I just know you’ve been waiting for the post on the new sleeping arrangements, lol. A lot has happened since my last post, and that will be revealed in good time, but today I’m going to show you what was changed up in Freedom.
Previously the boys and I have been using the folded down bench seat for a bed. I never felt the need to use it as a couch, so it always stayed down as a bed, but even then there were drawbacks, such as the very small space underneath. About the only thing that would fit were those very shallow plastic lidded boxes about 8” high. There is a bar underneath the bench seat that allowed the seat to be folded down and back up very easily, but that bar also took up valuable real estate. Van dwellers know the value of that!
The bed was relatively comfortable; we utilized a narrow Thermarest mattress and a yoga mat together to make the padding wide enough and topped it with a cut-to-size piece of memory foam. Pretty comfy, but always in the back of my mind was the storage that was being wasted. And needed!
I researched a couple of options to replace that bench seat, one being dismantling a plastic shelving unit I have to store my household tools and use those as a platform. Lots of measuring and envisioning what it would look like pretty much eliminated that idea. The clincher was the fact that the width of the pieces were a skootch too small to fit over the wheel wells. A skootch, yes. THAT close.
That brought us to Plan B, and also utilized some things we already had on hand; my two-drawer plastic units I used for recycling. Keeping the units together made for LOTS of storage (Eight big drawers!), but it also made the bed a bit too high. Not only would I not be able to sit up in bed comfortably, but it also blocked the only small windows–actually just wings–in the back from delivering air where it needed to be. Under the bed wasn’t where it needed to be. More importantly, The Chiweenie Brothers would not be able to jump up there very easily, and Chiweenie Brother comfort is top priority!
Discovering that those two-drawer units come apart, they were dismantled. I used four of the units (now one-drawer each) to make a sturdy platform on which to use a ¼ inch piece of cut-to-size plywood for the top. Put together, the bed came ALMOST even with the sills under each window in the back. With the mattress in place, it would be perfect. Half the drawer space, but a better arrangement, and the small wing windows can be opened for much needed ventilation. The Chiweenie Brothers can easily get to their nest.
From the front, inside living area From the back, storage area side
I had previously purchased an extra wide sleeping bag to use as bedding, quilt, duvet all rolled into one in order to end the hassle of trying to make up that bench seat bed every morning. Those are not easy to contend with when it comes to making the bed. Now I have a bed that will be much easier to make, but I also have this brand new sleeping bag with a sheet liner I fashioned to put inside. We’re going with the sleeping bag. It’s easy, cozy, and big enough for The Chiweenie Brothers to snuggle into, too. Burger has his own little spot between the two storage towers that I had enough room to install on the backside edge of the plywood. Three drawers in each of those towers face to the inside, the bottom ones I rearranged to open to the storage area in back.
The old, narrow Thermarest was replaced with a wider version which works perfectly with the new sleeping bag. Before putting the bedding in place I put a couple of extra blankets on the platform; perfect place to store unused bedding. Completely out of the way and takes up absolutely no measurable space.
The Thermarest and my memory foam were encased in a cot cover which is the perfect sized solution to keep it all together. We haven’t tested this out yet, but I think it will work just fine. There also appears to be enough room in said cot cover to add a couple more inches of memory foam if we need it.
Thank you so much for stopping by today. Hugs, Shawna
“Most will give up an acre of freedom for a closet of security” ~ Dr. Idel Dreimer