Rock and roll bed Print E-mail
Topics - Interior

Before I decided to build my own seat bed I started with some research for an out of the box solution. Unfortunately most of the ready made rock and roll beds do not come cheap: though Creative Engineering sells quite a decent one. During my hours of crawling the internet for a solution, I stumbled across a set of original Westfalia seat bed hinges that came out a bay window. These hinges fit a split window as well since a bay window engine compartment is similar to that of a splitty.

After I received the rock and roll bed hinges I quickly realised that it was not as easy as I thought it would be: the hinges are quite complicated without a good example. The seat and the back are both in a certain angle opposed to the floor of the van. Figuring out the right angle without the original woodwork proved to be quite a challenge: It took me about a whole evening of cutting cardboard models.

I made the bed base out of core-board which you can by at your local DIY store. The door hinges are regular kitchen cupboard hinges. With some creativity, imagination a router and a jigsaw, you can make yourself quite a professional camper interior without spending hundreds of dollars at a camper interior builder.

Depending on your personal plans for your van's interior you will need to decide on the width of the couch. In my case I ended up with a bed width of 110 cm (43,3 inch) since I installed a sink and a cooker (which I bought from a local boat shop). The mattress was a complete different story: there seem to be plenty of places where you can buy separate pieces of foam. Unfortunately selling separate pieces of foam seems to be big business: a much more affordable solution is buying a brand new foam mattress and cut it into pieces.

The upholstery of the couch and mattresses can also be done yourself, see my upholstery article for a complete overview of home made upholstery.

There are a couple of steps you can take that eventually will save you quite some time:

  • First, think, draw, adjust, redraw, re-adjust: speakers, stove, sink? It's so much easier when you know where you want these items before you start preparing the bed base.
  • Make 1:1 cardboard models to check whether things will turn out the way you planed it, then copy on wood and start sawing.
  • Do not underestimate the need for measuring. Nothing is more annoying than finding out things don't fit while assembling all your prepared parts.

Finally some notes with regard to the photo's: the bed base does not require to be bolted onto the floor, in my case only two screws keep the whole thing into place. The bed hinges are both bolted onto the sides of the bed base and through the engine compartment (which means you will need to drill two holes!). The cabinet door knobs can be bought from a caravan or boat shop. Most of them come with a lock (press ones to open, press again to lock) which is handy in case you need to hit the brakes.

Last Updated ( Monday, 01 March 2010 )
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