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Old 10-25-2005, 11:28 PM   #1
will_morgan
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Easiest Bed with Mass Storage

I think the easiest way to make a bed in the back, with storage underneath, is to make use of the platforms that are already in the vehicle -- just forward of the two rear storage bins (see picture below that shows these small flat surfaces). These platforms are about 11" up from the floor.

For the forward part (where the rear seats usually are) just construct a simple platform (also 11" high) and place it on the floor.

The vehicle's interior at this height is exactly 48" wide, making it super easy to slide a piece of plywood in, cut to whatever depth you want.

I installed two hinges on mine for easier access. See pictures below...

The nicest thing is that this is only two pieces - the plywood and the wooden platform. That way it's easily removed when you want to put the seats back in.
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Old 10-25-2005, 11:45 PM   #2
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Re: Easiest Bed with Mass Storage

! wow that looks really trick!

I like the fold up idea so its easyier to get to your stuff! great idea. How strong is it? Im not sure i would trust the plastic pieces to support a large amount of weight.
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Old 10-26-2005, 12:23 AM   #3
will_morgan
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Re: Easiest Bed with Mass Storage

Thanks. The accessibility is choice!

There was similar concern from another post-- it seems like they'd be weak, but it's surprisingly sturdy.

Particularly with the weight distributed over the entire 12-14" length of that small platform (a la plywood), it seems to hold the weight confidently.

Also - check out that area yourself-- if you knock on it, you can tell it's solid beneath.

I weigh 185, and I'd say it would support twice that weight.
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Old 10-26-2005, 12:37 AM   #4
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Re: Easiest Bed with Mass Storage

>Easiest Bed with Mass Storage

My immediate thought was a mattress with a 250GB disk drive.

Seriously, great job. I, too, was wondering about the ability of the trim to hold the weight, but OTOH the spare tire cover is pretty flimsy in its own right. Good thinking!
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Old 10-26-2005, 10:49 AM   #5
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Re: Easiest Bed with Mass Storage

easy is a relative term, i have no ability to cut any of that lumber.

but it does look good.
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Old 10-26-2005, 10:54 AM   #6
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Re: Easiest Bed with Mass Storage

Very neat. Has to be heavy to have wood thick enough to hold up 400ish pounds? I too would worry about the trim and the wood eventually sagging in the middle with unknown consequences to the trim/sides.

Very cool idea though! The accessibility with the hinges is nice.
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Old 10-26-2005, 11:37 AM   #7
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Re: Easiest Bed with Mass Storage

Based on past experience and the amount of sagging in test pieces, I figured that I needed either 3/4" plywood, or 1/2" plus several 1" boards to span the 40" of the bed.

My 4' long platform, which rests on boards just in from the plastic bins, uses 5 1x3 boards plus 1/2" ply, and feels solid with 2 people. Using 3/4" ply would have save a bit in platform thickness, but I think, would have been heavier.

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Old 10-26-2005, 11:00 PM   #8
will_morgan
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Re: Easiest Bed with Mass Storage

Two comments
1) RE difficulty of making this assembly -- the beauty of the back of the Element is that the 48" width means you only need to cut one piece of plywood one time if you want it that simple. To whatever length you want -- the width of stock plywood is 48"...

2) RE weight, etc. The plywood is the heaviest part -- the other box structure (of 1x2s) is fairly small and light weight. Not too cumbersome to move around...

I can remove the whole thing easily -- it's only two pieces. The box for support, and the piece of plywood.

Hopefully this helps -- it's a great rig so far.
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Old 10-27-2005, 12:24 AM   #9
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Re: Easiest Bed with Mass Storage

Have you tried this platform while driving over bumps? Any thoughts about how it might move in a sudden stop or crash. I secured mine with turnbuckles attached to the 4 tie downs in the bed. As a backup I also run a rope between the two side seat mounts. The seat mounts in the floor would also be a good solid anchors.

Any cargo on top of the platform is also free to move around.

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Old 10-27-2005, 11:50 AM   #10
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Re: Easiest Bed with Mass Storage

Very nice! :)

There is a significant after-market opportunity in this concept for whoever can crank out a similar configuration that is sturdy and professional looking.

For less than two or three hundred dollars.
I'd love it for camping and for security of all the stuff I'm prone to carry 24/7. My backseats would rarely be in with this setup. As it is, I keep only one backseat when in the city.
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