It didn’t take long for us to agree that we need at least two full size beds.
CD came up with a plan. He described it in detail. Despite his best efforts, I just couldn’t see his vision.
He disappeared into the driveway. Neighbors stopped by on and off. A few days later, we had storage boxes and two beds.
I started a YouTube channel to document our camping conversion. It turns out that my video production skills are seriously lacking. This blog was born.
I will do my best to describe in words and pictures our current two bed conversion. I will even show a video below; it has already been established that my video skills are sub-par at best.
Initial camping conversation priorities:
- Two comfortable, readily accessible beds: Each large enough for two adults or one average size adult and one sideways sleeping child
- Storage for food, cooking supplies, miscellaneous daily – use items
CD combined our storage and our sleeping conversion needs. I honestly could not be more impressed. This is truly a budget-friendly conversion that works!
The inaugural trip in our high roof Sprinter was 8528 miles and 190 hours and 55 minutes. We slept in the Sprinter each night that we were on the road. The kids fell asleep during a crazy rain storm after fourth of July fireworks and we converted the beds without opening the door, moving them from their seats, or waking them. This may have been one of the most successful moments of our marriage.
How is our seating arranged?
We removed the second row of seats and put the kids in the third row. During the day, we use the space where the second row was for having lunch, changing clothes, doing stretches, or using the Luggage Loo. At night it becomes our second bed.
In our first Sprinter, I slept on a camping pad in this space. The challenge was moving the cooler, food, stove, Loo, shoes, and clutter from the floor in order to make the bed. This did not work.
What about clutter?
Decreasing and controlling clutter was also high on our to-do list. Storage was the obvious starting place. CD built and secured two wooden storage boxes. This was life changing!
How did we build two beds for four people?
- The first bed was built with a wooden frame behind the kids seats. Not only is it great for sleeping but it is needed to build the second bed. It holds two mattresses. The second mattress is stored on top of the first and pulled down to build the second bed.
- The second bed is assembled using wooden storage boxes that CD built and secured to the van. The bed is constructed like a puzzle using pieces that are stored to either side of the kids seats. There are three pieces. The 1st piece goes under the cooler just to bring it up to the right height. Someday we will likely upgrade our cooler and this won’t be necessary but for now it works great. A 2nd piece goes between the front end of the storage boxes. A 3rd piece of wood has a hinge and is supported by the storage boxes and a 2 x 4 extending from behind the third seat and anchoring at the passenger side storage box.
- The mattress for this second bed is then moved off of the first mattress and placed on the second bed platform. The first bed’s mattress measures 54 x 72 and the second is 48 x 68.
After 1 or 2 days of getting used to the second bed conversion, it was a breeze. I traveled well rested and contented. The total price tag of this two bed conversion was less than $500. This included two mattresses, one of which was custom cut to size.
As far as I am concerned, CD is a genius!
For more details about the bed conversion build, feel free to ask! Again, I am sorry for the video quality but will add better quality video once we have some to share!