Campervan Bed Ideas

Campervan Bed Ideas

 A few campervan bed ideas we tried out for you to learn from.

As the 'BohemiVan' van has not got a fixed rock 'n' roll bed installed, it's just got a lot of space in which a bed can be put....or, as it's a modular van, it can be used as a normal carthorse van. There's a platform at the back that goes  over the engine bay. That area is wider than a double bed and about two-thirds as long.

We started out with two single inflatable mattresses that were supported at the feet end by our two washing machine drums...more on those in another post. It didn't take many nights to realise this was a bad idea: the mattresses moved about on the platform and curled up at the sides. We ditched those and bought a flocked double mattress. This was marginally better but when one of us moved, the other was bobbed about as though on a lilo at sea. Although we had an electric pump, it was still a nightmare setting up the bed. Every night, when we were most tired, we had to pull the folded up and very heavy mattress out of a drawer, unfold it, connect the pump and somehow get out of the way while it inflated. We then had to put a thick blanket on the mattress, fit the sheet and, lastly, put the pillows and duvet on top. 

Too much effort! It was not fun.



Campervan Bed Ideas


Our third idea was the best...so far! I parked up at a Leroy Merlin DIY shop car park in the south of Spain, bought all the wood and board needed and proceeded to make a bed. I'd already had a mattress made with a separate section for the bottom third of the bed. I wanted to make a raised plywood base on short legs to provide extra storage space for the vintage stock I'd bought for our online shop 'Fab Fings'. I attached the bottom third of the base with hinges to allow it to be lifted up and under the mattress during the day. This bottom section was under our feet so didn't need much support and the four legs on large suckers worked well.

Campervan Bed Ideas

You can see the bed base in the photo above. This was our daytime setup...the bottom section of the base is folded up and under the mattress, which had a removable thinner section. It took about two minutes to set up the bed for the night but the benefits were that we didn't have to make the bed each evening as the bedding stayed put, the back platform was really comfy during the day and the van felt very spacious.

The downside was that I didn't have time to varnish or seal the bed base and it was made in one day in a car park in the baking heat, so it only lasted two years on the road. When we stripped the van out on buying a house in the UK, the bed base had gone moldy at the back. I could have salvaged it but I didn't think it was worth it. It was just a temporary fix....I will make another one....similar but better.

Getting to the foam mattress....the best type of mattress for a van is a foam mattress. Ours was specially made into a trapezium shape to fit the entire width of the van. It was 6cm dense foam. The problem with foam van mattresses, though, is that they won't last long. If they get damp, they will be hard to dry out. They really need to be on a slatted base or at least a plywood base with holes in it. Probably having them covered helps them last longer. Ours was thrown out with the base but, next time around, I'd do the same....bespoke cut foam mattress...but covered.

I'm still happy I didn't go to the enormous expensive of buying and fitting a rock 'n' roll bed. I'm very pleased I don't have a fixed bed at all as I can still use my van to transport furniture and garden waste. What I need to do now is build a wooden base that lasts longer than the last one and is easy to remove when it's not needed.







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