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grunwin Thu Mar 29, 2007 5:11 pm

Has anyone modified the stock padding in the top bunk? I find the 2 inches of 20-year-old foam rubber insufficient (by which I mean my wife finds it insufficient). I recently came across a pretty good deal on memory foam bed toppers in varying thicknesses: http://www.overstock.com/?page=proframe&prod_id=1862668

I measured the existing pads while still in the covers and came up with the big pad being 47"x44"x2" and the small pad being 27"x44"x2" with a total dimension of 71"x47"x2". With those measurements, it looks like one could cut the 2" full size pad from the above link to match the existing pad sizes and re-stuff the existing pad covers. (I did some internet digging and there doesn't seem to be a problem with cutting the memory foam.) 2" still seems chintzy to me but I have to think 2" of memory foam is going to be more comfortable than 2" of foam rubber. I suppose one could go a little thicker if one were crafty enough to make new covers and assuming the top could still go down. I'm not.

I think I'm going to go for it. I'll keep you posted.

psych-illogical Thu Mar 29, 2007 5:19 pm

I cut down a memory foam pad for my upper bunk. It was very comfortable but memory foam is heavy stuff. The extra thickness can't be left up there when you fold up the bed. It's too thick and the top won't close. So, you gotta take it down, roll it up and stow it behind the seat. Did I mention heavy? I ended up scrapping that idea and bought an 'eggshell foam' matress pad from Wally Mart. It's much more comfortable than just the standard 2" pad and it's light weight so it's really easy to roll up and stow away. The eggshell is nearly as comfortable as the memory foam, tons cheaper and tons lighter.

Randy in Maine Thu Mar 29, 2007 6:42 pm

Anybody ever try to use the memory foam for the bottom bed?

(My back requested that I post this)

kevinbassplayer Thu Mar 29, 2007 7:39 pm

I have the "eggshell" foam on my lower bunk, makes it very comfy!

msinabottle Thu Mar 29, 2007 9:05 pm

I've been wondering if one of those self-inflating camping pads might make the upper bunk a bit more comfortable, I'd hope for one wide enough to do the entire upper bunk. You'd tuck it into the dead space at the very back, open the valve when you wanted to use the upper berth, then squeeze the air out of it when you were done.

Haven't yet seen one in a 'Full' size, though.

Best!

1621 Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:15 pm

After my 1.8T conversion I was left with a slightly raised decklid (actually pretty cool because it provides additional storage). This left my bottom bunk out of whack. I ended up replacing the pad over the engine with a double layer of 2" memory foam and put them back inside the original pad cover.

Now when I lay down on the bottom bunk, it is SOOO nice! Everything works out to be level, and the foam is MUCH nicer than the original foam mattress.

As for the top bunk, I have given it some thought too. You would need to remove the old padding and replace it entirely with a memory foam mattress topper. I think 2" would be the max you could put up top without having to pull everything down each time you close up the bed. The snap down "cover" would sort of keep things marginally compressed up there, which could actually be a good thing in the end. This would in effect make the pad "denser" across the board.

The best test would be to buy a pad from one of the bedding stores, try taking a nap on it, with it resting on a hard surface, and then deciding if it is worth keeping. You may find it doesn't provide enough support, or simply doesn't feel right. Regardless, give it a test run before you commit to keeping it.

Oh yeah, the foam cuts up very easily. No problems there.

Here's some pictures of what I'm talking about above. Note I do not have the memory foam in these pictures, this is with the original pad.





Lundy

Tomswesty Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:01 am

I use the memory foam for the lower and it makes a huge difference, you can accually sleep well. Since there are only two of us I use to the top to store all the gear at night. Works really good that way.

I think I got the twin size and cut it down so it doesn't over lap on to the sides of the closet to help keep as much room to sleep. When not is use I put it up on the upper bunk. I just store the other foam piece at home and never use it.

grunwin Fri Mar 30, 2007 3:11 pm

I was thinking of completely replacing the top bunk padding with memory foam rather than augmenting the existing padding. It seems like if the top can lock shut with 2" of foam rubber it should be able to close with 2" of memory foam.

Lundy, do you have the memory foam over the engine and then just the flattened back bench with its original padding? If so, is it weird to have the two different materials?

bucko Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:27 pm

msinabottle wrote: I've been wondering if one of those self-inflating camping pads might make the upper bunk a bit more comfortable, I'd hope for one wide enough to do the entire upper bunk. You'd tuck it into the dead space at the very back, open the valve when you wanted to use the upper berth, then squeeze the air out of it when you were done.

Haven't yet seen one in a 'Full' size, though.

Best!

Yep, this is what I did. One of the camping places here in town sells Colman inflatable air beds in every size. I just inflate and put over the standard pads we have. When it's time to go, deflate and store them under the rear seat.

Be sure to buy a 12 volt air pump!

1621 Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:42 pm

grunwin wrote: I was thinking of completely replacing the top bunk padding with memory foam rather than augmenting the existing padding. It seems like if the top can lock shut with 2" of foam rubber it should be able to close with 2" of memory foam.

Lundy, do you have the memory foam over the engine and then just the flattened back bench with its original padding? If so, is it weird to have the two different materials?

No it's not. I sleep with my head towards the rear, so my upper body is entirely on the memory foam. I initially thought I'd go with 2" only because the original foam is 4", minus the 2" raised decklid. However the foam does compress so I ended up putting in an extra 2". I think if you're simply replacing the foam, you may want to experiment with something thicker than 4" by using the 3" mattress topper. Then simply double this up. You could also probably get away with using a different/cheaper layer for the bottom and stay with the less expensive 2". Regardless, I find the new set up much more comfortable than the original set up, even with the two different foams.

Lundy

slowesty Sat Mar 31, 2007 9:51 am

Here's what I did:

1. Bought 2" California King memory foam from overstock for $80.

2. Cut it right down the middle (easy)

3. One slab is folded in thirds and stores perfectly in the space in the back of the top buck where some of you probably put a table. When it is time to sleep we just unfold it and sleep.

4. The other slab of foam is rolled up like a sleeping bag and held in place with 2 compression straps. It compresses to about the size of 12" x 8". I just keep it in the back and roll it out when we make the bed

This seems to work perfectly for me, my wife and 2 kids. Cutting the Cali King in half isn't quite enough to cover each bed all the way across, but we only have about a 3" gap on either side and it doesn't impact sleeping. The foam I store like a sleeping bag is a little beat up because memory foam is fragile, but it has lasted 2 years and probably has 5 more (there are a couple duct tape fixes) before I do it again.

My father-in-law, who spared no expense on his westy, replaced all the stock foam with memory foam....both top and bottom. Nice, but expensive.

I prefer my $80 method, and when I camp by myself, I get the luxury of 4" of memory foam to sleep on plus the bottom bunk!

BTW - This is one upgrade that will score huge points with the wife. Two of my friends were required to do this set-up exactly after the wives checked out how comfy our bottom bed was....

climberjohn Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:19 pm

If you want foam on the top AND bottom beds of a Westy, I fully agree with those who suggest the California King size 2" foam from overstock.com.

I got the regular king size and wish I had gotten the wider by 3 inches CA king.

Cutting the CA king right down the middle give you two identical near perfectly sized mattresses for both top and bottom bunks.

The top foam DOES store well in the top while driving. Fold it so two 1/4s are in the very back, and the other half lays flat.

Note that the foam I got had a nasty outgassing smell, and needed to be aired out in the garage about a full 2 weeks before I wanted to have it in the van.

One more tip: get some cheap comforter/duvet covers from Ikea or JC Penny's, and slip them over the foam. If the covers are too big, this is an easy sewing project to make them a bit smaller

It's a GREAT enhancement, and as mentioned, scores big points with the wife.

-CJ

DAIZEE Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:37 pm

2" memory foam from a small mattress maker (I mean small as in business vs small as in size) is THE best, its a bit more expensive but it is well worth it and actually almost economical when compared to a thicker foam. I got my new upholetry from the same fellow I had made my mattress which I wanted on a board not a box spring. I got the bed mattress TOOOOO firm and have added a 2" memory on top.

I went to this same small business mattress maker with my old disintegrated/mangled foam from a squirrel when I bought scooby and made a deal. No way was I going to an upholestry place. I got the foam and the fabric all made for substantially less than an upholester and it was custom made! Love it.

When I knew I couldn't sleep in a water bed anymore, I went to an air mattress. WHAT A MISTAKE. I need firm but not rigid. I eventually got a mattress and box spring before the aforementionned above. Even pre Vanagon camping in a tent with air mattresses, my aging body became more and more intolerant.

The first night I slept in Scooby Blu up north in Bracebridge, I didn't even remember falling asleep and I didn't wake up once until my face was washed by a very dry tongue of my 9 lb Munchkin. She's very persistant!!

Rodknock Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:02 pm

I used inflatable "Camprest" mattress pads for a while. They work ok, but a pain to get just right for comfort and a pain to roll up and put away. Then I got the 2" memory foam for both top and bottom. Much nicer, and I can shut my pop top no problem although I did trim the upper foam pad to be narrower and not put a lot of strain on the pop top.

bottom...


top...

SpudlyHotPotato Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:41 am

I just saw this thread and thought I'd link to another thread where I described what we did with memory foam:

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=416699&highlight=

I had good luck finding my memory foam on craigslist in Phoenix, from a store that sells the 2nds from normal department stores. They had loads of them in all sizes for $70/ea so that Overstock.com $80 sounds pretty good. Ours was 3" thick, and it was a 2nd from a department store because it had lost its vacuum seal and busted the box open.

We just got some really cheap quilted duvets from Ikea and safety-pinned them around it. They had a dark brown color that matches the interior of our 1985 van.

In our experience, even the California Kings aren't big enough to split in half and have good coverage on top and down below. Well, you would if only one person was sleeping on the bed. But we made ours to fit the whole entire bottom and the whole entire top so two can sleep there.

80qtdi Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:56 am

We use a 2" memory foam pad up top and fold it in thirds at the back of the top so the bed can fold flat. The top closes just fine, it does have to compress the memory foam a little bit to close.

Jon

PDXWesty Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:34 am

You always have the option of closing the top without folding up the top bunk. You can store more in the top that way such as bedding, pads, and blankets. I carry my solar panel up there that way because it is too big to fit anywhere else. Then I lay blankets and pads over it and leave the bunk unfolded. It works really well and gives you much more space.

Destructo Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:36 am

PDXWesty wrote: You always have the option of closing the top without folding up the top bunk. You can store more in the top that way such as bedding, pads, and blankets. I carry my solar panel up there that way because it is too big to fit anywhere else. Then I lay blankets and pads over it and leave the bunk unfolded. It works really well and gives you much more space.

Weird, last time I tried this the center bar you use to lift the pop-top hit the bunk on the way down and interfered with the top fully closing. Guess I'll try this again :?

PDXWesty Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:52 am

Destructo wrote:
Weird, last time I tried this the center bar you use to lift the pop-top hit the bunk on the way down and interfered with the top fully closing. Guess I'll try this again :?

Mine is an 89. I'm not sure if ealier years are different. Make sure the bunk leaf is pushed back to the rear after it is unfolded. There's some play in the hinges that allow this.

SteelB12 Sat Sep 03, 2011 9:16 am

After a really bad night's "sleep" I found this thread and decided to buy a memory foam topper. Just ordered a Cali King 2" from Overstock for $49.99 + $1 shipping.

Haven't yet decided if this will supplement the stock foam or will replace the upper bunk foam.



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