Chasing the Twist is a new publication covering the world of adventuring with a practical and real point of view.

Adventure Van - the Planning

Now that the Adventure Van has been cleaned out, the mind turns to the interior layout. I’ve taken many measurements and gathered requirements and desires from the involved stakeholders and am deep in the conceptual exercise of designing the first iteration of the main bed frame.

The initial set of measurements

I am asking a lot of a small space as I want this van to serve multiple purposes namely 1) camper, 2) lumber hauler, 3) motorcycle hauler. This requires using the platform for both the camper mattress and as the lumber hauling deck. It also requires that the platform be relatively easily removed or collapsed in order to utilize the full height of the van and a significant portion of the width as well.

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I have several ideas for the platform. Some have hinges, some slide out, but the leading design may be the simplest to construct. Some of the goals are:

  1. allow at least 12 inches of clearance underneath the platform
  2. be able to sit upright on the platform
  3. allow for usage of the full interior height and enough width to fit the footpegs of a motorcycle
  4. create a bench when not in platform mode (nice to have)

The combination of #1 and #2 means that the profile of the front and back of the platform need to be very small and that whatever braces support the platform be removable or stowable to allow for #3.

My current approach is roughed out in the following images. Starting at the highest layer you can see the basic layout, though not to exact scale.

There’s enough room for a Queen mattress with some room to spare
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The next layer down starts to reveal the crux of the design. You’ll notice a plywood platform with two removable leaves in the middle. These leaves could be loose or hinged with the ability to stack up on the right side to make a bench.

The red leaves stack on the right white section to form a bench
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The next layer down outlines how these leaves are supported.

Removable braces should make it possible to haul taller objects and toys, like a motorcycle
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The last image shows how it might look when not in platform mode.

The grey pegs may be covered up by the leaves stacked on top of the right hand bench
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This off-center alignment allows for the creation of the bench on the right and also places the motorcycle in the middle of the front seat brackets which will act as tie down points.

The negatives of this design are probably many but one of them is that there are a lot of vertical legs and braces taking up more floor real estate than I would like. I intend to continue to stretch my mind on how to improve and still simplify this design.

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Stay tuned for details on what I end up building and which materials I use.


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