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Discussion Starter #1
I am trying to mount a 2x6 to the main horizontal rib to make an elevated bed frame to slide bikes in. I have seen it done in multiple threads but it seems no one mentions what they use to mount the 2x6. I made 2 trips to lowes yesterday trying to find the perfect fit for those hexagon shaped holes in the rib. It seemed 2 1/2 x 3/8 carriage bolts were a good fit but they still seem to wiggle when I attached a test board. I spent another two hours reading threads trying to find a mention of it and its time to just ask. Any perfect fits? Would rivnuts work? Any suggestions welcome
Thanks
 

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The puzzle to me is why those hexagonal holes are only present in so few locations in the van?
 

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I didn't have a rail for my bed platform to sit on. I used a box so there is storage accessible from above. I started using rivnuts and accidentally stripped one of do I couldn't remove the box without major work. Because of this I just used bolts with lock nuts on the back. It was a little bit of a pain but didn't trust the rivnuts at that point.



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Discussion Starter #6
I just installed horizontal bed support rails using 1/4" aluminum angle. I used the below rivNut tool -- drill the hole where you want it, insert the rivnut tool, squeeze and done. It took about 20 minutes from start to finish to do the bars.....

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003TODXQW/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Wow, that looks sharp and sounds fairly easy to install. I think I am going to copy your idea. Do you have any support down the center of the bed or is the angle iron around the perimeter strong enough to support 2 people? I am going to place an order right now for the rivnut tool. Did you order extra rivnuts and what size seems to work the best? I noticed it comes with some.
Thanks again for the info. It appears as though we are pretty close to the same spot in this build process and thus far our vans look almost identical on the inside.
 

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I drilled out the hex rivnut hole to 9/16" and used 1/2" bolts. Much stronger connection with a washer against the sheet metal than a rivnut is. Rivnuts are for when you cannot get behind something to use a nut.
Also note (and I've said this bunches and nobody seems to take this advice) I installed the ledgers LEVEL to the world, NOT parallel to the floor.





Except for the closest angle I used steel because I had it and that made it cheaper. Aluminum would be nicer.


 

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I also considered building the bed platform level instead of parallel to the van floor. After some thought, I realized a few things:

1) All of my previous campers/rvs/popups, etc. had beds level to the floor

2) If I want my bed level, I probably want everything level -- not just the bed thus I will have to position vehicle up hill or use some blocks

3) Yet still -- it's easy enough to build this as an option -- a bit easier if you use rivnuts or spring latch pin assemblies -- because all I have to do to level the bed is remove a couple of bolts from the rivnuts, pivot the bed rail on the center bolt and lock back in place in other adjustment holes.... I have a feeling I won't use that much thou....time will tell..nice to have as an option.

My bed is built in three removable sections which I will cover soon on my build thread. I plan on the potential to use the three segments for more than a bed -- the center section could be angled to face either the front section or rear section as a back support to create a seat; the sections can have folding legs attached to be used as portable tables and they can be stored overhead when not in use as I plan on having usable living area underneath the bed.

They were created from aluminum loading ramps - a great idea I learned about on this forum.
 
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