Build Stage 11 : Making the bed frame

Once the wall paint had dried we were eager to get onto making the bed. We wanted to start with this as the size of the bed was would determine how much space we would have left in various areas of the rest of the bus. We decided not to put the bed right to the back of the bus, but to add in two cupboards in the back then the bed for additional storage. It was pretty important for us to have a hydraulic lifting Ottoman bedframe so that we could utilise the underneath for storage and not have lots of claustrophobic head height lockers.

We started by building the top slatted frame which the mattress would sit on.


This consisted of building a large rectangular 2” by 3” frame and then adding level 2” by 1” slats across it. This was built to UK Kingsize 150cm x 200cm. We installed the edge frame pieces to the walls and built in strong floorboard-finished box frame sections under the bed to both carry the weight of the frame and us sleeping on it, and also to create our underbed storage spaces.


We then built the bottom of the frame from the floor up to the slatted top. This was again because the floor was uneven so all framing had to build in situ to ensure the frame finished off level.

Then came the frustrating part; installing the gas struts. We found it difficult to find any installation directions for these online, and after about 5 or 6 make-it-up-as-you-go-along attempts, and chiselling out a section of the framing, they worked great.


The width of the bus was 215cm so that left us an additional 15cm after the bedframe width in which to use. We first thought that we could build a thin and deep box at the end of the bed, that would be level with the matress in which we could store the duvet, for quick access on those chilly nights. However, we settled on making a reclaimed wood headboard to make sitting up in bed a bit more comfy and to give us a sunken shelf to put phone chargers and things you would usually have on your bedside table.


This would also double up to hide the water pump, and other electrical junctions, etc underneath. So we build the headboard frame out of 1’’ x 1.5’’ pine and then covered with dismantled pallet boards that had been sawed in half width ways to make them much thinner. We also added some beeswax to give a deeper colour and to seal the wood. At this stage we wired in a 12v LED self-adhesive rope light to the inside of the shelf space to give off a subtle ambient glow. We were a bit disappointed by this as it was supposed to be a warm white but turned out to be orange. In contrast with the reading lights we also installed at this time (which we also meant to be warm white but turned out to be blue) all in all a bit of a unsatisfactory jumble of warm white spotlights, oranges and blue!


However, in reality we rarely use the headboard light at the same time as the reading lights, so not a problem at all. Its nice to have the warm glow on when just relaxing and a powerful white light when reading in bed.


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