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Hi ya'll,

I am interested in installing an elevated bed running horizontally in the rear of my Transit 250. I have done quite literally zero carpentry/woodworking/hands on so naturally I am pretty terrified and trying to keep this as simple as possible.

So far, the most appealing setup I have been able to find online is from a guide which looks like this:
139307


This potentially looks like something I could handle. My question is: where/how am I supposed to secure these on the wall of the van? I see tons of little pre-drilled holes/slots along the walls but honestly they don't look strong enough to support the weight of anything. I almost feel like I could bend the sheet metal with my hands here.

139308


Top circle is where the frame would go per the guide. The bottom circle is just a random location I found which feels really strong/secure but unfortunately can only find one of and it's quite a bit lower than the guide plan
 

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Tons of posts on this forum to address you concerns.. In short, you need legs underneath it, as instructed in the Ford BEMM.
 

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I had a very specific height requirement for under the bed. I chose to go with using ATV ramps for the platform as I also wanted part or all of the platform to be easily removable.

139311


I covered the ramps with 1/4" play and outdoor carpet to finish..
139312


You can see here the 3/4" pre finished birch ply walls, the screws at the factory hole locations (plus nuts) and the notches for the ends of the ATV ramps.
139313
 

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Koggedb - building upon what Vanpakr has shared, you could consider this: Use 3/4 plywood panels as the supporting structure for the legs of the platform bed. You could cut small holes (for your hands) in the plywood for access - then you could use simple nuts and bolts to fasten the plywood panel to the walls. The top of the plywood panel can be reinforced with another smaller section of plywood or even a 2x4 along the top edge (for a broader support of the platform bed). This smaller piece could be attached with simple wood screws. Then you could support this additional piece (hence your bed) with “legs” that support the top piece. These legs can be secured to the plywood panels. Then you can attach the platform however you wish. Cutting the access holes and fastening the supporting frame to the plywood panel would allow you to forgo getting plus nuts (which I think you must purchase 100 of them and then a speciality too to install them). The design is relatively simple and wouldn’t required specialized tools or skills! Just a thought. Good luck.
 

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The original photo you posted looks like a nice design. I bet it would just sit there with nothing securing it to the sheet metal (which is much stronger than you realize). I used a bed supported by 4 of the holes with my gf for 2 years. It held up fine, but i would recommend using more than that.
 

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2020 Transit 148 Mid Roof Crew AWD 3.5
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Hi ya'll,

I am interested in installing an elevated bed running horizontally in the rear of my Transit 250. I have done quite literally zero carpentry/woodworking/hands on so naturally I am pretty terrified and trying to keep this as simple as possible.

So far, the most appealing setup I have been able to find online is from a guide which looks like this:
View attachment 139307

This potentially looks like something I could handle. My question is: where/how am I supposed to secure these on the wall of the van? I see tons of little pre-drilled holes/slots along the walls but honestly they don't look strong enough to support the weight of anything. I almost feel like I could bend the sheet metal with my hands here.

View attachment 139308

Top circle is where the frame would go per the guide. The bottom circle is just a random location I found which feels really strong/secure but unfortunately can only find one of and it's quite a bit lower than the guide plan
I just started building my bed in my 148 mid roof crew awd. I am using 8020 aluminum. A good chop saw with an aluminum cutting blade, a file, and a riv nut tool is likely all the tools I had to purchase, albeit, I added a drill press for more accurately drilling holes. The riv nuts I used were for 1/4 inch bolts. They fit perfectly in those holes along that horizontal section above the wheel wells. It seems to be the strongest part of the van to fasten to.
I secured 8020 to i each side.
139315
139316
139317
139318
 

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Lots of functional suggestions here!

A little primer on structure for the uninitiated:
If in doubt, transfer the weight to the floor.
Vertical material thickness = vertical strength
Always use screws! No nails! (Torx bit screws are A#1, Phillips head will strip out for the lesser skilled)

A very simple system anyone can do:
Attach some sort of thin foam or fabric to the wall with tape to avoid squeaks of wood rubbing on metal; I recommend laminate floor underlayment foam.
Attach 3/4 Plywood to the walls at the desired bottom height
Cut 2x4's to length and notch/angle the bottom to fit wall inset
Attach Simpson H1Z joist hangers to the plywood. You may want to pre-attach these hangers with bolts through from the back and nuts on the outside to avoid running screws into the van wall. Short screws may pull out, so don't try to get away with 1/2 wood screws to avoid hitting the wall (spaced 24" apart for 3/4 plywood platform, 16" apart for 1/2" plywood platform)
Set 2x4s into hangers and attach
Cut plywood platform to size and attach, space screws 12" apart maximum for rigidity

Variations:
Use 2x4 or 1x4 at top of wall plywood as a ledger (shelf) and use joist hangers in same way to connect bed frame 2x4s (provides a thick board you can screw other things into later, like tie down rings)
Same thing, but used notched 2x6 or 1x6 and NO hangers; toenail (screw) the platform 2x4s to the notched ledger



Image NOT to scale or very exact at all; just to show concept:
139324
139327



The plywood of the platform will supply all the horizontal diagonal support you need, the ply on the walls will transfer all the weight to the floor. Because the ply is attached to the walls with at least 6 screws/bolts it cannot tip or twist or move fore/aft. Screws near top and bottom on each end, and in middle. Doesn't need to be exact; try to use existing holes.
 

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Hi ya'll,

I am interested in installing an elevated bed running horizontally in the rear of my Transit 250. I have done quite literally zero carpentry/woodworking/hands on so naturally I am pretty terrified and trying to keep this as simple as possible.

So far, the most appealing setup I have been able to find online is from a guide which looks like this:
View attachment 139307

This potentially looks like something I could handle. My question is: where/how am I supposed to secure these on the wall of the van? I see tons of little pre-drilled holes/slots along the walls but honestly they don't look strong enough to support the weight of anything. I almost feel like I could bend the sheet metal with my hands here.

View attachment 139308

Top circle is where the frame would go per the guide. The bottom circle is just a random location I found which feels really strong/secure but unfortunately can only find one of and it's quite a bit lower than the guide plan
You might get some ideas (or not) from my bed setup. Didn’t really have any power tools other than a miter saw, and the aluminum bed support is just made up of ATV ramps. Didn’t need to cut them or anything.
139469
 

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I followed the simple principle of post and beam because you have to distribute that load somewhere. Why not to the floor instead of warping your walls?

I installed a nailer board on side wall using butterfly anchors into existing holes and bolts where there were threaded holes. These really won’t be load bearing and only purpose is to locate and stabilize the posts.

My beams just sit on top of the posts. Reason for this is I have two sets. The taller set is so I can “easily” raise the bed platform when I want to store two bikes upright in garage. I rather like the low setup and lay two bikes on top of each other. The added headroom is much more comfortable. With the tall posts I only had about 30" of headroom while laying in the bed. I even opted for a 6" mattress to save space but it is still crowded if you are going to be hanging out back there.

Of course i ran some screws through bed platform into the beams for structural rigidity. I also drilled a bunch of 1.5 inch holes in the plywood for air circulation.
Just took a 5,000 mile trip and three of us slept east west with no problems.

EDIT: notice how i built the beams. I was trying to conserve head space so wanted them as short as possible yet with as much strength as possible. If I would have just used one board across the top it would definitely warp. So I "laminated" two 2" boards to each side. Given the grain structure and the glue used to hold them together they are super stiff. The nails were basically to hold while the glue cured. Also, note that it is important to screw the plywood platform to the beams. I can attest to the lateral strength of bonding wood this way...absolutely zero flex in the bed.
 

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Lots of functional suggestions here!

A little primer on structure for the uninitiated:
If in doubt, transfer the weight to the floor.
Vertical material thickness = vertical strength
Always use screws! No nails! (Torx bit screws are A#1, Phillips head will strip out for the lesser skilled)

A very simple system anyone can do:
Attach some sort of thin foam or fabric to the wall with tape to avoid squeaks of wood rubbing on metal; I recommend laminate floor underlayment foam.
Attach 3/4 Plywood to the walls at the desired bottom height
Cut 2x4's to length and notch/angle the bottom to fit wall inset
Attach Simpson H1Z joist hangers to the plywood. You may want to pre-attach these hangers with bolts through from the back and nuts on the outside to avoid running screws into the van wall. Short screws may pull out, so don't try to get away with 1/2 wood screws to avoid hitting the wall (spaced 24" apart for 3/4 plywood platform, 16" apart for 1/2" plywood platform)
Set 2x4s into hangers and attach
Cut plywood platform to size and attach, space screws 12" apart maximum for rigidity

Variations:
Use 2x4 or 1x4 at top of wall plywood as a ledger (shelf) and use joist hangers in same way to connect bed frame 2x4s (provides a thick board you can screw other things into later, like tie down rings)
Same thing, but used notched 2x6 or 1x6 and NO hangers; toenail (screw) the platform 2x4s to the notched ledger



Image NOT to scale or very exact at all; just to show concept:
View attachment 139324 View attachment 139327


The plywood of the platform will supply all the horizontal diagonal support you need, the ply on the walls will transfer all the weight to the floor. Because the ply is attached to the walls with at least 6 screws/bolts it cannot tip or twist or move fore/aft. Screws near top and bottom on each end, and in middle. Doesn't need to be exact; try to use existing holes.
I like this idea. Simple and strong. May i suggest that the 2x4 be laid on the flat to gain more height on bottom. I've used this myself and it was plenty strong. Make sure to screw the plywood 12" O.C. to the 2x4 to give it more strength and rigidity.
 

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This is my current bed setup. 80/20 (Part # 1515-Lite). 3 removable sections w/ 1/2" Baltic Birch on top (not shown). Bolted 80/20 (Part # 1530) vertical to van frame with 5/16" Plus Nuts. Space under bed 37".
139673
 

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That looks really good xena. We have a HR 148" as well and need to do something like this. I'm not seeing the bolt heads that hold the vertical 1530 side rails to the wall. How did you do that? At ~34" there's nothing behind the plywood walls at that height (it's above where the wall goes in). Did you build some kind of hidden framework behind this stuff so you can bolt the plywood walls and 1530 side rails to? Last question: for the bottom pieces of wall plywood, I assume you are bolting those into existing hole plusnuts, did you use a bunch of hangar bolts to mark the plywood for where the bolt holes need to be? Thanks! :)
 

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I had a very specific height requirement for under the bed. I chose to go with using ATV ramps for the platform as I also wanted part or all of the platform to be easily removable.

View attachment 139311

I covered the ramps with 1/4" play and outdoor carpet to finish..
View attachment 139312

You can see here the 3/4" pre finished birch ply walls, the screws at the factory hole locations (plus nuts) and the notches for the ends of the ATV ramps.
View attachment 139313
Is this the Harbor Freight ATV ramp?
 

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I understand that many folk want/need to keep the space under the bed unencumbered, but if you don’t, there’s a world of opportunity. This configuration, with 15 drawers, best fit my personal storage needs. Needless to say, the 1/2” ply bed board on top has no support issues. The ends hinge for access to the wheel well storage.

 

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2020 Transit 148 Mid Roof Crew AWD 3.5
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I just started building my bed in my 148 mid roof crew awd. I am using 8020 aluminum. A good chop saw with an aluminum cutting blade, a file, and a riv nut tool is likely all the tools I had to purchase, albeit, I added a drill press for more accurately drilling holes. The riv nuts I used were for 1/4 inch bolts. They fit perfectly in those holes along that horizontal section above the wheel wells. It seems to be the strongest part of the van to fasten to.
I secured 8020 to i each side.
View attachment 139315 View attachment 139316 View attachment 139317 View attachment 139318
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F87439D7-1DC7-4712-B4EC-ACF50D754EB7.jpeg
 
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