MOAB Adventure Wagon Bed Install and short review

slamit

www.cacampervan.com
Bed Review for those thinking about a MOAB Adventure Wagon Bed

Just finished the install of this bed in a recent build for a customer. I was able to get a bed on the 2nd run they did so I thought I could give a non biased review that might help others as I haven't found much on this bed since they are so new. Quality is nice. Installation is straight forward but some special tools are needed: Riv Nut Tool, Rivet Tool, nice bits, sheet metal bit, hole punch...

It works just as the video on their website suggest. The quality fit and finish is nice. Yes it's expensive, but it is not mass produced and the quality is superior to any other adjustable bed and it does exactly as they promise. Fit and finish is excellent which makes installation much easier. No "massaging" was needed for the install however there are a few pitfalls if you are not careful so I would not recommend the install to someone who is not very familiar with tools, riv nuts, and precise drilling and measuring. The height can be adjusted within the L track height, but to truly get a nice system you need 4 rails so you don't deal with bolts.

Install time is about 3-5 hours depending on skill level not including any wall panels. This was the first one I have installed so it took me about 4 hours from start to finish including set up and clean up not including wall panels that I had to cut. I did have all the tools and a very good knowledge in how to use them so this could take a day for someone whom is a novice. On a 1-5 difficulty its a 3.5; actually its easier than that, but if you mess up your holes you can be in a bit of a mess (really screw up the install) so I give it a .5 higher. DIY-A-BLE for sure for those who are used to dealing with tools and working on cars beyond an oil change. :smirk: Take your time follow exactly how AW suggest installing in the sequence they suggest. Use the right tools is a must. Its unlikely you would have some of the special tools; but they would not likely exceed $100-150 for average quality ones.

I would recommend this bed for sure if you need an adjustable bed and can afford the premium. Premium price however comes with premium quality. (I am not the manufacture, but I see a lot of beds so this is my honest opinion)

Some pics for those thinking about this bed. Hopefully AW can reduce the lead time and get these in stock; the most frustrating part was the long lead time and the heavy deposit to wait for the bed. Its a semi custom product not massed produced, I am sure this will change in the future, I know they are working on it.

Rating:

Quality: 9
Ease of Installation: 7 (No welding involved, Semi Skilled DIY Focused)
Functionality: 9 (I haven't seen anything that works THIS smooth that is adjustable on the market)
Value: 7 (Hey it's a bit pricey; but when you gotta have this feature, you gotta have it...add a mattress and it gets really expensive compared to other options like building your own or a fixed bed)
Engineering: 8.5 (Only suggestion is they could make the attachment stronger...but that requires welding and is beyond most DIY, this is one of the best "bolt on" solutions going currently and is by far the cleanest engineered beds in the market)

Hope this helps if you are thinking about this bed. You will not be disappointed. I had good support as well from AW once my order was in place for the install. I think they will have a video for those who purchase a bed to help in the installation for DIYer's.
 

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Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Thanks for the info. :thumbup:
https://adventurewagon.com/

https://adventurewagon.com/products/moab-elevator-bed

That is a really interesting and unique design.

I'm a bit surprised that they didn't at least use wing nuts on the height adjusters to make changes a bit easier. I guess 4 nuts isn't a big deal though.

Perhaps a dumb question. Were the vertical sections of L-track pre-formed to fit the side wall profiles or did they get pulled in by the fasteners to conform?

Great looking bed for those who have the money.

vic
 

slamit

www.cacampervan.com
The support bar is preformed. (one in rear). They did a very nice job with the profile; however it is thick and some windows may not fit behind it. (aftermarket with trim ring) It was nearly a perfect fit. Very well done. Its centerline is 52.5 inches from centerline in the van to the back. About 2 inches wide. (wide L track) The front vertical bar is not pre-bent. It is just normal wide L track. So when you use riv-nuts to bolt this down it is very important you screw it down first, then drill our holes as they instruct for the riv-nuts as this has to be bent and which causes the mounting holes to shift until you have it mounted to find the correct position. There are additional obstructions behind the sheet metal that if you don't do this right can impair your riv-nut mounting. This is by far the most difficult part of the install and where the novice who has never done this type of thing might really screw things up. There is little room for error in this part. If you follow the instructions for the most part you are fine. I would suggest moving this L track towards the back maybe a millimeter or two to avoid some of the sheet metal obstructions so making the riv-nut installation smoother and get a better fit. Worst case? You mess up and will need to weld in a nut...or drill new mounting holes in the L track to remount in new positions. Again if you are not comfortable with this type of mounting then find an installer and have them do this for $300-400 and you don't have to buy tools. For the person who has good automotive or fabrication skills this is something they can tackle easily. Or practice mounting L track in easier places in your van using riv-nuts ...then this should be very doable.

I wanted to post this for those thinking of using this bed as when I went to find information I had trouble finding any from people outside AW who actually did an install. When you drop $4,000 its nice when you can get some information. I have seen, made, or mounted many other types of beds (non adjustable) so I thought I could give a more than usual accurate review.

I attached a picture of the L track that gets bent to the contour of the van when mounting that I am referring to above when mounting. The rear vertical one is a very easy mount using rivets. (not riv-nuts) There is a difference; if DIY install you should be familiar with these or practice before installing for sure.
 

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jbrownmxr

Member
Thanks for taking the time to write this up. I purchased Adventure Wagons complete kit including the bed. I did this sight unseen based on the ingenuity of the bed.

Have you experience with the other components?


Jason
 

slamit

www.cacampervan.com
No I haven't used their other stuff but for a DIYer its a good alternative to "similar look" of builders whom offer something similar at a more expensive cost and they have made it easier to reduce the confusion of what to do. Still isn't something you will do in a weekend...not even close, but I think its a great alternative if this is the functionality and look someone wants. There are less expensive ways to finish a van, but not with these type of finishes if labor is pulled out of the costs.
 

dsdom

New member
The height can be adjusted within the L track height, but to truly get a nice system you need 4 rails so you don't deal with bolts.
Could you clarify this statement a bit more? Are you referring to the 4 rails included with the bed, or are you saying that it needs to be modified a bit? I was looking at this bed as well, but haven't pulled the trigger mainly because of the $$ and trying to determine if the adjustability is actually user friendly enough to be valuable.
 

slamit

www.cacampervan.com
If you don't want to mess with bolting and unbolting the side rails...two rails mounted would enable you to quickly, without any adjustment, go from lower to higher height. Its only 4 bolts...but for "instant" height change you need 4 side rails. (system comes with two) AW makes this clear in their video, this was only a suggestion for those looking for a completely tool-less adjustment. If I work with any of their other products I will post a review as well, but at the moment I don't have a van for this. This review was only to give feedback for those considering purchasing and installing. AW would provide specifics for installation as well as other technical information. Hopefully it is helpful to others whom are considering the bed and installing it themselves. As mentioned I would have one in my own van if I needed an adjustable bed and wanted a high end good looking product. Its a little more than other alternatives that adjust but I think it functions very nice (from first look at least) and cosmetically it really has a nice look. Panels are very light for what they are; the lightest ones I have handled from any bed.
 

Dhan

Member
Bed Review for those thinking about a MOAB Adventure Wagon Bed


Rating:

Quality: 9
Ease of Installation: 7 (No welding involved, Semi Skilled DIY Focused)
Functionality: 9 (I haven't seen anything that works THIS smooth that is adjustable on the market)
Value: 7 (Hey it's a bit pricey; but when you gotta have this feature, you gotta have it...add a mattress and it gets really expensive compared to other options like building your own or a fixed bed)
Engineering: 8.5 (Only suggestion is they could make the attachment stronger...but that requires welding and is beyond most DIY, this is one of the best "bolt on" solutions going currently and is by far the cleanest engineered beds in the market)

Hope this helps if you are thinking about this bed. You will not be disappointed. I had good support as well from AW once my order was in place for the install. I think they will have a video for those who purchase a bed to help in the installation for DIYer's.
Thanks for the write up Korey. I've been considering this bed for a few months now and have been searching high and low for an alternative product and really have not had much luck. I used to have a toy hauler and would love to have a electric platform bed from a toy-hauler, but I don't think the weight and size make it impractical. Having said that, I have verbally committed to purchasing the bed and should arrive within 60 days (loooong wait).

Question: Do you think using plus nuts will be better than using rivnuts for the attachment of the rails?

Thanks in advance.

Dave
 

slamit

www.cacampervan.com
I think the way it attaches if fine with the way the load is. The plus nuts I think will interfere with the hidden sheet metal wall that you put the riv-nuts in. I would move that mount/l track a few mm to the rear to avoid this wall...just a few mm should clear it otherwise its a super close fit. You could instead use a riv-nut instead of the rivets they use for the rear L track. I am not a big fan of the rivets, but they make the install really easy for sure.

I was invited to do the clinic but way to busy to spend the weekend on short notice to do so but installing these type of components isn't much of an issue for me to begin with...one of the easier things I have done for sure.
 

Dhan

Member
I put a deposit on the MOAB and awaiting its arrival, but just realized that the windows (Hehr 10x36) that I'm getting ready to install may interfere with the rear vertical L-track for the bed. Do you recall what the distance of the rear L-track mounting points are from the rear doors?
 

Dhan

Member
Unfortunately, the mounting system/bracer for the MOAB interferes with the sliding windows on a 170, so it's the bed or the windows! I guess I'll be looking for a new bed system.
 
Very interesting looking. Thanks for the review.

I spent some time looking at the Adventure Wagon web site and videos. I am still left with questions.
What do they mean when they talk about reinforcement?
Is it for the rear vertical L track?
Is there a backing plate behind the L track?
The horizontal rail looks like they have welded supports to L track.
It the horizontal L track actually used as L track?
Is the horizontal rail supported just by the two tabs on each one?
 

slamit

www.cacampervan.com
Julie...I would contact the manufacture. They are best to answer your questions. You just cant usually "bolt" stuff in a van just like you can't generally bolt stuff into your house walls. Depending on what you are mounting you may or may not have to reinforce the wall. This is why many builders state "mount to existing sheet metal" only. General reinforcement for L track usually requires welding when dealing with van sheet metal. Now for "light duty" use like bikes and such, this is fine. Heavy items like motor bikes and sleds...totally different story. The kit supplied (bed only kit) has the needed support for the bed and light duty use. When I do custom beds that are different I reinforce with 3/16th steel welded in, then I bolt to that. This bed however doesn't do that as it's "DIY" engineered for ease of installation and light duty. Fine for a bed within their weight specifications.
 
Bed Review for those thinking about a MOAB Adventure Wagon Bed

Just finished the install of this bed in a recent build for a customer. I was able to get a bed on the 2nd run they did so I thought I could give a non biased review that might help others as I haven't found much on this bed since they are so new. Quality is nice. Installation is straight forward but some special tools are needed: Riv Nut Tool, Rivet Tool, nice bits, sheet metal bit, hole punch...

It works just as the video on their website suggest. The quality fit and finish is nice. Yes it's expensive, but it is not mass produced and the quality is superior to any other adjustable bed and it does exactly as they promise. Fit and finish is excellent which makes installation much easier. No "massaging" was needed for the install however there are a few pitfalls if you are not careful so I would not recommend the install to someone who is not very familiar with tools, riv nuts, and precise drilling and measuring. The height can be adjusted within the L track height, but to truly get a nice system you need 4 rails so you don't deal with bolts.

Install time is about 3-5 hours depending on skill level not including any wall panels. This was the first one I have installed so it took me about 4 hours from start to finish including set up and clean up not including wall panels that I had to cut. I did have all the tools and a very good knowledge in how to use them so this could take a day for someone whom is a novice. On a 1-5 difficulty its a 3.5; actually its easier than that, but if you mess up your holes you can be in a bit of a mess (really screw up the install) so I give it a .5 higher. DIY-A-BLE for sure for those who are used to dealing with tools and working on cars beyond an oil change. :smirk: Take your time follow exactly how AW suggest installing in the sequence they suggest. Use the right tools is a must. Its unlikely you would have some of the special tools; but they would not likely exceed $100-150 for average quality ones.

I would recommend this bed for sure if you need an adjustable bed and can afford the premium. Premium price however comes with premium quality. (I am not the manufacture, but I see a lot of beds so this is my honest opinion)

Some pics for those thinking about this bed. Hopefully AW can reduce the lead time and get these in stock; the most frustrating part was the long lead time and the heavy deposit to wait for the bed. Its a semi custom product not massed produced, I am sure this will change in the future, I know they are working on it.

Rating:

Quality: 9
Ease of Installation: 7 (No welding involved, Semi Skilled DIY Focused)
Functionality: 9 (I haven't seen anything that works THIS smooth that is adjustable on the market)
Value: 7 (Hey it's a bit pricey; but when you gotta have this feature, you gotta have it...add a mattress and it gets really expensive compared to other options like building your own or a fixed bed)
Engineering: 8.5 (Only suggestion is they could make the attachment stronger...but that requires welding and is beyond most DIY, this is one of the best "bolt on" solutions going currently and is by far the cleanest engineered beds in the market)

Hope this helps if you are thinking about this bed. You will not be disappointed. I had good support as well from AW once my order was in place for the install. I think they will have a video for those who purchase a bed to help in the installation for DIYer's.
How's the bed holding up? Does it rattle at all?
 

mtbboy2000

New member
Unfortunately, the mounting system/bracer for the MOAB interferes with the sliding windows on a 170, so it's the bed or the windows! I guess I'll be looking for a new bed system.
Was thinking that same set up, windows and this bed? What was the reason that the bed interfered with the windows? I have a 170 4x4. Just curious, tx, I have not put the windows in yet.

tx
 

slamit

www.cacampervan.com
So far customer has not said anything about noise...they address this with felt lining on the contact points. Have no idea about windows...you will need to contact them for technical questions. This install had no windows but I think they might interfere with the rear support bar depending on window...did not take those measurements to check clearance. Would be easy to check.
 

pdxkid

currently vanless :-(
@Tower4pe it looks like slamit is a professional van converter so he likely did it himself. www.cacampervan.com
 

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