Rear Bunk Beds?

Nov 30, 2017
56
36
Cornwall
Funster No
51,530
MH
Van Conversion
Exp
Newbie
Hi, I'm a newbie (only experience so far is a week's hire of a VW Cali in Spain recently). I'm now planning converting a Boxer or Ducato (medium/high roof) and considering double bunk beds across the rear, to avoid having folding beds in the living area. The internal width is max 1860mm so not really wide enough for tallest people but that may not matter. Searching the web for ideas shows that it's been done before (some examples here) and Autocampers even made a commercial model for a while. That's now discontinued, so presumably didn't sell well.
I would want a storage space under the lower bunk, min 400mm, for a bike. The top bunk would be only for children and have a smaller headroom.
The van will be used mostly by me as a single, with my bike, although my partner will accompany me sometimes. Also it will probably be used by my daughter / boyfriend/ young son(or two?).
So, two questions really...
1, can anyone see any potential problems with my bed idea that I haven't thought of?
2, is it crazy of me to attempt a self-build (I'll use pros for fitting windows and some other stuff but I'm OK with house plumbing, electrics etc) when I've so little experience of using a campervan?
 

Jim

Ringleader
Jul 19, 2007
29,146
84,908
Sutton on Sea
Funster No
1
MH
C Class Diesel RV
Exp
Since 1990
Hi quilkin,

You haven't been ignored, this is the first time anyone has seen your posts. First posts with links in them have to be manually approved and I've only just got around to it. Sorry. You should get some answers now (y)
 

Puddleduck

LIFE MEMBER
Jan 15, 2014
9,256
19,277
Scottish Borders
Funster No
29,703
MH
SunLiving Lido M45SP
Exp
On and off for many years.
I always wondered about having bunks where the top bunk would fold away when not in use a bit like they do on sleeper trains and some cruise ships. That would mean you could use the bottom bunk as a sofa if you wanted to.

What about being able to extend the bottom bunk to make a small double, that might take a bit more planning - possibly requiring a longitudinal bed?

Also I don't see any reason why you should not be able to do a self build. Several people have done so and will share their expertise I am sure.

Oh, and welcome to the fun.
 
Jul 12, 2013
2,116
1,414
The City of Henlow
Funster No
26,906
MH
Lowline
Exp
Since 1980
Layout in a van is quite personal and most things / ideas can work. What you may be well advised to do would be to visit Motorhome Shows and see as many variations as possible on panel vans.
Decide if you want a social area and how many people you may want to sit around a table etc. In the distant past I would use the empty van as a blank canvas and draw on the floor the prime fitting space I was going to need. This included bed/s, toilet, table and seats.
At the very beginning of your build, plan for maximum insulation, future electrical needs including solar panel, even if you are not going to fit one (yet).
Consider the real advantages of being independent with light, water, heat and toilet.
As for transverse sleeping, before building the bed, test your own body (and the others) across the van, allowing for space lost with insulation and trim, to decide if this particular van is suitable and liveable with.
Whatever you do, have fun.
 
Oct 2, 2008
2,721
3,352
J10 M40
Funster No
4,247
MH
Bucher Duro 6x6 motorhome
Exp
since 1968
"The internal width is max 1860mm so not really wide enough for tallest people but that may not matter" Dont forget you need to factor in insulation so not all 1860mm may be available . Might be better starting with a luton style or box rear. You also need to take account of axle loads when you distribute various equipment in the van .
 
Sep 14, 2013
1,240
1,430
Bristol
Funster No
28,092
MH
A Class Hymer B524 2005
Exp
since 2003
Pinterest is your friend.
Literally thousands of self builds to view, many with bunks at the back (y)
 
Oct 27, 2016
28
11
East Devon
Funster No
45,808
MH
Mercedes Vario
Exp
Since 1975
Hi quilkin.... have you seen motorhome fun’s sister fourm... the “diy motorhome forum”
It’s full of really helpful guys and girls who are all building their own motorhome camper vans. It’s free to join!
Darcar.
 
OP
quilkin
Nov 30, 2017
56
36
Cornwall
Funster No
51,530
MH
Van Conversion
Exp
Newbie
Hi quilkin.... have you seen motorhome fun’s sister fourm... the “diy motorhome forum”
It’s full of really helpful guys and girls who are all building their own motorhome camper vans. It’s free to join!
Darcar.
Thanks for that! I have joined up. Another forum to browse.... will I get time to actually start my van build when I'm reading all these forums? ;)
 

Elias

Free Member
Oct 11, 2017
43
69
Cornwall
Funster No
50,926
MH
Van conversion
Exp
Since 2016
As for the width we have our bed at the back of the van (it's a transit so a bit narrower than ducatos) I'm exactly 6 foot so I don't fit perfectly but it is comfortable, who sleeps completely straight anyway?
 
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