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Old 03-15-2015, 10:11 PM   #1
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Let's figure this out together!

I have a 10 year old
Tired of sleeping on the floor.
With the seats carefully arranged,
a 42" by 80" space for a bed is created.
I'm thinking a hinged (folding) and well padded ( to protect the seats) 1/2 inch plywood
with a 2- piece high density foam on top should do the trick yes?Click image for larger version

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Old 03-15-2015, 10:19 PM   #2
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It can work as you describe, IF you add one more component. Order a second table pedestal, along with the socket from the bottom of a tabletop. Cut the pedestal down to the same height as the seats. Put the socket on the underside of the plywood platform. When you set up your bed, set up the pedestal and then put the bed on top.

That way you're supporting your plywood not only at four corners, but in the middle as well. That way you'll have less strain on your hinges. I figure, since you've got that socket on the floor anyway, put it to use.
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:10 AM   #3
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Or put one or more hinged legs along the center for support. The problem I see is where to store the bed when not in use. Let us know how out works out.

Someone here had the two seats facing each other and made two single beds similar to what you are proposing. I think that idea comes from what SOB uses in their RV.
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:48 AM   #4
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Or put one or more hinged legs along the center for support. The problem I see is where to store the bed when not in use. Let us know how out works out.
Hadn't thought of that.

Here's what I just thought of.
1 - Make the bed out of 1×6 wooden slats connected by piano hinges. If all of the hinges face the same way, the bed would roll up. But if the hinges faced opposite ways at each joint, the bed would accordion-fold and take up less room when stored. It could be held closed by permanently-attached Velcro wrap-straps. The piano hinges shouldn't stick up above the wooden slats when the bed is opened if installed correctly.
2 - To make sure the bed doesn't try to fold up while you're sleeping on it, and to keep from putting too much strain on the hinges, add two lengths of metal angle iron, one on each side edge spanning between the front and rear seat on that side. Pad the ends of the angle iron if desired to protect the seats.

With this configuration, the hardest thing to store would be the two angle irons, which would be kind of long, but which might stand up and be secured to the passenger door B-pillar between the passenger door and the sliding door. To secure the angle irons in this way, you'd just need to attach a couple of Velcro wrap-straps to the door pillar.

And you end up with a bed that's sturdier than one made of ˝-inch plywood, too. With the exception of the hinges, this makes it very much like the way you support a mattress in a bed frame at Home. In fact, the angle irons used to support a box spring mattress are just the right size for this (but if you scavenged some from an old bed you'd have to cut off the brackets on the ends).
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:57 AM   #5
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Let's keep on thinking.
I,
M sure there's an elegant solution.

I also would make the length a little shy of the floor - ceiling height. That way it could store folded and upright.
Maybe behind the rear seat behind the drivers seat.

Do you think there's a strong material that is lighter than wood but still strong?

I never did like the height of that table so I would just cut the pole but still use the table for support
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Old 03-16-2015, 11:13 AM   #6
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Do you think there's a strong material that is lighter than wood but still strong?
Actually, no. I'm sure there are some expensive high-tech materials that have a lower density but the same strength; there are some interesting polystyrene foam composites and/or laminates on the market, for example; in fact your Airstream Interstate uses one for its insulated floor.

But for the cost— and the ease of cutting it to shape and fastening pieces together— you're not going to get much better than old-fashioned wood.
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Old 03-16-2015, 11:44 AM   #7
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You could try a 1/2" 2 ply carbon fiber/aluminum honeycomb sandwich panel.
ACP Composites - Large Stock of Ready to Use Composite Plate, Tube, Sheet, Fabrics and Core Materials.
A 4x8 foot sheet will save you about 35 lbs per sheet and would give your bed the look of a stealth fighter and at only $1400 would be just a fraction of the cost of the real fighter.
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Old 03-16-2015, 12:09 PM   #8
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I'd stay with the wood, personally 😄😄😄


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Old 03-16-2015, 12:14 PM   #9
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I'm thinking about drilling 2 inch holes in the wood throughout
Enough to reduce weight but not enough to significantly weaken.
Plywood may not be the best choice of material though.
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Old 03-16-2015, 12:43 PM   #10
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If airstream made this,
They'd sell more AI s

I'm excited about this project

It's going to be sooooo comfortable
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Old 03-16-2015, 01:12 PM   #11
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Didn't someone recently make a canvas bunk bead by rigging a couple of poles between the seats around the head rests? That would be easier to store.
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Old 03-16-2015, 01:19 PM   #12
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I'm thinking about drilling 2 inch holes in the wood throughout
Enough to reduce weight but not enough to significantly weaken.
Plywood may not be the best choice of material though.
Rather than drilling the wood to reduce weight, choose the right wood. Softwoods are lighter than hardwoods but still relatively strong (though not quite as strong), and choose wood that has no knots even though you'll pay more for them.Every hole you drill does weaken the wood, and you can't drill enough holes to make much difference without making the wood too weak to hold your weight without cracking.

Here's a possibly off-the-wall idea— or maybe a from the wall idea! Go to your local lumberyard, and buy metal framing studs. They're made of steel, and shaped like a 2×4 or 2×6 board so your bed platform will be twice as thick, but they're hollow. Then fasten them together with piano hinges like I suggested before.
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Old 03-16-2015, 01:25 PM   #13
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I am finishing up packing for our trip and happened to have the AI sitting in the driveway. Why not totally recline the front seat, buy a couple pieces of foam to make up the height differential and, voila, you have a bed for a 10 year old. Sure would beat sleeping on the floor. The foam would be easy to store. I would probably use the driver's side instead but I had something packed there.







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Old 03-16-2015, 01:34 PM   #14
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I am finishing up packing for our trip and happened to have the AI sitting in the driveway. Why not totally recline the front seat, buy a couple pieces of foam to make up the height differential and, voila, you have a bed for a 10 year old.
A much more elegant solution! I didn't even realize the front seats would recline that far!
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