Designing the Van Part 6 – Building the Seating Frame

With the insulation in place, the wood panels fitted and the laminate flooring fixed firmly underfoot it was time to get down to the serious work of fitting the seating and the bed.

You should seriously consider the layout of your interior before committing to it, I mean really think about what you want from it or you could be facing expensive revamping further down the line.

A good example is the location of your seating area. Our van has a big, sliding side door which acts as a massive window when open. Bearing in mind we were heading to Spain in the summer it’s safe to say we wouldn’t have got cold with the door open, so having the seating facing that door would have been a sensible option, especially if we’d parked with that side facing a fantastic vista.

I of course did not do that. I opted for a seating area at the back of the van where at that point there were no windows. They were on the list of to-dos but in hindsight I wish I’d put the seats at the front end so we could enjoy the many amazing views we’ve seen so far from the comfort of a cosy L-shaped sofa.

In my haste I knew that we needed storage so I designed a very simple hinged lid for our seats which would allow us to squeeze useful stuff in and still keep the interior uncluttered.

The frame building was simple; several beams of 25mm x 25mm timber did the job and I measured a reasonable height for the seats to occupy (allowing for the thickness of cushions). I built the outer frame first which consisted of three long beams which were screwed into the wood panels and supported underneath by several smaller struts which were also fixed to the walls.

The inner frame was a repeat of that; struts supporting the beams crating a solid structure on which to build.

At the end of that session I had a strong frame in place which gave us the foundations for an L-shaped seating area (despite being a U-shape, the driver side was narrower and would act as the base for the bed frame hinges).

Leaving it overnight for the glue to set I started to plan the next step – fitting a skylight.

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