Our campervan layout is designed for 2 adults, but we’re often asked for a solution to sleep family with kids. Our experience building a van and living in a van has taught us that EVERY decision is a compromise… So adding more beds will inevitably reduce the living space, right? Well, there’s always a clever way to make things, and the Cabbunk bunk bed system is a pretty neat way of optimizing space by adding child beds to the cabin of a campervan/RV/motorhome. On top of that it’s modular, does not require a permanent installation (no drill, no build), can be installed to a completed conversion, and fits the Transit/Sprinter/ProMaster vans (with swivel seats). Keep reading to learn more!
1. Cabbunk Bunk Bed In A Nutshell
The Cabbunk system allows to easily and quickly add “hammock-style” bunk beds for kids to a van/RV/motorhome. It occupies the cabin, leaving the precious cargo space for living areas (kitchen, shower, etc.). It requires driver/passenger swivel seats, but does not require a permanent installation (no-drill) making it ideal for vans at any build stage (no-build, unfinished build or fully converted). It’s installed/removed in seconds, it’s light weight and compact, so it’s perfect for occasional uses (e.g. grandparents) or seasonal uses (family getaways).
Cabbunk models Available for the Transit/Sprinter/ProMaster vans:
Cabbunk Distributor (USA & Canada):
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Cabbunk bunk beds (twin or single) are compatible with the Ford Transit, Mercedes Sprinter, and Ram ProMaster vans (for more compatibility with vans go to cabbunk.co.uk/cabbunk-selector). Here is a good starting point on choosing a van:
Choosing A Van
Transit vs Sprinter Van vs ProMaster
2.2. Swivel Seats
Cabbunk requires to have both driver/passenger swivel seats installed. We tried a bunch of different swivels and our favorite, by far, were the Scopema Swivels:
(Ford Transit, Sprinter Van, Ram ProMaster)
2.3. “No-Build” vs Fully Converted Van
Cabbunk is compatible with both empty or fully converted van/RV/motorhome. That being said, after testing a Cabbunk in our Ford Transit, we think it might not be compatible 100% of the time, depending on how the cabin is finished.
For example, in our test, the Cabbunk pole is pretty close to the sliding door handle and bumper. Finishing the cabin with thick material might bring the pole more rearward and potentially clash with the sliding door bumper/handle (highlighted by arrows below):
That being said, it’s probably possible to mitigate this issue with a touch of DIYer’s creativity and ingenuity 😉
- Weight (empty): 16 lbs
- Material: Aluminum, Fabric, Plastic
- Maximum Weight: 155 lbs (per bed)
4.1. Rotate both the driver & passenger seats:
4.2. Slide both the driver & passenger seats towards the back:
4.3. Unfold the Cabbunk:
4.4. Place the Cabbunk over the seats (the poles go over and behind the seats. See next photo for clarification):
4.5. Install the vertical aluminum mounts on the driver/passenger sides:
4.6. Extend the poles of the upper/lower bed through the brackets:
Adjustments for First-Time Install Only
The aluminum mounts height can be adjusted via this screw:
The lower/upper bed height can be adjusted via this screw:
Peel off Velcro back adhesive and press against the van structure:
4.7. Adjust the upper/lower bed tension using the seat slider and/or incline:
That’s pretty much it! The bunk beds are ready for use 🙂
And here’s a video of the installation process:
Removal is super straightforward, it takes just a few seconds and it’s back in the storage bag 🙂
6. Our Humble Opinion
Overall we think it’s a great product, we like that a simple design fulfill the function so well. The aesthetics is where we’d like to see some improvements: the fabric is well made, no complains here. But the hardware (brackets, pole ends, etc.) looks like it was procured from the hardware store; a little too “DIY” looking for a product with a high price tag. Interestingly, the hardware in the official Cabbunk’s installation video (above) is looking much better than the hardware we got… Maybe we got a previous version, or the supply chain is to blame again?
We noticed that the pole ends of the lower bed are laying against the driver/passenger doors; this could potentially leave some scratches, and it could also prevent from adjusting the bed any lower. A solution could be to shorten the pole…
After the initial learning curve (just a few uses), the installation process is straightforward and easy enough to adopt this as a long term solution, we think.
We’re getting old, so the Cabbunk is not something we would use ourselves. The maximum allowable weight and size wouldn’t allow it anyway. That being said kids love that kind of setup, so if you have real word experience with the Cabbunk, please leave your feedback in the comment below! We’re especially interested of hearing about the comfort aspect. Thanks for contributing 🙂