Now that the wiring and plumbing was complete I was able to focus on fitting the bed. The frame for it had been sitting in the shed (one of many) for a few weeks now and was in dire need of an airing.
Before I could fit the frame I needed to flesh over the skeletal seating area with some salvaged wood from Reddy, a clutch of panels which were previously used as doors and would serve as tops for my seats.
The passenger side seat was hinged (I say ‘was’ because things have changed a lot since then) and lifted so I could dump stuff under there without cluttering the inside of the van and, more importantly, without the need to open the back doors to grab useful or necessary things.
This simple storage solution was achieved by sinking a couple of heavy duty hinges into the frame and screwing the lid on. A clever bit of carpentry meant that the seat was flush with the back doors but could lift freely without getting snagged on anything.
The other panels were fixed permanently and the ledge on the driver’s side which would house the fire door hinges needed three slots cutting for the hinge barrels to sit in. Jigsaw and drill took care of that.
My dad held the bed in place while I attached it to the hinges and in a few short minutes the bed frame was fixed in its rightful place. I grabbed the mattress from the shed (it was still in its cellophane therefore clean) and dropped it in place.
The only way to test my handy work was to have a lie down on the bed. It rested on the seating frame and was a flush fit; stable and comfortable. This was to be my first night spent in the van, not glamorous by any means parked on a drive in the Midlands but it would be a good acid test. I had my comfortable bed with a memory foam mattress, lighting, hot water and the stove.
Yes, the night was going to be a feast of tea, toast and good sleep. I couldn’t wait.
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