A DIY bed frame built with pipes and connectors + clever built-in storage = Better, happier roadtrips!
A little while ago, Elaine and Karine came over to our warehouse to build a custom sofa-bed frame with drawers so they could live their best vanlife. They did most of the work with Esteban, who also wanted to explore the possibilities of organizing a van with tinktube’s modular system! If you’ve missed the first part of Elaine and Karine’s van DIY system building adventure, read it here.
Building a DIY sofa-bed frame with drawers for your camper van: The first steps
Just in case you’ve read part I a while ago, here is a visual recap of the building process that took place when Elaine and Karine worked on organizing their van with Esteban at tinktube’s warehouse. After drafting up a plan, they started building the sofa-bed frame outside of the van. They then took the frame inside and made a few adjustments to the structure, adapting it to the shape of the van, which had slightly angled walls and rounded sections.
Living your best vanlife, one frame at a time
Once the optimal dimensions of the frame were tested and confirmed, the vanlife enthusiasts fixed the structure to the van’s floor and installed the sliding part that would allow them to transform the bed into a sofa, and vice versa. The main part of the work was done, but the two ladies still had to build and install the drawers that would make the frame a real, big hit -“the whole package”, THE frame of all frames, shall I say-, allowing for extra storage space while being used as a sofa AND a bed!
Once the bed frame was built and fixed to the floor of the van…
What happened next, you may ask? Well, Elaine and Karine went home and started working on the drawers. They fixed drawer sliders to the structure and the drawers themselves and put everything together -not the easiest part, according to them-. Once everything was in place, the drawer installed under the bed frame could be accessible at all times, whether the frame was used as a sofa or a bed, as demonstrated by Karine and Elaine in this short video:
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After the drawers were installed, the frame was ready to welcome the slatted base they’d bought at Ikea and the mattress to go over it. And then, just like that, they were ready for their next road trip!
Using the frame as a bed or a sofa is now easy, thanks to the sliding section!
One last DIY drawer for the road
They also added a big drawer at the other end of the DIY pipe frame for more storage options. Easily accessible from the outside of the van, this drawer lets Karine and Elaine store even more hiking gear and other useful personal items!
Do you have a van conversion project in mind?
To help vanlifers in their van conversion ventures, we’ve prepared this guide where you’ll find useful information on all things van related!