Tag Archives: mattress

Murphy Bed Installation


Watch all my videos on YouTube!

A fold-up Murphy bed for a van is the ultimate space saver and a little effort can create a unique furniture piece.

rv murphy bedMuch work has gone into it and more is waiting to be added. So far the lower cabinets and the bed are finished and the upper cabinets will follow soon. A modern oil painting with Continue reading Murphy Bed Installation

Murphy Bed Legs

Watch all my videos on YouTube!

In the coming weeks, I’ll be finishing the Murphy bed. Today I move the bed back into the van; it’s time to take some final measurements and add the legs.

I use a similar pivot mechanism on both legs and some magnets to keep the legs in place when the bed is folded up. The dark Formica on the legs, will hide them  from view. After finishing up the legs, I will continue to apply Formica on most of the remainder of the Murphy bed and then install the upper cabinets above the bed.
Continue reading Murphy Bed Legs

Murphy Bed Design

Adding a bed to the van is the second, larger interior project that I’m working on and probably the most important addition to the RV.

cargo-van-murphy-bedWhile the van conversion process should follow a specific order, so-far I’ve deviated from that, to create a (very) basic setup, that will sustain me on short trips, until the conversion has completed. Access to 12V, privacy, flooring, vents and a bed are all I need for the moment to be reasonably comfortable on short road trips.
The bed has a simple design, with many complicated requirements added to the construction. I decided a long time ago, that living space is crucial for a well-designed recreational vehicle. Continue reading Murphy Bed Design

“What Do A Bed, Desk And Picture Frame Have In Common?”

Choice of a comfortable bed and a subtle integration of a workspace, are probably some of the most important features of this van conversion.

As the start of the van conversion comes closer, I have begun buying some materials, as you can read in Why I Order Chinese And Get It Delivered and started making some final design decisions. The first modifications of the van will entail the basics, such as electronics (usb, cameras & sensors), floor installation, ceiling & floor vents and cabin curtain. These are all relatively quick and easy to install and lay the foundation for the rest of the conversion.

Color and Design

formica -samplesToday I got into the details of the sleeping arrangements. After completing the ventilation, the floor and the privacy mods, the first real woodworking project, I wanted to initiate was the proposed Murphy bed, just as a way to optimize the building process. Continue reading “What Do A Bed, Desk And Picture Frame Have In Common?”

Fulltime RVing Is The Right Choice (If You Can!)

Before deciding to convert your own cargo van, you should find out if full-time living in an RV will fit your lifestyle and your budget. Or you may choose for extended RV camping, where you use leave home for a few months, like the Canadian snowbirds each winter.

You can go from a small Class B van, all the way up to a full-size bus or choose to go with a truck/trailer combination, with the latter having a separate vehicle to drive with. Cost varies between a few $1,000’s for a used van with mattress and a few cabinets, up to a $500,000 for your dream bus.
Continue reading Fulltime RVing Is The Right Choice (If You Can!)

How To Transform A Bed Into A Work Desk & More

Going from bed to family room with TV and picture and finally to work desk, may be the ultimate task, that I set for myself, yet it may be the perfect solution for comfortable living in a small space, such as a converted cargo van.

In finding the best layout for the new cargo van conversion, I have been tinkering with a large, elevated bed in the rear with storage space below for bikes.

Continue reading How To Transform A Bed Into A Work Desk & More

8 Critical Elements Of A Modern Van Conversion


Some use it as their mobile office, while traveling around the country, others have made it part of the Tiny House Movement.

For me it is all about mobility and extended stays, while preserving functionality and comfort.

1. Independence:

Generators have been a source of irritation for many RV’rs for a long time, but their time has come, unless you have an air-conditioner to run. Solar panels have come a long way and even the smaller RVs can support multiple panels with ease. Especially the new high efficiency flexible solar panels that can be fit and hidden on top of the roofs of most cargo vans.

Continue reading 8 Critical Elements Of A Modern Van Conversion

Solar Panel Guide (2)

New approaches for small RV’s.


After I introduced Semi Flexible Solar Panels in my previous post, questions remain about the performance of these new semi flexible modules.

Rigid ResidentialFlexible
Amorphous Thin FilmSemi Flexible
average cost per watt 1$ 0.80-2.00$ 1.50$ 2.00-7.00
low light performanceaveragegoodgood 2
high heat performanceaveragegoodgood 2
efficiency15 watt/sf5.5 watt/sf15 watt/sf
weight40 oz/sf11 oz/sf7.5 oz/sf
roof penetrationyesnono
warranty20-25 yrs20 yrs10 yrs 3
1 2014
2 Several unconfirmed user tests indicate low light and high heat performance are less than rigid panels.
3 Misuse of the limited flexibility is often given as a reason for the shorter warranty period. Product life maybe similar to rigid panels.

As a general indication, prices for these panels are double that of regular rigid modules. For that, you’ll get a substantial weight reduction and a more aesthetically pleasing finish and maybe even some improved fuel mileage.

High heat performance is probably the biggest drawback, where some users indicate a considerable performance drop during the hottest part of the day. Under low light circumstances, they seem to under perform too, however no significant amount of energy is produced those times of the day anyway.
Continue reading Solar Panel Guide (2)