Bed platform- high or low?

Bed platform- high or low?

Postby copperhead [OP] » July 30th 2020, 2:20am

Beginning to plan a fairly basic camper conversion with my Safari. Figure I'd start with setting the bed platform and work around that for the rest. I've got the platform construction and size figured out, but trying to decide on the height. Being the sole occupant, and not having a need for much extra seating, I'm thinking of going high(just below side window height) and having more room for storage and accessories below. Accessing the bed at a higher level won't a problem, but I'm wondering if I might be missing some obvious problem with having it that high. Any experiences with having an elevated platform would be appreciated.

As a side observation..WTH is with the rear bench seats in these vans? IIRC when I took the rear seats out of my Villager minivan, my beagle started dragging it across the lawn. As soon as I took the first bench seat out of my Safari, I knew they would never again be re-installed. They're still sitting in the middle of the yard, I'm thinking of just digging 2 holes and burying them where they sit.
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Re: Bed platform- high or low?

Postby tonydobbs » July 30th 2020, 2:47am

Do you have a hightop? I would probably have a lower bed otherwise.
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Re: Bed platform- high or low?

Postby copperhead [OP] » July 30th 2020, 3:24am

No. no hightop. It's just that when temporarily set it right at wheel well height and laid down on it..I looked up and thought..that's a lot of wasted space. :shrug:
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Re: Bed platform- high or low?

Postby Wiley » July 30th 2020, 4:26am

Changing clothes can be a challenge if your laying back there, otherwise the height is kind of irrelevant if you don't mind roughing it a bit.

I know you have your layout decided on, but since my bed will probably sit as high as yours is, I am doing a slat bed across the back maybe 3.5 feet long, extending another 3 feet when pulled out, so that I still have some middle area open, and can extend the bed when needed.
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Re: Bed platform- high or low?

Postby doogaloo » July 30th 2020, 9:43am

The mattress is a tri-fold 4" high density foam. The space between bottom of bed and floor is 12".
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Re: Bed platform- high or low?

Postby copperhead [OP] » July 30th 2020, 12:48pm

Thanks for the suggestions. While I'm sure some folks don't mind having more of a "transformer" type interior, I'm looking to make the sleeping platform, along with most other things a more permanent, dedicated areas.

doog, your dimensions are basically what I was originally looking at doing, but the 12in clearance seems like it would be very limiting. I was hoping to put a decent size 12v cooler below the bed and having more storage.

I realize all this is going to be subject to individual wants/needs. where someone might insist on a having a larger cushioned seating area, I'm more concerned about how much "stuff" I can pack into the van while still maintaining some openness to it.

I've been reading through the build section for ideas, but haven't seen anything in terms of having a higher bunk style bed and any cons besides not being able to sit upright and servery limiting rear seating. I think a swivel passenger seat might be enough to suit my needs though.
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Re: Bed platform- high or low?

Postby augidog » July 30th 2020, 3:22pm

too funny, "bury them where they sit." save yourself some digging and just do a fire pit between them for outside gatherings.

let's say you let the tallest item you intend to stow dictate the minimum height of the bed. if you still think there's too much wasted overhead space, maybe a cargo-net would fit the bill. permanent cabinet or shelf could be a head-buster, but a net could be used, or not, or moved, or removed, depending on the circumstances. a strategic array of hooks and you could easily & quickly change it around as needed. a couple movable cross-rods would let you stow weightier items without sag, and the entire thing could be rolled up together and hung out of the way like it was never there.
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Re: Bed platform- high or low?

Postby Sparkydog » July 30th 2020, 4:31pm

copperhead wrote:
I've been reading through the build section for ideas, but haven't seen anything in terms of having a higher bunk style bed and any cons besides not being able to sit upright and servery limiting rear seating. I think a swivel passenger seat might be enough to suit my needs though.


I resemble this remark! My build features a high bed platform. But you already mentioned that you want a somewhat permanent setup in your van whereas I am definitely trying for a multi-purpose, modular approach because I want to be able to occasionally haul large objects. So I agree with you that for what you have in mind a lower bed height makes sense. But since you are asking about higher beds feel free to look over what I'm doing.
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Re: Bed platform- high or low?

Postby copperhead [OP] » July 31st 2020, 2:11am

Sparkydog wrote:
I resemble this remark! My build features a high bed platform. But you already mentioned that you want a somewhat permanent setup in your van whereas I am definitely trying for a multi-purpose, modular approach because I want to be able to occasionally haul large objects. So I agree with you that for what you have in mind a lower bed height makes sense. But since you are asking about higher beds feel free to look over what I'm doing.


Don't know how I missed your thread..Ill blame old age. :icon-rolleyes: Your fabrication skills are impressive or maybe mine are so poor, they just seem impressive....I kid. I decided I will be installing my platform at a higher level. I'll follow augi's advice and set the height based on the what the tallest object I want under it, which is 18 inches. If I decide augi was wrong and I shouldn't have followed his advice..at least I can blame it on him.:rofl:
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Re: Bed platform- high or low?

Postby Mmusicman » July 31st 2020, 2:52am

I have to admit... I started out way too high. I wanted lots of room underneath for bins and stuff. Had to practically slide into bed between mattress and ceiling. It was a pretty big challenge getting up in the middle of the night.

Since then, I cut off part of the legs to a more practical height.
My full size mattress is now even with the windows and I still have plenty of storage height underneath.
Still a tad high.. but good compromise.

Can't tell from the photo, but there's a little room in front between the bed and the seats to move around.
As you can see... my wife and I sleeping comfortably is the #1 priority! lol

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I guess I should have got a shot of the bed AFTER the sheets and pillows were on... lol
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Re: Bed platform- high or low?

Postby pmou » July 31st 2020, 3:46am

augidog wrote:let's say you let the tallest item you intend to stow dictate the minimum height of the bed.


+1 on that.

In my last camper, I couldn't really decide. but then I got a yeti cooler, and I knew that needed to fit under the bed, essentially the whole build was more or less built around that thing. Necessity is the mother of all invention. if you really can't decide on a height, maybe figuring out other details first is a good way to go, then you'll have more restrictions in your decision and perhaps it will be easier.
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Re: Bed platform- high or low?

Postby copperhead [OP] » July 31st 2020, 11:54am

Mmusicman, Thanks for your input. I'm looking at a mattress height approx 1 in or so below yours so I appreciate your personal experience. Of course mine will be nowhere near as plush. :bow: Add the fact that it will only a max. 28" wide should allow me to easier in and out access.

pmou, When I first started debating this, it seemed kind of stupid to allow 1 item to dictate the direction of my build, but I've come around to agreeing with your and augi's sentiments. The added bonus as you mentioned will indeed make other decisions easier. Thanks.
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