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.
Dimensions of inside your van
1 sheet of plywood (4 feet by 8 feet)
1 piece of 2x6 lumber (84 inches in length) used for the pillars
3 pieces of 2x4 lumber (84 inches in length) used for the bottom platform ribs
Bunch of wood screws about 2 inches long
Triangle straight edge
Note: The 2x6's could be replaced with 2x4's. We just has a bunch of spare 2x6's so we used that for more support.
For this campervan bed platform design, there are 3 portions:
Bottom platform: the wood that lays on the floor of the van making it easy to pull out the storage containers.
Pillars: supports top platform and seperates the storage area
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.
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 2x4 that act as ribs to reinforce the weight of the bed and two campervaners.
Our bottom platform was 48 inches wide and 51 inches ong (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 2x4'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.
2. Attach the pillars to the bottom platform using 2x6'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.
3. Secure the top bed platform to the pillars. Tip: 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 you new campervan.
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!
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.