Chapter 13: Camper Van Bed

A good portion of your van is your bedroom, therefore it’s important to maximize that area for comfort, storage, and functionality. This section allows for a ton of creativity. Depending on the number of people you’re traveling with, and other personal preferences, your bed can be built to perfectly suit your needs.

Option 1: Traditional Van Bed

A traditional camper van bed isn’t going to be as user-friendly as other options, but the conversion going to be more affordable than option 2 and easier to install than option 3. You will likely feel cramped in this style of bed, and it’s more difficult to enter or exit the van from the rear. What’s really great about this design is the plethora of storage underneath the bed. For those with loads of cargo, this may be your solution.

Photo Credit: @the_life_of_sandy

Stripboard – Start by building the bed frame. The size of your frame will vary depending on the size of your bed and van. This is a 1-inch x 2-inch strip which works well, but it’s up to you what size to use.

furring strip board

Assorted Screws – Use smaller screws for screwing stripboard to stripboard. Use larger screws when screwing stripboard into plywood.

Assorted Screws

Tip: If you will have storage bins under your bed, design the bed frame so the bins will fit.

Option 2: Bed/Table Hybrid

We have found this bed/table hybrid option to be the most effective for those that want to comfortably eat, work, play card games, etc. It gives the van an open feel, and allows room for more than just a couple people to join you at the table.

The downsides are it’s a bit more expensive compared to other options because of the need to buy an adjustable table, and most likely custom made cushions (you can get this done at most foam and fabric stores). It also takes a bit more time to set up the bed every night before going to sleep.

Photo Credit: @theladiesvan

Option 3: Pull-Out Bed/Couch

The pull-out bed option is great option for those looking give their camper van a more open feel. It allows you to maximize floor space in your van during the daytime, which is great to have during times when your doors are closed. With a pull out bed, you don’t need to buy custom cushions to fit, like you typically do with option 2. Also, provided there is enough room, a fold out table can be added opposite the couch for working and eating!

The downside to this design is the lack of storage space. You still have a little space under the bed, but if you want to add storage across from the bed, you will have to sacrifice sleeping room.

Photo Credit: @wildtribevibes

2 in. x 3 in. Wood Stud – this wood is used for the bed slats.

2 in. x 3 in. wood Stud

1 in. x 3 in. x 8 ft. Furring Strip Board – these furring strips are used for the bed frame.

1 in. x 3 in. x 8 ft. Furring Strip Board

RELATED: Check out our guides on the Best Camper Van Mattresses and the Best Camper Van Bedding Options

All tools needed for the bed conversion

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wood van flooring

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camper van kitchen

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