Scion Xb Camper Conversion

Wanna turn your Scion into a weekend camper? This is just one way to do it. The goal was to make it so you could remove everything and reinstall the seats. Nothing was permanently altered. My Mom is in her 70's and lived in this for 6+ weeks.

This was also a completely hand-crafted, custom build. Once I posted the video on you tube, people wanted plans, but there were none. I just figured it out as I went. Especially when it comes to the bed platform. You're going to have to be creative with all those curves. But it is possible! I'm not a pro and I did it.

The car/camper is 1600 miles away from me. So I don't have a complete set of pictures or a way to make more videos. Sorry, I just had to do the best I could with what I had and/or remembered.

Step 1: Supplies

1 - 4x8' plywood sheet. We went with 3/4' thickness.

8 feet of 1.5" x 1.5"

16 feet of 2" x 4"

If you make the foot extension, you need a piano hinge, 4 more feet of the 1.5 x 1.5"

If you make shelves, you need more supplies as well

Miscellaneous: dowel rod, glue, screws, drill, measuring tape, a level.

Other stuff I forgot.

A ton of patience and persistence.

Step 2: Build the Frame

The floor of the Scion is not level, so you have the build the frame to compensate for this.

Look at the pictures to get an idea of the general concept. Those pieces labelled "A" and "B"... I will refer to them as "struts". The ones on the driver's side are shorter by an inch than the passenger side. As I would build each section of the frame, I would set it into the car and use a level, side-to-side AND front-to-back, and adjust each strut to get it all level. Then I screwed it together. No two struts are the same length.

***Make sure the surface your car is sitting on is level*** Your standard garage floor is NOT. Garage floors are, in general, slanted to allow water to flow downhill toward your garage door and not toward your house.

Step 3: Measurements

These are the measurements of the frame. The bottom and top look identical, but their measurements are not.

I'm not sure how to explain this concept, but I'll try. The height of the platform bed is arbitrary. It is determined by the length of the struts. If you make them longer then you'll have more storage underneath. But what you add to storage you then take away from head space as you sit up on the platform. So I designed this one so my Mom could sit up comfortably in the morning with room to spare.

So you can play with that concept if you want storage galore underneath and don't care about the headspace. Keep in mind though that as the platform height changes, then the size, shape and dimensions of the platform will change to conform to the sides of the Scion. Which is fine, cuz your custom shaping that part by hand anyway.

Step 4: Videos

The first video shows how I would place a piece in and then get out the level. Normally I would have a second person go to the far end of that level and drop a tape measure to the floor, that way we knew how high to make the next part (strut) in order to keep it all level. Every step had to be done like this.

The second video was done as to try to show how it worked together, it does show how the foot part folds up and how it's supported by a separate brace that sits in the slide brackets of the passenger seat.

Step 5: Platform

The platform is made form a single 4x8 sheet. Some measurements are shown in the picture, but not a lot because it was hand formed. I literally started with a big sheet of cardboard and put in inside, then rough cut the cardboard to fit the contours of the sides of the car. Traced that onto the plywood sheet and cut it with a jigsaw. I must have put the sheet in the car and taken it out 10 times, making small cuts each time until it fit close enough.

I don't like the way the foot part functions. I wish there was an easier way, but I only had a weekend to create, design and build the whole thing. Maybe you can come up with a better way or easier way. The square brace that it rest on works great, but I don't have any measurements of that. You're going to have to wing it.

When it was done, then I cut the section out that the spare tire fits under. That's pretty simple. You want to make sure though that the seams run roughly down the middle of the frame 2x4s so it sits nicely.

Step 6: Tree Shelves

This final step I did not include. Again, it was all free-handed and Mom wanted a "Mother Nature" vibe. I love it, but it's not as stable as I'd like. It's screwed into the bed platform using L-braces, but in order to really make it stable would require securing it to the headliner. I initially did it with velcro, but this proved to be a poor design. This is an idea to work on in the future.

Well, that's it. Sorry it couldn't be more detailed or easier. I wasn't planning on making this an instructable, so please forgive the many missing instructions!

It was a blast to do and my Mom loves it.

I welcome comments and questions, but don't check internet often at all.

Craig

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    2 Discussions

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    KVSBUNNY

    14 days ago

    Very nice! I hope Mom had a nice trip!

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    seamster

    15 days ago

    This looks like a great build, thanks for sharing the details! : )