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.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.
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.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.
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.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 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
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.The problem with the pics at the sprinter forum is you have to join the forum to view them...
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.)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.