Bed Installation

It’s not a campervan until it has a bed! Our build philosophy is to not let the design or build get in the way of the fun. So the priority was to get the bed in and start taking trips in the van. These trips will help us work out the rest of the design.

The bed is built using three aluminum rails sitting on aluminum angle, attached to the walls and rear pillars. The fore and aft rails are 1”x3” 8020 and the center rail is a 2”x2” square tube. The 8020 rails each have a piece of angle stock attached to the inside to carry Ikea LUROY bed slats. The mattress is a full-sized Ikea MEISTERVIK foam mattress. I am just under 5’11” and after four nights, I can confirm sleeping crosswise is very comfortable. We will be adding 1” of insulation on each side, but I do not anticipate a problem.

The brackets are attached to the walls and rear pillars using plus nuts. The side brackets are as long as they are because we needed to avoid the open cavities in the walls. The exposed part of the forward bracket will eventually be hidden inside cabinets.

Drilling the rear pillars was extremely difficult. It is made from two layers ultra-high-strength steel and required carbide-tipped drill bits. Attaching the rail to the rear pillars was what needed geometrically to make the design work, so I suffered through the drilling.

The Ikea slats come as two separate rolls. I read reports of people falling through when the slats moved out of position, so we secured the ends of the slats so that they will not move. They work great and save a lot of work over a custom solution. They are much lighter (and better ventilated) than plywood.

After the initial installation, we made one final modification. we raised the forward rail by one inch and dropped the angle stock to compensate. This makes the forward lip 1” taller in order to better retain the mattress.

We have really been enjoying this bed…so much better than camping pads on the ground!

Photo album here: AlpineVan Bed

Share Comments
comments powered by Disqus