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@carryingforks nice design! I'm trying to figure out something that expands in both directions, out to the windows and also towards the front like what you have. Or may go with flip down panels. It's great to see your design in action. Do you have any closeups of the underside and the sliding mechanism?
 

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@carryingforks nice design! I'm trying to figure out something that expands in both directions, out to the windows and also towards the front like what you have. Or may go with flip down panels. It's great to see your design in action. Do you have any closeups of the underside and the sliding mechanism?
There's no mechanism. It's simply plastic that's made to fit inside a 15 Series slot, and that makes contact with the angle aluminum. Since the back half of the bed is bolted down, the front half can't move more than ~3/32" in either side-to-side direction (based on the gaps between the slats).

This is the forward-most drivers side: The bolted cross beam is the front of the rear half, the unbolted one is the front of the front half.

Automotive design Stairs Automotive exterior Vehicle door Wood
 

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2021 Transit 148 HR AWD
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@PDub here's a 3/4 inch (at the edge) approach" At the back and front door edges of the bed, use a 2.5 x 2.5 x 0.25 inch aluminum angle. For the support(s) in the middle of the bed use 1x2 x 0.25 aluminum rectangular tube. Then put 1/2 inch baltic birch over this. You will lose only 3/4 inch of height at the front and back, and 1.5 inch of height at the supports in the middle. You could, of course, also use steel if you like working with it.
 

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Lurker here. Bikes are tall. I lay mine flat. The wheels are the tallest part of the setup. I’m also suspending the bed platform at the back instead of a beam below for extra clearance.
Noah, thanks a ton for sharing. That is an ingenious design. You just made me rethink my entire bed-over-bikes/skis design. The rest of your build looks great, too. You should seriously consider creating a build thread of your own.

Did you use a router to cut slots in your floor insulation to clear the corrugations? That would save ~1/2" of space, but I envision it being difficult to translate the complicated corrugation pattern to the insulation.

How did you attach the sliding rails for the bike drawer to the floor of the van?
 

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2020 T-250 AWD Blue MR 148" WB 3.5
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You should seriously consider creating a build thread of your own.
Agreed, at some point I'll spend the time to detail the build.

Did you use a router to cut slots in your floor insulation to clear the corrugations? That would save ~1/2" of space, but I envision it being difficult to translate the complicated corrugation pattern to the insulation.
I did, it just required some patience and measuring. I would not do it again though. I would just cut wood strips to fill the gaps. My entire floor assembly as it sits has theoretical effective R-Value of 7.498, Wood filler strips and 1" XPS would have net a theoretical effective R-Value of 6.706. With a temp Delta of 65 degrees I.e. inside temp 65 outside temp 0, the difference in BTU/hr to maintain that temp delta is 61. Womp womp, my heater puts out 2.2kw or 7,500 Btu/hr. Humans sleeping approx 275 BTU/hr.

People often misinterpret R-values.
  • An un-insulated bare sheet metal floor with nothing else would have a theoretical effective r-value of .85, 20-gauge steel (.00009), Interior air film (.68) exterior air film (.17) This would require 4588 Btu/hr.
  • Add a layer of 1/2 inch XPS and a plywood floor, total assembly R 3.82 (r-values are additive, previous un-insulated floor .85 plus half inch of XPS 2.35 and 1/2 inch plywood floor .62) and that heat loss drops to 1020 BTU/hr a 3568 BTU/hr savings!!! Yay that's a ton, 48% of my heater output.
  • Add another 1/2 inch XPS (previous 3.82 plus 2.35) Total assembly=6.17 and the heat loss drops to 632 BTU/hr a savings of 388 BTU/hr. Huh, that's not much... 5% of my heater output.
  • Lets go crazy and add two additional inches additional XPS. Total R-value of 15.57 and the heat loss drops to 250 BTU/hr a savings of 382 BTU/hr
R-values are the best real world example of the law of diminishing returns.

How did you attach the sliding rails for the bike drawer to the floor of the van?
Bolted through my floor assembly to rivet nuts in the van floor. Rigid blocking used all the way through the floor assembly so as to not compress the insulation when bolting down. The brackets are sections I cut from a long piece of this I purchased. 8020 45-8636 Structural Shape I would have 8020 pre-cut them to length next time, $2.45 per cut is worth the saved labor of cutting the giant section of extrusion. All you would then need to do I drill the holes and relief holes for tool access. You could also use one of their pre-fabricated corner gussets. 8020 Gussets and corner brackets just find the one that matches enough of the dimension you want each bracket has a CAD drawing with dimensions. I wanted my drawer slides flat on the floor so I made my own.
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Having scrolled through about 40 different bed threads, I'm still somewhat stumped. Building a bikes-below-bed east-west system, and as always, every single little inch seems to matter. My current rough build is just using Ikea rails, which are about 2.5" deep. However, even w/ my dropper post lowered all the way, there isn't a ton of space up top. What's likely the narrowest/thinnest approach to solving this? Would 1"/25mm 80/20 be suitable (presumably I'd need more than 3 braces)? Does anyone know of a narrower option that is more of a sheet?
[/QUOTE
Most folks don’t consider working with their local metal fabricator. Have you tried that Avenue? , I was able to maximize east west and under bed space for bikes by working with a fabricator.
 

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2020 High-Extended AWD EcoBoost Cargo with windows
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We sized the bed in the last van to exactly permit the mountain bikes. Then we got new bikes. And had to raise the bed. Twice. And rebuild the sliding tray they mounted on. Total bed thickness was one inch. But that - clearly - wasn't the problem.

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So we solved both problems this time with a bed that goes from 2' to 4' or so (and a slider that completely fills the area under the bed). Total bed thickness is now a few inches - to support the frame that lifts - but that is certainly not a problem anymore.
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148106


@Noah Jensen - Stealing your flat bike mounting for one of our build models.
 

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Cool thing about the ATV ramps is they flex a bit under pressure. I'm 6'5" almost 300lbs. We have a 4" memory foam folding mattress. We're happy with it,
Hi Vanpackr - I just checked the HF ramps and they are approximately 15” wide per section. I like these better than the Northern Tool ramps (higher weight rating, no traction bars, and cheaper). With four sections that’s only 60” in N/S length. Seems a bit short for you - am I missing something? Thanks
 

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2019 250 Cargo MR LWB Quigley CCV pop-top
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A sheet of 1.125" plywood will span the width of the van without any additional support.

I also used 1.125" plywood (because I had some extra available) as the vertical supports (let's call them "sidewalls"). The sidewalls are attached to the van with two bolts on each side into the factory standard threaded provisions. A 2x4 "rail" is attached to each sidewall flush with the top of the sidewall. The 2x4 rail could be placed on either the inside or outside of the sidewall. The platform sits on top of the sidewalls and is attached down into the 2x4 rails. I might do it differently if I started from scratch, but for various reasons I put the rails on the inside of the sidewalls. I added metal angle braces to stabilize the platform so it doesn't rack from side to side. My setup also allows half of the bed platform to hinge back out of the way in case I need to haul something large. I placed the platform about 36" off the floor, but obviously you could locate it wherever you needed it.

I can provide more details if anyone is interested.
 

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We built our bed with double 3/4" plywood screwed together, and stripped a pair of 2x4's to 2x3's to keep height.

I've rebuilt the bike rack a handful of times since then... I would suggest leaving as much heigh as you can stand when building the bed, as bike seam to grow over the years!

Bed Build: http://instagr.am/p/BTo5sF4li75/
 

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Having scrolled through about 40 different bed threads, I'm still somewhat stumped. Building a bikes-below-bed east-west system, and as always, every single little inch seems to matter. My current rough build is just using Ikea rails, which are about 2.5" deep. However, even w/ my dropper post lowered all the way, there isn't a ton of space up top. What's likely the narrowest/thinnest approach to solving this? Would 1"/25mm 80/20 be suitable (presumably I'd need more than 3 braces)? Does anyone know of a narrower option that is more of a sheet?
Hi,
I am working on a bed platform now and trying to figure out the best design. Wondering what you came up with and any photos?
My plan is to use a sheet of 3/4 birch on both walls to bed height and then span the walls with 80/20 (1 inch). There will be 5 or 6 cross members. There will be a center support that will separate MTB from surf. On top will have 1/2 ply for the. I try not to get my head into the weight calculation because its difficult to calculate given there are many support members.
How high did you raise the bed. I have a Lg 29er and a seat dropper.
Thoughts?
 

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Don’t ignore the other side of that bed sandwich—the mattress. A good 4” foam can be just as comfortable as the 8-10” mattresses some people use. When it comes to mattresses, Americans have been sold a bill of goods.
 

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My plan is to use a sheet of 3/4 birch on both walls to bed height and then span the walls with 80/20 (1 inch). There will be 5 or 6 cross members. There will be a center support that will separate MTB from surf. On top will have 1/2 ply for the. I try not to get my head into the weight calculation because its difficult to calculate given there are many support members.
How high did you raise the bed. I have a Lg 29er and a seat dropper.
Thoughts?
Hi, I'm also still in the design phase (still waiting on a Transit), but I wouldn't trust 80/20 Series 10 - 1010 (1"x1") to span the full width of a Transit, for a 2-person bed. Many builders reduce that distance by building support cabinets over the wheelwells, up to the bed support height. Even doing that, I'm still going to use 1020 (1"H x 2"W) cross members (5 for my 56" wide bed), which does not add any thickness to the bed frame, but is as strong as Series 20 (2"x2") over a span.

My Trek Fuel EX8 (Large 29er) needs about 35" with the seat dropped, and the front wheel removed.
 

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I do not have a van yet, but I wonder how often do we need to go to the garage per day? The reason for the odd question is how inconvenient would be to add removable or foldable center supports to cut the E/W span in two, thus reducing the deflections by at least 4. If a center support is acceptable, then 1” thick or thinner bed platforms are a no brainer.
 
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