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Old 07-12-2021, 06:16 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by finnski1 View Post
This is a small van. I don't see any way you're putting in a bed that you can get out from both sides. I do agree with your other points.
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The plan for the bed(s) is to not do a combo double bed - but two side by side beds with an 18" "corridor between them.
I should have been more specific. What OP is planning is exactly what I have seen in other vans like this.
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Old 07-12-2021, 06:28 AM   #22
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Defiantly looks like a fun plan... A good friend loves their set up they have been running and adapting for about 6 years now. We have also given it some serious thought.... So if you dont mind some ideas... Seeing you already have tent camping gear and experience as did they.
They have kept everything modular. They have totes set up with their gear for different trips. They have folding cots that work either in the van or tent, with the sleeping gear, outdoor kitchen stuff, even a porta-potty tote. Depending on the trip plans just grab the needed totes. Wired in lights and inverter with solar panels. they have a bunch of tie downs to secure stuff... Stack the needed totes and coolers, cargo net over to secure. THEN... load 4wheeler, or 2 duel sport bikes... and can hang Kayaks too. They also have a camper that adds a different dimension... they've done several cross country trips leaving the camper as a base camp and then jump in, take the bikes to explore BLM areas with shorter trip camping in the van.
Just food for thought.
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Old 07-12-2021, 06:58 AM   #23
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That'll be a fun project!

I assume it'll be campground camping, where there are showers and rest rooms (or at least, outhouses) available. Those nightly treks were always my least favorite part of camping, but it doesn't look like there's really room for a bathroom in that van.

Crutchfield is a great on-line supplier of car audio, and you can certainly get a unit with Bluetooth and a big display for maps or backup cameras. They even sell custom trim for most vehicles to make the install look like it came from the factory. I've upgraded two vehicles this way.

Don't dismiss the value of shore power, if you're going to be in campgrounds where it's available anyway. Consider a small microwave. Think about how you're going to spend rainy days "indoors."
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Old 07-12-2021, 07:35 AM   #24
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12-volt fridges are nice to have if you have an aux battery. If you enjoy the water inflatable paddle boards & small boats are fun to have & pack small for traveling.
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Old 07-12-2021, 07:35 AM   #25
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This will be a fun project and a great way to travel. I did this in the 70s with a VW bus and traveled all over the US and Canada for more than a decade. Van conversions for camping were popular in the 70s and 80s. I thought of doing another conversion with a Sprinter years ago but too many health problems got in the way.
Go for it!


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Old 07-12-2021, 11:35 AM   #26
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Defiantly looks like a fun plan... A good friend loves their set up they have been running and adapting for about 6 years now. We have also given it some serious thought.... So if you dont mind some ideas... Seeing you already have tent camping gear and experience as did they.
They have kept everything modular. They have totes set up with their gear for different trips. They have folding cots that work either in the van or tent, with the sleeping gear, outdoor kitchen stuff, even a porta-potty tote. Depending on the trip plans just grab the needed totes. Wired in lights and inverter with solar panels. they have a bunch of tie downs to secure stuff... Stack the needed totes and coolers, cargo net over to secure. THEN... load 4wheeler, or 2 duel sport bikes... and can hang Kayaks too. They also have a camper that adds a different dimension... they've done several cross country trips leaving the camper as a base camp and then jump in, take the bikes to explore BLM areas with shorter trip camping in the van.
Just food for thought.
Good idea.

I tried to talk DH into the folding cot idea. (More versatile vs building a bench bed.) But given his height (6'4") he doesn't fit well on cots.

But the tote idea is already shaping up. We already store our gear in totes... and are designing around totes under the beds.
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Old 07-12-2021, 11:53 AM   #27
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I should have been more specific. What OP is planning is exactly what I have seen in other vans like this.
No worries. Was just nitpicking.
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Old 07-12-2021, 12:31 PM   #28
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I like it! I would go with the benches with folding tops for lots of storage below. Stoves, hibachi, lanterns, etc. Carry a "screen room tent" to set up outside with folding chairs and you are good to go. Can run around easily to day trips, supplies w/o having to be driving a huge RV.
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Old 07-12-2021, 01:03 PM   #29
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We use our van for hauling things sometimes, so everything needs to be easily removable. DH built the bed frames for that purpose. We store many supplies in totes under the beds. For stuff we need to access more often, we use a stack of three of those large plastic Serilite drawers, found cheap at a thrift store. They're held against the wall with cargo straps. Our tent on wheels looks nothing like the fancy Van Life rigs out there, but is versatile and completely functional.

Incidently, we always thought we'd be doomed in the event of a crash, with the beds and everything else breaking loose and smashing around inside. However, earlier this year DH got rear-ended hard on I-5 in our previous van, which had the same setup as our new rig. The plywood sheets used for the bed platform along with the frame securely bracketed and screwed to the walls and floor did not break loose and actually seemed to support the sides of the van as it got pushed across 3 lanes in the second part of the crash. The Sterilite drawers held up fine, as did DH. The van was totaled from the rear impact though.
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Old 07-12-2021, 04:03 PM   #30
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Nice project! Enjoy!
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Old 07-12-2021, 06:07 PM   #31
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..... Carry a "screen room tent" to set up outside with folding chairs and you are good to go.........
These work well. Check out the Clam and Gazelle models that just pop into shape as opposed to the typical 4 post canopies. They're so much easier to set up and take down.
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Old 07-13-2021, 11:28 PM   #32
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Cool! Ill bet you will really enjoy this new toy. CA has so many places you can enjoy this, not to mention the other Western states.
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Old 07-14-2021, 07:54 AM   #33
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How about a bunk bed? You don't need to build anything using the disc o cot which leaves more floor space for other things or just for walking / passing each other.

Having a portable bed also means you can use it in a real tent camping scenario, providing your tent is high enough (e.g. teepee).

https://youtu.be/3YEyHdM-y_g
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Old 07-16-2021, 08:06 PM   #34
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First bed (extra long for hubby) is in. It is not how I designed it. (We had several design differences but since he controls the power tools, he won.) But it works. Lots of storage under. Top flips up. Toe kick and rounded edges at the corner to avoid cursing in the middle of the night.

My side will, hopefully, be able to fully fold up.
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File Type: jpg VanBed1a.jpg (438.8 KB, 43 views)
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Old 07-21-2021, 05:31 PM   #35
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Nice. Keep updating photos when you can.

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Old 07-21-2021, 05:43 PM   #36
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Looks Great! Did you talk about bunks just on one side, they could be low profile?
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