This bed was designed and built out of desire to have storage underneath.
Before I could actually do that I had to remove the van’s factory entertainment center that was mounted to the ceiling. I removed 4 screws and some clips and the entire thing came down. Once it was removed – I was able to gain about 5 inches of head room. After that I planned the bed design.
I also added a photo of the old bed. I loved it but wanted more.
I have pictures of this cabinet being built but it is combined with other remodels. So I thought I’d include the work I’ve done here, only, about the cabinet.
I removed the custom curtains and rods I made in 2019 using PVC, the Walmart UV weather guard curtains (I custom made). What you see if my starting point the bedroom wall. The bed was also taken out, so that its easier to work in this area.
3/4 inch press wood mounted to the wall board. The clamps are holding the start of the frame. Need to drill holes for the screws.
Because the walls were not straight, I had to do all the work by eye and on the spot. Tried to measure and cut in the shop, but the curves in the ceiling made it challenging to get it right the first time.
THE CONTROL PANEL
I will show you the control panel, but not the electrical. All of the electrical work was demonstrated in another blog post. Paneling is not good to use if your plans aren’t to cover the wood.
I’m using it because I will cover it up with my black Walmart self-adhesive carpet tiles and this section won’t need the support and weight a door needs. The Walmart self-adhesive carpet tiles work really great with Velcro.
To get the curve I use drop ceiling wire, because it is really flexible for shaping. I do have a tool for getting to spots like this but it is not for this job. After I shape the wire, I lay it on the wood and trace it. Then use a table top sander to refine the shape.
THE DOOR OPENING
This is a 1/4 pressed board. You can use plywood for this project, but plywood is more difficult to sand and shape. I used the edge of my duct tap the make the round edges and a ruler to join them.
ADD A REFRIGERATOR
I purchased a hot/cold refrigerator from Amazon (black) and created space for it in the cabinet.
A piano hinge is used to support opening and closing the door.
Wooden knobs are from Walmart. The black self-adhesive floor tile lining the cabinet (great with Velcro) is also from Walmart. Later I purchased some iron flat shelf brackets to support weight. The heavy brackets were screwed in once I got the cabinet tight against the ceiling.
I used a hydraulic jack and a piece of wood and jacked the left first – up tight against the van’s ceiling, then pressed the bracket tight against the cabinets wood, then screwed it in. Once I released the hydraulic jack the shelf was sturdy on that side. I repeated the same procedure on the right side. Now we can load heavy supplies without worry.
Like all things Destiny (my van’s name), she is constantly going through changes. Here is my attempt at making a bed.
In the original design I purchased a ottoman from Walmart. It was great until I sat on it and my head bumped into the top of the van roof. My bed was originally 12 inches high. With the mattress I sat 16 inches hitting my head on the van’s entertainment console (middle of the roof). So I lowered the bed so that the overall height is 11 inches.
My first two bed designs were total failures.
I used a online blueprint and the thing was a disaster. Because I wasted so much lumber, I had to come up with a way to build and save money.
I went to the Dollar Store and purchased a bunch of foam poster boards and some packing tape.
The idea here was to build a bed that could separate, maybe into a seat.
Things changed when I first went camping. My mattress kept sliding on the particle board. Also the more I used the bed, the weaker the velcro became. I needed a different solution.