Van Conversion # 5 –The Bed and the Couch

Pé na estrada! (1)

In this article we will talk a little about the construction of our bed, which will also work as a bank and storage place.

Something we wanted to have in this van was a large storage area, where we could have the water tank, the gas bottle, and even some bicycles, so we decided to have a high bed and have this storage underneath.

The bed is 80 centimeters high, which gives us plenty of storage and we even can be practically sit on the bed. This was also an important factor because we did not want a bed too high as it becomes a bit uncomfortable.

Our bed is 178cm in length and 130cm wide. Miguel can not sleep all stretched in the width of the van, but it’s enough for us to sleep on the diagonal and we sleep comfortably, and because the bed is wide (130cm) it works well.

However we leave a warning, for people larger than 185cm, can become uncomfortable, and impractical such a bed.

Our bed has the particularity of hace space for one person, or for two because it has an extensible platform.

We did this for several reasons, the most important is because we make the van more spacious, something fundamental for us, because we do not want a very tight van, with no space to move.

The structure

We began to construct the bed by the feet, which we secure to the floor with screws and to the van itself by another slat of wood that is fixed to the structure of the van.

We used 8 slats of pine 56mmx56mm, 80cm high. As the van is curved you can not make a prefect rectangle, so we had to improvise a little but it was fine in the final.

The bed is divided into two parts, one that is static and the other that is removable, so we had to put a pice of wood across the width of the bed to divide the beds.

Then we made the part of the bed that is always static, where the removable platform part and the structure of the part of the seat lay, we used pine wood 34mmx34mm (parts of connection between the feet).

We passed 3 cables to this zone, one will be for the water pump, another for a light and another for a 12v outlet.

With the static structure made, we made the part of the bed that moves and that allows the bed to ‘stretch’.

For this we made a rectangle as it is in the photograph (in the end we ended up adding another 2 vertical slats to give more strength).

In the photograph above you can see where the part of the bed that slides will stay, is just missing the dais.

After we had the structure made we put wood paneling to divide the part of the storage of the rest of the van.

Bed platform

As we made the bed extensible we had to split the bed in two, the one thats is static and what moves. We used slats of 22mm by 45mm flexible, which we cut to size and bolted at equal intervals.

static bed platform

With the part that is fixed, we made the part of the bed that stretches, for that we screwed alternately the slats of the platform to the structure of the bed.

Half of the slats are attached to the bed and do not move, while the other half is attached to the wooden rectangle we made and a second slat that is placed under the platform.


Finally, we made the seat with storage space. We used a pine board to do the part we sit on and used one of the simple hinges.

You need to pay a little attention to the thickness of the woods in this part so the bench can open all the way up and not hit the wood.


For the mattress, we opted for high density polyurethane foam, 10 centimeters thick.

When we bought it we ordered to cut to size and fit perfectly. We cut in three parts, one with 175cm of compliance by 80 of width, another of 105cm of compliance by 40 of width (the part that becomes sofa), and another of 70cm of compliance by 40 of width). In the end we left about 10 inches of bed without mattress, which is the margin for the sheets and that.

Price of the materials

  • Slats 56mmx56mmx0.9m x 9 = 33 €
  • Shims of 38mmx38mmx2m x 12 = 30 €
  • Shingles of 56mmx12mmx2,4m = 27.70 €
  • Polyurethane foam HD = 67,5 €
  • Pine plate = € 5

Screws, L ‘s of fixation and the varnish we already had.

Total: 163 €

Other articles about this conversion

Help us to travel more 🙂

Do you want to help keep the site up and contributing to our travel passion? Use one of the links below to make your reservations. For you there is no cost and we received a small commission. Thank you very much.

  • Reservation of accommodation through Booking —-> Click here !
  • Booking through Airbnb (30 € discount – new users) —-> Click here !
  • Buy tickets for monuments and experiences through the Get Your Guide —> Click here !

Other Articles

if you have any doubt, or if you want to say us anything, just leave a comment here or send us an email to

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *