RV Folding Bed | Sprinter Bed
We added two RV folding bunk beds just above the wheel well on our 2013 MB Sprinter Van. These were built to hold an adult, and made to fold up when not in use. The needed to be secure, firm, light, easily opened and closed, easy to latch in the upright position, and affordable. The pre-made ones we saw were made from cheap materials – particle board, cheap aluminum legs, vinyl coverings. And we knew we design and build a better solution, and so we set out to do just that.
The sprinter or RV do-it-yourselfer (DIYer) will need to collect the following items:
- 3/4″ Plywood – one solid sheet or each bunk
- 1x2x8 Red Oak Trim Piece
- 6″ Pintle Straps (x2)
- 1.5″ x 1.5″ Red Oak Legs
- Bolts, Nuts, and Washers (x8)
- Nylon Washers (x4)
- Construction Brackets
- 1.25″ wood screws
- Wood glue
- Automotive Carpeting
- Adhesive Spray
The construction bracket is key to the whole build. I looked at many, and opted for the thickest gauge steel 90 degree bracket I could find. These were $7.99 at my local big chain hardware store. They were worth every penny. They come pre-drilled for large bolts, and used the pre-drilled holes – one to pass the bolt thru the brackets, then thru the pintle, and the other to secure the bracket to the wall of the Sprinter. I also added a self-tapping screw to prevent the bracket from rotating over time.
I mounted both brackets 2″ above the wheel well, and 76″ apart to allow for a 1/2″ total space on each end for my nylon washers to site between my pintle and brackets. More on this later.
Build your Platform
Your bunks can be as wide as 35″ wide and as long as you like. I made mine 75″ long, and 30″ wide. I started by cutting the 3/4″ plywood to make a 30×75″ platform on a table saw. I sanded the corners and edges. Then I cut my red oak strip to the same 75″ length, and I glued and screwed in position such that one of my bolts would pass thru the pintle strap and then the plywood, and finally the red oak for extra support. I let that set over night. The result was a strong, light, and stiff platform perfect for a bed.
Passing the bolts thru the pintle, red oak, and the plywood helps stiffen up the whole platform and that’s important when building a solid bunk.
Install your Legs
After installed the bed platform, I leveled it by taking various measurements, and cut 3 legs from the 1.5″x1.5″ red oak pieces. I installed 3 DHS brackets (shown below) which I purchased on Amazon, and mounted those to the plywood platform, then the legs to the brackets.
Protect the Platform
I contemplated painting or staining the entire plywood base black, but in the end I opted to cover the platform in automotive carpeting. I used automotive carpeting, smoothly carpet out from the center to the edges. I used a hobby knife to to trim the carpet for a nice clean install around the brackets, bolts, etc.
The Result: Folding RV Bed / Folding Sprinter bed
I’m thrilled with the result. We opted to cover ours with 4″ memory foam, and they are extremely comfortable and soft, yet supportive. They fold up nicely. They fold down easily. There is no apparent wiggle when moving around on them.