Step 2: Plan

Picture of Plan

Take all those measurements and decide how big your bed will be and how high you'll raise it.

Sketch out a plan - we used SketchUp, but drawing on a napkin would work just as well. Basically you want a flat bottom, two risers on either side and a top. While you might be tempted to skip the bottom, it adds structural stability and prevents the whole thing from sliding around. A flat plywood bottom is also preferable to 2x4 bracing as it makes it much easier to slide the storage bins in and out.

Things to consider:
  • size of the bed (we fit a double mattress with room on all sides)
  • how you will fit in the storage bins (we made sure the openings were wide enough to utilize the most space possible)
  • best use of lumber - you'll want to minimize the number of cuts and scrap
Nice art.. I did something like this bed once in north Minnsota at 20 below ,and had my 2 dogs sleeping below me in a cabin. The bed was suported by concret blocks with foam insulation on the outside and under us. I only had one electric blanket for us all, so when it got real cold I invited them to sleep with me. Thats when I figured out what a 3 dog nite was. ....................................
NOW I am in Ca, and making a camping Van bed. Im thinking a water -bed bottom foundation and a top of foam is perfect The water bed will be self -leving 4" bed = 4" of leveling maybe 2" or 3" will be enuf. This will surely make sleeping a lot more comfortable .. ..,.... Do any of you see a problem with this? I will keep the bed on the Van floor, it seems to involved and heavy to make a platform under the bed, when it seems cabinets above the bed or shelves and or drawers will be fine .. I will only need a single bed for now and plan on using the outer frame rail as a bench or seat too . Did this seat before and it worked really well, but must be 8 or 10 inches and padded dto be comfortable.
Please write if you have any other sugestions or thoughts. The bed is 6 by 8'.
totszwai4 years ago
For the joists, you could perhaps go to IKEA and just buy their premade joists, they are lighter and easier to deploy as well.
kuato4 years ago
I love this, but is it wrong that I'm most impressed with the use of SketchUp? Please tell me you didn't model the van...I'm hoping you were able to download it, otherwise I'm going to need a lot more practice with SketchUp :)