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Old 08-31-2020, 11:14 AM   #1
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The Engineered Bed - What is the state of the art for 2020?

Working on our Skoolie bed design and looking for input on a DIY solution. We have a shuttle bus and ample room in the back for a queen sized bed.

I'm looking for advice and input on the best materials and design. My budget is $750.

We'd like to do a jacknife, to be able to squeeze the bed back into a couch to get a few extra feet of floor space during the day. Ideally it would be a quick process, not require unsheeting/sheeting and have integrated foam (not a bunch of foam pieces).

Storage underneath would be a nice-to-have, though many systems I've seen look awkward to access unless they are a drawer or two.

I just saw an advertisement for a very cool looking mattress suspension system (Froli Star), wondering if anyone has purchased it and has input.

I did a bunch of research on foam for mattresses. I'm thinking 8" would have enough margin to sleep comfortably and not be reminded you're in an RV. But I can't tell what's the best foam, what kinds of layers work best, how thick does the foam need to be to be minimally comfortable and how thick is overkill. Moreover now all the advertising in all of my social media accounts is for mattresses.

I emphasize DIY solution because in my experience off-the-shelf does not necessarily mean better, though it always will mean top price.

I appreciate all the expertise and experience in this community-thanks all in advance for your ideas.
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Old 08-31-2020, 12:31 PM   #2
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This guy's solution may require a raised roof. He gets to the bed at just after the 45 minute mark. It's a bed on garage door rails that he can raise to the roof and control it with an app on his phone via bluetooth.

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Old 08-31-2020, 12:59 PM   #3
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theres a really nicely done diy jackknife in the bus 54 conversion thread that could be more of what your looking for. would just need to make some long box cushions. ive seen people do a layer of high density furniture foam and a layer of memory foam to make up the cushions then you would just flip them over for softer or firmer
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Old 08-31-2020, 04:59 PM   #4
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I'm afraid your budget does not match the title of the thread.

I know this because I was recently in a mattress store with a friend that was shopping. I saw mattresses that were $7,500 to $10,000.

Yes, I typed the correct number zeros.

Blew my mind.

I will admit, they were very comfortable.
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Old 08-31-2020, 07:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texan View Post
This guy's solution may require a raised roof. He gets to the bed at just after the 45 minute mark. It's a bed on garage door rails that he can raise to the roof and control it with an app on his phone via bluetooth.
10 minutes of talking about the bed and he doesn't show it going up and down? Too bad, I'd like to have seen it.
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Old 08-31-2020, 07:43 PM   #6
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I had thought of doing a raised bed, maybe still will, but I don't think it is necessary.
I have two futon fold down beds, so was going to fold them down at night, and then drop the actual bed down on them, It could just fold down instead murphy bed style, that would be less complicated and not reduce headroom, but even that seems overkill.
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Old 08-31-2020, 08:27 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
10 minutes of talking about the bed and he doesn't show it going up and down? Too bad, I'd like to have seen it.
Earlier in the video, she showed it in motion. It worked well.

I was more interested in his roof raise story, which wasn't very clear, and the under body storage areas he made. I certainly got some ideas from it, and it looks like they're happy with their bus. The video was WAY too long though.
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Old 08-31-2020, 09:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waxman View Post
theres a really nicely done diy jackknife in the bus 54 conversion thread that could be more of what your looking for. would just need to make some long box cushions. ive seen people do a layer of high density furniture foam and a layer of memory foam to make up the cushions then you would just flip them over for softer or firmer
Thanks for this. Layering foam appears to be an art. Maybe it's one with some science we can discover. Hopefully folks can give the spec for what they are using, and rate it so we all can get a sense of things like how thin is too thin.
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Old 08-31-2020, 09:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeNimble View Post
I had thought of doing a raised bed, maybe still will, but I don't think it is necessary.
I have two futon fold down beds, so was going to fold them down at night, and then drop the actual bed down on them, It could just fold down instead murphy bed style, that would be less complicated and not reduce headroom, but even that seems overkill.
I still have the cooling unit overhead in the rear of the bus and don't plan on removing it, so raising/lowering is problematic.

Your two futon couches are facing each other then? That's interesting. I'm envisioning a comfy Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom gauntlet where the couches become one big bed?

I'm still thinking jacknife. Flat would look like _._._ ; and jacknifed like _./\ . The bed would push back to jacknife, and pull forward to go flat. There'd be some storage underneath when jacknifed, with an open area underneath when flat. I've seen some mechanical components that do this in a really complicated fashion, prone to failure from abuse, or weight, or lots of usage. Some jacknife beds are quite simply pieces of plywood that hinge up or back.

I'd like the action to be very smooth, and will probably use heavy duty drawer guides or some other guide-like roller/channel arrangement because wood on wood will simply not last for the beating I'm guessing it will take. Any thoughts or suggestions for hardware are appreciated.
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Old 08-31-2020, 10:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
10 minutes of talking about the bed and he doesn't show it going up and down? Too bad, I'd like to have seen it.
His wife did it earlier in the video, but he explained it better. I think it was about 30 minutes in. I didn't watch the whole thing. I fast forwarded and sampled the good parts.
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Old 08-31-2020, 11:40 PM   #11
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I believe some BlueBird Wanderlodges and Trek motorhomes had a bed that stored in the ceiling. They used electric screw actuators, IIRC, to raise and lower the bed. What I heard was they were nice when they worked.
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Old 09-01-2020, 03:29 AM   #12
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I like that the video shows the time-slots for each area in the bus. The lofted bed is a neat feature.
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Old 09-05-2020, 04:21 PM   #13
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I purchased a brand name pillow top queen sized normal interspring with a box spring lower for less than $1000. from COSTCO 2 years ago.
This bed is for a 340# patient that spends many hours in bed.
It is holding up nicely.
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Old 09-05-2020, 05:22 PM   #14
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I converted a van and I used what I think is called a Z hinge made for Volkswagen vans. Itís a solid hinge to go from bed to folded up seat. Also Iím not sure where you are at but moisture under a bed is a big problem. Especially in a moist environment. So try to let it breath underneath and there is a special wicking fabric that is supposed to aid with that also.
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Old 09-05-2020, 06:16 PM   #15
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I made a bed that I love but pictures are sparse. Picture a full size bed up against the wall murphy style, but with a dresser in front of it, so when it's folded up I have a dresser and a path to walk to my back door almost but not quite centered to the bus.

The dresser is on wheels and drawer slides so it wheels out to a fixed spot, blocking the whole aisle and the bed tilts out from the top, with the bottom still against the wall. That part has wheels on it that ride in unistrut and there is a crank wheel and about 8 pulleys that zigzag to the end of the bed that pulls the bottom of the bed up the wall until the bed is level, with the outside resting on the dresser and some latches to lock the wall side from sliding back down the wall.

When it's open the bed is dresser height and you can crawl between the dresser and the wall opening up another sleep spot if you needed it, and then when you want to fold it down I use net to hold the blankets and pillows in place and then a solenoid to retract the latches against the wall, the bed slides down the wall, gets pushed back completely vertical and you can access the back door and dresser again, and more importantly to me, you have full height to walk through.

I may be able to take pics in the next couple of days if anyone is interested.
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Old 09-05-2020, 07:17 PM   #16
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Lot's of van builders using Mercedes and Ford Transits are using beds that raise to the ceiling and lower for use. Refer to vanlife website for more ideas that are better than garage door tracks.

Winnebago Revel Sprinter conversions also use this type of bed.

Google the Winnebago Revel site for examples.
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Old 09-05-2020, 08:10 PM   #17
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I purchased a Lucid brand mattress. It is 12 inches thick. It is gel and foam. Very comfortable. King size was under $200. I have that in my apartment stacked with headboard on the long side to make it a couch. I have a twin Lucid mattress, about $110 that is on top of drawers and shelves at the back of my shuttle bus. The storage is modular units that I framed together to fit the width of the bus (foremost, I think). I also have a double size Lucid mattress that I sleep on in the apartment. All are very comfortable. I ordered them online and had them delivered. They were compressed and it took about 12 hours for them to puff up to normal. I should mention that I have lower back and joint problems. Heating pad helps.
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Old 09-05-2020, 08:34 PM   #18
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Jackknife comvertable bus Ikea

Ikea has a folding bed like yoi are referrimg to. I bought in to use in the front sitting area of my bus. I will eventually use it to to create a full size custom version like you are discussing. I will literally be removing part of the legs and installing it over custom drawers and side armrests with hidden storage areas. I tried to attach a pic and probably failed but it is the Lycksele couch bed.
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Old 09-06-2020, 12:56 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rucker View Post
Working on our Skoolie bed design and looking for input on a DIY solution. We have a shuttle bus and ample room in the back for a queen sized bed.

I'm looking for advice and input on the best materials and design. My budget is $750.

We'd like to do a jacknife, to be able to squeeze the bed back into a couch to get a few extra feet of floor space during the day. Ideally it would be a quick process, not require unsheeting/sheeting and have integrated foam (not a bunch of foam pieces).

Storage underneath would be a nice-to-have, though many systems I've seen look awkward to access unless they are a drawer or two.

I just saw an advertisement for a very cool looking mattress suspension system (Froli Star), wondering if anyone has purchased it and has input.

I did a bunch of research on foam for mattresses. I'm thinking 8" would have enough margin to sleep comfortably and not be reminded you're in an RV. But I can't tell what's the best foam, what kinds of layers work best, how thick does the foam need to be to be minimally comfortable and how thick is overkill. Moreover now all the advertising in all of my social media accounts is for mattresses.

I emphasize DIY solution because in my experience off-the-shelf does not necessarily mean better, though it always will mean top price.

I appreciate all the expertise and experience in this community-thanks all in advance for your ideas.

Murphy bed.
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Old 09-06-2020, 10:30 AM   #20
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https://youtu.be/EMiYqvGzvkI 0:48-3:28
This man did a lightweight double hinged bed in a van. The mattress isnít as thick as you suggested but his build looks pretty clean and easy to convert from seating to bed.
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