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  • Writer's pictureRandy Reek

Building a Minivan Camper: First Step Is a Bed!

Updated: Jul 14, 2021

Every minivan camper needs a bed! GoneCamper includes a tri-fold mattress.

This is the tri-fold mattress I recommend for minivans. It is 4-inches thick and most people feel that it is very comfortable. Some who want an extra soft mattress add a 1-inch gel foam topper - and the mattress still folds in thirds easily.

The bed in the GoneCamper consists of a rear fixed platform. Along with the rear kitchen, the bed frame and folded mattress all fit behind the second row seats in the minivan. This means that the GoneCamper can stay in the minivan between camping trips, and you can still carry four passengers during the week - or in the middle of a camping road trip!

For traveling, I like to place the front bed platform on top of the folded mattress. The side window covers fit nicely between the folds of the mattress. Then everything is held in place by a web strap around the bundle. The folded mattress - even with a foam topper, mattress pad, sheets, and blanket - doesn't block visibility out the rear window.

On this Fall trip we used a double sleeping bag instead of a blanket, and it is shown rolled up in the photo above. The four storage totes stack for travel. We detach the outer legs of the bed frame, but leave the center leg attached while driving.

The other reason we use the tri-fold foam mattress is to have the option of converting the bed into a comfortable couch. Place the front platform upright against the kitchen box, then fold the mattress back with two sections behind and one section forming the seat of the couch. The GoneCamper bed is raised to provide storage underneath, plus a comfortable seating position. There is also room for a small folding table for meals, work or games.

The GoneCamper minivan conversion package includes either a full-size 48-inch mattress and bed frame or a single 28-inch mattress and bed frame. If you have a mattress that will fit, the cost of the mattress can be deducted from your package. Note that the stock mattresses are NOT ready to use. Both the length and width of the tri-fold foam mattress must be cut to fit the bed you order.

Contact GoneCamper with any questions. Folding beds can be built for any minivan, and I also build the bed to the length you specify. The standard length is 6'2" - but if you are shorter, you can gain valuable floor space with a shorter bed. Likewise, if you only need a single bed, I can build a 28-inch wide bed that still converts to a comfy chair! The single bed gives you 20-inches x 6-feet of open floor space for shelves, a dog bed, bike, porta pottie, or whatever!

I look forward to helping you design the perfect minivan camper for your travel goals.

See you on the road!

GoneCamper minivan camper

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