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Upper Bed Extension MOD w/Poll
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Which end do you sleep on in the upper bunk?
Head to the rear
4%
 4%  [ 6 ]
Head to the front
96%
 96%  [ 144 ]
Total Votes : 150

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Freesurf
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:07 pm    Post subject: Upper Bed Extension MOD w/Poll Reply with quote

I'll get to the MOD in a second, but first a simple poll.

I can't stand to sleep with my head to the rear....It's just too claustrophobic. So, I sleep with my head to the front. The problem is I'm 6' 3", and it just would be nice to have some extra room up there. Plus, my pillow seems to always end up on the floor. Confused

I came up with a solution for this problem.

I used 3/4" plywood that was wrapped in brown fleece material, stuffed with padding, then I stapled it around the edges.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


It stores just behind the folded up bed.

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I actually have been using the board (without the paddling or covering) for many years, but I just now finished the idea.

I can't wait to try out the finished product for a whole night.

Freesurf
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speedygeorge
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Upper Bed Extension MOD w/Poll Reply with quote

I have also made an extension but left 6 inches open for passing things up and down while extension is in place. I could never sleep with head at far end.
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madspaniard
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Upper Bed Extension MOD w/Poll Reply with quote

speedygeorge wrote:
I have also made an extension but left 6 inches open for passing things up and down while extension is in place. I could never sleep with head at far end.


x2

marine plywood, gray vinyl, and foam wraped in gray fabric, makes for bed extension and side-to-side pillow. It travels up there.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


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greenplasticme
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never tried to sleep up top; I'm 6'7". Very Happy

Sweet mod! How'd you get such a good fit with the plywood? Guess and check?
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kamzcab86
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never slept with my head towards the rear up in the loft. I laid up there once with my head towards the back... I laid there staring at the roof, envisioning a 2am bathroom run and slamming my head against the fiberglass in the process. No bed extension needed for me, but I have considered making one.
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Wellington
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another one of my project I havn't gotten to yet. I purchased another small matress cover of the same material, just need to get measuing, cutting and sewing
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm 6'4" and made a similar 6 inch extension so I could sleep with my head to the front. It allows me to talk to and see everyone below when I need too. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:02 am    Post subject: Re: Upper Bed Extension MOD w/Poll Reply with quote

Extremely interested in this MOD, but mostly so that I could safely put both kids to sleep upstairs (I'm short enough that I can sleep well up). I might drill some holes around so that we can what they're doing and to be able to grab it easily from downstairs (to break those moments in which little brothers fight each other)

Would it be possible to post some dimensions of the extension ? Did you use 3/4" or 1/2" plywood ? Also, when you store it, do you store it with the tapered section facing the back or the front ?

Thanks in advance!
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Freesurf
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dobryan - I like your idea of a 6" extension. I just went all the way, because I hate losing my pillow.

greenplasticme - Check and guess all the way. Even you could sleep up there with this extension. By buddy has sleep up there and he's 6'6.

madspaniard - nice one too. I like how thick it is, but I wanted to keep it the back all the time.

pnwkayaker - I used 3/4" plywood, same width as the bed, and a little short of where is meets the front. I notched it out around the hinge bracket, then free handed the curve to the front, then traced it to a cardboard template for the other side. I put the rounded edges to the rear for storage.

When I make my bed up there I put the board to the side (held by the hinge tubes), until I get situated, then flop it down when I'm ready for sleep.

Also, the board can tip/swivel to the front (just push on the front) to pass things back and forth.

Freesurf
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Love My Westy
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Because I am older, I use a 2" double Therma Rest inflatable mattress when I sleep upstairs. It's really cush and is about 8 to 10 inches longer than the bed so it overhangs and helps keep the pillows from falling off, yet still is flexible enough to allow me to climb down when I need to in the middle of the night. It fits perfectly side to side.
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have never slept with head towards back... up top


Regarding the extension.. If you have young kids sleeping up top.. it might be a good idea to make the extension thcker/taller.. Or full length like the OP's version.

My kids both have a tendency to "migrate" in their sleep. For whatever reason they wriggle towards that gap... not away from it. Pillows are inevitably on the van floor come morning.

They don't care much unless its a Teddy bear or some such that falls. Then its 3:00am and a flashlight. Cold.

A good friend had his son fall from the top.. Landed on the table mount behind the driver seat. AND... a trip to an emergency room.
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heliodon
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being 6'-4" I have followed the bed extension threads with interest. While I have been able to sleep upstairs without modifications it was clear that a bit of leg room would be great and a bed extension seemed a good approach to the vexing "bombs away" pillow loss problem. So, what a delight when MadSpaniard made a gift of plywood, foam, and fabric that was surplus from his own bed extension project. What a gentleman! I have now finished assembling my bed extension and it worked really well on a recent three-day Mendocino trip.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The extension is made from a 10" x 48" piece of plywood, which fits nicely spanning from side rail to side rail and filling the area between the end of the upper bunk and the vertical supports for the roof. I added a small wedge to the bottom of the driver's side to match the slope of the shelf on the passenger's side (you can see this at the bottom of the right hand image above). I stained the end grain of the plywood and finished the flat surfaces of the plywood with a vinyl fabric applied with contact cement. The 3" thick foam is covered with a substantial grey fabric and attached to the support board using short nylon straps with snaps.

I spent a bit of time pondering where the extension would go when we were not up in the bunk. How would a midnight run work? During travel the extension rides in the rooftop box. For storage while camping I ended up adding a double pronged coat hook (Home Depot, ~3$) to the bottom side of the extension so that I could hang it from the poptop frame crossbar when it is not in use.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


This seems to work well with a quick grab, rotate, and hang maneuver parking the extension out of the way for egress. I had to squeeze the prongs of the coat hook with my bench vise to open them up enough to fit the cross bar. Here is a view of the extension in place looking up from the van floor:

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and views of the bed extension parked on the cross bar and in place as an extension:

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This all seemed to work well during our recent trip - plenty of room for sleeping and no lost pillows. Regarding midnight runs - I was able to park the extension while half asleep and easily return it to use minutes later. My thanks to MadSpaniard for making this an easy project.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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Bassyaks
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like it, the pillow stays where you want it.
The last time out I slept on the lower bunk. Racoons were trying to get in the skylight/vent fan they were nawing on the weather striping seal, I'm glad I had the factory skylight closed as they could crawl in. I didn't sleep too good.
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Seb32
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trying to make myself an upper bunk extension as well and love Heliodon's version!

One question though:
How do you connect the cushion to the plank?
From the pics we can obviously see the nylon straps attached to the plank, but how did you attach the cushion fabric to the nylon straps? If you had a picture showing this it would be great!
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vanagonjr
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a extension, all wood. I find since that is where the pillow will be, it does not need to be padded.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kamzcab86 wrote:
No bed extension needed for me, but I have considered making one.


No longer considered. Laughing Started making one back in January, today it was completed (took forever to decide how to finish it):

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Details
Size: 11x48"
Foam: 2" thick (used what was left over from replacing the upper bed foam)
Vinyl: Marine-grade; glued to bottom of wood, stapled to top
Cloth: Duck cloth/canvas with zipper along back
Foam section is Velcro'd to wood section
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noganav
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice!

I'm going to make one with foam thick enough that it would be slightly compressed by the poptop when the roof is down. That way it will block the problem of warm air getting into the little gap between the bed and the poptop, condensing, and causing mold. Right now I put a blanket across the gap, but this would be even better.
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tam_shops
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ready and trying to copy you!

How'd you finish the corners on the dark blue section w/ the foam?
Are they just tucked in/under the foam or did you go to the trouble to L shape them and then sew it together or are there 3 (or 4) separate pieces? If the later is the case, did you use one piece of fabric, or a second one on the bottom?

The picture looks like one piece of fabric, but the taughtness of it suggests it's 3 separate pieces, sewn together...top, sides and bottom!

tam
kamzcab86 wrote:
kamzcab86 wrote:
No bed extension needed for me, but I have considered making one.


No longer considered. Laughing Started making one back in January, today it was completed (took forever to decide how to finish it):

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Details
Size: 11x48"
Foam: 2" thick (used what was left over from replacing the upper bed foam)
Vinyl: Marine-grade; glued to bottom of wood, stapled to top
Cloth: Duck cloth/canvas with zipper along back
Foam section is Velcro'd to wood section

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kamzcab86
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tam_shops wrote:
How'd you finish the corners on the dark blue section w/ the foam?
Are they just tucked in/under the foam or did you go to the trouble to L shape them and then sew it together or are there 3 (or 4) separate pieces? If the later is the case, did you use one piece of fabric, or a second one on the bottom?

The picture looks like one piece of fabric, but the taughtness of it suggests it's 3 separate pieces, sewn together...top, sides and bottom!


Sorry for the delay... was up in the high country enjoying the cool air. Very Happy

The two short sides were sewn to the top and bottom pieces. Top piece wraps over the front; sewn to the bottom piece along the bottom edge at front. Top and bottom pieces wrap over the back and are joined via a zipper. So, yeah, 4 total pieces out of 1 piece of fabric.
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tam_shops
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! I figured you were off having fun! Did you have a nice trip?

Mine is at an I can live with it state, but needs more work...

I wound up doing it in two pieces. Top that wrapped the sides. Back w/ a simple slit and serged edges where I put the zipper in. Hind sight, I'd have rolled those edges, as it added 1 cm (3/16"). I used a scrap of soft micca I had from something (so it has some stretch), that added to the fact that I must have added more seam allowance than I used, left mine a bit baggier than I'd have liked...

I also used a smaller piece of foam than you. $4 at Joanne Fabrics. So, it'd be nice if it were bigger, but I'm good with that for the $30 difference the exact size of foam I needed was...

Finally, I like the grey you used better, mine was darker, but again $4/yard vs $20/yard. I'll call this a prototype. Add up the difference between what it cost and what doing it right will cost and at the end of the summer, will bring it along to an event and put a FS sign on it! See if I can fund the supplies for doing it right! LOL I also have enough Vinyl to sew a proper Jack bag! LOL
kamzcab86 wrote:
tam_shops wrote:
How'd you finish the corners on the dark blue section w/ the foam?
Are they just tucked in/under the foam or did you go to the trouble to L shape them and then sew it together or are there 3 (or 4) separate pieces? If the later is the case, did you use one piece of fabric, or a second one on the bottom?

The picture looks like one piece of fabric, but the taughtness of it suggests it's 3 separate pieces, sewn together...top, sides and bottom!


Sorry for the delay... was up in the high country enjoying the cool air. Very Happy

The two short sides were sewn to the top and bottom pieces. Top piece wraps over the front; sewn to the bottom piece along the bottom edge at front. Top and bottom pieces wrap over the back and are joined via a zipper. So, yeah, 4 total pieces out of 1 piece of fabric.

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