Kitchen and Bed

Chapter 13: Van Kitchen & Bedroom

About 90% of your van is comprised of your kitchen and 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, the climate you’re living in, and other personal preferences, your kitchen and bed can be built to perfectly suit your needs.

1. Camper Van Bed

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

2. Camper Van Kitchen

Option 1: Pull-Out Van Kitchen

One of our favorite designs is this under-the-bed-pull-out-kitchen. It’s a great way to maximize space, and who doesn’t like cooking outside? There is certainly no one way of doing this. Pinterest has a ton of different examples of these under-the-bed-pull-out-kitchens.

Photo Credit: @the_life_of_sandy

Drawer Runners – You will need 2 heavy duty drawer runners for sliding from under the bed. You will need to purchase more if you want them for pull-out drawers.

drawer runners

Birch Plywood – We recommend purchasing a large piece of plywood and cutting it up into whichever size pieces are needed to fit into your van.

 

Birch Plywood

Hinges – If you want to have a sink, we recommend using hinges to allow the sink to lay flat when not in use.

Hinge

Knobs – You may also want to purchase knobs or handles for the kitchen cupboards.

wood knob

Option 2: Traditional Van Kitchen

If you aren’t worried about space, a traditional kitchen is a good option. Having the ability to cook inside your van is a nice perk during the winter months. Here is a video of a really nice-looking kitchen setup along with the building process:

 

All tools needed for both the Bed and Kitchen

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wood van flooring

Next Chapter

van storage

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