Rethinking the Van Design Part 11 – Building a New Bed Frame


I spent a whole afternoon dismantling the old bed frame, removing erroneous screws a cleaning up a gathering of dust which looked, for its part, like those zombified car boot sale frequenters who seem inexplicably drawn to the unwanted tat of the ne’er do well proletariat.

With a clear space and no zombie dust to irritate my delicate olfactory receptors I was able to visualise the new bed and what I wanted from it. You may think that’s an odd thing to say, “what I want from it,” but the space had to be used well.

The bed frame itself is basically like an oversized pallet made from lighter wood; a rectangle frame on stilts with a strut through the middle which the slats fix onto, giving the whole thing rigidity. That all fixes to the walls on brackets and the stilts give me a place to add additional framework for the panel and gate on the front.


The new bed frame is held in place by stilts and brackets that fix to the walls. Yeah, it does look like a pallet.


Under the bed is a two part storage area; the front part accessible through the gate and the back part via the back doors. The reason for the split is to keep the van warmer by cutting our sneaky drafts and to make sure stuff we need is easy to get to, while stuff we don’t need regularly is kept out of sight and so as to not interfere.

The frame took about two hours to put together; again the lack of a workshop is a hindrance but I get by. I started with the obvious stuff; cut the beams to the right length, tack them together to make the outer frame then add the strut and fix the slats on.


Here's how it all started; a frame. That's about all I can say on the subject.


I measured the slats and marked them first so that they were evenly spaced and provided as much structure as possible.

To fit it I had to ‘hang’ the frame in place while I placed the stilts in the right position and fix them in place with PVA glue and 75mm screws. After that I added corner brackets to add even more stability and strength to the joins.

Because of the limited internal width of the van I recessed two side panels and made sure the top of the mattress is level with them so that when we sleep we have an extra 10 centimetres length than we did before (the bed lies across the width).

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