Ford Transit USA Forum banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Have any of you used a happijac Bed Lift in your present Van or plan to use on in the Transit. My wife loves the idea of not having to take apart the bed each day. I know they are spendy but I hope to get one used if I hear good things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
241 Posts
this is a related bed-lift idea to ponder...

I was wondering the same thing some time ago when i happened upon what might be a viable non-powered alternative for some DIY designs. Thule makes a lift system for their roof top carriers. The link is _here_. I think the idea is doable and should be easy enough to incorporate and not have to worry so much about alignment of parts/gears/etc.



Happy trails,
Thom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,158 Posts
Whatever you do try to have an arrangement that does not require you to take apart the bed each morning and then have to reassemble it each night. Before I bought the Sprinter my daughter and I rented the same size Sprinter to tour New Zealand for 2 1/2 weeks. Two reasons: one to see the country and two to learn what we liked and disliked about the conversion. Having to play with the bed each day is a pain, a 3 way refrigerator is a pain, the aisle needs to be at least 27" wide and you do not want to block the aisle with a table each time you want to eat.
Trip was very helpful to direct the conversion design for the Sprinter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,113 Posts
Have any of you used a happijac Bed Lift in your present Van or plan to use on in the Transit. My wife loves the idea of not having to take apart the bed each day. I know they are spendy but I hope to get one used if I hear good things.
Lift beds are becoming popular on smaller RVs. At this year's local RV show I saw at least 4 distinct types based on different mechanisms and location.

Personally I'd prefer a lift bed that would allow the space to double for other use during day so layout is more open. I like that better than a slideout; not that that is common on Class Bs.

My next van will definitely have some type of elevated bed, and if it's the high-roof Transit I hope there will be plenty of room to walk below the bed. Like on one Winnebago it may make sense to attach upper cabinets to bottom of bed structure. That way full access can be maintained to overhead storage while providing wider bed. Main downside is that bed won't lower as low.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,158 Posts
This subject is also being discussed on the Sprinter site.

I suggested one inexpensive way to lift a bed would be:

Buy two cheap HF winches and mount them high on one side of the van wall. Run cable down to floor and under bed platform and then back up to an anchor point high on the opposite wall. After lifting, bed would sit on the two cables that extend from one side of van to other side of van. Some sort of safety mechanism to stop winches or the van would become very narrow. Maybe better to use a single shaft with two drums and use a handle to manually turn the shaft.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,113 Posts
This subject is also being discussed on the Sprinter site.

I suggested one inexpensive way to lift a bed would be:

Buy two cheap HF winches and mount them high on one side of the van wall. Run cable down to floor and under bed platform and then back up to an anchor point high on the opposite wall. After lifting, bed would sit on the two cables that extend from one side of van to other side of van. Some sort of safety mechanism to stop winches or the van would become very narrow. Maybe better to use a single shaft with two drums and use a handle to manually turn the shaft.
A single cable running under each end of bed as you describe may require some type of guide system for the bed so it goes up and down without trying to turn on its side. Due to geometry if bed isn't guided it's inherently unstable and will drop on one side while other goes up.

One common approach in similar rigging is to use multiple cables running back to winch pullley(s).

Even if you guided the bed platform it will have a tendency to jam on tracks/slides unless pulled up evenly from four corners. I think that's why many OEM systems rely on rack and pinion drives.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,113 Posts
You would need some type of pulley at the bed corners. Cables would be at least 1' from the end of the bed. Only an idea, not a complete design.
I understand -- and it won't make any difference whether at very end or 1 foot from ends. To keep bed level I think you would need to pull evenly from near four corners. The picture posted above for a roof carrier is a good example.

Was just trying to give you a tip in case you try to build one. It's easy enough to build a rough model out of wood to test your idea. You wouldn't even need a winch or two if you make the model light enough to lift manually by pulling on cables. It'd be a fun project even if it doesn't work as planned.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,158 Posts
I will not be using cables for a bed platform. My Transit table/sleeping platform is designed and waiting for a Transit to appear. Attached is a link to the existing Sprinter design.
Sprinter-Forum - View Single Post - Orton DIY - Table/Benches/Sleeping Platform

The Transit table/sleeping platform will be similar but with a couple changes. Same benches, same removable table, same floor, same 80/20 structures. The Sprinter system has removable boards that span the gap between the table and the van side. These will be eliminated. I will have 4 "murphy" composite panels that are hinged at table height at the van wall. They will store vertically against side walls and fold down so they meet at the table centerline. Two back ones down for 1 person bed and all four down for two people. The "mattress" we use are two REI self inflating camp pads per person. Very comfortable.
The table will look the same but the front half will either be up as 1/2 the bed platform/table or will fold down to create a seat. Need a place for grandkids to ride with seatbelts. When traveling we leave back bed in place with the mattresses and sleeping bags for both beds stacked on top of the back platform. The front half of platform is used as a table for two.
The Transit is 74" wide just below the bottom of the window locations. I am 5-10" so need 73 1/2" when sleeping on my stomach. The "Murphy"design change will gain about 4" of length compared to my Sprinter bed so no more slightly diagonal sleeping.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Hello,

First post here. I do not have a van and it might take me a few years to get one, but that does not stop a man from dreaming and planning. I like the idea of a bed that lifts out of the way to free up room for cargo, motorcycles, mountain bikes, etc, when driving from place to place or for work around the house. I liked the idea of a power lift but will want to keep this as simple and inexpensive as possible. What is everyone's opinion on this type of setup by Outside Van? Lots of different pictures of different configurations. Looking at pics on this forum has me wondering how and where to mount the Versa Tie tracks in the proper spots to support these beds? Thanks for your opinions.

http://www.outsidevan.com/modular-flip-bunks.php
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Hello, first post here. All of your vans are truly inspirational. I don't have a Transit yet and have never owned a van but that does not stop one from dreaming about a potential future build. The van needs to be versatile, not just for camping. Camping is the main use but will also need to haul cargo for projects, etc....I like the idea of a bed that "goes away" for many reasons. Even thought about hammocks but I feel that would get old fairly quick. The bed lifts I have researched are somewhat complicated and heavy at times. Two things I want to avoid on my build.

Then I stumbled across what Outside Van does and I would like some opinions on whether this is doable in a Transit. There solution is convenient, light weight, and stows away quickly for cargo hauling. But I don't see how it will work in the Transit? I don't see how to attach the side wall versa tracks to an extended length, high roof Transit van? Does the wall have to be built out where somehow where the windows are? Any ideas and opinions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

http://www.outsidevan.com/modular-flip-bunks.php
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I met someone with the happijac bed lift in their van. Only got to see it in it's up space, and it dominated the van. The four floor-to-ceiling posts were very prominent. Down I'm sure it's amazing. Something to consider.

Also, you won't have room for overhead cabinets with a bed lift system.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,272 Posts
someone on this site or maybe on Sprinter site made a DIY hand winch up bed-
He did a good job and has posted pictures how he did it -

But this type bed uses up a lot of headroom -
and covers roof vent if you have one -

I made a Study Bed type arrangement that folds up
and also doubles as a desk--
I made desk so it folds up out of the way when necessary-

watch this video - mine is similar to bed @ 3.49 - Slim model

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DD34CZJFTrI&list=PLlLZeY27uuq9XtPiWGhxkp5YTX6xhu3WY
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
I made a Study Bed type arrangement that folds up
and also doubles as a desk--
I made desk so it folds up out of the way when necessary-

watch this video - mine is similar to bed @ 3.49 - Slim model

Are you able to share photos or a video of your set-up? Would love to see what you've done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
839 Posts
For some reason I only just found this thread. In case someone else finds it while looking for elevated bed ideas, here are links to mine, which raises to the ceiling using ropes, pulleys, and a small hand-cranked hoist.
http://projects.foxharp.net/the_van/#thinking-about-the-bed
and
http://projects.foxharp.net/raised_bed_details/

The comments above, regarding how much space the bed takes, are spot on. It's out of the way when not in use, but there can be nothing permanently mounted in its "swept path" from ceiling to floor. It's not an issue for us, but might be for some.

paul
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
760 Posts
Crank lift for storage... for RV bed?

I await my 2017 Transit...built 9/5/16... and was going to put this in for bed lift... but alas it's sold out and it better return quickly! http://www.smarthome.com/racor-phl-1r-heavylift-garage-storage-system.html

It's just me and my owner ...ahem I mean it's just me and the dog... and this works on a drill or hand crank. Figured I'd put a sheet of plywood and foam on it for a bed, since the body weight is centered anyway... sigh. Guess I'll have to wait to see if it'd work. Anyone else do this? I am disabled and can not be doing a bed each day, night, whenever I need a nap. hahaha plus I need the space below since all my stuff and service dog take up a lot of space. :blush:

ah it's only sold out at the one place .... let me know what you think if you have time to do so...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
760 Posts
The problem with the pics at the sprinter forum is you have to join the forum to view them...

However, eventually I will put my bed at the ceiling. I cannot figure out why someone needs all the hoopla when it appears that 4 pulleys and properly run rope, a tie off... isn't enough. (Of course now might be a good time to explain I've been running a fever off and on for a week... since before I got back from the RTR AZ run.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
839 Posts
The problem with the pics at the sprinter forum is you have to join the forum to view them...
there's a lot of really good info over there. if you're doing much conversion work on your transit, it's probably worth subscribing to the sprinter forum. they've been doing it for many years, and the vans are pretty similar.

However, eventually I will put my bed at the ceiling. I cannot figure out why someone needs all the hoopla when it appears that 4 pulleys and properly run rope, a tie off... isn't enough.
in my case, weight would make that solution a non-starter. our frame and mattress and bedding come to about 100lbs. even if you didn't need the rigidity that we did (no support in the middle when down, for a queen-sized bed), i think you'd be hard pressed to get under 50 or 60lbs. that's a lot to lift and tie off. even if i could do it, i suspect my wife wouldn't be happy if i wasn't around. plus there's the safety issue -- what happens if the rope slips, and the bed comes crashing down? the crank/winch system seemed like a good solution to me. (links to my design a couple of posts back.)
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top