Now that we have all of the structure and exterior of the van build complete, we can finally move onto the inside of the van! After installing the subfloor, the first thing we did was build our camper bed. We had actually planned to do the open layout in the van, with the benches that fold into the bed. This was when we were going to have a shower and permanent toilet, and then we switched our minds. We ultimately decided on just making the platform bed. We had to get a little creative on this, so here is how we made our conversion van bed frame.
How to Make a Camper Van Bed Platform
Materials Needed to Build a Van Conversion Bed Frame
- wood screws
- 2 sheets of 1/2″ plywood (depending on the size of the bed)
- circular saw
- miter saw
- kregjig pocket hole
- triangle straight edge
- measuring tape
Steps to Build a Bed in a Van
We had already built boxes around the wheel wells, so we could still use that area for storage if we wanted. Since we already had put up our base layer of walls, we decided to make a bigger support on each side, that went around the wheel wells, and then put the 2×3’s across for the plywood to lay on top.
We started by measuring each side of the van. Our driver side of the van is going to have a little wider base, for the electrical charge controller, and a few other bigger things. So the measurements between the driver side and the passenger side will vary just a little.
We made boxes that were 60″ long to go from the back of the to the front, with 2 2×3’s in the middle for support. We added small little squares on each side of the wheel well that will attach at 90° to the box. The little squares on each side will sit right on top of the subfloor. Then we added 2 2×3’s on the other side of the squares so we can attach them at the top. There will be one of these base frames on each side of the van. Then we added 5 2×3’s that will go width wise from one side box to the other to give support to the plywood. Then we cut the 1/2″ plywood to fit across the frame. Because our bed is 60″x70″ we had to use 2 pieces of plywood to cover the whole bed platform.
Our Camper Van Bed Design
Figuring out the camper van bed design can be a little tricky. You need to decide what are your top priorities to have in the van. We both love our sleep and we aren’t willing to sacrifice our sleep or bed comfort. Because of this, we decided to make it as close to a Queen bed that will fit. Our bed platform is 30″ high. We bought a 6″ memory foam mattress, so we will still be able to sit on the bed and not hit our heads. That also still gives us plenty of room underneath for storage.
We ended up making our bed 60″x70″. This is the width of a Queen bed (60″) and just a few inches short of the Queen bed length (70″). We can both fit width wise, and gives us plenty of room for our dogs to join us on the bed as well. We bought a memory-foam Queen mattress and ended up cutting the bottom a few inches to fit in our Promaster campervan. Since our bed frame is 30 inches high, we have plenty of space underneath our bed frame for storage. We plan on adding some drawers for easy storage. We will also have our toilet and plenty of other space for some bigger items.
If you’re in the middle of building, or thinking about building a campervan, check out our other van build posts:
- How to install a ceiling in the van
- What to use for insulation in a campervan
- Installing a roof fan in a campervan
- How to pick the best van for your conversion
There are tons of ways to build a campervan, and ours is just one way. We love seeing all the innovative ways people have built their vans. If you have any questions about our van conversion bed frame, leave a comment below.