Ram Promaster Forum banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
808 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've been working on a floor plan and I had an idea that's probably best implemented with a Murphy bed. I might be able to pull it off otherwise, but it's not as elegant or useful.

Yet when I search the forum, this seems a bit like the Holy Grail. Many seek or dream of it, but only a chosen few succeed.

Now maybe it's a pure-of-heart issue, or they are just tough to implement correctly. I'm not considering it just because they look or seem cool or to haul cargo when the bed is up. I think they only make sense if you gain utility from the space you free up either by pull-downs when the bed is up etc.

What's your opinion? Do you think there are circumstances where they make sense and are implementable, or are they too complex or plain silly?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,809 Posts
Probably all the above. The secret to having a bed in a van that doesn't consume the whole van is thickness, or should I say lack of it. My bed with IKEA slats and a 4: mattress is very comfortable, in fact as good as almost any bed we have been in, firm enough to keep you on top, soft enough to avoid the hip pain of thin beds and a foundation that is literally 1” thick. Home beds have grown thicker until one I saw recently in a store was 3 feet of foundation and mattress. Now to my point. If you instituted a Murphy bed from a 5" thick bed and managed a place to get it truly against the wall it would work. Most poster’s who have thought about a Murphy have talked about a foot thick mattress and with some support. The thing ends up consuming nearly three feet of the floor when folded. In less space one could build a set of bunks, leave them deployed all the time and save a bunch of building and hardware. Some have done that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
All I so far use my PM for is hauling my dirt bikes. Im thinking of having an 3/4 or 1" alumn frame welded up and using a piece of canvas with grommets and securing it to the frame with line.....worked for years on Coast Guard cutters and never got thrown out on the deck!. A 3 or 4inch mattress and it will be just like old school home week. 2 brackets secured to the wall and either fold able legs or lightweight chain for the overhead supports.
6'x30 or 36"wide and 5inches thick. Alum is cheap to weld and have bent at marine awning shops. Pretty much build a frame around a mattress.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
808 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
A 3 or 4inch mattress and it will be just like old school home week. 2 brackets secured to the wall and either fold able legs or lightweight chain for the overhead supports.
6'x30 or 36"wide and 5inches thick.
Thanks for your input. I'd rather go a little thicker, but 27" wide by 75 times two gets me a standard 54 x 75 Full. And it fits in the layout.

Here's a link:


This one is 25 x 75 x 4" which is narrower than I'd like, but doable.


The Travato layout is even narrower but one piece. I'd like separate mattresses because if I go with the Froli, I could get tip up slats at the headrests. Or I could ditch that and go with a standard full and my choices open up considerably thickness-wise.

I was thinking along similar lines for a frame. I don't weld, but may find someone to do it for me. I thought aluminum was hard to weld, but maybe I'm wrong.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
538 Posts
Aluminum isn't "hard" to weld. But it does require a AC TIG machine to do it well. Yes, it "can" be gas/flame welded or MIG welded with a spool gun rig. But AC TIG is the clean way to go to do it right. I have a good DC TIG machine. Great for steel or SS. But not really useable on aluminum. The price point on the equipment to weld aluminum well is much higher than that to do steels.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
808 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I'd seen pictures of that van before, but I didn't know there was a video. Thanks. There's some similarity between what he did with the dinette and what I hope to do.

My dinette would be on the underside of the bed though and I'd have a Jeep fold-n-tumble seat on the opposite wall. The dinette would be T-shaped with a fold down bench underneath. A tv would be mounted on the underside of the table.

With the table up you could sit and watch tv with your feet up on the fold down bench. Or you could fold down the table and seat four people at the dinette. I've even looked at making the table telescope so you could use it as a standing desk, but that might be too tricky.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,809 Posts
The TIG welding of aluminum is really easy if the machine is available. Often one might not know what filler rod to use as it is hard to find the specifications of the aluminum you get at hardware stores so I have made rods by slicing the leftover pieces of the stock and used that. You then can’t go wrong. If you have an interest in building it out of aluminum I would inquire from a good welding shop and if they have an AC TIG setup just hire them to do the joints and brackets. I find it faster than stick welding steel and about equal to MIG welding steel with flux wire but much less spatter and much cleaner with less inclusions or voids. I miss having access to TIG.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
808 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
What kind of TIG welder might I need for this sort of job? I did some searching and there's quite a range of pricing. I need to update my shop to build anyway. I was considering starting a recommended tools and techniques thread, but it might be a bit premature. I hear many Tiny House builders buy used tools or buy new and then sell there tools once they are done.

I like working with aluminum even with what primitive fabrication I can manage now, so taking it to a new level would be great.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
797 Posts
This weekend I'll be finishing up the crib side of my 118"er . Aluminum cabinet (riveted) over the folding twin bed . Very little intrusion into the cargo space. I had a folding cot in the old E-line and the setup worked great , hence upgraded to the PM.
Will post pictures this weekend for all to enjoy !

ps, here are bare bones pics on my first night out.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
158 Posts
...a Froli system...
We have used the Froli sleep system in Van 1.0 (our current rig that doubles as my wife's DD _link if interested_) our 1st fifth wheel (a 38ft mobile suite) that we traded in for a 2015 Tesla T3970 Toy Hauler (that we live in full time) that also uses a FSS. So we sleep on one nearly every night of the year. Great product. Never any condensation or mold issues, and you can have a much thinner mattress than designing without the FSS at the same comfort level of any top-design mattress in a stick & brick home. Our current top choice (we've tried many since getting our first Froli back in 2010) is the Therm-a-Rest MondoKing 3D mattress over the Froli. ~6" total system, then add your base and you are done. Super light weight and would work well in a murphy bed build.

: ) Thom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
808 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
We have used the Froli sleep system in Van 1.0
Good to know, I may pick your brain when I get started with this. I expect fine tuning the Murphy arrangement to take a loads of time to get right. I was going to get a Froli kit and a folding mattress and experiment for a while before even worrying about the Murphy mechanism.

If the mattress doesn't work out, I can always use it instead of our air bed which slowly leaks, is on the cold side and is very bouncy when the dogs inevitably jump up on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
808 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
@Ziggy Stardog Did you ever make progress on the murphy bed setup? I'd love to see how it went.
Still working out some details. Made a couple prototypes. After the first one, I decided to split it into two separate bunks on either side. On the second one the pivots worked out and the bunk folded up into the window area okay, but I had trouble with the support mechanism. The bunk sits high off the floor, so the support legs needed to be longer than the bunk itself which complicates things. It’s also makes it hard to get up into it.

I injured my back shortly after the second prototype and was limited to 5 pound lifts, so I had to take a break from building for a while. After some physical therapy, I’m easing back into things with light duty stuff. I’m in Virginia visiting family, and am taking a load of 1” polyiso back with me and hope to get back to building soon. I’ll post an update when I revisit the Murphy bunks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
I injured my back shortly after the second prototype and was limited to 5 pound lifts, so I had to take a break from building for a while. After some physical therapy, I’m easing back into things with light duty stuff.
Sorry to hear about your back!! :-(
Sounds like I'm not the only one giving up my fair share of blood, sweat and tears to build a van.
I was moving 4x8 panels around a few months ago and tore a larger hole in my umbilical hernia, which resulted in a need for surgery.
Be well and take the therapy seriously. You can come out of it feeling stronger or weaker. Do the workouts, stretching and rest. Your body will thank you 10-20 years from now. :)

Back to Murphy stuff... due to the wheel well, I think I'll have to build a storage box at 18" to clear the hump. I'm thinking of it in a modular sense.
1- 84"W x 16"D x 18"H storage box that will span the needed dimensions for the bed and create a platform for the bed hardware
2- 84"W x 16"D x 49"H bed cabinet which is what most bed kit dimensions call for. As you said, the support legs will have to be about 18" tall. Not too difficult considering the bed platform will be 49".
3- An overhead storage cabinet that will allow for about 7-9" of space. Not a whole lot, but it will fill in the open space to the ceiling. I've dreamed of lighting strips and whatnot, but the goal for now is to just get the darn thing built.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
I wondered if you had seen this guy, just a real craftsman, he did a Murphy in his Transit:

 

·
Registered
MMXVI - L2H2 in IN
Joined
·
4,255 Posts
This setup may work for someone, for size reference it's in a Transit LR 148".

It gives a good idea size and fit, I would change is the fixed legs. One could replace the pivot with a hinge like @RnR is doing.
62382

The boxes 72"x31"
62383

62384

62385

That's a 9" mattress
62386
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,809 Posts
Reminds me of an expression from back in the days of “bundling” (look it up). It’s a poor man who can’t jump a short fence. Think about it ............
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top