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Old 06-22-2015, 02:33 PM   #1
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Not a carpenter... how do I build this?

For my couch and beds I'm basically planning to build a 30"x30"x70" box with a hinged front that flips up to access storage underneath. The bus is 90" wide inside, so 30" is what I want to stick with for simplicity. I know it's kinda high for a bed or couch but I'd like to use as much vertical space as possible and that will allow me to stack two storage containers underneath.


The two beds will be situated over the wheel wells across from each other, so that when one of the hinged access doors is open I can extend legs down to make a platform in between, converting two single beds to one king sized bed by moving the cushion from the couch to that space.

The materials I have are: 1x2 furring strips, peg board, luan, screws.
We used the furring strips and peg board to build the walls and they're very sturdy. I plan to use the peg board on the sleeping surface under the luan to give extra support.

How should I build the internal frame to support the weight of a sleeping person/people? Dan's around 160, I'm 110, and at any given time there could be another 120 pounds of cats/dogs/other animals in the bed as well.
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Old 06-22-2015, 03:21 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by onenationundergoat View Post

How should I build the internal frame to support the weight of a sleeping person/people? Dan's around 160, I'm 110, and at any given time there could be another 120 pounds of cats/dogs/other animals in the bed as well.
I have an Ikea MALM™ queen bed, with 2x Sultan Lade slatted bed bases, basically a dozen 1x3 planks laid across a central keel and angle bracket. I'm no lightweight, and they've held me up without any problems for 5 years, I'll even walk on them

The bed looks something like this-


As long as you have a central keel and two angle brackets, you should have no problem
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Old 08-24-2015, 10:27 PM   #3
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Does the frame need to meet any safety requirements and how do you fasten it to the bus?�� thanx
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Old 08-25-2015, 12:06 AM   #4
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I'm honestly surprised your asking this after seeing you working on the engine of your bus.

IMO 1x2 furring strips, peg board, luan are all flimsy crap.

Peg board should never be used in a bus. It loves to take on water like all compressed crap board.

Use screws and hope it holds in the crap wood you used.

Nat
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Old 08-25-2015, 06:54 AM   #5
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I did some research on beds like you're describing, and this is one of the designs I liked:

Deep Red - A self-build motorhome - beds & seats

Scroll down to the section on couch/bed construction. It may not be exactly what you're looking for, but it should give you a place to start.

Good luck, and I'll look forward to seeing what you come up with!
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Old 08-25-2015, 10:52 AM   #6
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Nat, I know you hate wood. Everyone knows you hate wood. The whole world by now. We disagree, and that's ok. I know peg board absorbs water. I'm not putting water in it. If it gets damaged by some crazy flood, I'll replace it.

I built the beds to be 30x30. One is 62" long (for me since I sleep curled in a ball anyway) and one is 7 feet long. The frame is 2x4s and it sits over top of the wheel wells. We changed the storage doors to regular swing out cabinet doors (made out of super flimsy luan with a 1x2 skeleton which works fine) because the flip up ones are a pain. The couch is 30wx17h and 62" long with a flip up door which is how I know it's a pain. They are all screwed into the walls. Then we made a tabletop thingy by covering seven 30" support braces of 2x4 with luan. The support braces have a 3/4"x3/4" groove cut out of the ends that fits into grooves made into the top support of the beds. We just drop the tabletop down into the notches and it makes a very sturdy bed extension. When not it use it sits on top of the clawfoot bathtub in the living room. The mattresses are two queen size memory foam mattresses that I cut down the middle. Dan's is still full length, and the other three pieces are 62". One goes to my bed, one to the couch, one on the tub table. Then put the tub table cushion on the extension, and, voila! King size bed, with an extra 3x3 foot area on the corner for the dogs. It's pretty neat because it basically turns the whole bedroom into a massive bed.

The beds are really tall, but that's ok. I have a little stool I use to get up. I like it because the dogs are scared to jump up and down from them so if we put them up there they can't chase the cats or be under foot while we're doing things.

FYI the cheapo memory foam mattress from Mattress Firm IS NOT memory foam all the way through. It seems like it when you lay on it, but it's actually a 1 inch layer of memory foam over regular high density foam. Guess they didn't think people would be cutting it open to figure it out.
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Old 08-25-2015, 05:56 PM   #7
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I used 1/2" plywood under our full-sized mattress and it's worked out well. The peg board and luan combination may work if it has enough support under it but I'd be concerned about putting a point load (like a knee) on it and poking a hole through them. Peg board doesn't have a grain structure and it's easy to put a fist through it and the luan (I'm assuming 1/4") is a bit flimsy itself. The pair may work out - give it a go and let us know how it works out.
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Old 08-25-2015, 06:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onenationundergoat View Post
Nat, I know you hate wood. Everyone knows you hate wood. The whole world by now. We disagree, and that's ok. I know peg board absorbs water. I'm not putting water in it. If it gets damaged by some crazy flood, I'll replace it.

I built the beds to be 30x30. One is 62" long (for me since I sleep curled in a ball anyway) and one is 7 feet long. The frame is 2x4s and it sits over top of the wheel wells. We changed the storage doors to regular swing out cabinet doors (made out of super flimsy luan with a 1x2 skeleton which works fine) because the flip up ones are a pain. The couch is 30wx17h and 62" long with a flip up door which is how I know it's a pain. They are all screwed into the walls. Then we made a tabletop thingy by covering seven 30" support braces of 2x4 with luan. The support braces have a 3/4"x3/4" groove cut out of the ends that fits into grooves made into the top support of the beds. We just drop the tabletop down into the notches and it makes a very sturdy bed extension. When not it use it sits on top of the clawfoot bathtub in the living room. The mattresses are two queen size memory foam mattresses that I cut down the middle. Dan's is still full length, and the other three pieces are 62". One goes to my bed, one to the couch, one on the tub table. Then put the tub table cushion on the extension, and, voila! King size bed, with an extra 3x3 foot area on the corner for the dogs. It's pretty neat because it basically turns the whole bedroom into a massive bed.

The beds are really tall, but that's ok. I have a little stool I use to get up. I like it because the dogs are scared to jump up and down from them so if we put them up there they can't chase the cats or be under foot while we're doing things.

FYI the cheapo memory foam mattress from Mattress Firm IS NOT memory foam all the way through. It seems like it when you lay on it, but it's actually a 1 inch layer of memory foam over regular high density foam. Guess they didn't think people would be cutting it open to figure it out.
My cheapo memory foam mattress is NOT memory foam all the way either... and the thing is horrible after about two years of sleeping on it.
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Old 08-25-2015, 10:40 PM   #9
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Our mattresses are 6" solid memory foam that we bought on Ebay for like $100 each. They are not high quality memory foam but the foam IS the same throughout, I know cause I cut mine width & length wise to fit better in the spot it's in.

I read the description and was happy with the sales pitch and just took my chances. They by no means are "Tempur pedic " quality but I decided to take a chance. Mostly because I can always add to the feel by topping them with good quality mattress pads if I had to.

I have been sleeping on mine for over a yr & a half now and I have not noticed any degradation in the foam and since our box springs are 1/2 inch plywood I don't expect to have a problem any time soon. With 2 large dogs jumping up on the bed....I wouldn't trust anything less sturdy that solid plywood.

Hubby & I both have major back issues and sleeping on a good mattress is important. More so for him as driving will really add to his problems.

As with most everything I buy, I don't buy the cheapest & I don't buy the most expensive. I tend to look at options that fall between the two.

I looked back in Ebay to see who we bought from but I must have deleted it.....sorry.

Remember -----> you get what you pay for.
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Old 08-25-2015, 10:43 PM   #10
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We've been sleeping on them for a month now with no problems. And the slats are 1x2s every other one with 3/4"x3/4" leftover pieces of 2x4s that were cut out from the grooves. I wouldn't put my knee directly on the luan in between the slats, but with the mattress on top it distributes the weight just fine. We aren't very heavy people, but at any given time the beds can hold Dan, myself, two dogs, and three cats, totaling about 375 lbs.
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