So I started to build the bed using EVEN MORE WOOD… I swear there is so much in this van its unbelievable! I know wood is renewable and reasonably environmentally friendly but im going to need my own forest at this rate!
I made the bed base first, spacing the batons so there was enough room for another baton to slid in between easily (planning for the extending part of the bed) These are all screwed into a couple full length bits of wood. 4 strong door hinges I had left from another project connect the bed frame to the box already in the van.
The bedframe is about 200mm narrower than the mattress, by design, and hinges on the edge of the storage box. The mattress covers the box and fills the frame. When the bed folds up against the wall I want there to be room behind it for the mattress to occupy. This way, I can leave the mattress and bedclothes in place if I need to fold away the bed to carry something big… like half a ton of floor tiles, for instance.
It works really well and fits nicely, but I don’t have anything to hold it up there at present. I’ll sort that out later. I had 2 flat bits of wood on hinges as the legs. They worked, but were a bit flimsy so I got some chunkier wood that is much more reassuring. The important part of the legs is that I don’t want the hinges to take the load of anyone on the bed. Over time this would make them work loose and may end up collapsing. So I’ve attached the legs so when deployed, the wood butts up together and load transfer is nice and evenly spread out. Lastly I noticed that when I was passing the legs, I was knocking them with my feet and stressing the hinges and wood. So I’ve drilled 3 holes in my floor and use dowels in the base of the legs to locate them securely. It just prevents them sliding around and accidentally folding away if you kick them.
The extending part of the bed was tricky to work out. Its simply alternate batons of wood interlaced with the main bed frame batons. A bit of bull nose skirting screwed into the ends holds them all together and also hooks over the support that I have built into the cabinet on the other side of the van. It works well and I’m actually very proud of how it turned out because it is very neat indeed.