So here we go, the first priority in my vome (van home) is a good place to sleep. Since I’m 6’3″ it has to be more than a twin bed. Plus my faithful companion, Layla, has to have her spot on the bed even when it’s a hammock in the forest.
I decided to keep the weight down and the storage underneath up by building the frame from 2″x2″ material.
I have found that it is easier to build the frame in place or at least in smaller sections. You see there a fewer “square corners” in most vans than in old houses. The sides curve out and then back in, the floor may or may not have straight sides, and last but not least there are always things in the way. I have found it is just easier to build some and fit it in and then go build some more.
Let’s talk about building with smaller materials…
1) Pre-drill all the screw holes in the first piece and partially into the second piece to avoid splitting the wood.
2) Be sure your fasteners are long enough to get a good grip when screwing into the end of frame members.
The size of the drill bit is based on the size of the screw. You want the drill bit to be the size of the screw shank, or the smallest portion of the threads. Here’s an picture to try and show this comparison.
You’ll notice I’m using clamps to hold the pieces in place on the top of the bed. This is just to insure everything is going to match up and fit properly. On the subject of clamps… go get some of many different sizes. They are one of the most useful things you can have in your own van.
After the frame was built I added the top by screwing it in place and using glue. At least on the part that was not going to be hinged to be raised this adds strength to the box you just built as your frame. Anything you build can be strengthened by attaching the “skin” or outer surface of the box with glue in addition to the fasteners.
The two panels nearest to the front are hinged to allow opening. These will have to later be trimmed down on the sides to allow them to clear the window trim and windows when opening.
Yes I’m building my bed across the van. I can stretch out perfectly straight when laying diagonally in the bed. But since I seldom sleep stretched out this works great. Your personal choice will be just that your choice. Isn’t that one more reason we build our vans?