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Old 04-02-2020, 10:34 PM   #1
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Under bed Storage Using Hydraulics?

Hi everyone!

We are very new to Skoolie and are working on getting our profile filled out!
We recently just completed building our king size bed and we have run into a problem. Our bed is approximately 1.5ft off the ground so we can access under-bed storage. Right now the platform of the bed lifts off of the bed frame itself. We are wanting to install some heavy-duty gas struts to lift the bed up and down (as it is very heavy). The bed is made out of 3/4" tounge and groove plywood with about six 2x4's evenly spaced. We know that may be overkill, but would rather be safe.

What kind of gas struts can we use? Or any other thoughts/methods on how to easily lift the bed up and down? Ideally we'd like to stick with gas struts, but are open to other options! Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-03-2020, 10:29 AM   #2
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When you say up and down what do you mean? Lift the entire bed straight up and down or tilt one end (side) up and down. In either event it will be hard to find gas struts beefy enough to do the job unless you devise some sort of counter balance mechanism to carry most of the weight and have the gas struts just tipping the balance. I suppose you could utilize cables, pulleys and an electric winch to get the job done. Another way would be to use hydraulic rams with a pump such as was used in the old Alaskan brand pickup camper.
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Old 04-03-2020, 10:46 AM   #3
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Research "Murphy beds"
I built one -- you can do it -- mine uses a set of springs. I don't know how the space will work out for a bus but you can easily buy a hardware kit, and then adapt to your situation.
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Old 04-03-2020, 12:46 PM   #4
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This post is what I did with my queen size bed. Maybe some ideas...
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Old 04-04-2020, 01:05 AM   #5
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I was only half-joking with friends when I told them my bed was a major engineering challenge. (OK, so are most of my projects . . .) To prevent the mattress getting crushed against the rear seat back when the bed is raised, the 3/4" plywood mattress base slides forward a few inches as it lifts up. No simple hinges for me! This means that I can't use the usual gas struts to help raise it, so instead I made parallelogram supports that will have 190-lb garage door springs to handle the combined weight of the 85 lb plywood base and the queen-size mattress, about 150-plus pounds in total. 27" springs will be exactly the correct length to support the bed fully raised, but I have to buy a mattress first before buying the springs just in case my weight estimate is wrong. I need the bed raised all the way to the ceiling so I can easily access the back of the engine through the hatch under the rear seat, and to also service the heater that I relocated under the bed so it sends hot air forward the whole length of the bus when driving. Even with the heater under the bed, I still have lots of storage space there.

Sometimes the easiest solutions just don't work well. I did briefly consider using a dump truck tarp motor to raise the bed, but that would be too complex even for me!
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Old 04-04-2020, 09:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceni John View Post
I was only half-joking with friends when I told them my bed was a major engineering challenge. (OK, so are most of my projects . . .) To prevent the mattress getting crushed against the rear seat back when the bed is raised, the 3/4" plywood mattress base slides forward a few inches as it lifts up. No simple hinges for me! This means that I can't use the usual gas struts to help raise it, so instead I made parallelogram supports that will have 190-lb garage door springs to handle the combined weight of the 85 lb plywood base and the queen-size mattress, about 150-plus pounds in total. 27" springs will be exactly the correct length to support the bed fully raised, but I have to buy a mattress first before buying the springs just in case my weight estimate is wrong. I need the bed raised all the way to the ceiling so I can easily access the back of the engine through the hatch under the rear seat, and to also service the heater that I relocated under the bed so it sends hot air forward the whole length of the bus when driving. Even with the heater under the bed, I still have lots of storage space there.

Sometimes the easiest solutions just don't work well. I did briefly consider using a dump truck tarp motor to raise the bed, but that would be too complex even for me!
How high is your ceiling?
The Murphy bed hinges around 10" from the end to accommodate the thickness of the mattress when folded up.
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Old 04-04-2020, 02:06 PM   #7
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This is an excellent idea, which will make accessing the gun safe that I want to put under the bed much quicker and easier as well as making it much easier to store other things under the bed too. Things which wouldn't be accessible through the side that the gun safe goes on like with my original plan for access through one side and one end. I think lifting it will be much better.

I've decided to keep a short piece of 2x3 or 2x4 in there to use as a prop just because I am cautious and to avoid leaving a load on the gas props for extended periods of time.

Thanks to everyone who has posted in this very interesting thread.
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Old 04-05-2020, 01:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banman View Post
How high is your ceiling?
The Murphy bed hinges around 10" from the end to accommodate the thickness of the mattress when folded up.
6'5" in the center, but a few inches lower where the mattress will touch it.

I considered a Murphy bed, but it wouldn't work quite right for my bus. I'd rather build something from scratch if it will work better, instead of compromising with the easy way out just to save some build time. Besides, making things is fun (sometimes).
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Old 04-05-2020, 02:49 PM   #9
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Rated Cap: Blue-Bird says 72 pass.
I agree that making things can be a lot of fun.

At 12X12X48 inches, one or two of these will fit quite nicely under my bed. They can be easily made lockable with padlocks, and they can also be screwed to the wall to inhibit quick removal.
https://www.sportsmansguide.com/prod...used?a=1122562
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Old 04-05-2020, 06:06 PM   #10
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The Fleetwood motor home I had used for a short time had hydraulics on the queen size bed. It was only a 4” foam mattress though. Seems like a linear actuator would work for a proper mattress
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Old 04-08-2020, 04:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charly_Klappenbus View Post
Hi everyone!

We are very new to Skoolie and are working on getting our profile filled out!
We recently just completed building our king size bed and we have run into a problem. Our bed is approximately 1.5ft off the ground so we can access under-bed storage. Right now the platform of the bed lifts off of the bed frame itself. We are wanting to install some heavy-duty gas struts to lift the bed up and down (as it is very heavy). The bed is made out of 3/4" tounge and groove plywood with about six 2x4's evenly spaced. We know that may be overkill, but would rather be safe.

What kind of gas struts can we use? Or any other thoughts/methods on how to easily lift the bed up and down? Ideally we'd like to stick with gas struts, but are open to other options! Thanks in advance!

Hello, You could cut down on some of the weight of your bed by getting sleep number mattress. I used to work for them and I helped install a few into tractor trailer bunks as well as campers. You need a little space for the pump and small holes for the hoses and wiring. Just a thought.
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