Rethinking the Van Design Part 10 – Dismantling the Old Bed


This phase of the revamp was preparation for the third coming of the bed. The original design was a fold down number which while clever in principle, took up too much space and made the back end of the van very gloomy.

The second bed was a quick rehash of the fold down but fixed in place. I used the frame and slats to make a new one which sat above the wheel arches and gave us storage space underneath.

The third incarnation of beddy beddington is basically the same as the second but raised slightly higher, made narrower (to the width of the mattress) and divided underneath so we have a proper boot (accessed through the back doors), shelving and reasonable storage space for our growing collection of plastic tubs.

Because I was short on time, materials and tools when I rebuilt the bed I used a lot of brackets and screws which I had to remove painstakingly so I could reuse them in the next frame. I’m not one for trashing things when they can live again with good purpose.

Once I got into the job of unscrewing things and removing the stilts, beams and slats I realised just how much space the bed had been taking up – it was close to half the van. There was also the ghost of the original seating area which had to come out, alleviating a lot of weight from the back end. It had been a quick job, so I vowed to get it right this time, take my time and get the design and materials spot on.


The ghost of seating past - it all had to go.


I spent about three hours in total removing everything from the bed frame; a jumble of clips, L shape brackets, bastardised struts, irregular beams and an odd assortment of screws. I almost felt a tinge of sadness that my memories of waking up in new places would never be the same again but progress, in this instance, is for the better and there will be many new horizons through the bedside porthole.

With my new space ready I was able to check the measurements before committing jigsaw to 45mm pine. The numbers were good so I set to work, excited about bed #3 and the many great sleeps ahead.

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