Building the bed structure (build 1)

The bed was the last thing i attempted building as in my mind it was the simpler structure. Well, surprise surprise, once again I was proved wrong. It only took me 2  days to build it but oh dear, how i struggled! As with everything else during the conversion, this was my first attempt building a bed. It’s not perfect but it does the job.

My initial plan was to build a single bed which could extend into a slightly bigger bed as seen here and here.Due to time constraints I had to ditch that idea and build a simple single bed structure. I later added a long plywood board on top of the bed that i can pull out when I want extra space (i just put my sewing machine and my drill box under it as a support).

 I wanted the top of the bed to be liftable, so that I could use the space underneath as storage. To build the bed structure I used the wood from an Ikea futon I had at home (I believe it was pine).

Here is what I have done (and yes you are allowed to laugh at my ridiculous wood joints you may wish to do so).

1.Build the base structure by drilling strips of wood to the floor.

    2.Decide how high you want the bed. Cut a piece of wood of the necessary length for each angle (in my case 6) and fix them. To fix them I used dowels and corner braces for extra strength.

3. Build the top part by cutting the same length of wood strips you used for the bottom. Work out a way to join those pieces together. I’ve done a very primitive joint by cutting small rectangles so that the two pieces could fit into each other (see picture below).

4. Build the lid by creating a frame that fits the bed structure and by filling it with wooden slats. I used dowels to join the wood. I’ve then added some corner braces in the external frame corners for extra support.


5. Attach the lid to the wooden structure with some cabinet hinges.

6. Check that the lid opens and closes correctly, then put some cushions, jump on it and have a well deserved nap.

  -A ridiculous amount of coffee has been sacrificed to write this blog post so if you are feeling particularly generous, you can buy me one HERE   -

You can also support Pamthevan’s adventures by visiting my Etsy shop HERE 

12 thoughts on “Building the bed structure (build 1)

  1. Hello Thanks for sharing your experience. I have a question. Few years ago I had a Kangoo (for work) like your’s. I,m 180cm tall and I could’nt sleep inside because I was to tall for the car (or.. the car too small for me ?). Can you give us the dimensions of your bed ? Thanks again and have a good both of you

    1. Hi Romain, my bed can be extended up to exactly 1.80 with the driver’s seat bent forward. But yes I guess you might want to go for something slightly bigger if you want to be more comfortable! Have a great day too 🙂

  2. Ti sto guardando su Rai 3, Kilimangiaro. Sono una filmaker indipendente e mi piacerebbe farti un ritratto, per il semplice fatto che da tempo anch’io stavo valutando una cosa del genere da fare come esperienza per un po’, ma come fare? Tu hai già campeggiato nelle bellissime montagne svizzere? Io sono in Vallese ma posso anche spostarmi, dipende da te. 😉 Bella idea e brava! Ti mandoil mio contatto, ma mi trovi anche su Facebook, Instagram ecc…

  3. Hi, lovely van conversion 🙂 How high is your bed (without matress)? how high ist your roof? I like to convert my Fiorino into a Mini-Camper and need some ideas about the right dimensions…

  4. I really like your conversion! So practical to be able to drive around with it more or less ready to go sleep directly. I went for a more compact solution in my own Kangoo. I built a platform that I can fold down and even take out when I want to use the car as usual instead. A smart solution here in Germany since else I would have to do a new inspection of the fixed installations etc.

  5. Hello Pam!

    I like how you managed to make a living in the Kangoo. I am planning to convert mine one too, and was looking for inspiration, and somehow ended here. Your set-up is cool!
    I have a question: I can’t find the way to make the bed, the kitchen furniture, and the space to fit. Could you tell the measures of your bed in sofa mode?

    1. Hi Fede!

      The bed is 1.50 long and 50cm wide when in sofa mode. You can add a 30cm extension on the front side that you can use with the driving seat bent forward!

  6. Hey Pam, I really like everything you’ve done - so cool! You’re website is super helpful too and I’ve been using your tips for doing my own conversion in my VW Caddy. I’m trying to view the pics on the “building a bed” page but they’re not visible…… it just me?? Would love to see this pics if possible, this is the stage I’m at and really wanted to see how you did it.

    Many thanks
    Pam (same name 🙂 xx

    1. Hi Pam!

      Oh I’m having some issues with the pics, I’m gonna try to fix it now!

      Best of luck with your conversion 🙂


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