One of the most vital parts of bringing this custom van to life is selecting a cool and thoughtfull arrangement of good furniture.
Key elements are shown in the initial planning diagram below:
- A full size bed, which can comfortably fit 2. This is a set requirement for the layout.
- A cool cabinet which can convert into a table, and has storage.
- Space for Porta-Potti, which will also have cooler or drink holder on top.
First was a trip to IKEA, where we spotted the HEMNES Bureau, which is shown below. But the secret is that we only want the lower section of this desk, not the optional upper cabinet.
Below is the portion of the desk we are interested in. Note that the lower legs will be trimmed to lower the height.
Now before inserting the desk, below is what we are starting with:
Below is our first try at placing the desk inside the van. Note how the curvature of the van pushes the cabinet forward. It is also very close to the roof. For this reason I cut off the lower legs to bring the desk to a lower height. This gives us more comfort when sitting, more room on top of the desk, and most of all, it allows the desk to get closer to the wall.
The desk is secured firmly to the ground using 90 degree brackets at each main support leg.
I also had to cut out a piece of the back of the cabinet so that it would not interfere with the gasoline intake bump.
Below is the desk installed, with the legs cut and the 90 degree brackets installed.
Note that I also installed a custom made box for the toilet. The cooler and or bar, or sink, will sit on top of this.
Now that the desk is installed, it is time to install the bed.
At first the bed was going to fold into a sofa, or have complex mechanisms to convert into a table. But after careful consideration, comfort is of maximum importance. So i went with a fixed frame, upon which i would put the most comfortable full size mattress I could find.
The bed has a 2X4 frame, which is ultra strong due to multiple supports and metal reinforced junctions from beam to beam.
It begins with careful measurements, an a plan of action.
Below is the space before the construction of the bed. I have a temporary folding mattress on the floor. You can see the desk is already installed, but the lighting and side panels are yet to be installed.
Below I have a few tools, brackets, and early drawings ready to begin assembling.
Below are the main supplies which will comprise most of the bed structure. This is where I will cut the wood to proper sizes.
After cutting the 2X4 pieces, I arrange them in there expected locations before applying any screws to the structure.
Note how the has multiple support beams. a plywood surface will be applied above this structure. Weight distribution is key, and in the system below we have multiple contact points. The area below this structure will serve as storage which will be accessible from within the van as well as from behind.
Below I am starting to apply screws to the structure after adding metal support braces for the junctions and corners:
Below is the lower structure assembled:
Now, we place the plywood on top of the lower structure, and throw on a super comfortable foam matress form IKEA.
Note the generous storage are below the bed.
Next we toss on some special fishing sheets from outdoor world (they have fish and rowing ores).
But also note that there is a hole below the bed where an ore is. Here I will place a custom face place which will open upwards and allow access to storage. Also note there is a 2X4 on the floor beneath the bed. This is mounted to the floor, so that items in storage do not slide forward and bash open the face plate door.
Below shows the added face plate for the area below the bed. It uses the same material as the roof and walls. A small latch also helps secure the door so it does not flap during travel. And this completes the build of the nautical themed bed for two. Also note a removable black carpet is present. This is used occasionally to protect the floor if needed.
Another shot showing the completed furnishing. Note the side panels with lights are also installed: