Bed suggestions with moto & mtb in mind

turn_one

Member
Hello-

I'm expecting my first van, a 170 4x4 to arrive within the month and my head has been spinning with ideas (more confusion) after all the research on buildouts I've done since. The biggest unknown for me is a bed solution and I was looking for a direction from some of those with experience here.

My needs require hauling 2 dirt bikes and 1 mtb in the back and keep them in there while sleeping. I hope to do so with a dedicated area for the bikes and living quarters in front. I don't want to jettison gear in a Walmart or rest area parking lot if I end of sleeping in such areas in a pinch. The moto handlebars site quite a bit higher than a mtb so the difficulty comes in finding a platform that can be lowered when bikes are not along for the trip are raised when they are. If said platform is above the bars will there be sufficient room above to sleep without it being too claustrophobic? I've seen 2 different ideas that would likely work and welcome opinions on either or other:


  • The HappiJac. Little more than 1/2 the MOAB price and more flexible. Don't know why more of these aren't used in Sprinters. Are there negatives I'm unaware of with these units? http://happijac.com/bed-lifts.html

I mostly travel solo with 1 moto and 1 mtb but sometimes carry more than that (2 motos and 1 mtb). When multiple motos are used sometimes I'll need to sleep 2 and would prefer the 2nd have their own sleeping area. This would likely be in the living area in front of the bikes in form of a converted counter top with cushions. The back sleeping quarters are what I struggle with.

Any help is appreciated.
 

Brad75

2013 NCV3
i went with the existing E-track that i had. they're mounted horizontally but ive seen guys mount them vertically then attach the bed platform so that you could raise or lower it to whatever level you want. you could use any track system, i just had e-track here so i went with that.
 

turn_one

Member
i went with the existing E-track that i had. they're mounted horizontally but ive seen guys mount them vertically then attach the bed platform so that you could raise or lower it to whatever level you want. you could use any track system, i just had e-track here so i went with that.
When using e-track mounted horizontally how did you mount the bedframe when in the upper position? It seems that where the framing exists to support the e-track (above the windows) that would be too high for the bottom of the bedframe. Are there some type of drop down stud holders for the e-track?
 

Brad75

2013 NCV3
When using e-track mounted horizontally how did you mount the bedframe when in the upper position? It seems that where the framing exists to support the e-track (above the windows) that would be too high for the bottom of the bedframe. Are there some type of drop down stud holders for the e-track?
I didn't go that high. my rails are about 40'' off of the floor mounted horizontally attached to the walls which are lined with 1/4'' plywood on 1/2'' furring strips then i used self tapping screws were i could reach steel. if i need to i will add a 2'' x 1/2'' strip underneath the length of the track so that the track rests on it adding even more strength. i build everything solid just in case i need to load up the bed platform or something in the future. you could do the same thing up top where your talking about and not have to hit steel cause it will just be a platform, no people on it so not much weight.


heres a picture of E-track mounting vertically. this would have been a lot easier but i would have used 3-4 rails (Solid)


https://s5.postimg.cc/z8tfpcz8n/3f0d7a04f800bcc438c562b13f7c36d3.jpg
https://s5.postimg.cc/q2b51x1o7/3324-wood-end-socket-for-e-track_3_640.jpg
 
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turn_one

Member
Thanks for the info. The platform however will need to be a bed as I plan on sleeping above the motos when loaded. When no motos (or just mtbs) I’d like to lower the bed/platform so that I’m not sleeping so high (inconvenient). With vertical e-track I’m sure this can be done, I just need to figure out how to mount the straight track on the bowed walls. Mounting the track horizontally would be a challenge as the only steel (needed for support as this will be a bed) is too high. Drop down e-track stud holders, if there is such a thing could work.
 

Treesner

Member
I’m not doing the garage style, I hate it, makes the van way tighter. Doing a bed up front with room for all the bikes in the back. Maybe a hanger for mtb


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

turn_one

Member
I’m not doing the garage style, I hate it, makes the van way tighter. Doing a bed up front with room for all the bikes in the back. Maybe a hanger for mtb


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Yeah, no problem for short trips. I plan on having a living area and kitchen up there along with optional sleeping space for a 2nd. All while on the road for 1-2 months. Without these constraints I would’ve gone with the 144.
 
H

hmbltn

Guest
I ultimately went with Adventure Wagon's Moab bed system because, like you, I'm using my van primarily for hauling moto to and from places to ride. I wanted a bed system I can use for storage while en-route while also accommodating my bikes and also be lowered to a reasonable sleeping height. Nothing else on the market that I could find that can do all of that.

The price is incredibly steep for the bed system but it is also incredibly well built, so at least you're getting a quality system. As if the bed wasn't expensive enough, you have to buy the wall bracers separately, which adds another $1000 for a 170. However, they do have a couple unique features that I think make them worthwhile (besides being very stout). They are laser cut to match the curved radius of the van. In addition, they have tabs at the top, middle and bottom, to slide your 1/4" wall panels into. The three tabs force the wall panel to follow the curved radius of the bracer (and therefore van walls) without having to directly fasten the panel to the wall, which results in a cleaner fit and finish IMHO.



The one unexpected consequence of the Moab bed is a newfound addiction to bamboo plywood. I bought a bunch after seeing how Adventure Wagon uses it in their bed. Really great, versatile material to work with, and good looking too.
 
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turn_one

Member
I ultimately went with Adventure Wagon's Moab bed system because, like you, I'm using my van primarily for hauling moto to and from places to ride. I wanted a bed system I can use for storage while en-route while also accommodating my bikes and also be lowered to a reasonable sleeping height. Nothing else on the market that I could find that can do all of that.

The price is incredibly steep for the bed system but it is also incredibly well built, so at least you're getting a quality system. As if the bed wasn't expensive enough, you have to buy the wall bracers separately, which adds another $1000 for a 170. However, they do have a couple unique features that I think make them worthwhile (besides being very stout). They are laser cut to match the curved radius of the van. In addition, they have tabs at the top, middle and bottom, to slide your 1/4" wall panels into. The three tabs force the wall panel to follow the curved radius of the bracer (and therefore van walls) without having to directly fasten the panel to the wall, which results in a cleaner fit and finish IMHO.



The one unexpected consequence of the Moab bed is a newfound addiction to bamboo plywood. I bought a bunch after seeing how Adventure Wagon uses it in their bed. Really great, versatile material to work with, and good looking too.
Thanks for that informative review. It was very tempting until you mentioned the extra $1k part which prior to knowing that I was hard pressed to justify. Seems very well built and engineered. I wonder why more folks aren’t using the HappiJac option? The only disadvantage I see is that once mounted it’d be unlikely you’d remove it.

I’m also near Seattle. Wouldn’t mind checking your van out at some point if convenient for you.
 
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canyoneer

2017 144 High Roof
I have some of the same requirements and had the same dilemma, trying to decide between the Happi-Jack and the MOAB beds.

I really wanted to use the HappiJack due to just being able to easily raise the bed all the way to the ceiling, with a touch of a button, whenever hauling motos and also during the day, it would be great to have it up at the ceiling and have the whole rear of the van available as a workshop and seating space during the day, all without having to store bedding or put away/make up a bed each day. But the installation was going to be kind of difficult, and due to the bed arms needing to be at 90-degrees to the floor, it would limit the width-space in the rear, by a significant factor. I've see one install that I really liked, where the bed would raise up and almost disappear, leaving a cool couch set-up underneath for lounging during the day. But they blocked off the back doors to accomplish that, which wouldn't work for me. I saw another install where they hacked a bunch of 2x4's to build the frame for the arms, but I cringed at the finished product. I just didn't want to lose all that space for the arms. If there was a way to create some type of system where the arms could follow the curve of the sprinter, I would be all over that, but it's just not something I want to try to engineer.

So, the next best thing is the MOAB bed. But the fatal flaw with that, well aside from the cost, which I think is mostly justified, after looking at all those high-end materials, is that you really need a second set of rails to be able to easily move the whole bed up during the day. Otherwise, you have to completely remove the bedding, mattress, pillows, three bed sections, etc., figure out where to put all that stuff temporarily, un-thread the bolts of the rails, move them up, thread the bolts back on, heft the three bed sections, bedding, etc., back up, and repeat the process again at night. But the extra set of rails is another $900! So, understanding that the price may go down when they are able to sell individual parts, I think I'll just deal with the cumbersome setup for now, and maybe order a second set of rails in the future. But, wait, that will probably be at least $100 or more for shipping, so should probably just order them now and have them send them with the bed.....

With the second set of rails, at least you could have the second set up at the highest setting, use a tri-fold mattress, fold everything to one section, move up the other two sections, and then move the bedding to one of the now-raised sections, and move up the final section. Still, a bit of work, but at least everything stays off the ground during the transition.
 

turn_one

Member
I echo all your concerns cayoneer. I think one could possible still use the space outside the frame support legs on the HappiJac for some type of storage who’ll still having enough space to shoehorn 2 motos in place. But, after the $1650 initial cost you still will need to design a bed frame. There has to be a sub-$5k solution...or maybe I just kick the 2nd outside and sleep in the front. Not sure the wife would like tenting it though.
 
I echo all your concerns cayoneer. I think one could possible still use the space outside the frame support legs on the HappiJac for some type of storage who’ll still having enough space to shoehorn 2 motos in place. But, after the $1650 initial cost you still will need to design a bed frame. There has to be a sub-$5k solution...or maybe I just kick the 2nd outside and sleep in the front. Not sure the wife would like tenting it though.


There is very little room above the dirt bike handlebars for sleeping even in a high roof sprinter. If you measure the handlebar height (~52”) and then add the bed frame and mattress (~8”?) you are at 60” approx. You might feel like you are climbing into a cave or coffin when sleeping ...

I’ve been debating the same thing with my motorcycles. I’ve hauled three dirt bikes with 4 guys and gear to Mojave and four large Adventure bikes (2 on trailer, 2 inside)to Death Valley in my 144”.

I have not slept in it however. My custom shelf above the bike seats stops at the handlebars.

I’ve also looked the Moab bed and went to the adwagon 3 day workshop. Great stuff but it is pricey but worth it IMO.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Brad75

2013 NCV3
There is very little room above the dirt bike handlebars for sleeping even in a high roof sprinter. If you measure the handlebar height (~52”) and then add the bed frame and mattress (~8”?) you are at 60” approx. You might feel like you are climbing into a cave or coffin when sleeping ...
if you put the bikes in backwards then shift the platform forward a bit so that the platform rides just above the gas tank you could get some extra room but yeah, its still a coffin.
 

Brad75

2013 NCV3
I just need to figure out how to mount the straight track on the bowed walls. .
i just took a piece of E-Track out to the van an placed it vertically. theres an 1'-1/4'' gap but when i applied a bit of pressure with my hand it shrunk to 3/4'' ... no doubt the E-track would conform to the bowed walls with a bit more pressure or even better yet you pre bend then install it.


https://s5.postimg.cc/gi6ptxfif/IMG_1063.jpg
https://s5.postimg.cc/9rq8khkmv/IMG_1064.jpg
 
We will have a bed option out soon that will easily allow for transportation of motos and mountain bikes but it still doesn't quite fit what you are looking to achieve. This will retail for around $1500.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BhP0Wx9g1qo/?taken-by=vancompass

I think something similar to a dual vertical bunk set-up on one side of the van will be ideal for what you are trying to achieve. I've seen several Outside Vans set-up like that and that seems to be a good alternative for hauling motorcycles and still be able to sleep in the van without unloading them.
 

turn_one

Member
what are your walls lined with ?
My van arrives mid May. Not sure what wall material I’ll have. This is my main need for the van therefore everything must be designed around this. Just trying to get my head around the problems early.

Nice setup Desertbound. If this could work in a ‘high’position and low (like pictured) I’d see it working. This issue with the OSV option is it’d be hard to squeeze in next to 2 motos.

Bikes in backwards I think will be key.
 
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