 2x3 will only be screwed in on one side of the van to allow the van to flex
  • Attach 3/8 AC plywood to the slats with screws
  • Attach a 1x6 to the front and back to prevent the bed from flying at my head and make it look nice
  • Probably go with a full size Casper mattress



Questions:
  • Anyone use the stock M8 rivnuts for anything? Will they be strong enough for a bed (300lbs of humans, 60lb bed, weight of wood)?
  • Are the side walls sturdy enough to do this?
  • We could force some 2x3 legs under the 2x6s for extra support but our floor flexes a little bit around the edges so I'm not sure how much it would do. Thoughts?

2016 350 HD SRW Transit HR Van 148″, 3.5L EcoBoost® V6 Engine, 3.31 Limited Slip Axle, QuadVan 4×4, SYNC 3, Pewter power 10 way seats, Reverse, parking alert, Lane keeping alert, Dual batteries, Trailer tow package, PATS, Anti-Theft, Upfitter switches, Running Board, Privacy Glass

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Last edited by morey; 05-30-2016 at 06:47:PM.
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-30-2016, 09:14:PM
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I don't think the van needs to flex, but I haven't considered that. I have heard of a lot of people using aluminum motorcycle ramps for frames and I just assumed they were positively attached.

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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-30-2016, 10:35:PM
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We did a very similar design for a bed in our van and it works great. I secured both sides of the slats as they rattled a bit too much without being screwed down. I notched the 2*6 for the slats and made sure the bed was high enough so that the bins we use for storage underneath the bed all fit easily. Our composting toilet also fits under the bed and slides forward for use.

We are able to store two folding chairs between the back of the bed and the back doors but another inch of space would have been nice so determine what you might want to store back there and leave enough room.

I attached the 2*6's with bolts through existing holes in the side panels and it's plenty strong.

Good luck.
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-30-2016, 10:36:PM
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Should be fine. Complete it and test it.

If it flexes too much add 3/8" ply to the bottom with rigid polyiso insulation between the two pieces of plywood.

One comment about bed length. I am 5'-10" and had a 70" bed length in the sold Sprinter. Did not think sleeping a bit diagonally would be a problem. It was. If you limit the insulation in the window indents, you can get a 74" bed length at about 32" bed platform elevation.

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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-30-2016, 10:57:PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sawyer View Post
I don't think the van needs to flex, but I haven't considered that. I have heard of a lot of people using aluminum motorcycle ramps for frames and I just assumed they were positively attached.


In the van DIY community it might be another one of those insulation like topics where everyone has a different opinion.

Do unibody van flex and contort? I don't know.

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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-30-2016, 11:42:PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morey View Post
In the van DIY community it might be another one of those insulation like topics where everyone has a different opinion.

Do unibody van flex and contort? I don't know.
They definitely do twist. The question is if it makes and difference to a DIY builder. I bolted everything in the sold Sprinter without any accommodation for van body twisting. Did not seem to have any problem. My 08 Sprinter was less rigid than my 15 Transit. I approach my driveway diagonally and the Sprinter would lurch as the body twisted. The Transit does not do that. The Transit has significantly more structural tubing above the slider doors and has a wider "box" construction at the base of the walls that the Sprinter did not have. I have not made any allowances for the van body twisting on my Transit conversion. So far do not see anything negative with that approach.

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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-31-2016, 02:05:AM
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Wood part is plenty -- 2x6 is really strong -

Bolting to wall -
there are locations on the wall that are stronger than others -

Try to use those locations -
where the braces are - doubled metal thickness - Tie down area - Box sections -

using the holes that are in the van Already has its drawbacks - Measuring accurately-

Clamping wood in place to wall- then drilling thru wood into metal Much Easier/ Faster and accurate -
then install rivnuts -

I put Loctite Bearing Locker on outside of rivnut for stronger grip -
dont know if it really helps - but I did not have any rivnuts spin -

watch the video on this post#2 - he has a complete van build video-
shows how they build a Euro Style van - lightweight and strong enough -
Euro Van Build Videos


almost all of the Eurovan builds use wood blocks Glued to van wall or skin -
then whatever needs to be attached is screwed into this wood blocks -

screwing into sheet metal is used when location is available --

2x2 and 1/4 " plywood - sheet metal and wood screws -
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-31-2016, 02:23:AM
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That should be plenty. You might consider going the moto ramp or Ikea bed slat route for lighter weight and to make it easier to remove. Most of the outfitters use a three panel configuration with each end resting on 1 1/2" angle iron rails. I did the same with a $100 three panel aluminum atv ramp from Harbor freight. I just drilled out the hinges and cut each one to length, glued and screwed 1/4 ply ( I'd probably use 1/2" if I did it again) and covered them in indoor/outdoor carpet. Each panel weighs 15lbs and the original ramp was rated at 1500 lbs, so they are ridiculously strong. You could set something like that right on the top edge of your 2x6 ledgers that you have on the wall. In my van, the panels fit very snugly in the rails and I've never had any problem with flexing or squeaking. To secure them when I'm driving, I run a long tie down strap over the end of the whole bed and down through a couple of the D-rings.

Harbor Freight ramps:

http://www.harborfreight.com/super-w...amp-90018.html

My three panel bed:

Another Minimalist Conversion

JP
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-31-2016, 01:53:PM
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I did something similar but didn't use wood. Where you attached the piece of wood I used a piece of metal strip to attache to the sides underneath the windows. I used washers to push the metal strip out about an 1/8th of an inch. I then used some telescoping bed rails that I picked up at IKEA that have a little notch on the end so that they drop onto the metal strip. With the rails in place I put a couple of pieces of 1/2'' plywood on top after I covered them in indoor outdoor carpet (home depot). I screwed the plywood to the bed rails and then place a 6'' memory foam mattress on top. It is super comfortable. Although I'm 5'10'' so I can sleep across the back of the van. I realize that this set up doesn't work for everyone because if I was taller I would have to sleep at more of an angle. But with this setup it definitely saves more room in the van.

Heres the link to the post I did. It shows some pics of what I did. I didn't use rivnuts because I was able to put a bolt through some of the existing holes and put a washer behind them for extra support. In some places I had to drill a new hole. So far it's held up great with two people sleeping on it on some of my trips.
So.. I built a bed (With Pictures)
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 05-31-2016, 06:23:PM
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Quote:
If you limit the insulation in the window indents, you can get a 74" bed length at about 32" bed platform elevation.
Unfortunately, I'm 76" tall, and angling does not sound good, so my bed will have to run the long way.
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