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Old 03-18-2015, 03:06 AM   #71
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Default Re: DIY version of Outside Van bed panel frames?

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Originally Posted by smcphc View Post
Thanks for this idea of a sandwiched panel. I was going to use an aluminum ramp for the span with plywood on top, but this sounds so much better.
I used Reese bifold atv ramps for my overhead shelves as well as for the shelf/bench/sofa/double bed in my van.

The neat thing about the ramp sections is all the features and the engineering to minimize weight. Welded laddered structures are very strong. A 12.5 lb 15"x72" section is rated for 650 lbs.

The raised lips were intended to hold wooden or other inserts when needed.

The slip pin hinges lock securely when opened and require no tools to slide apart when folded.

I actually used two sections to drive a community snowblower into the van the other week---closest I've come to atv use!

This suited my needs for a lengthwise bed and my need for a clear center aisle to stack canoes otherwise. I use the sections with or without bench cushions. The 1/4" ply on the cushion bottoms only has to span a foot in either direction---but it is strong enough to extend the ramps a few more inches to accommodate 6'4" me.

Back to the original intent of using sandwiches to minimize height and weight:

You might look at using a hexagonal panel material for the best strength/weight combo. I saw 24x60 aluminum honeycomb panels on ebay but did not look into gauge or ratings.

Companies like Hexcel make (likely expensive) panels with choice of many materials.

And one last aside about glueing ply to al---are the differing expansion coefficients a problem for a 60" span? I've always just floated my ply in the al channels and never considered fastening them.

A marine specialty plywood distributor was selling sheets of foam in various thickness with ply skins on both sides when I built my DIY. Perhaps a good material to float inside an AL frame?

Sorry for too many ideas in different directions.

Dan
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Old 03-18-2015, 06:28 PM   #72
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Default Re: DIY version of Outside Van bed panel frames?

The issue I have with the ramp is the width. I'm looking at the trifold and I believe it's 3 sections of 15 inches each, giving a total width of 45 inches. I'd like to have around 60 inches, so I'd have to buy two.

I was thinking of using 1 inch aluminum square tubing with 1 inch foam sandwiched between 1/4 inch plywood. The price for the tubing is $70, enough to do two 6 ft x 2.5 ft sections.

I also decided to make the platform height adjustable. I played around with some 8020 this morning and mounted it vertically to the bulkhead. I had some 1.5 inch aluminum square tubing so I used that for the horizontal platform support.



I attached the square tubing to the 8020 with a rivnut in the tubing to tighten it to the angle bracket.

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Old 03-18-2015, 06:38 PM   #73
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Default Re: DIY version of Outside Van bed panel frames?

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Originally Posted by smcphc View Post
The issue I have with the ramp is the width. I'm looking at the trifold and I believe it's 3 sections of 15 inches each, giving a total width of 45 inches. I'd like to have around 60 inches, so I'd have to buy two.

I was thinking of using 1 inch aluminum square tubing with 1 inch foam sandwiched between 1/4 inch plywood. The price for the tubing is $70, enough to do two 6 ft x 2.5 ft sections.

I also decided to make the platform height adjustable. I played around with some 8020 this morning and mounted it vertically to the bulkhead. I had some 1.5 inch aluminum square tubing so I used that for the horizontal platform support.



I attached the square tubing to the 8020 with a rivnut in the tubing to tighten it to the angle bracket.


Doesn't seem like a single bolt holding up the rail on one end is enough. I think it would hold, until it doesn't, and you would be sitting or sleeping up there. ;-)

I'm planning to use the 8020 quickrails to build 3 panels. It still seems with these 1" tubing, 2 per panel, the span of 60" for me, still yields too much flex. I'm interested in making a sandwich like you mention, or bracing below to floor.

From reading about wood to ano aluminum, outside of the VHB, there seems to be mixed feelings about how long a bond would last, as the expansion is so different.
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Old 03-18-2015, 09:28 PM   #74
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Default Re: DIY version of Outside Van bed panel frames?

I am also concerned about the single bolt. It really is just a test, still scratching my head trying to figure out how to make it stronger. I have a jack knife sofa for sleeping, so the platform will only be used for light storage and more as a barrier to separate our gear from the living space. I need height to clear my bicycles, but would also like the option to lower it when I'm not carrying them. My other option is to bolt the tubing so it's resting on top of the vertical 8020, cut one set to the 42 inch height I need for my bicycles and cut another set to whatever I need for the lower height. Just means switching them out whenever I want to change it.
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Old 03-19-2015, 01:38 AM   #75
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Default Re: DIY version of Outside Van bed panel frames?

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I am also concerned about the single bolt. It really is just a test, still scratching my head trying to figure out how to make it stronger. ...
Looks ok to me. You are not looking at one bolt supporting the loads. You are looking at 4 bolts supporting the distributed loads. That even ignores the clamp/friction of the bolted together pieces.

What is your concern? If the concern is pullout stress then let one side of the rested platform float. (I personally suggest that as a method anyway. The van body will flex.) If your concern is shear stress then just butt another bracket and screw under each right angle clip as a stop.

As I said, there are 4 bolts that appear to be at least 1/4-20 supporting your load. I'd be comfortable with that for a few sleeping persons.

vic

Added: The bolts will not shear and fail catastrophically. If anything loosens it will slip down and be evident by the unlevel condition. There are Unistrut angle brackets which have 2 ea. bolt holes on the vertical if you are that worried.
http://www.amazon.com/Genuine-Unistr.../dp/B00I08SC90

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Old 03-19-2015, 04:14 AM   #76
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Default Re: DIY version of Outside Van bed panel frames?

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Originally Posted by smcphc View Post
The issue I have with the ramp is the width. I'm looking at the trifold and I believe it's 3 sections of 15 inches each, giving a total width of 45 inches. I'd like to have around 60 inches, so I'd have to buy two.

I also decided to make the platform height adjustable. I played around with some 8020 this morning and mounted it vertically to the bulkhead. I had some 1.5 inch aluminum square tubing so I used that for the horizontal platform support.
Yes, the "found art" method of repurposing atv ramps has its limitations. I used two 15"w per section bifold ramps to create a 60"w bed design. But we like each other a lot and we both like extra storage space so the usual bed layout is a 15"w shelf next to the 45"w bed.

OTOH, the modularity is terrific.

When my wife is not along I can luxuriate in the spacious layout of a 30"w single bed with an aisle that runs from front to back. Happiness is being able to use the side and back doors for everything.

When I'm day tripping with my bike or boating buds the 30" aisle and two 15" side benches allows me to bring canoes or bikes along down the center. I'm known to do an occasional biathlon day where the road bike straps to the wall L-track atop the side atv " shelf" and the canoe still gets the center aisle.

And when its a weekend trip with a friend I stagger the two 30" singles about two feet to create some better personal space.


I do like the adjustable bed height idea. If it were me, I'd figure on skipping the adjustables and just put in both a "sofa height" and higher "bigger stuff storage" height ledges. Always a pain to have to use tools when a simpler "oven rack" works without needing them.

Dan
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Old 03-19-2015, 04:49 AM   #77
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Default Re: DIY version of Outside Van bed panel frames?

I would need More details on exactly what your bonding together to give any useful thoughts..

In general if I'm over building its: plywood sealed with epoxy bonded to alumium with two part Methacrylate Adhesive.

Single component polyurethane construction adhesive (caulk gun type) is my other goto solution.
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Old 03-19-2015, 04:57 AM   #78
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Default Re: DIY version of Outside Van bed panel frames?

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Originally Posted by smcphc View Post
I am also concerned about the single bolt. It really is just a test, still scratching my head trying to figure out how to make it stronger. I have a jack knife sofa for sleeping, so the platform will only be used for light storage and more as a barrier to separate our gear from the living space. I need height to clear my bicycles, but would also like the option to lower it when I'm not carrying them. My other option is to bolt the tubing so it's resting on top of the vertical 8020, cut one set to the 42 inch height I need for my bicycles and cut another set to whatever I need for the lower height. Just means switching them out whenever I want to change it.
Have you checked to see if the support rails will be parallel? I think when I put in my load deck a long time ago that the van narrowed some towards the front.
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Old 03-19-2015, 08:47 PM   #79
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Default Re: DIY version of Outside Van bed panel frames?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smcphc View Post
I am also concerned about the single bolt. It really is just a test, still scratching my head trying to figure out how to make it stronger. I have a jack knife sofa for sleeping, so the platform will only be used for light storage and more as a barrier to separate our gear from the living space. I need height to clear my bicycles, but would also like the option to lower it when I'm not carrying them. My other option is to bolt the tubing so it's resting on top of the vertical 8020, cut one set to the 42 inch height I need for my bicycles and cut another set to whatever I need for the lower height. Just means switching them out whenever I want to change it.
If you're not sitting or sleeping on it, maybe it isn't much of a concern. I would put another bolt and plate right under that one as a cleat. The top bolt may loosen, or the aluminum may deform and slip, but the cleat will hold it. That will give a lot of time to get around to check it.

I put my mtn bikes under mine, front wheel off. The bed is 37" off the floor, which leaves a lot of room, with the seat down (dropper post).
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Old 03-20-2015, 12:26 AM   #80
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Default Re: DIY version of Outside Van bed panel frames?

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Have you checked to see if the support rails will be parallel? I think when I put in my load deck a long time ago that the van narrowed some towards the front.
Haven't checked that, once I get everything in place I'll verify before measuring for the platform panels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rensho View Post
If you're not sitting or sleeping on it, maybe it isn't much of a concern. I would put another bolt and plate right under that one as a cleat. The top bolt may loosen, or the aluminum may deform and slip, but the cleat will hold it. That will give a lot of time to get around to check it.

I put my mtn bikes under mine, front wheel off. The bed is 37" off the floor, which leaves a lot of room, with the seat down (dropper post).
That's a great idea to use something below the angle bracket, thanks. I have road bikes so no dropper post. One of the reasons I wanted to raise the platform is so I could fit them under without removing the seat. With all the taking out and putting in the seatpost, I'm paranoid I won't tighten it enough and it will start to slip in the middle of a race.
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