I’ve been camping and doing road trips in my old Sienna van for the past two years. It’s gone through several iterations in that time. I started with a cot. Then Alan and I decided to try sleeping in it together, so I built a full-size bed platform. When we decided it didn’t work as a couple (a failure due to extremely loud snoring—not mine!), I took out half the platform and left the part right behind the front seats. That wasn’t long enough (I had to sleep diagonally), so I took it out and put the cot back in. But the cot has a few problems. It sinks in a bit, creating a little trough down the middle that I settle into, playing havoc with my bad lower back and hips.
I’ve been searching for a narrow bed frame that will give me a solid platform, but with room underneath to store all my camping gear. I found a “narrow twin” metal frame that’s exactly the same size as my tri-fold mattress. I even found sheets that are the same size as my mattress. I got the frame yesterday and put all my stuff back in the van. There’s a ton of room under the bed, and because I added some bed lifters I can slide even my large plastic bins underneath it. I have a ton of items under the bed: my 4’ roll-up table, a smaller roll-up table, two large bins, several smaller bins, my big two-burner stove, two chairs, two Jackery power stations, a 100W solar panel, a seven-gallon water container, and other items. On one end next to the bed, I have a little plastic chest of drawers and behind it is my cooler and another large water container. I still have room for my porta-potty and to get dressed.
I couldn’t wait for a camping trip to try it out, so I slept in the van on the driveway last night. I finally have the right combo. I woke up this morning without even a twinge in my back. I’m really happy. I won’t need to reconfigure the van ever again.