Lift up bed for new self build.

Gromett

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I was originally going for a 20' box truck. But the plan is now a 16' box truck.
This means a fixed bed although still possible does mean a loss of some of my original ideas.

I decided to look into lift up beds and have done a few designs using pulleys with either a counterbalance weight, motors or hand cranks ratchet.

I have also looked at really long Linear actuators and servos. Motors with rotary encoders and PWM drivers..

It has been fun trying to figure out the best engineered solution to this problem..

Today in my youtube recommended videos list this popped up.. Seems like a good solution apart from not being able to easily hide the mechanics.


Anyone have any good ideas/suggestions?
 
Sep 26, 2013
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Have you looked how the converters do it, I think Burstner have one in a van, CamperUK in Lincoln might have one in. Take a spy camera.
 
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Gromett

Gromett

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It has given me an idea though.
Using seatbelt straps instead of ropes and I can simply use 4 speed controlled motors :D
Never thought of using seatbelt webbing (y)
 

TheBig1

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one of the hymer specialists, edgehill I think, takes out the overcab drop down bed if customers want and install cupboards. they may have one or more in the scrap pile you could adapt
 
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Gromett

Gromett

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one of the hymer specialists, edgehill I think, takes out the overcab drop down bed if customers want and install cupboards. they may have one or more in the scrap pile you could adapt
Thanks for the suggestion, not sure it would be quite right for my use case though further back in a much wider truck... But worth some consideration nearer the time.
 
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Gromett

Gromett

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Just a thought I have just sold a car recovery trailer with a remote winch rig up a pulley system then just press and go wouldn't be difficult.
:party2::party2::party2::party2::party2::party2::party2::party2:
 
Oct 2, 2008
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It might be worth fitting a hex end on the other to that of the motor as a failsafe backup ? :) The simplest option might be a parallelogram type system of supports to that you push horizontally to go up to store position with gravity doing the deployment . It would also allow to be slightly forward of rear wall and possible cold area ?
 
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Gromett

Gromett

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It might be worth fitting a hex end on the other to that of the motor as a failsafe backup ? :) The simplest option might be a parallelogram type system of supports to that you push horizontally to go up to store position with gravity doing the deployment . It would also allow to be slightly forward of rear wall and possible cold area ?
Yup and an extension bar and socket on my drill :p Already thought of that :D

The bed will drop down over my extra long lounge/sofa/spare bed. So I always have that (y)
 
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Gromett

Gromett

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I know someone who has ordered actuators from China to fit a bed like this in a Sprinter. Not sure if he's fitted them yet and the result, but can give him a call tomorrow and pick his brains if you want?

If not, would stepping motors be powerful enough? Thinking similar to a 3d printer axis maybe?
 
Sep 14, 2013
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Found a diagram of the mechanicals for this;
Parts required.
1) Lots of seat belt webbing.
2) 2 drive bars with 2 drums on one.
3) Geared down electric motor capable of lifting the whole bed...

Brilliant. This is the design I am using.. Aluminium frame with wood surround.

View attachment 257700
Here's a similar one in action, approx. 3m22s in to the video
 
OP
Gromett

Gromett

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I know someone who has ordered actuators from China to fit a bed like this in a Sprinter. Not sure if he's fitted them yet and the result, but can give him a call tomorrow and pick his brains if you want?

If not, would stepping motors be powerful enough? Thinking similar to a 3d printer axis maybe?
The linear actuators are an ideal solution, and I was thinking about them. I have ruled them out because there are actually quite a few potential issues that made a China order out of the question for me.

I do like the seatbelt strap idea with a single motor and think that is the route I am going to go down (until the plan changes again :p )
Thanks Though.
 

Camdoon

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Our Adria has a quick reset fuse handily available which triggers if the bed is put up too far etc. May well be worth having something similar as it will happen one day - no doubt at the most inconvenient time :)
 
May 4, 2018
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Hi Gromett I think you'll find one of the self builders is doing a drop down bed in their conversion @Gary Wrench may be worth comparing notes.

Paul
Sorry, I’m a bit late to the party..
I looked at all the options and was concerned about the weight hung from the ceiling and strengthening the roof so went for a belts and braces approach . I have aluminium framed bed, aluminium profile uprights, and 1m long electric actuators mounted from the floor to push the bed up to the ceiling of my L4H3 and drop down 1m which is about midway. Still in kit form as I’ve been moving my business from one unit to another these last few weeks :( still an office or two to build then back to it... oh hold on I have a L3H2 race van to build for a trip in a couple of weeks so will get back to the family camper after that one !
Actuators are from Gimson Robotics, cost circa £750 complete with wiring loom and two sets of switches. The aluminium profile cost about the same so it’s not cheap... I’ve probably over engineered it big time :)
 
May 4, 2018
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Also I found a few things similar to your plans .. there are garage storage lifts available that lift a platform up into your garage roof , Thule make one I’ve seen on Amazon for lifting roof box up into garage roof away from car, may need beefing up and changing from steel wire /rope pulleys to webbing - for webbing look at ratchet strap manufacturers as they will sell it in long rolls and 1” wide stuff is more than capable of taking the weight of the bed.
 
Oct 6, 2016
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Found a diagram of the mechanicals for this;
Parts required.
1) Lots of seat belt webbing.
2) 2 drive bars with 2 drums on one.
3) Geared down electric motor capable of lifting the whole bed...

Brilliant. This is the design I am using.. Aluminium frame with wood surround.

View attachment 257700
Looks like the kit we have in our chausson with a drop down bed.
Might be worth a good look at the nec in a couple if weeks, especially the size and power ofthe elrctruc engine they use?
 
Mar 23, 2012
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Looks like the kit we have in our chausson with a drop down bed.
Might be worth a good look at the nec in a couple if weeks, especially the size and power ofthe elrctruc engine they use?
Just about to say the same but Chausson also have an aluminium channel with a roller in it to stop the bed swaying on the webbing
 
Oct 6, 2016
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They do with an adjustment on the bolt that engages with it. And also a channel to take the electric lead up to the motor.
Also rattles a bit!
 

Minxy Girl

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@Gromett ... when we were on holiday we met a lovely American couple from San Francisco, they'd had an ex-exhibition van converted to a bespoke MH, and whilst not the ideal layout for you, I immediately thought of your conversions plans - it is very individual to them, but they had a rising bed built which worked on pulleys with a winch - they'd been in the MH for 18 months I think touring Europe and said it worked a treat.

The shower was 'sunk' into the floor with a lift up frame which hooked onto the ceiling/wall, a great space saving idea and when not in use the large shower tray was used for further storage of bulky stuff. They also used coving along the top of the walls to hide all the wiring etc rather than use conduit etc.

It was great for them to be able to open the side of the MH for a lovely view which also acted as a sun/rain canopy, they could also lower down the bottom part of that wall too as a large balcony if they wanted. It meant that they could have a large storage area at the rear, with cupboard above in the kitchen area making great use of the space.

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OP
Gromett

Gromett

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Feb 27, 2011
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@Gromett ... when we were on holiday we met a lovely American couple from San Francisco, they'd had an ex-exhibition van converted to a bespoke MH, and whilst not the ideal layout for you, I immediately thought of your conversions plans - it is very individual to them, but they had a rising bed built which worked on pulleys with a winch - they'd been in the MH for 18 months I think touring Europe and said it worked a treat.

The shower was 'sunk' into the floor with a lift up frame which hooked onto the ceiling/wall, a great space saving idea and when not in use the large shower tray was used for further storage of bulky stuff. They also used coving along the top of the walls to hide all the wiring etc rather than use conduit etc.

It was great for them to be able to open the side of the MH for a lovely view which also acted as a sun/rain canopy, they could also lower down the bottom part of that wall too as a large balcony if they wanted. It meant that they could have a large storage area at the rear, with cupboard above in the kitchen area making great use of the space.
Thanks Minxy :) I have seen a video of that van. Was very nice but not really for me...

I have got a new plan for the bed.. Will post soon.
 
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Gromett

Gromett

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ok. Will post about it now just in case I forget..

I am going to use sash window weights and concealed pulleys to take care of the lifting/lowering.

Then I am going to use 4 pairs of skateboard wheels, 2 wheels on each corner of the bed in a track to keep the bed located in the correct place..

I have a fairly good idea on how to get this done. The sash weight will be concealed in the wall the same way they are in a sash window.
This on it's own wouldn't work as one side could go up faster than the other etc and jam up like an old sash window can.. So I am going to mount on the short side near each end a pair of skate board wheels. One at the top and one at the bottom.. These will run in a track recessed in the wall.

The weights will be heavier than the bed so you have to push the bed up and then there will be a couple of pins that will hold it up physically.

I should be able to do this in such a way that most of the mechanisms are either concealed in the wall or are under a panel and the head and foot of the bed.

Hope this makes sense.
 

Minxy Girl

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Initial thought Gromett is that those weights will make a hell of a racket when you're driving! :D
 
OP
Gromett

Gromett

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Initial thought Gromett is that those weights will make a hell of a racket when you're driving! :D
Not the way I fit them :p

Plus in the box on the back, doubt I will hear anything in the cab...
 
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