Campervan Improvement Project 1: Building a multi-purpose bed/table/seat

Owning a campervan is obviously exciting because of the freedom, the ability to take your home with you and all the spontaneous trips I can make. But another thing I'm really excited about is being creative and do little DIY projects to make Josie even better and give her a bit more personality. 

expectation vs reality

I've got a few cool ideas for the interior design as well as a few enhancements I want to build. I'm just hoping all my ideas don't turn into those hilarious 'expectation vs. reality' memes you see on the internet... :)

Anyway, last weekend I was excited to get into it. I decided to start with something practical: improving the bed. 

The previous owners had only used the beds as two singles and didn't have the middle piece to connect them and turn it into a double. Why do I need a double you ask? Well, let's just go with; I'm really tall and need to sleep diagonally. No other reason of course ;) 

The easy solution would have been to just buy a wood board that fits in-between the two benches. My problem with that is that the board would probably be in the way a lot when it's not being used. So I came up with a better idea. 

I went to the hardware store and asked them to cut wood slates to the length that fits between the two benches. I ended up with 8 pieces of wood in total. I then used simple burlap ribbon from the dollar store and a staple gun to connect the 8 wood pieces, leaving about 20 centimetres between them. 

Once done, pulled out all the way, it's kind of like a slatted bed. I can put the cushions over it and it makes a nice large bed. 



But here comes the best part, when pushed all the way together, the wood slates make a great little table. And add a couple of pillows, it becomes a great extra seat. 


And if I don't need them at all, they are easily stored without taking up much space. 

I was pretty impressed with myself for coming up with this idea :) 

The bed also wasn't super comfortable so I wanted to add some extra cushioning to make it a bit more supportive. I think the foam in the cushions might just be a bit dated. I had the idea to buy rubber matts to put under the cushion for extra support. But the rubber store I went to quoted almost $200 for it - I can almost get new foam cushions for that money... 

I went for a simpler solution for now and just bought standard dense foam sleeping matts from The Warehouse for $10 each (the purple matts you can see in the pictures). I'm not convinced yet that's a long term solution as they don't really seem to add much comfort. I might have to look into replacing the foam cushions completely. But I can tackle that another time. 

I've got a few more projects to work on over the next few weeks and months. My biggest problem right now is how I'm gonna transport my boards. My long board and my paddle board are both 9 feet long (almost 280cm). They do fit into the back of the van but would take up a lot of space and just be in the way all the time. Roof rack aren't really an option - it's just too high up, I wouldn't be able to load and unload them on my own. 

But, I might have found someone who can help me solve this problem. I'm gonna investigate further on the weekend but hopefully a blog post about Campervan Improvement Project 2 is coming soon. 

In the meantime, I'm gonna enjoy my new favourite writing spot :)