I am in the proces of building an island bed in the caravette and wondered if there was any way of salvaging one of the bunks by relocating it to the front. I don't need it, being only my wife and myself. But, could be a nice to have, later. (In this way, my Caravette 6 can become a Caravette 5 in stead of a Caravette 4).
Is anyone aware of an attachment point on the front wall?
DR DRAKE GP that's not a Doctor noe a GP.
Sorry, I can't answer your question, but I would be very interested to see your finished product. I am sure many of us with old style beds have toyed with the idea of building an island bed.
Any chance you will post some pics and "how to' when done?
I like people like you converting a golden oldy into something up-to-date!
That saves you a fortune as you can enjoy al the comfort without spending an arm and a leg. Unfortunately not all of us is as handy and has all the equipment and tools but I can think it must be the ideal hobby to get rid of all bad things.
Some caravaners just have to pay for their show pieces but when you're finished, boy, you have one SHOW PIECE and be proud of your initiative ! Show photies please.
I can recall a similar post either end of last year or earlier this year. Someone who did this also posted some pics, but at my age I HAVE SEEN IT ALL, DONE IT ALL.....but can't remember it all!!!! (what was the post about?)
Injoy the rewamp and sent some pics.
Hi David, I used to have a Sprite Sport, similar layout to the Caravette 6 with 2 single beds in the front. I loosened both bed bases from the the floor, wall and front end. The 2 pieces had the shape of an L. I moved the right side frame left and the the left side frame to the right. Joined the bottom ends together and then re-fixed the side walls to the floor and front wall of the van. I also put in a bit of stengthening and then placed an 8 or 10 mm marine plywood base on top that was hinged. The little cupboard in the center was split in half with new doors and fixed in to the 2 top corners next to the bed for additional stengthening and side tables. Bought a new "double" mattress from a place in Brakpan that specialises in foam products.
Ypu would need to "feel" around on the front side walls to find a cross brace that can be used to support the bunk bed mechanisms.
Thanks for the input. I am nearly finished. I have had problems posting photos before, but will try.
Hester and I are now at that exited stage and can't wait to try it out.
Thanks Grumpy Smurf – I did see a thread where amongst others, Leon said how one can put bunks in. However, my bunks are still basically unused and could double up and serve as a back rest on the front seating area with little extra effort, if I can attach them to a strong part of the front wall. This would only be a nice to have as the island bed converts a Caravette 6 to a Caravette 4, with the bunk would be a Caravette 5 – “Hoe is dit nou vir nonsense praat?”
I started by removing the single beds and back centre cupboard; cut the cupboard in half lengthwise; attached the halves in the corner; reversed the doors to open outwards.
That done, I drew and redrew, until I was happy with the shape and size. I saw another of the same model Caravette where I thought the bed was too short.
Next, screwed 30x30mm base frame in on the lines; Width at head end 135cm …. Length 86cm from head end to corner angling (back wall is angled), in between the wardrobe and cupboard 110cm further making total length 196cm and front end width 41cm fitted three solid uprights (for strength – not cross bars); completed the top of the frame attaching to rear wall; fitted sides – height 40cm creating lots of packing space (in need). Already sand papered and lightly varnished.
Now unfortunately have wait to find a hardware store open to get wood for the lid (loose fitting with flanges to stop movement and hinged lengthways) and a local franchise bed shop will make a multilayer mattress. For finishing touches I intend wrapping the bed base with material, in similar fashion to the 1985 Gypsey 5 I had.
DR DRAKE GP that’s not a Doctor nor a GP.
A friend of mine did a similar change to his previous caravan an old Sprite Sport. He opted for a corner bed and moved part of the centre cupboard to the other corner.
This allowed him to buy a normal double bed matress. He sold the Van within a week due to the large bed at the time of advertising.
You surely are going to enjoy the bigger bed.
Sounds great, pics if you get it right to load them would be lekker. Your description of what you have done makes me dream of working in my workshop at home with all my woodworking tools. But that will have to wait a few years while we tour.
Enjoy the project and hope you are really satisfied with the end result.
It is not so much the bigger bed, remembering the foot end is narrowed. But, I am not that far from pension and realise that as I get older, it is getting more difficult climbing over my wife (who wishes I should stop half way). Later on, it will probably become more difficult to do the work - so I have tackled it while I still have the challenge in me.
I seem to have a bit of luck - hope it works.
Existing cusions are placed on top to get an idea of what I am contemplating .... matress to shape. I will try and post a picture without the matresses separately.
I now have the material to wrap around the base ...... TONIGHT!!!!!!!!
Seems like I have a bit of luck and have included the base whilst in progress and thought I could share a picture where I have removed the basin and gas stove, replaced the shelf with one slightly bigger - on my wife's insistance, built a sliding glass door cupboard.
If somebody copies this idea, please note that the cupboard is not the same size on both ends, which I sorted out with double sided tape- one layer on the small side and three on the other, both bottom and top (which are also screwed in place. The glass needs to be supported when travelling.
When we changed the double bed from the front to the back of the caravan I thought of changing the shape and making it a island coffin shape bed, but the thought gave me the creeps. Now looking at the picture above is gives me the creeps all over again. I would love to have a island bed but being newly weds (4 years) we don't mind climbing over each other. Just joking.
David dit lyk regtig netjies. Soos genoem die verandering wat my vriend gemaak het,was die beskikbare spasie 'n probleem en het mens nie 'n ander keuse as om die voetenend so nou te maak nie. Die hoof rede dat hy die bed in die hoek geskuif het.
Die blad bokant die yskas lyk regtig goed.
Dankie Leon - As jy mooi kyk kan jy sien die kaste langs die bed het dieselfde blad en hulle maak ook oop en toe - agter was mos die drank kabinet. Ek het ook 'n klein kas bo in die hangkas met dieslfde wat regtig baie handig is vir klein goedjies (soos sleutels).
Hi Marg, Unfortunately to have a walk around, the angle does make it look coffin like - it looks even worse when the photo is taken from higher - the parrallel sides actually pull towards each other on the back wall - the camera does not do it any justice. Last night, I covered the base with a dark olive velvet material, possibly also making it worse, but a must to hide the different wood types - will think something up to make it more attractive.
Dawid die mod. lyk baie mooi gedoen geniet die bed
Besig met die mure - lyk soos 'n Merc sonder wiel doppe!
Mure klaar - Merc het nou "Magwiele" gekry.
Die bed is klaar - kort nou net 'n matras - kwotasie is vandag belowe.
Nou wil ek die kopstuk doen en klein kassies oor die wiele met 'n spieël teen een muur (om die vrou geukkig te hou).
It's all comming together and looking very nice
Hi David, Great job on the bed and cupboards. Just joking about the coffin shape. i have looked at all ways of changing ours, but our van is a sprite sport and is to short to do it. We can not give up the cupboards. We did change the arrangement around by putting the double bed at the back of the van and the single bed in the front, which did make a big difference.
Post a photo when complete.
The bed is finished (pictures below) and will be tested out this weekend, we think at Silwervis, Brits!
The wife and I are now in four minds (two minds each). We wanted to put a headboard on. But when putting one of the removed matresses in, we saw it would serve the same purpose and double up as an additional sleeping place in the tent, in need.
I have also built two cupboards over the wheel arches, one with the basin previously removed to create more shelf space, as previously shown - just some finishing touches left like adding shelves and sealing holes (no new ones) in the floor, extra electrical point.
Thanks for all the advice and especially to some other caravanners who let me have a look at theirs!
DR DRAKE GP that's not a doctor nor a GP.
Hi David, Can you give me some measurements.
How wide is the foot end of the bed?
How much space is there between the foot end and the cupboards?
How far does the foot end protrude past the cupboard?
Is there any problem with opening the cupboards on the side of the foot end?
As you said we are not getting younger and climbing over each other will be a future problem. I am re-thinking after seeing yours completed.
Does anyone know if this is possible with out loosing cupboard space? We have a an old 1979 sprite sport, whcih is a very short/small caravan.
I enclose a picture of the starting point, where you can see the floor layout, stretched to the maximum. In previous pictures you can see the bed is not in the way of the cupboard doors – the important one, is the wardrobe as it opens the other way. The kitchen one is not too important – even if the bed is in the way, it will open nearly all the way. If I can remember correctly, the bed stretches into the isle by about 4cm (total length 196cm). The base is 41 cm at the foot end with the mattress at 45cm, a bit of a overhang (not a hangover from a laager), for a softer squeeze through .
The first impression, when I received the mattress yesterday – I was glad I increased the height making it easier to get in and out of the small spaces alongside (remembering the roof cupboards are in headroom area) and with the 20cm mattress, somewhere else to put a hand to balance, in need. The beds are not walk around, but very easy to get in and out as the legs drop at the angled side, stand up outside the roof cupboard area and step out sideways. Even with my wider cupboard top, I find it easy to move in and out and also to support, in need. On the wardrobe side, it is also easy to stretch across to support/balance from the cupboard on the opposite side. This week end will probably show up some small irritations.
I have actually gained cupboard/packing space – i.s.o. of two single beds became one double – centre cupboard split into two smaller bedside and have already covered the wheel arches with new cupboards from the matching wood taken from the original single bunks (one with the basin replaced and the other intended to be as dressing table, a bit lower with an intended mirror on the wall and taking the electrical wire inside).
You may have noticed the walls and base are covered with a velvet type material to finish off possibly shabby looking joints, but mainly to cover holes where pop rivets have been drilled out – I saw this idea many years ago and is the second time I have copied it. On the Gypsey 5, I found it warmer in the winter and helped against perspiration in summer when lying against it. I used about 8 metres.
A further tip for those who have similar changes - when I took delivery of the matress, I just was not comfortable towing, nothing in particular, but just not comfortable. I stopped and moved the matress forward, between the cupboards and had a much more comfortable tow! I also found that the cupboards could no longer open while travelling, a problem I have had in all my caravans before, previously solved by extra door clips.
Hi David, Thanks for the info. A couple of months ago I had the caravan interior changed around. I moved the single bed and the low cupboards to the front of the caravan and the double bed to the rear. We do need the single bed because of Marshall (disabled). It is easier to have him near the door as he has to be carried into the caravan. I also can not loose any cupboard space as everything has its space and is left permanently in the caravan. I am going to look in the caravan again and see if we can change the double bed to an island "coffin shape" bed. I wont mention it to neill yet as he only did the change around a couple of months ago. The change made a huge difference. I will show him your photo's and see if the idea will be his. " Hee Hee sneaky"
Any way congratulations on the work on your caravan
Any idea as to what the total costs was to revamp?
Hi David, we had a look again, there is no way we can make an island bed with out getting rid of cupboards. The caravan is just too small. Thanks for the info anyway.
That is a difficult question as I knew once I got started, I would have to finish and I would lie due to some items already held.
But let’s give it a go and hope I remember everything whether bought or not:
One length = R520
Bought for kitchen area but had enough for two bedside, two other, and “vanity” cupboard on top of wardrobe.
Small hinges x 6 = ? (Can’t remember, maybe R15 each).
30x30 - 4 lengths @ R27 = R 104 Main base board cut to size by supplier = R 430 (was lazy – had it done while on the drive with the caravan – R380 plus expensive labour R50)
Fitted Mattress = R1 400
Silicon to seal holes to prevent wood rot = R 35
Angle brackets from beds removed = No cost
Plastic brackets 20 @ 70c = R 16
Material 8m @ R50 = R 400
Contact Glue (for walls) = R 54
Additional bedside cupboards:
No cost: From centre cupboard cut in half.
Additional two cupboards:
Wood from single bed bases removed.
Other items (mainly held, but needed) :
Screws box (3 sizes) depending on depth of wood.
Washers (about 20) to increase screw head size for better grip.
Cross support = left over wood from a table bought for R100 previously dismantled to make a lid for a 2m fish tank.
Sand paper one sheet- not needed but just finished off some edges.
Varnish to seal the wood (single layer).
Ceiling pine cut into thin strips for inner joints – not all removed from beds were user friendly – split from one side under pressure.
Shelving inside cupboards from bed tops removed.
Sliding glass not quoted as I am going to change to Perspex.
In all, I think I have done well. A place in Pretoria quoted me R2 500 for the bed base only without mattress or cupboards.
I also thnk that this project is the first true reward for the tools accumulated in the past ... which were convenient to have for small jobs from time to time.
On the otherhand, Hester had to put up quite a lot with my irritations - you know women?!? - criticize at the most difficult times - but she seems happy and can't wait to get fitted sheets etc.
Can't wait to test it out at Silwervis, Brits this week end (if it doesn't rain)!
I will try and sort the progress photo's and post here with brief explanations, in due course for other DIY enthusiasts.
I think this all depends on the size of the cupboards and caravan you have and most of all the size of the space you need.
I don’t know where I got the idea that you had the Sport which has basically the same layout as the Caravette 6 and admittedly, the extra cupboards I have are smaller (see the picture of the basin and (beside) The island bed will not work in the 4,5 Sprint and Swift, without serious changes. I also found the bed to have more space underneath, but more difficult to get to, due to the weight of the plank and mattress. Access to the back is easy by sliding the mattress forward. The middle section is not so easy. I will still fit some kind of stand to the front, which I presently support with the plank no longer needed for the front bed.
The "LAST" step is now to take the lights wire through the cupboard floor and join under the wardrobe .... when the rain stops!
Lamp shades are glasses with holes drilled in the bases for fitting to standard wall lamps with the 220v fittings replaced with 12v.
I see in the foto the headboard is placed slightly skew for the photo - it is loose fitting so that I can open the bed for the packing space.
The important thing is the wife is impressed, (except now when I get in or out in the middle of the night I don't get stuck half way).
We have also decided to keep the two single matresses for cases of need and use them in the tent. They will be stored on top of each other on the front bed and are actually quite comfortable arm rests/table when the two of us sit in the front. When we don't sit there, we leave the Porta Potti there - useful at night.
Another idea I got was to fix a 25 litre water bottle (enough for a week end) with a pump inside, under the bed which fills from the outside with a hose from a tap and feed the basin. The 10 litre bottle in the photo is what we have been using until now.
The Micro wave and 2 plate stove with oven are stored in the bed when not camping.
One night when I was bored, I made hanging shelves out of wood mainly left over - fits on either frontor back side windows allowing them to close or stand on a table.
David, I saw this thread for the first time today.
And how did your bed sleep? Was it worth the effort?
Kyk, vandag weet ek bo alle twyfel: soos wat mens ouer word, word jou agterstewe definitief groter.