The Bed

The Bed

The best eraser in the world is a good night's sleep.

My dad and I couldn't really decide on the height of the bed. I wanted it as high as possible to have enough storage space underneath it. My dad on the other hand wanted the bed to be rather low, so you could sit up straight anywhere on the bed plus for convenience reasons he would have built the bed frame on top of the wheel cases to use them as support. I could say destiny decided the height of the bed frame as we found a wooden board in the kind-of-waste section in the hardware store (the section where they sell wooden boards, panels or strips of wood that originated from a customer wanted a special cutting of a wooden board and didn't need the rest). It was a three-layered pinewood board that measured 60 cm in width.

Roughly the material we used for constructing the bed:

  • pinewood 1.5x60x172 (middle part of box)
  • screen-processed plywood 2.1x60x172 (front part of box)
  • screen-processed plywood 2.1xXx172 (top of bed frame)
  • screen-processed plywood 2xXx172 (from old conversion, top of bed frame)
  • strips of wood as support (from old conversion)
  • 2x steel square tube (to support the heavy base plate)
  • 4x carriage bolts
  • 2x flap fittings
  • various strips of wood where needed
  • tailored foam mattress
  • quilted fabric for the cover
  • the longest zipper I have ever seen for the cover

The storage underneath the base plate of the bed is actually divided into two sections. The rear part is a trunk that is accessible from the back doors of the van where we keep anything big, odd-sized or dirty. The trunk stores the sparewheel and car jack, boxes with tools, an additional canister of diesel, camping furniture, various covering sheets, barbecue equipment and so on.

The front section of the base plate is actually a hatch that opens to a box that provides additional storage space accessible from the living area of the van.

The hatch is held in place by two flap fittings fixed with two carriage bolts each. Also, we had to cut a bit off the length of the hatch to make it fit the slightly curved sides of the van when the hatch is open.

The rear base plate is held by two steel square tubes which had had the same purpose before we dismantled the old interior. The square tubes themselves are supported by some random construct made from wood we reused from the old interior - looks random, but was actually tediously tailored to fit in there and hold everything in place. ;-)

From a Viennese speciality store I ordered a tailored foam mattress - or rather just foam that should act as a mattress. I measured everything at least twice, even the cutouts where the columns next to the doors are. And of course... it didn't fit. I don't know if I made a mistake measuring, writing it down or ordering the foam, or if the foam guy got it wrong. Bottom line was, I had to cut off 10 cm from the foam.

In the end, everything fitted perfectly, even with the cover I sewed for the mattress. I made the cover from orange quilted fabric with a zipper that goes half way around the mattress to make it easier to get it into the cover.