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In this Q&A guide, we’ll unravel the mystery of van folding beds, exploring their functionality, comfort, customization options, how to build folding van bed frame and more.

Are you considering a vanlife adventure or looking to maximize the space in your camper van? One game-changing addition that might pique your interest is the van campervan bed.

Let’s embark on a journey to discover how these versatile pieces of furniture can transform your van into a comfortable and efficient living space.

1. WHAT IS A VAN FOLDING BED?

A folding bed for a van is a versatile piece of furniture that can be a game-changer in a campervan conversion. It’s essentially a sleeping space that can be easily folded or converted into a different form during the day, allowing you to maximize space and functionality in your van.

These beds are great for camper van life because they save space and make your van feel like a home on wheels.

Let’s take a closer look at how it works and what the pros and cons are.

Folding bed made by Van2b

2. HOW DOES A VAN FOLD DOWN BED WORK?

Van folding beds typically have a mechanism that allows them to be transformed from a seating or storage configuration into a comfortable bed. They are engineered to be user-friendly, making it simple to switch between modes.

When it’s time to rest, you unfold or extend the bed frame, providing a comfortable sleeping surface, often with a quality mattress.

During the day, the bed can be folded or rearranged to create seating or lounge space, optimizing the use of your van’s interior.

This is how Murphy folding bed works

3. WHAT ARE THE PROS OF A FOLDING BED?

Before diving into the benefits of a folding bed in a campervan, it’s essential to recognize why these innovative beds have become such a sought-after feature in the world of camper van conversions:

  1. Compact Living Revolution: The rising popularity of van life and the desire for efficient, compact living spaces have driven the demand for folding beds, as they epitomize the essence of space optimization.

  2. Freedom of Mobility: Campervan enthusiasts often seek the freedom to explore various locations, and having a folding bed enables them to convert their van into a comfortable sleeping area wherever they roam.

  3. DIY Culture: The do-it-yourself (DIY) culture within the vanlife community has flourished, and folding sleeping platform is a prime example of DIY-friendly solutions, allowing individuals to personalize their mobile homes with ease.

  4. Multi-Functional Living: The adaptability of folding beds suits the diverse activities that van lifers engage in, from dining and working to lounging and resting, all within the confines of their van.

Now, let’s explore the specific advantages of having a folding bed in your van:

  • It saves space by working as both a seat and a bed.
  • You can easily change it from a bed to a seat.
  • Many people can set it up themselves.
  • It works well in camper vans, RVs, and small spaces.
  • Some models even have extra storage or hidden features.
  • It makes your campervan look better inside.
  • If you sell your van, it might make it worth more.

4. WHAT ARE THE CONS?

Now that we’ve explored the advantages of folding beds, let’s turn our attention to the potential disadvantages and downsides.

  • It can cost more compared to other setups.
  • Some models can make your van heavier, which could use more fuel.
  • It might take some time to learn how to switch between bed and seat.
  • Not all campervan folding beds fit every van, so make sure it’s right for yours.
  • Some setups could limit how much storage space you have.

5. WHAT TYPES OF VAN FOLDING BEDS ARE AVAILABLE?

There are various types of van folding beds, including sofa-bed combinations, fold-out platforms, and murphy beds. The choice depends on your specific needs and the layout of your campervan.

Each kind of van folding platform has its own special benefits to fit different camper van layouts and personal tastes:

  • Sofa-Bed Combinations: These are great for folks who want versatility. During the day, they’re cozy places to sit and relax. At night, they turn into comfy beds, saving space and giving you a good night’s sleep. See here our van sofa beds for sale.

  • Fold-Out Platforms: These beds are simple and make the most of your space. They’re easy to use and work well for people who like straightforward designs. They’re perfect for minimalist van setups. See here our folding beds for sale.

  • Murphy Beds: Murphy beds are super at saving space. They’re hinged at one end and fold up against the wall when you’re not sleeping. This frees up room for other things during the day, making your campervan more functional. See here our Murphy van beds for sale.

  • Slide-Out Bed Platform: Another innovative bed type to consider is the slide-out bed. While it may not fold in the traditional sense, it’s an excellent space-saving solution for your van. This bed is easy to transform and can be used to convert benches or high-well cabinets into a comfortable sleeping area, making it a versatile choice for your camper van setup. See here our slide-out van beds for sale.

When you pick a van folding bed, think about what you need, how your campervan is set up, and what you like. Each type has its good points, so choose the one that fits your style and how you want to use your van.

How sliding camper van bed works.

6. ARE VAN FOLDING BEDS COMFORTABLE?

Being comfortable is really important. Most van fold down beds are designed to be comfy. They have good mattresses and you can add extra padding for better sleep.

With Van2b folding beds, we make them even more comfy. Our beds have slats underneath, which add extra cushioning. This makes up for the thinner mattresses you usually find in campervans, compared to the ones you have at home. Indeed, with Van2b folding beds, you can enjoy a good night’s sleep, even while you’re traveling.

7. WHAT SIZE OPTIONS ARE THERE FOR VAN FOLDING BEDS?

The size of folding bed for campervan varies depending on the van models they are designed for, the specific type of folding bed, and how it’s oriented within the van. This ensures that you can choose a size that suits your van’s layout and your personal preferences.

At Van2b, we let you choose the size you want for our van beds ( up to 80″ x 66″). This means you can make your sleeping space just how you like it, to fit your needs and what you like.

8. HOW TO MAKE A FOLDING BED FOR A VAN?

If you’ve chosen to embark on a full DIY adventure and craft a folding bed for your van, here’s some valuable information to get you started.

Making a folding bed for a van requires some DIY skills and materials. Below we have a detailed steps with photos and a free SketchUp plan that you can download. If you need the same for another typres of bed, check this article on how to build different types of van beds.

Constructing this bed follows a similar process to the van bench seat bed we discussed earlier. You can scroll up for more detailed steps on framing. In this instance, we require 3 tops and  2 frames, also known as wheel well cabinets or under-bed cabinets.

Now, let’s begin by listing the materials and tools needed.

Materials & Tools Needed:

Tools:

  • Saw
  • Drill & hole saw
  • Measuring tape
  • Sandpaper
  • Staple gun
  • Safety goggles and gloves

Materials:

  • Lumber (for framing)
  • Plywood sheets (for the top and side)
  • Hinges
  • Screws and bolts

Step 1: Measure and Plan

It all begins with measuring. Your van model might differ from mine, possibly featuring thicker walls or unique dimensions. Start by measuring your van’s interior to determine the length of the bed you’ll need. This ensures a customized fit tailored to your specific van model and requirements.

Step 2: Building Folding Van Bed Frame

Now, let’s proceed with constructing the frames. We’ll need two of them for this project. As mentioned earlier, the frames are identical to the ones we discussed in detail above. You can scroll up to the van bench seat bed and revisit the comprehensive steps along with accompanying images.

Step 3: Cut and Assemble the Top

The top surfaces for this folding bed follow the same construction method we used for the bench seat bed discussed earlier. However, for this project, we require three tops in total: two for the frames’ tops and one for the folding part between them.
 
The main difference lies in the dimensions of the top surfaces. They need to be slightly shorter than the frames to allow space for the folding part. This ensures that when the bed is folded, the folding part rests on top of the two frames, facilitating the folding mechanism.

Step 4: Attach Hinges

Before finally securing the folding top to the frame using hinges and screws, make sure to measure and test its fit. Once you’re satisfied with the positioning, attach the hinges and screws to firmly fix the folding top in place.

Van bed plans to build a van bench bed

Step 5: Cut and Assemble Plywood for the Sides

Trim plywood sheets to fit the needed measurements for the frame’s sides. Afterward, firmly fasten them to the frame using screws to strengthen the structure of the bed.

Step 6: Finishing Touches

You can enhance your foldable bed by incorporating extra features like storage compartments underneath. Additionally, if you want, you can paint the frame’s sides to add a decorative element or to complement the interior design of your van.

Step 7: Secure your New Folding Bed to the Floor of the Van

Once you’ve set up the van folding bed frame where you want it in the van, make sure to firmly attach it to the floor using the right screws or bolts. This keeps the bed steady while traveling and ensures everyone’s safe and comfy.

Step 8: Test and Adjust the Bed

Before you start your journey, give the bed a test to make sure it’s comfy and works the way you want. If needed, tweak things to make it more stable or cozy.

Remember, safety is crucial, so make sure all components are securely fastened, and the bed is stable when in use. If you’re not confident in your DIY skills, consider consulting a professional or purchasing a pre-made van folding bed.

Watch this video where Sharrieff is building a bed that can be folded in his small van. He’s using a type of wood called plywood. What’s cool is that he’s making holes to help airflow under the mattress, which is good for it. This reminds me of the way the Van2b bed is made with a slats system for air circulation.

In conclusion, van folding beds offer a versatile and space-saving solution for those looking to maximize their camper van or small living space. These beds provide numerous benefits, including comfort, versatility, and customization options, making them a preferred choice for vanlifers and RV enthusiasts.

While there may be some considerations like installation complexity and compatibility issues, the advantages of van folding beds often outweigh these potential downsides. With careful planning and the right choice, you can create a comfortable and efficient living space in your van, tailored to your needs and ready for your adventures on the road.

9. IS IT POSSIBLE TO CUSTOMIZE A VAN FOLDING BED?

Some companies offer customization options, allowing you to choose upholstery fabrics, colors, and additional features to match your style.

You can also purchase extra accessories, like bags that go under the bed, to help you stay organized. This way, you get a bed that fits your style and provides additional storage space.

At Van2b, you have the freedom to pick the size that matches your van. Plus, we offer a choice of two colors: matte black or mill finish, allowing you to personalize your folding van bed frame according to your preferences.

10. WHAT MATERIALS ARE USED IN VAN FOLDING BEDS?

Van folding beds are made with tough materials to ensure they are sturdy and comfortable. The material used for the bed frame can vary depending on the design. Some may use steel, while more expensive models might utilize aluminum, known for its strength and lightweight properties.

Additionally, the upholstery of campervan folding beds is designed to be easy to clean, making maintenance a breeze. This practicality is essential for life on the road, where keeping your living space tidy and hassle-free is a priority. So, when it comes to materials, van folding beds are crafted to provide durability, comfort, and convenience for your van adventures.

11. CAN A VAN FOLDING BED BE USED WHILE THE VEHICLE IS IN MOTION?

Safety should always be a priority. In general, it’s not safe to use a van folding bed while the vehicle is in motion.

Make sure to secure the bed correctly before traveling to prevent any accidents.

12. HOW DOES A VAN FOLDING BED AFFECT INTERIOR SPACE?

A van folding bed positively impacts interior space by maximizing usability when folded, offering flexible layout options, integrating efficient storage, enhancing mobility for cargo, and providing a comfortable sleeping area at night.

One of the key benefits of a van folding bed is that it optimizes interior space. When the bed is folded up, it minimizes the impact on your van’s usable space, allowing you to use the area for other activities during the day.

13. ARE THERE SAFETY FEATURES ASSOCIATED WITH VAN FOLDING BEDS?

Safety features can vary by brand and model. Some may have locking mechanisms or other safety measures to ensure stability while in use.

14. HOW EASY IS IT TO INSTALL A VAN FOLDING BED?

Installation difficulty can vary, but many vanlifers successfully install their folding beds as DIY projects. However, if you’re not comfortable with DIY, you might consider professional installation services.

At Van2b, we take care to design our beds for easy installation. Our beds, which mount on top of wheel well cabinets, are a breeze to set up. You won’t need to attach them to the walls or use any special tools. Plus, we’re working on providing clear and simple instructions to make the installation process even smoother for you.

15. WHAT IS THE COST OF A VAN FOLDING BED?

The cost can vary depending on factors like size, materials, and customization options. It’s essential to consider your budget and priorities when selecting a campervan folding bed.

To view our current prices, please choose your preferred van model:

Select the van model that matches your vehicle to access the pricing information.

16. WHERE CAN I BUY VAN FOLDING BEDS?

Van folding beds are available from various sources, including online retailers, campervan conversion companies, and DIY van conversion communities. 

Here are some of them:

  1. Here you can buy foldable van beds – our Van2b campervan folding bed, carefully designed to fit perfectly on top of wheel well cabinets.

Here are the Murphy Beds by van model:

Brand: Van2b
Price: from 1795$

Stay tuned for our upcoming products as we’re diligently working on expanding our range to offer even more transformable van bed options.

2. Nomad Modular Murphy Bed System – it’s a three-in-one solution. You have the flexibility to entirely remove the bed, convert it into a table or work surface, or transform it into a comfortable bed and seating area.

Brand: Rigwell
Price: from 7950$

Nomad Murphy Van Bed

3. Murphy Bed System with Slide-Out Extensions – a foldable campervan bed designed to accommodate individuals up to 6 feet and 9 inches tall.

Brand: Canyon Adventure Vans
Price: from 3295$

Extensible Murphy Bed for Van

4. Van Compass Flip and Load Platform Bed – a fold-down bed featuring two sections. You will need to install L-tracks for secure mounting.

Brand: Main Line Overland 
Price: from 1665$

Van Compass platform van bed

5. TK Convertible Sofa Bed – is exactly what it sounds like – a sofa for daytime use that easily transforms into a bed for a restful night’s sleep.

Brand: Trail Kitchens
Price: from 2950$

Foldable sofa-bed for camper vans

6. Double Murphy Bed System – same as Van Compass Platform Bed, it’s a double Murphy bed.

Brand: Trail Kitchens
Price: from 2925$

7. Lippert Mosca Murphy Fold-out Bed – fold-out, heavy-duty, wall-mounted Murphy bed system designed for robust and reliable performance. Maximum weight capacity is 220lb.

Brand: Lippert
Price: from 1093$

Lippert Murphy fold-out van bed

8. Campervan Folding Sofa Bed Plans – the final option is incredibly cost-effective, priced at less than $8. However, it’s not a ready-made bed; instead, you can purchase a plan to construct this bed yourself.

Price: from 7.64$

 

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, folding van beds are a versatile solution for campervan DIYers. They save space, provide portability, and fit the culture of the vanlife community. Despite potential drawbacks such as cost and compatibility, careful planning can create a customized and efficient van living space.

Personalization, durability, and safety features add to the appeal of folding RV beds. It is extremely important to prioritize safety during installation. Whether you choose an off-the-shelf model or are starting a DIY project, folding van beds can transform your van into a cozy home on wheels, perfect for your campervan adventures.

Author

Van folding bed

Now let’s talk about pros and cons of the campervan folding beds:

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