The first real “build” of the van was the bed. The obvious location for the bed would be in the very back. Then I had to consider size, many people ask me why I didn’t just go with a twin size bed which would open up a lot more space in the van. I gave this much consideration but ultimately went with a queen, yup, that’s right my van has a queen size bed in it, which is funny considering most of my college apartment rooms could barely fit a twin. I figured many of my adventures wouldn’t be solo so sleeping space for two would be a plus. That and Stoke will probably grow to be like 150lbs and sharing a twin with him would make for some restless nights sleep, yup, I spoil my dog but in turn he keeps me warm at night :-).
I don’t have many pictures of this build but here’s the gist of it. There is a metal “rib” that runs lengthwise down both sides of the van. We attached a 2×4 to these which would act as the foundation for a lot of future builds. It just so happened that adding another 2×4 the length of the bed platform on top of those would be the perfect height which I chose to be 30″ for the bed. This would give me ample storage underneath the bed for all my gear. This includes bikes, skis, climbing gear, surfboards, etc.
This just shows room for a couple bikes, I’ve since ditched the lame coolers and made it much more organized.
The finished platform!
The picture shows my temporary full size bed which I later traded out for a non pillow top queen which gave me much more headroom. The plywood on the walls were also temporary and served as a barrier for the Tyvek wrap from the puppers sharp claws. The platform is held up by 4 2×4 “crossbars” topped with 1/2″ plywood. There are also 6 vertical 2x4s underneath the bed towards the middle which provide extra support as well as dividers from my gear storage.
Here I am (attempting) to insatll the wall and ceiling paneling which resemble an old decrepit cabin interior but hey it was cheap and who doesn’t like vintage?? Am I right, Katelyn Tamilio??
This image perfectly captures the fact that almost all of these projects could not be done solo. Introducing Court, without him I would have probably given up long ago and just thrown a mattress on the floor and called it good. He has been awesome help and a great motivator, maybe because I’m the one footing the bill and he’s my main adventure buddy therefore he gets to reap all the benefits of the camper without the expensive bill
Next up was seating. Every home needs a comfy living area! Plus I needed way to get up into bed. It’s surprisingly hard to jump up onto a bed that is 42″ off the ground, especially for a 3 month old puppy. These homemade benches would do just the trick, plus provide extra storage space. Every square inch of this van needs to serve a purpose!
Excuse me mom, which one of these sticks is for me??
Measurements were made and a frame was built
Yay, it fits!
Plywood was cut to size for the sides and top, stained, and screwed into place. The benches also act as a great storage area. My “closet” is under the larger bench and the other hold miscellaneous things. Hinges on the top allow for easy access.
The cushions are from “World Market” and are just a temporary measure. One day I’ll learn how to sew and make some that are the correct size and washable. I’ve learned that muddy puppies have no manners and these cushions didn’t take long to lose their pretty and clean state.
Organizing a group shot is nearly impossible with 3 dogs, it’s almost like they don’t speak English or something?