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Old 05-22-2019, 12:05 PM   #1
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Plywood on top of slat bed?

Is a thin layer (5mm/0.25 inch) of plywood desirable on top of a slat bed to better support the mattress?

I am contemplating 1x3 slats with 3-4 inch high density foam for a mattress. The slats will run lengthwise for about 4.5 feet of a 6 foot long (by 4 foot wide) bed. The 1.5 feet at the head of the bed will be plywood. The bed expands lengthwise from 4 to 6 feet long (slat portion expands from 2.5 to 4.5 feet).

I may need to temporarily use Thermarests on the bed for a few nights before I can get the foam together (I'm assuming that the plywood would be required for the Thermarests).

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 05-22-2019, 12:50 PM   #2
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I would think with a 3-4" mattress you'd feel those slats. Go a little thicker and maybe not - our home mattress is on slats but is in the 10" range.

Also out of curiosity, what kind of van is this going in?
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Old 05-22-2019, 01:31 PM   #3
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Also out of curiosity, what kind of van is this going in?
Toyota Sienna (2007). So I'm trying to keep the bed thickness to a minimum (hence the thin mattress) to maximize storage and headroom as much as possible.

-Mike
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Old 05-23-2019, 07:30 AM   #4
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Depending how far apart your slats will be strips of Masonite might be good to consider. They could be cut wide enough to span the slats or run 90* to the slats when installed. If you're lucky they'd be narrow enough to stow away much easier than a full sheet of ply.
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Old 05-23-2019, 09:17 AM   #5
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I like the masonite idea. Lighter and cheaper than ply. Slats will be nominal 1x3, so 2.5" wide with a slightly larger gap between them so it's easy to slide in and out. Hardboard should be strong enough to span that, right?

Either ply or masonite/hardboard should be easy to store. Will be three 4 foot wide strips... 1.5, 2.5, and 2 foot wide. They can all store between the slats and mattress with only the 2x4 foot piece needing to be slid out to make the bed. In the stored position, the bed will be 4 feet by 4 feet.

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 05-23-2019, 09:57 AM   #6
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I built a bed platform with slats and didn't put anything between the mattress and the slats. Couldn't feel them. The mattress I got was a foam mattress from Ikea. It is pretty firm so maybe depending on the firmness, you may or may not feel the slats.
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Old 05-25-2019, 03:26 PM   #7
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Whatever solution you try that works out please let us know----it'll be interesting I'm sure.
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Old 05-25-2019, 06:25 PM   #8
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Masonite and plywood are hard and rigid. The idea of a slat bed is that the pieces flex and act as a suspension. If you're going to put rigid material over it, just use rigid material only.
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Old 05-25-2019, 07:01 PM   #9
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I was thinking slats were the most effective way to expand the bed. I need it to be 4x4 feet in travel mode and 4x6 for sleeping. The 18" at the head of the bed (back of van) should be able to be lifted off for storage (cooler/fridge) access with bed in travel or sleep mode.

My slats were going to run lengthwise so not sure how much suspension they would provide. I'm not opposed to going solid all the way, but not exactly sure how the support system would fold up/get out of the way. The slats seemed like they would work well for that.

This is a prototype/proof of concept, so I'd like it to be cheap/easy/easy to upgrade into a future final design. I fully expect to play with different heights, or even have the final design be modular so it can be used at different heights for different trips. Needs to be able to be easily removed from the van, and preferably not take up a huge amount of garage space when not in the van.

-Mike
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Old 05-25-2019, 07:40 PM   #10
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see posts starting at #99 here....4" foam cushions (3" stiff..1" a bit less stiff)....can't feel slats...


http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...-10808-10.html


cushion descriptions are in post 135 here:


http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...-10808-14.html
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