New for the
soccer gypsy mom – a minivan with a convertible bed! In preparation for my road trip with my 9 and 12 year old daughters I checked out various van-camping ideas online and decided to design my own. Then I sweet talked my favorite handy-man (and husband), Jake, to build it.
Materials: 3 2x4s ($9), 9 hinges ($15), 1 sheet of 1/2″ plywood ($23), a foam mattress topper ($20), and a sheet from the thrift store ($3) plus tools and screws we already had = Total cost of $70
The bed consists of three sections. One is over the rear end of the van and is hinged to allow greater access to the storage beneath it, one rests over the rear seat (folded down), and one rests over the middle seats (folded down.) They are hinged (and cut) so that the entire thing folds up like an accordion and allows use of all of the seating in the van. There is a framed section in the back for support of that section, and a portable support section that goes between the two rows of seats for strength and stability. I decided to design the bed with the rear seat folded up (as opposed to stowed in the floor) because I wanted the deep storage freed up by that versus more shallow storage the length of the van. I also wanted the option of using the rear seat since we often visit friends during our road trips and camping trips and it’s nice to be able to load a crew of people into one vehicle.
A piece of a 2×4 rests across the back seats to keep the wood platform from digging into them. (It can’t be permanently attached and still allow the platform to fold.)
For extra strength the hinges are reinforced on the back sides with steel plates.
With the cushion…
With the sheet over the cushion…
As tested by Ruby. She approves.
Ahh… I (and my dirty from gardening feet) will take it!
The platform folded up (and a view of the middle support structure.)
The view from the back (with the platform folded up.)
Rear storage section.
Curtains and mosquito netting will be added shortly but the construction phase is over. (The testing it out phase will be happening very soon!)