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Old 04-09-2015, 02:20 AM   #1
Aqua Puttana
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Default Some Bed Platform Support Ideas/Options

Some Bed Platform Support Ideas/Options

There have been some great ideas put forth as to how to provide support for a mattress. Some are very basic and others more complex as to being hinged, snap-in, clipped, etc.

Some of the threads are quite long and include many other details. This thread is intended to focus on various methods of wall attachment and platform supports. I'll start this off with my opinions. Please feel free to add other ideas.

Many discussions relate to number of fasteners. I've posted this as an example of shear strength.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Puttana View Post
For practical application there's a big difference between a given structural shape uninstalled as opposed to fastened in place for use. Many structural shapes are flimsy and can be bent by hand, but once they are installed and in service that is no longer true.

2 average adults may typically weight 400 pounds total. 3 - 4 average adults is probably in the 600 - 750 pound range.

That's really not a bunch of weight when it is distributed over an entire bed platform. The weight is not point loading the structural members. It is distributed. A bed platform supported by any brand van walls will not stress the walls to the point of distorting them. The loads just are not that great.

As long as pullout stresses are minimized so the fasteners see mostly shear forces it doesn't take many fasteners to hold the structural shapes to the walls to properly support a bed.

I used this example in another thread as to what a relatively small pin can support.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Puttana View Post
A comment on shear strength of fasteners and the number needed for supporting a bed.

The cable backstay on my sailboat is held at the top by a single 3/16" pin. I feel this is a good example because it is easy to see that all the force is concentrated on this one pin.

This is the specs of the cable that is used.

1/8" SS Aircraft Cable

Breaking Strength:1760 lb
Diameter:1/8"
Finish:PlainGrade:304
Material:Stainless Steel
Specification:MIL-DTL-83420M
Strand Core:7 x 19
Type:Aircraft Cable
Work Load Limit:350 lbs.

As an aside, 1/8" galvanized steel aircraft cable has a Breaking Strength of 2000 lb and Working Load of 400 lb. The same size pin is used. Contrary to what some may think, ss is not generally stronger than plain steel. SS resists corrosion and may be harder.
http://machinedesign.com/materials/c...d-other-metals

This is the pin shown relative to the size of a dime.

SSpin.jpg

The pin is not the weak link as to the 1760 lb breaking strength above. I have seen rigging cables break as a result of collisions. The pins used in the cable assemblies are not a typical failure point.

So even if your fasteners aren't equal to the pin design/material in my example, it is easy to see that it won't take too many properly installed fasteners to support a couple people on a bed platform. This example relates to shear strength, not pullout. Pullout is another discussion.

vic


I'm not saying that sleeping platforms/beds can be installed without some sort of thought as to stress and strength of materials. What I am saying is that installing a proper bed platform is not necessarily rocket science either.

vic
I used a simple notched 2 x 4 with aluminum cross supports. The cross supports nest into the notches unfastened. That allows them to float which almost entirely eliminates pullout stresses as the van body flexes.

This is my green side rail support.

SideSupport.jpg

SupportsBackViewWnotes.jpg

I used salvaged aluminum temporary safety railing parts for the cross supports. Other possibilities include Unistrut Channel, EMT Electrical Conduit, pipe, 2 x 4's on the flat side, and most any other strong enough structural shape.

More details on my Loft Bed are here.
http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4827

Quote:
Originally Posted by socalsupermoto View Post
I made the frame with ikea skorva beams which are cool because they are telescoping/adjustable, and $10. You'll have to ask the "as is" dept for some skorva mounting plates because those usually just come with the beds.

Skorva.jpg

The IKEA Skorva bed beams looked interesting so I did the Google.

SKORVA: Swdish for "Go back to the store"


Quote:
We assembled the bed from head to foot. It looked beautiful......then came this phantom "midbeam" the directions pictured. Alas, it was in none of the boxes that were required for us to build the bed. A phonecall later and a couple "wtf" moments later, it was decided:
1. No, i will not elect to pay 78 dollars for a 10 dollar part to be shipped to me within 3 days.
2. Yes, i will be driving back to Atlanta to walk in the store and pick it up myself.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/optikalblitz/3232592916/


Skorva Beams look like they would work with the notched 2 x 4's and probably other types of side wall supports. My concept would be to cut the Skorva beam ends off by about 1" each (for better thickness) so they can be set upside down into the 2 x 4 notches. Double check for the application as to date I have never personally seen a Skorva beam. It looks very promising though.

A Fast Pin could be used to hold the slip adjustment to the correct length and still allow the beams to be collapsed/shortened for storage.

Quick Release Fast Pin

quickpin.jpg

After further reflection I believe that this is a better design for securing IKEA Skorva side to side.
Alternatively a single screw into the 2x4 pocket on each end of the cut down length, upside down Skorva beam will hold position and eliminate the need for a keeper pin.

I recall one member who used 3/4" plywood without any cross supports. Doesn't get much simpler than that. I don't have the link for that method.

To hold my bed platform plywood into place I use 1/4 - 20 studs with washers and wing nuts on the four corners (studs screwed into the 2 x 4). For the center sections I just drilled 2 holes straddling a few aluminum cross supports and tie them onto the cross supports with heavy cord.

vic


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Puttana View Post
I might as well add my E-track method to this thread. It is installed in my 2006 passenger van, but would work for cargo models also.


E-track Rear Deck Bed Support

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=52227

vic
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Old 04-09-2015, 02:27 AM   #2
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Default Re: Some Bed Platform Support Ideas/Options

Aluminum loading ramps have been suggested. Here's one for under 100 bucks that can be adapted.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JP4 View Post
I'm using the 3 panel Harbor Freight ramps in my Transit.
http://m.harborfreight.com/super-wid...not%20provided
Drilling out the hinges to separate them and attaching 1/4" ply on top. The length is perfect across the Transit when suspended by 1 1/2" angle iron (Plasti-coated) bolted to 15 series 80/20 rails attached just below the windows. I'll have full double bed dimensions with just a few inches of ply overhang on the ramps.
JP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Puttana View Post
Separating the sections is a great idea.

That is an easy way to get a strong, light platform at a good price.

I wonder if HF will take 20% off the $99.00 sale price if you present one of those plentiful magazine coupons? - Yes. HF will take the coupon.

vic
folding-aluminum-ramp__7.jpg


Please add your ideas to make this thread more useful.

vic
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Old 04-13-2015, 03:30 AM   #3
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Default Re: Some Bed Platform Support Ideas/Options

I'll continue talking to myself...

I have not installed a bed deck in this manner, but I know that it will work. It is not snap in, snap out. It is semi-permanent in that the 12 ea. top deck screws (6 per side) holding the MDF against the 2x4 rails will take a bit of time when installing or removing the bed deck. Then again, using a screw gun should reduce the time to acceptable levels to prep for a camping outing. One advantage of this design is that it takes absolutely no fancy fabrication. The entire bed platform can be built needing only basic hand tools. It is also fairly inexpensive as bed decks go.

Basic Fabrication Bed Platform

4 ea. Steel angle (The angles will nest together nicely for storage.)
The Hillman Group 6-ft x 1-1/2-in Plated Steel Slotted Angle. Approx. $16.00 ea.
http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?...llow&cId=PDIO1

SlottedAngle.jpg

Heavier Duty Cross Supports (optional)

Structural doubters can use 5 ea. of the above angles, or 4 ea. of these 2 1/4" angles. Overbuilding does add to the cost. A compromise would be using the 2 1/4" product on the end cross angles only (where people may be sitting during social gatherings).
http://www.lowes.com/pd_44489-37672-...ductId=3057635
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Crown-Bol...1810/100338198

2 ea. - 2x4x8 studs. Approx. $3.00 ea.
2 ea. - 4 x 8 sheets 1/2" MDF board. Approx. $26.00 ea. The MDF particle board should stay stable. 3/8" CDX plywood could be used, but my experience shows it will likely warp in storage.
12 ea. (6 each per side rail) - 1 1/2" deck screws for screwing deck into top of 2x4 rails.
4 ea. - 1/4 - 20 x 1 1/2" carriage bolts (For bolting center/inside corners of deck to angle cross supports.)
4 ea. - 1/4" flat washers
4 ea. - 1/4" wing nuts
20 ea. (10 each per side rail) - 2 1/2" deck screws for securing 2 x 4 rails to side walls. (Or a fewer number of bolts with Nutserts if preferred.)

Basic Fabrication

Determine your bed/mattress size. A 68"W x 80+"L deck will accommodate most any mattress. (T1N is approx. 68” wide at bottom of rear windows.)
The length of the bed deck determines the 2x4 side rail lengths. For reference. A home size queen mattress is 60” x 80”. An RV queen mattress is often 60” x 75”.

My vision is that the seam of the panels would run down the center. Another option would be to cut 2 ea. panels to span the 68" van width and a corresponding dimension to get to the overall length needed. (2 ea. 40"W panels = 80". Or maybe longer than 80" is even better?) For crosswise panels the seam will need to align with a cross support. The crosswise panels eliminate the need for carriage bolts. At around 68" x 40+" the shorter cross panels may be easier to store than lengthwise longer ones.

Have the 2 ea. 4 x 8 sheets of MDF cut to size by the supplier/store.

The 4 ea. angle cross supports should be equally spaced for the MDF deck support. I suggest a 1 or 2 inch overhang of the deck past the end angle supports.

Use a saw to cut slots in the 2 x 4 rails for the one leg of the angle to set into. If the slot is too deep it is not a problem. The depth of the slot needs to allow the flat face of the angle to rest on the top of the 2x4. The face resting on the 2x4 gives all the strength necessary.

The top of the 2 x 4 rail could be relieved so the flat of the angle doesn't stand proud. A pocket to set the flat side of the angle will allow the deck to set directly on the 2 x 4 rail. I personally don’t believe it is critical. It may keep the deck from a bit of ripple over the angles when the deck screws clamp it down. Keeping the clamp screws close to a cross support will minimize the ripple possibility.

Mount the slotted rails to the Sprinter side walls. I wouldn't hesitate to use deck screws as “sheet metal” screws to attach the rails because they are plenty strong enough. The deck screws are likely not hard enough to cut their own threads. My method would be to drill and then use a real sheet metal screw to run in and pre-form the Sprinter metal to accept the deck screw thread. The deck screws will then hold properly in the sheet metal. Alternatively ” or 5/16" bolts and Nutserts could be installed.

After the side rail 2x4’s are installed, set the cut to length cross support angles into their slots.

Position the 2 ea. pieces of MDF decking on top of the angles and side rails.

Locate and drill 6 ea. deck screws through the deck into the top face of the side rails. These screws serve two purposes. The screws hold the MDF deck into place, and they hold the deck against the angle ends to keep them in proper position in the slots. Even though the angles are clamped into place they will still float in the slots.

Locate the 4 ea. center inside MDF deck corners to the punched angle slots and drill a ” hole for the carriage bolts and wing nut fasteners. The carriage bolts/washers/wing nuts will assure that the inner edges of the MDF deck don’t float.

Your bed deck is now installed.

A basic sketch.

BasicBedDecksm1.jpg

vic

Added:
I toyed with the idea of suggesting a couple of slab doors for a deck. As mentioned earlier, the width just below the windows is about 68". Slab doors often are 78" or 80" long. Just right for a mattress. They come in widths of 32", 34", and 36" so easy to get to 68" total width with just 2 doors in combination. The prices for the doors were higher than the MDF so I abandoned the idea. If someone could rescue a couple doors for re-purpose it might make it worth considering. The unevenness of panel doors (as compared to flat slab doors) might not even be a problem depending upon the mattress used. (The Princess and the Pea comes to mind.)

Securing the rails.
I installed #14 sheet metal screws for my similar design 2x4 bed support side rail 2x4's. (The first picture in post #1 above shows the recessed screws.) I used a spade bit to countersink the screws because the screws I had on hand weren't long enough. That countersink method could also be used if using bolts and Nutserts.

Cross angles.
Rescued/re-purposed bed frame angle pieces (heavier overall, but cheaper) could easily be used to avoid buying new angle iron. Check the Salvation Army or Goodwill stores for inexpensive bed frames.
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Old 04-13-2015, 06:54 AM   #4
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Default Re: Some Bed Platform Support Ideas/Options

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Puttana View Post
Your bed deck is now installed.

A basic sketch.

Attachment 67161

vic
Thanks Vic. My kind of CAD.
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Old 04-15-2015, 01:14 PM   #5
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Default Re: Some Bed Platform Support Ideas/Options

Need a higher bed than at the bottom of the windows?

Longer than platform length 2x4 rails could easily bridge the open spaces of the window frames and would be strong enough to support a high bed when using 1 1/2" angle/slots. I would use 2 ea. 1/4-20 bolts with Nutserts for each available attachment point. 2 1/4" angle could be used if the slots are router-ed in to leave a 3/8" thick solid section of the full 2x4 width on the outside of the side rail.

With the higher rail there will likely be no side wall to keep the cross supports in position side to side. I recommend being certain to install one top deck screw through each cross support top face perforated hole. That will guarantee that the rails cannot shift sideways and possibly drop out of one side. (Or use Skorva beams with pockets and keeper screws as described further down.) Added: Or just a cut off nail as a keeper pin in the bottom of each notch to match with a hole in each cross support. That will keep position without needing to install/remove any extra screws.

Perhaps you don't trust my idea of using a 2x4, 1 1/2" angle, and 4 bolts per rail? (There may be even more bolts total depending upon upright intersections.) The conservative designer should use a 2x6 with the stronger 2 1/4" angle mentioned in the post above. The additional surface of the 2x6 rail will easily allow you to install 3 or 4 ea. 1/4-20 bolts or even 5/16" bolts for support at each attachment point. The most conservative designer can't argue successfully that a slotted 2x6 isn't strong enough over such a short span. The 2x6 rail ends could even be cantilevered out to save going longer just so that the rail gets to the next window pillar. Quite a bit of cantilever extension is actually safe.

The beauty of using a wooden side rail with slots is that it is self adjusting to the Sprinter wall angles. The 2x4's (or 2x6's) will be at a bit of an angle, but that doesn't matter. The flat of the cross support angles will still rest on the top of the rail to be properly supported.

If you believe that the top of the rail angle does matter (it really doesn't) then the rail top can be cut to a matching angle with a builders circular saw, or a table saw to provide more cross support angle iron contact.

The suggested modifications to go higher with the deck won't change the ability to use basic hand tools for fabrication.

vic

Added: IKEA Skorva beams
At 10 bucks each the IKEA Skorva beams installed in notches will be less expensive. (More detail is in the posts above.) A single screw, or pin, into the 2x4 notch/pocket on each end of the slightly cut down length upside down Skorva beams will hold position and eliminate the need for the more expensive quick keeper pins.
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Old 04-15-2015, 02:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: Some Bed Platform Support Ideas/Options

I have kicked around the idea of re-purposing a dinning room table.
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Old 04-22-2015, 12:36 PM   #7
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Default Re: Some Bed Platform Support Ideas/Options

Someone recently mentioned using fence pipe as a cross support. That's another good possibility. It is strong with fairly thin walls so not too heavy. It will nicely rest into a notch, even a squared off one.

As to strength, look at the typical top rail span length of residential fences and then think of how many times you've seen people climb over a fence without even the smaller sized top rails bending. Fence parts are readily available at some home improvement box stores.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_103268-215-5...7C1&facetInfo=

I'd even use the slip joint feature for any inner cross supports to join leftover pieces and save a couple bucks. 126" - 68" wide = 10" short so the joint will be right near the end. No problem at all.

vic
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Old 04-22-2015, 03:59 PM   #8
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Default

I recently made a $45 bed in my van using etrack 2x4 spreaders, some 2x4s, and a piece of plywood:




Im sure the pics r too big...this tapatalk app on my phone becomes less functional every time i use it!


Anyway i may cut the bed down in width the 48" and just screw some posts to hanging side of the bed so i can still walk through the truck without crawling on top


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Old 04-22-2015, 06:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: Some Bed Platform Support Ideas/Options

The Harbor Freight ATV ramps worked really well. I sandwiched them between some cedar 2x2's for greater width and strength. Layed a bead of silicone on them and then screwed them on 1/4 ply with 3/4" washer head screws. Brad nailed and Gorilla Glued the 2x2's. Super light and rigid.
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Old 04-22-2015, 06:21 PM   #10
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Default Re: Some Bed Platform Support Ideas/Options

Quote:
Originally Posted by JP4 View Post
The Harbor Freight ATV ramps worked really well. I sandwiched them between some cedar 2x2's for greater width and strength. Layed a bead of silicone on them and then screwed them on 1/4 ply with 3/4" washer head screws. Brad nailed and Gorilla Glued the 2x2's. Super light and rigid.
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That is some A+ problem solving and construction!
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