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Minivan Camper Conversion

March 03, 2021

We camp a lot. Often backpacking, but sometimes car camping when we’re surfing at the coast, or travelling.

A year or two ago we got this really comfy mattress and moved from setting up a tent, to sleeping in the back of the van. Sleeping in the van means moving all of our gear from the back to the front, and then getting setup. Then each morning we do the same in reverse, before we can get moving for the day.

We’ve considered building out something for a while so we could store gear under a platform and sleep on top. We drew up some rough plans a couple months ago, but didn’t have some of the tools needed to get started.

Luckily, we had great weather this past weekend in Portland and Ted lent us a bunch of tools to get started. We bought some wood, screws and brackets, and got to work…

alt The plan…if you can make sense of it

alt Lots of wood to chop

alt And drill

alt The front half of the frame in progress.

alt Got to sand everything

alt First test!

alt Getting ready to cut the plywood into 3 sheets

alt The full frame in place. The front and back are two separate pieces.

alt Adding the finishing touches up front to support the edges

alt We don’t really have a good spot to work at our current place, so here’s the truck workbench. It was actually pretty solid

alt It works!

alt Very comfy to hang out in

Hoping to test it out this coming weekend. Maybe for an overnight ski trip??

Written by Mike Guida who enjoys prolonged outdoor adventures and building stuff with software. Follow him on Twitter