My initial build
was a minimal bed that could be removed to replace seats back to stock. The longer I had the van, the more I realized:
- I did not convert it often, as my mattress was heavy and hard to store
- The space underneath the bed was too small and hard to use
- I became more comfortable veering from the idea of returning to stock
I stumbled upon Vandoit and really liked their builds so modeled my own after theirs. Their LIV model uses a manual hydraulic lift to raise and lower the bed, which I really liked. No need to run power, and additional clearance for bikes when needed. I was also lucky enough to find a bedslide on craigslist that fit perfectly. Their DO model allows for beds to fold out of the way and be reconfigured. I eventually arrived on a combination of the two. I started by modeling the side cabinets and bed base. Using 15 series extrusion, I also mocked it up using 2x2s to verify my CAD. The goal was to order cut to length and tapped so it could be assembled as a kit.
Initially I had planned to run lateral extrusion and U-bolt to the original seat mounts to create mounting points for the bedslide, but changed to using ¾” ply as a cheaper temporary setup. I removed some material and added some kaizen foam in non-structural areas to hide tools or other items.
I had a solid bed frame designed but worked on the idea to split it in the middle so each half could fold out of the way. I added an overhead rail with some supports to hold movable/removable shelves, a TV, lights, as well as the bed halves separately.
I replaced my heavy memory foam mattress with two tri-fold cot sized mattresses. I can configure a near-queen E-W, or set-up just half to be a cot size, although I will need to add an extension. There were some dimensions I changed on the fly and will need to adjust to have my halves fold down straighter, they can also fold up when the hydraulics are in the lower position. The intention was to allow the option for the kids to sleep below the bed on the bedslide when needed. When in Queen E-W position the two halves are supported by braces which get stored under the bedslide when not in use. The hydraulic has a 16" stroke.
For electrical I used a Goal Zero Yeti 1000 and Trigger six shooter controller
I reached a usable state and progress slowed. Still to do is finish out the side cabinets for usable storage, finish wiring, probably add some sort of heater, and countless other things.
- Upgraded jumper seat to quick release
- Replaced carpet with sheet vinyl
- Thinsulate insulation in ceiling
- Custom Extrusion roof rack
- OVS 270 degree Awning
- Flatline Van Side Ladder
- Passenger side swivel
- B-Pillar Lagun Table