The $99 Platform Bed - Some assembly required

Wheeljack

Member
Although a bit lower tech than the composite panels we are familiar with, I built my bed platform out of lightweight removable materials that I've worked with in the past home remodeling projects. After over a year of use, I can say it is extremely rigid and lightweight, and has held up well with 2 adults, but sometimes also our 10 year old and maybe two dogs up there as well. The door skins cannot withstand much as a point load, but if it is distributed, they are extremely rigid and strong.

I used two interior slab-style doors from one of the big box stores. These are essentially a composite panel with cardboard 'honeycomb' core glued to the outer skins. I had to rip the doors to width, trimmed to length/shape of rear doors, and re-glued the edging back in.

They are supported by 3 IKEA Skorva bed cross-beams (these have been mentioned elsewhere on the forum), which are also very rigid and lightweight. I originally planned on 4, but it was overkill. They also have the advantage of being extendable to fit whichever bed height is desirable. The mounting brackets can be bought in the IKEA hardware bin for just a few dollars more. I mounted each bracket with 3X 1/4" nutserts. They are also so low profile that when the cross beams are removed the brackets don't stick out past the face of my wall panels. I mounted them just below the window openings,which to me puts the bed at a great height so we can comfortably sit upright. Bikes go on the rack, or laid down underneath sometimes.

I trimmed and put 2 twin size 6" memory foam toppers, and this by far was the most expensive part of the bed (and not included in the $99 structure portion). This is probably a little too 'ghetto-style' for some, but we all have different requirements, and with as much hauling and outdoor gear that gets thrown around, I don't want to have anything 'too nice' that I would feel bad banging around a little bit.
 

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Wheeljack

Member
Re: The $99 Platform Bed

One other thing to mention is that we were also keeping things 'flexible' because this is our first RV-type thing and we just weren't sure what was going to be important. We planned to figure it out as we've used it and add/remove/modify as we go. This past year has been good in that aspect. That is also why we kept certain things as cheap as possible. But other things that we knew we wanted and needed, such as MaxxAir or Espar D2, we weren't so concerned with the cost.

ranchworld
Re: The $99 Platform Bed
Nice simple solution. What is that blue fabric zippered cabinet the stove is on?
The cabinet is a collapsible Ozark Trail unit that we use to store our kitchenwares. I wish it was wider to handle the propane bottle hanging off the side, but we are a bit space limited. We use the stove more on the floor of the van by the slider. I have some plans for a more functional galley, but it is a few projects down on the current priority list.
 

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Beer30

Member
Wheeljack, great idea that I will most likely steal. Looking at the van and the Skorva supports, I wonder if it would fit in the metal lip above the weld without even using a bracket? Right by where you have the insulation. What are your thoughts?
Thanks,
Beer30
 

Gpaw68

2015 144 4cyl high roof
The cabinet is a collapsible Ozark Trail unit that we use to store our kitchenwares. I wish it was wider to handle the propane bottle hanging off the side, but we are a bit space limited. We use the stove more on the floor of the van by the slider. I have some plans for a more functional galley, but it is a few projects down on the current priority list.

Cabella's has a wider one.
http://www.cabelas.com/product/Cabelas-Six-Shelf-Camp-Pantry/2225605.uts?slotId=0
 
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Wheeljack

Member
Yes, there are a lot of size options from many suppliers. At 33"W, there isn't enough room for that one to fit between my drivers pedestal and the bench seat. Mine is only 20" W, and I use piece of 3/8" plywood to extend the surface to about 26" so my stove and bottle are fully supported. It hangs out over the bench seat slightly, but we usually just have one person back there, so not a big issue.
 

Wheeljack

Member
Wheeljack, great idea that I will most likely steal. Looking at the van and the Skorva supports, I wonder if it would fit in the metal lip above the weld without even using a bracket? Right by where you have the insulation. What are your thoughts?
Thanks,
Beer30
That's a good idea, but I do see some potential issues.

The van exterior wall could get pushed out/dented if it were sitting on the circled area. I think that is where your are talking about. Another option would be to cut some slots into where I show the red lines. But looking toward the door where the forward-most cross beam will be, something different will need to be done and could be a problem. The referenced features are no longer there.

Also, the stamped wall material is thinner and likely less strong than the brackets. So it may locally deform under the load.

I really need to get a picture now that the wall panels are temporarily installed to show how the brackets sit in the panel.
 

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Beer30

Member
I worry about the same issues you mentioned. I may just buy some braces and see how they fit.
Thanks,
Beer30
 

Gpaw68

2015 144 4cyl high roof
Wheeljack:
I used the same beams from IKEA and the brackets also. I actually got the brackets for free when I asked for them.
I used one of IKEA's slat support frames on top of the beams and an IKEA foam mattress on top of that. Worked well during a six week trip last summer.
Also made a bench using the beams that I put plywood on top.
I am going to change my set up to a dinette in the back but on a short platform (maybe 10 inches high)so I can have storage underneath. I do plan on using the beams to support the top of the platform (floor of the dinette) so that I can easily remove it if I need to haul anything tall and need the room.
 

Wheeljack

Member
Wheeljack:
I used the same beams from IKEA and the brackets also. I actually got the brackets for free when I asked for them.
I used one of IKEA's slat support frames on top of the beams and an IKEA foam mattress on top of that. Worked well during a six week trip last summer.
Also made a bench using the beams that I put plywood on top.
I am going to change my set up to a dinette in the back but on a short platform (maybe 10 inches high)so I can have storage underneath. I do plan on using the beams to support the top of the platform (floor of the dinette) so that I can easily remove it if I need to haul anything tall and need the room.
Do you have pictures of your setup? I think those are some great options also. Did you have to modify the beams to suit the length/width? i have them on a few beds in the house, but with the way they are all attached, it seemed like it would be hard adjust. Maybe not any harder than what I ended up doing with the doors.
 

Gpaw68

2015 144 4cyl high roof
IMG_0394.JPG
This gives you an idea. I'll look for a picture of the bench, but it is in front of the bed and just behind the sliding door.
This is a twin bed and I did have to cut the end off so it would fit. All the slats stayed.
 
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cb_

New member
Hey, I'm looking to use these skorva beams and brackets to build a platform for my bed, but I was looking to secure them with #10 sheet metal screws that are 3/8" thick with some washers. Do you think that would suffice or are the nutserts or something similar imperative? I'm pretty clueless with this stuff, but it seems that predominately the direction of force would be towards the floor of the van and not pulling inwards.

Any advice on attaching these to the sheet metal?

Thanks,

cb

2011 Sprinter 144
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
...

Any advice on attaching these to the sheet metal?

Thanks,

cb

2011 Sprinter 144
I have used sheet metal screws on the bed supports in both my 2004 and 2006. I have also used sheet metal screws for other additions.

In my opinion the secret is to minimize pull out stresses as you mentioned.

It appears to to me that the Ikea Skorva beams have torsional flex and will slip a bit over their length. I would use sheet metal screws. That said, I haven't used Skorva beams. I used other bridging deck structure with my sheet metal screw attachments.

2004
https://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?p=38591#post38591

2006 Bed
https://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=52227

vic
 

Onefin

Well-known member
Suggestion for best nutsert size and source?
I’m planning in ordering some today and hitting up ikea when I’m here in the big city.
Thanks, Dave
 

SneakyAnarchistVanCamper

Reading till my eyesbleed

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rgarber

New member
That's a good idea, but I do see some potential issues.

The van exterior wall could get pushed out/dented if it were sitting on the circled area. I think that is where your are talking about. Another option would be to cut some slots into where I show the red lines. But looking toward the door where the forward-most cross beam will be, something different will need to be done and could be a problem. The referenced features are no longer there.

Also, the stamped wall material is thinner and likely less strong than the brackets. So it may locally deform under the load.

I really need to get a picture now that the wall panels are temporarily installed to show how the brackets sit in the panel.
Wheeljack, do you have your skorva bed brackets rivnuted to the van wall without any reinforcement. That's what I was thinking of doing and wondered how they've held up for you.
 

ronin_hungary

New member
Hi, This idea gave hope/chance to have bed in our van. The plan is to have about 86-90" inches length. Couple of questions:
1. Did anybody actually calculated load capacity? Based on my calculation 3 beams space around 22.7", while 4 beams space around 17", so that means for my plan I need 5, which I do not mind, but wondering if the capacity is on the lower end of the spectrum, I would rather just install 6, 8, whatever need.
2. Does it matter if the beams are higher up, where the chassis curves inward as opposed to opening away from the beams?

Thanks,

R.
 

RVBarry

Well-known member
The plan is to have about 86-90" inches length. Couple of questions:
1. Did anybody actually calculated load capacity? Based on my calculation 3 beams space around 22.7", while 4 beams space around 17", so that means for my plan I need 5, which I do not mind, but wondering if the capacity is on the lower end of the spectrum, I would rather just install 6, 8, whatever need.
Hi, for a 90" bed, 3 beams would be spaced almost 45" apart each.
0" at one end
~45" halfway
~90" other end

There are plywood deflection tables at
I'm not going to try to interpret them right now as my brain is too tired.
 

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