Here is how we built the bedroom storage for our Ford Transit DIY camper van conversion!
A long time ago, we brainstormed about our Living Requirements. From that moment it was obvious that, to prevent a mess, we would need a lot of storage compartments so each thing has it’s own designated place. We then built the bed storage and lived happily ever after.
TIME SPENT ON THE JOB: ~30 hours (This is approximate. We lost track of time…)
TOTAL COST : $150 USD approx.
- Baltic Birch plywood, 1/4″, 1/2″ & 3/8″ thick (Bought from our local shop)
- Titebond III Wood Glue (Buy on Amazon)
- Pocket Hole Screws kit. (Buy on Amazon)
- Pocket Hole Plugs (Buy on Amazon)
- 1/4-20, .280 Steel Cross Nut Prebulbed (Buy on Amazon)
- 1/4-20 bolts, various lengths (Buy on Amazon)
- Corner Braces (Buy on Amazon)
- Frame’s Blue color: Saman water-based wood stain
- Baltic Birch’s Walnut color: Watco Danish Oil light walnut (Buy on Amazon)
- Low-E EZ-Cool insulation (Buy on Amazon)
- Kreg Pocket Hole Jig Mini (Buy on Amazon)
- Skills saw (Buy on Amazon)
- Freud Finish Blade 60 tooth (Buy on Amazon)
- Jigsaw & Blades (Buy on Amazon)
- Power drill (Buy on Amazon)
- Drill bits (Buy on Amazon)
- 220 grit Sanding paper (Buy on Amazon)
This is not a “How-To”; this is a “How-We-Did”. It is the answer of our own requirements and using our own (limited) skills.
First of all, we designed the bed storage using our 3D CAD model:
Here we go!
First of all, we added a layer of Low-E EZ-Cool on top of the Thinsulate (check our Thinsulate Installation Post or Buy on Ebay). This is to ensure there is no thermal bridge between the storage wood & the van metal. We did not glue the EZ-Cool to the van, since the storage back panel will hold it in place uniformly.
Then, the 1/4″ thick baltic birch plywood back panels were fitted and secured using Cross Nut that we previously installed in existing holes in the van.
Not familiar with Cross Nut? That’s O.K.! Make yourself comfortable and read our Cross Nut post:
Next, we trimmed and fitted the dividers. They are made from 1/2″ thick baltic birch.
(3/8″ thick would have been strong enough, but then screws don’t grip well in 3/8″ thick plywood)
Before installing the dividers “permanently”, we added the pocket holes that will be used to attached the face frame:
To make the pocket holes, we used the Kreg Pocket Hole Jig Mini as it makes the job easy and provide strong joints without fancy tools!
The forward divider contains the Bogart battery Monitor and the Webasto MultiControl:
So before assembling all the dividers, we fitted and added some protection for the monitor and the controller:
We installed the dividers in place and fabricated the shelves from 3/8″ thick baltic birch plywood. Then, the shelves were installed with the corner braces. Tadam!
Now, we’ve been advocating to glue everything to eliminate the squeaks. For this project, we chose not to use glue. Why? Because, who knows, we might want to remove the storage one day. As a whole, we doubt it will be possible to remove it since it is quite large. So, we assembled all the dividers and shelves using corner braces. The assembled unit is very strong, but we wonder if the screws will hold in time with the vibration? Will it squeaks? Time will tell!
Next step, the face frame.
Because we’re fancy people with fancy taste, we plugged the pocket holes with Kreg’s Plugs:
We will probably install doors at some point, but we have other priorities for now.
ON SECOND THOUGHT…
As mentioned in the post, we did not use glue. Time will tell if we get squeaks and if some screws come loose. We will keep you updated!
- Have a beer
- Fabricate and install the Sink & Stove Cabinet (wait for it!)