Building the Bed Frame (Part 1)

Building the Bed Frame (Part 1)

May 4, 2015 Categories Camper Van

I decided to add a layer of Reflectix to the ceiling this morning. I was going to wait to do all the ceiling insulation until I had my solar panel installed, but the Reflectix is so thin that it shouldn’t get in my way when mounting the solar panel brackets that I’m still waiting for. It was kind of a pain to install it since I already had the ceiling framing up, but it came out alright.

Before I started working on the bed/couch frame, I spaced out for a bit thinking about how I want everything laid out. During this moment, I realized that in all my glorious magnificence I had forgotten to run the electrical wire for my propane alarm, which will be installed on the other side of the van so the wires have to run under the floor with everything else. Luckily I hadn’t started on the bed frame and it wasn’t too difficult to undo things so I could run the wire under the floor. And yes, I often space out and just stare at things thinking about what I want to do, how I want things to look, and what systems I need to work with or around. It’s very important to think about the whole picture as often as possible, not just the particular thing you’re working on at the moment.

One of the things that has been delaying me on pushing forward on the bed frame is deciding on the height. I originally planned on having a portable toilet that would be enclosed in a box with a cushion on top that would act as a regular seat for the majority of time and then would open up when needed as a toilet. It would sit directly next to additional seating and when the bed opened up, it would all connect to almost form a king size bed. The problem was that the portable toilets are about 18″ high and I planned on designing the bed frame closer to 12″ high to give me more head room. So, to keep the bed frame at the lower height, it meant giving up the wider bed. I finally caved today and decided that a 4′ wide bed will be plenty of space and I can take advantage of the seating area opposite being higher by adding the pull out / pop up table I thought of the other day.

I’m building the frame out of 2x2s, as I am doing with almost everything in the van. A lot of people think you need to use 2x4s, but you simply don’t; 2x4s can hold up a house, the bed frame just needs to hold up my fat ass. All you’re doing is doubling the weight and your costs on lumber.

Once I had the majority of the frame built, I added some 1/4″ OSB on the inside to create the storage compartment walls. The outside of the frame will be covered in 1×4 boards later on.

I also finally put the other bolts in on the water tank straps.

I couldn’t finish the other side of the frame today because I didn’t have the plywood I needed to cover the wheel well and battery box, which will affect the height of things. I’m also still trying to decide how I want to hinge the top. The top of the frame has to both slide out to create the bed and it also has to open vertically on hinges to allow access to the storage compartments. The front “face” of the bed will need to slide out to act as legs when used as a bed, but the same “face” needs to be able to disconnect from the sliding top to, again, provide access to the storage area. I have a pretty good idea of how to make it work, it’s just a matter of converting the little thought bubbles in my head into tangible objects.

Continue on to part two of the bed frame build.

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