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I have a 14 hi top gas PM 1500. Been mulling over ideas for beds in it. Want to still be able to load plywood and lumber in it if needed. Work van and play van! I saw something on the web that really intrigued me. Horizontal Murphy bed! Even with the space taken by the wheel well, there is room to fold a full sized mattress up against the wall. Dropped down, there would be about 6" room open to the other wall. Enough to let your ankles pass to get to a door to get out to use the bath house.

I'd have to build it myself to allow for the wheel well, buy very do-able IMO.
What you y'all think?
Folded up, it leaves plenty of space lengthwise for cargo.
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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Hi,
That seems workable to me -- a little complex, but workable.

Another approach if all you need to do is sleep two people is to run the bunks fore and aft with a wide aisle between them. You can still load plywood and similar in the aisle and the spaces over the bunks provides for a lot more bulky stuff. The aisle is also good for long lumber. I used this layout on mine: http://www.buildagreenrv.com/our-conversion/our-promaster-camper-van-conversion-interior-layout/

Gary
 

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I had the same exact approach, I wanted a camper van but still need it for plywood and lumber. Built all batteries on driver side and all storage on passenger side, with a bed across above the storage boxes. I still have 39" of height and 50" of width for plywood. I can send you pics if you want.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

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In a 136 the bed running forward and back dominates the space available reaching forward to the sliding door. When down It leaves darn little space for even the most minimal camping setup. In the 159 it would be fine. When folded up the Murphy would leave lots of room and clear use of the floor. I think it is a good idea to try. My slide-open sideways sleeping bed/couch removes completely in about 3 minutes for floor access but you have the mattresses and the slat sections to store and that is a downside. I have removed it many times in the past year so that shows an easily moved (or removed) bed is a useful option.
 

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Rich,

I have the couch/beds parallel to the sides and it does leave lots of space up the middle for hauling whatever. It is a 159 wb. I also use the basement which will haul about 6 sheets of 3/4" plywood or about 20 8' 2x4s.... only works if you are less than 5'6" tall!....see my signature link for details.

Just a few days ago, sonicsix posted some changes he made to his van, and he made a shortened bed on the door side to make it more workable for a 136 wb. It would be worth checking out his thread.

Enjoy your build!
ed
 

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Appreciate the replies folks! If my head were any bigger or my legs even shorter, I'd qualify as a dwarf. ;-) My wife is even smaller than I am at under 5' tall. A full sized bed is plenty for us. I like the idea of being able to raise it for stowing. I was thinking of making a couch with a slide out to make the top a full sized bed when needed. But I think a base cabinet for baggage and a murphy above it will be a good way to go. No galley planned for ours. Just a KISS sleeper van. Took me a year to be able to afford the solar cells and batteries I wanted as I felt that had to come first. Then I insulated the ceiling and installed some simple panels on furring strips. Insulating the walls and building the bed to finish it will get done this winter. Being very under employed, I can only afford to do this stuff a bit at a time. No one is buying sidecar upholstery now like they did back in the Bush era. I haven't even been able to find a simple part time job.
When we camp, I use a 10 x 10 pop up shelter and put a picnic table under it. Easy enough to cook outside there!
 

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A full size bed will fit across the van. We placed it in the back with nearly 2' of clearance underneath so we can still stop at Home Depot for plywood, 2x4s or other long items.
 

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Here is a "short" queen size bed 60" x 75" with plenty of room for building materials underneath. I can remove the bed in 5 or 10 minuets if more room is needed.
 

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Hi.. my husband and I are expedite drivers.. we went from a Sprinter to a Pro Master 3500 .. we had our bed in our Sprinter raised to 22 inches he put wood from the fender walls to wall.. made side pockets welded part of bed frame across from behind the front seat.. then we had two mattresses made to the fit the length.. he had plywood cut in two pieces with a hinge so it was foldable. When not loaded we unfolded it put the mattresses together . Make sure to have a edge to keep them together or they slide apart.. we had either a single bed or a king well real close.. if not loaded lots of storage under .. I put a blanket down under the mattress to make a drop curtain to cover the space between the floor and bed.. we also had a Espar heater in the side pockets that he made.. it made lots of storage. He didnt put side pockets from fender wall to back door.. as forklift drivers seem to the run the load into those.. Also the whole plywood bed part could be lifted on the side against front seat.. he held it up with a strap if we got 4 pallets.. made it able to be fully loadable.. now on our Pro Master.. we are wanting to make our bed to lift straight up.. then make different Heights we can drop down to.. because this Van is not as long 3 pallets is all we can haul.. we always have one sleeping and driving..
 

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Rich, What is the measurement from the top of the wheel well to the roof? Could your murphy bed allow you to sleep across and still fold up? All you would need is for the hinge to happen so the bed base (3/4 Ply?) could clear the wheel well. Remember a bed should be about 4” longer than the tallest sleeper if possible. Let me guess you are 66 inches tall and the ceiling is 74” and the van is 74” wide.. That does not leave enough room to fold up so---ooo I have an idea. Build a bench with padding on the other side of the van so that when the Murphy folds down the bench forms the rest of the bed! Here is my guess for dimensions: the Murphy bed might be 54 inches wide and 56 inches long (tall when folded). Balitc birch comes 60X60” I believe, so one sheet makes the base. Then build a seat (bench) on the other wall that is 18” deep and 54 inches wide padded to the height of the murphy bed mattress. You would end up with a 74” by 54” bed. IKEA makes mattresses that would cut and work as the bench seat and the Murphy bed mattress. Just think’n.
 

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Rich,

I had the same dilemma as you, which was trying to keep the van as a vehicle that could be dual purpose. I do not want to install anything that cannot be easily moved out so that we can haul something when needed.

When it came to the bed I designed a bi-fold bed that can be folded up against the passenger side wall. When folded down my wife and I can both fit between the side walls, we are both 5’10” tall.

Part of the install required two T bars secured to the interior sides of the van at about 36” from the floor. The bed frame is made from garage door supports which are clamped in place to the T bars before the bed is lowered down. The bed itself is made from ¾” plywood with foam cushions on top. It is very strong and comfortable.

See the pictures, I hope this helps.

Mike
 

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I wish I had thought of that! Now a few straps to hold the two halves of a mattress to the outside plywood, and a way to store the transverse supports.
 
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