DIY Campervan Bed Frame with Built-in Storage

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When making your own DIY campervan conversion, one of the most important things to think about is how to make the bed. It’s what you’ll be sleeping in, after all! We have put together a step-by-step tutorial that walks you through how to make your very own DIY bed frame for your campervan or RV.

DIY Campervan Bed Platform

How to make your own campervan bed platform

We wanted to make a platform that not only supported a full-size bed, but also had tons of storage space underneath for all our gear. We are sharing our step-by-step instructions so you can build your own bed platform.

Materials needed:

  • Dimensions of inside your van
  • 1 sheet of plywood (4 feet by 8 feet)
  • 1 piece of 2×6 lumber (84 inches in length) used for the pillars
  • 3 pieces of 2×4 lumber (84 inches in length) used for the bottom platform ribs
  • Bunch of wood screws about 2 inches long
  • Circular saw
  • Measuring tape
  • Triangle straight edge
  • Pencil

Note: The 2×6’s could be replaced with 2×4’s. We just has a bunch of spare 2×6’s so we used that for more support.

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For this campervan bed platform design, there are 3 portions:

  1. Bottom platform: the wood that lays on the floor of the van making it easy to pull out the storage containers.
  2. Pillars: supports top platform and seperates the storage area
  3. Top platform: the wood that mattress rests on. In our van, the top platform rested on the pillars and the top of the wheel wells.
DIY Campervan Bed Platform

1. Build the bottom platform

Using a piece of plywood. We bought our lumber at Home Depot and had them cut the plywood to the correct size (48″ x 70″) we wanted at the store.

This might depend on the shape of your car’s interior, but we wanted to make it big enough to fit a full-sized bed on top. We wanted to support the bottom platform with 3 lengths of 2×4 that act as ribs to reinforce the weight of the bed and two campervaners. 

Our bottom platform was 48 inches wide and 51 inches long (the distance between our wheel wells). 

Our vehicle like many vans had ribbings in the body, so the floor was not completely flat. For this reason, we put 3 support ribs under the bottom platform to raise it about 2 inches with the 2×4’s. One rib was placed on the back near the rear doors, one in the middle and then one near the front, near the side door of the van. 

Campervan Wooden Bed Frame

2. Attach the pillars

Attach the pillars to the bottom platform using 2×6’s in a 3 by 3 formation. Our wheel wells come up about 10.5 inches above the floor of the car and we wanted to use them to support the top platform so we cut our pillars to about 9 inches (bottom platform is about 1.5 inches tall).

Make sure you orient your pillars that are placed in the middle row in the “front to back” direction to make it easier to store your gear. 

Note: When attaching the pillars, I used at leasted 2 screws per connection so that the pillar would not slide around or squeak later down the road.

DIY Campervan Bed Frame

3. Secure the top bed platform

Next you’ll secure the top bed platform to the pillars you just built.

Tip: Do this outside of the van!

Fit the top plywood piece on the bottom platform and pillars and draw pencil marks where the pillars line up so you know where to place your screws. Having built everything to the specs of our van, the bed fits almost too good. We had to disassemble some pieces and reconnect it once it was in the van.

Screw on the top platform (48″ by 70″) and now you have a bed frame for your campervan. 

Campervan Shop | Two Wandering Soles

Final Steps

DIY Campervan Bed Frame Storage

You now have space for all the under-the-bed storage. We had a 3-tier plastic shelving that we removed the drawers and used those as our storage containers. You can buy many drawer types from Target or Walmart. 

We placed an old sheet on top of the plywood to protect the mattress from slivers. Then place your mattress on top, get some cute pillows for a splash of color and you have yourself a bed!

DIY Campervan Bed Frame Pillows

Now you have a comfy bed to sleep in your new campervan. Check out how to build your own campervan kitchen sink and campervan privacy curtains in our step-by-step tutorials. Find out other tips and tricks on our DIY Campervan Conversion on a Tiny Budget in less than One Week

DIY campervan conversion guide

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Want to save yourself the headaches and hours of research we went through and get straight to the building process? 

We created Van Conversion Academy, a DIY campervan conversion guide, because it’s exactly what we wished we’d had when we were building our campervans.

Save yourself the time and money and get straight to the building process with step-by-step instructions, video tutorials, blueprints you can actually copy and tons of insider tips and recommended products to get you on the road faster! 

Click below to learn more about Van Conversion Academy.

Van Conversion Academy | Two Wandering Soles

You may also like…

We have TONS of resources on converting your own campervan and living the #vanlife. Check out our Ultimate Guide to Van Life for all the answers to your most burning questions, or read some of our favorite articles below.

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Campervan Bed Frame
Campervan Bed Frame

We want to hear from you!

Are you planning to building your own campervan and still have questions? Comment below and we’ll do our best to get back to you!

Comments (19) on “DIY Campervan Bed Frame with Built-in Storage

  1. Donnie says:

    My gf and I are in the process of converting a 94 g20 shorty into a camper.Its a shorty so im gonna build my bed all the way to the back doors.Im using your plan.Im also using your kitchen plan.That being said…the insulated window covers have me scared to death lol.Im sure ill figure it out though.Thankyou for all the great imformation,You have truly helped me,Ive never built anything.

  2. susantrask3@gmail.com says:

    Just got our van tonight! We got a 1996 Dodge Coachman! It also has a aftermarket wheelchair lift which we will remove. It doesn’t work, so we won’t resale it. But we are looking at your blog and it’s super helpful!

  3. Jillhellmann@aol.com says:

    Love your article about easy van conversion. I hop to find a van soon
    and am excited to see it doesn’t have to take months.
    But on the bed platform what am I missing? It looks like you have plywood on the top and bottom of the frame. With the top alone being 48 by 70 that only leaves a 12 by 48 inch strip for the bottom. The list indicates one piece of plywood. You didn’t need 2 pieces of plywood?
    Thank you.

  4. mamasandbabas@gmail.com says:

    Hey wandering soles, great name by the way. I found your chanel whilst browsing online and we are so excited to be getting a van and converting it to live in and go off for a fun filled van life, around the world. Currently working my ass off to save to buy the van end of this year and take off by March next. So excited it’s unreal. Your tops, videos, blog etc are very helpful. Are you still on the road… Ameee 🙂

    • bwzweber@gmail.com says:

      Hey Charlie, we got the standard thickness of plywood which I think is 5/8". Hope this helps. Are you converting your own campervan?

  5. GoldmanStanley.WG@gmail.com says:

    My gf and I are preparing for van life and your website has been incredibly helpful!
    I have a question: your bed dimensions seem to be pretty small, are you able to lay down fully stretched? I’m 5’7” and my gf is 5’1”, we’re wondering how to arrange the bed but most vans seem to not have sufficient space to arrange the bed perpendicular to the van’s frame. How did you guys pull it off?

    • bwzweber@gmail.com says:

      Hey William! Our bed was 72” long and the inside of our van frame was 70” so we kind of squished the bed in there, but there were no lumps because it was a decent mattress. I am 6’1” (73”) so sometimes I had to stretch out fully diagonally. But I typically sleep on my side so I didn’t have to use the whole length of the bed. Hope this helps.

    • T. C. Parker says:

      I am 5’7 and my bed is positioned in the same direction. I can completely stretch out fine in my bed and I don’t have to sleep diagonally. This of course depends on what van you have and the amount of insulation, framing, and wall paneling you put in. I drive a Ford E350 Club Wagon Extended van. My mattress is an 8 inch memory foam mattress I got off Amazon, and it is squished right in with no lumps as well.

  6. parkertrin@gmail.com says:

    I absolutely love this!
    We are at the beginning steps of converting a van very similar to yours. The only question I have, is how did you fit the full size mattress in the van? We have looked at memory foam full size mattress and the dimensions are still a bit bigger than the van.

    • hello@twowanderingsoles.com says:

      Hey Loren. It was a tight fit. The length of the bed was about 72 inches and the interior width of the van was 70 inches (if I remember correctly). We kind of squished it in there, but there were no lumps or anything so we called it good.
      How wide is the inside of you van?

  7. Conrad says:

    I have the same van but from 1990 – did you find the bed to be long enough? I’m average height, almost 5’10" and was debating orienting the bed lengthwise in the van (pull out full size)

    • hello@twowanderingsoles.com says:

      Great question, Conrad. Honestly, it’s a bit tight. It was plenty of space for me (Katie!) because I’m 5’4”, but Ben is 6’1” and would sleep sort of diagonally which worked out. But yeah doing it lengthwise is definitely another option. Just gotta rearrange some storage so it’s easy to get at! Like a puzzle hehe. Hope that answers your question. Best of luck!

  8. kristenbrownnp@gmail.com says:

    Which mattress did you choose? We are converting our 2008 Toyota Sienna right now and I think we’ll go for a full size 6" memory foam.

    • bwzweber@gmail.com says:

      Hi Kristen, we had a Full Sized mattress in the camper van. I think it was 5 or 6 inches thick.

    • bwzweber@gmail.com says:

      Hi Julio, thanks so much for your kind words. The bed was not attached to the floor, but I built it around the wheel wells, and it was heavy enough so it did not move around. Are you thinking of making a campervan?!

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