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Discussion Starter #1
After I found out that the cargo length behind the second row (two seater) in the long wheelbase is about 1.85 I changed my idea getting a SWB and so glad I did!
The most interesting thing in the LWB is the "gangway" like I call it. If you are a windsurfer or mountainbiker you know what I am talking about.. no rock-n-roll beds ;-)

With the gangway setup I can stash up to 3 bikes in the gangway, without even taking out the wheels, and be completely stealth in the city.
The other half of the van is a single bed that becomes a double (I chain the bikes to the car for the night).
Under the bed is loads of space for all the camping gear and luggage accessible from the tailgate or behind the 2 seater, even with the bikes or boards in the gangway.

Anyway that was our experience with this setup on our first trip to Sicily.
I made something temporary: 4 Ikea table legs, 2x 180 x 60 wooden plates, some heavy duty hinges and 2 more removable Ikea table legs for the double bed extension and all was good.

The only problem was that to "open" the double bed each time I had a bit of a fight with the mattresses on top. And that after the few days the bed started to move a bit to starboard (being not fixed). So I mocked up something in Google Sketchup…

I made it all more modular, I can go for a single bed/trunk setup only, to full double bed.
I also made it adjustable in height. That way The single bed brought down to 40cm can be used like a bench or couch.
Higher up also as a table with an office like desk, or just if I need to stash up the gear.

What do you guys think about this design?
I was thinking to do the base (blue / green) in steel and than the table arms (orange) which slide into legs in aluminum.
The table panels (yellow) not sure yet if I want these in wood, maybe I can have some nice carbon fiber sandwich panels made.
I am not sure yet how I am going to connect the 2 (purple). I prefer not to fix the right hand plate so I can just slide it of the fixed one and place it in position, keeping it in place with a pin or something.

Any thoughts lemme know.
If you want the Google Sketchup file fire me a PM

 

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Very well thought out, always nice to see alternative and imaginative layouts.

What software did you produce design in, sketchup?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yep Zand Google Sketchup.
You can learn the basics it in half a day or so.
Comes in very handy for about anything!

Glad you like my design.
What do you guys think about the sturdiness? What about rockin-n-rolling on the bed, you know what I mean?
I am not sure about the red axis (the width of the van)
 

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I like the idea and am looking to do something similar. Ours needs room to fit bikes and/or kayaks underneath. We don't have second row seats but may do in future so I'm planning to leave room for some. I'd like to have the height adjustable too. High giving 65-70cm room underneath for kayaks on their sides and a low setting with kayaks flat and a bit more headroom. Adjustable legs would be nice but I think I'd be happy just swapping between two different lengths.

I keep switching between integrating the main supports into the side panels (not yet done) and just having centre legs or having a completely self contained structure as you've drawn. My main concern with having a modular steel frame is having it rattle. Some well placed rubber pads at the connections should be sufficient and at least steel beams can't be mistaken for firewood!

Will
 

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Interesting :)

I've also got a LWB and trying to work out how best to use the space, would like to be able to keep wheels on a bike or 2 in the van, sleep one+ have a kitchen, fridge; storage: both permanent and building extra options tie down points and some netting.

There is actually not much space, maybe I should have bought a sprinter! So it has to be about being clever with the space. Good to see other ideas I'm still confused as to whats going to be best for me ....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I like the idea and am looking to do something similar. Ours needs room to fit bikes and/or kayaks underneath. We don't have second row seats but may do in future so I'm planning to leave room for some. I'd like to have the height adjustable too. High giving 65-70cm room underneath for kayaks on their sides and a low setting with kayaks flat and a bit more headroom. Adjustable legs would be nice but I think I'd be happy just swapping between two different lengths.

I keep switching between integrating the main supports into the side panels (not yet done) and just having centre legs or having a completely self contained structure as you've drawn. My main concern with having a modular steel frame is having it rattle. Some well placed rubber pads at the connections should be sufficient and at least steel beams can't be mistaken for firewood!

Will
65-70cm is doable, but you loose some bed length. (1.80m with the two seater up)
I have been sleeping on my temporary 60cm platform + 10cm mattress which is a good height, but I usually take down the 2-seater anyway.
I used the IKEA "VIKA KAJ" telescopic legs for that, on the lowest setting. For a temporary solution they work really well and are very sturdy.
The only issue is that the bed is not fixed. I tied some webbings between the feet and the anchor points which helps keeping the "table" in place but it's not perfect and needs some readjusting from time to time.
The problem was my folding single-to-double-bed maneuvering, which in theory was a good idea but in practice turned out very cumbersome.
I now adjusted this Skectup design a bit so I can slide out the second bed plate without removing the mattresses. I made the single bed plate 5cm shorter in width and the second bed plate 5cm wider so that it rests on the shoulders of the legs. Than a border on the second plate to keep it nicely in place. I will grab a screenshot when I am back behind my computer (no Sketchup on the iPad)

Anyway for the rattling issue, I thought about tapping in female threads in the vertical receiving profile (green) and than using a screw with a nice knob. So each leg has a pin for setting the height and two thumbscrews (high and mid) for tightening the lot. Should not rattle.
Same for connecting the steel baseplates (green) with the square profile (blue): tapping threads with thumbscrews.
 

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Hi, This is my set -up: I constructed a timber batten and plywood box with a full length pull out drawer. It glides on formica pads and works quite well. The plywood bed slats are a kit from IKEA with alternate slats being screwed to the base box and drawer. The poplar ply ends and drawer door act as an upstand to hold the seat cushion in place when it is in bench seat mode. The back cushion slots in beside the other one to make up a double bed width. No annoying cross ways joins in the mattress with this lay out.

j
 
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