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Old 05-28-2019, 10:39 PM   #11
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Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Riverside, CA
Posts: 385
I think your happiness with the 4" foam on slats, or even masonite or plywood will depend on your weight. At 260 lbs I find 4" memory foam not comfortable after several hours laying on it. I'm sure if I was 100 lbs lighter I would have a different opinion.

You can always do the slats, then add the masonite later if you need to.

Tim Potts

2012 Chevrolet Express 3500 6.0
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Old 05-30-2019, 12:05 PM   #12
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Location: Bellingham WA
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An extremely important aspect of the underlayment is breathability and that's part of why slats are used below bunks. Condensation will form on a solid material from the heat differential generated by your body on top to the bottom of the mattress (where it is cooler), and that will develop mold/mildew. Use a permeable material, or if you use solid at least put down an air flow layer between the solid surface and the mattress. There is a plastic deck system sold commonly for marine use and shower floors called Dri-deck, or something like that, that comes in 12" by 12" snap together squares, and its light; I've used it with great effect in my sailboat berths. I would use painted masonite or even a perforated aluminum sheet (these can often be sourced at metal scrap yards for the cost of the metals weight) if at all possible over solid. Cheers, Nathan

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Old 06-08-2019, 06:22 PM   #13
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Thanks for the input everyone! I ended up not using a solid piece at all (slats only). The direct quote from the boss (who wasn't 100% on board before the test) was that it was "surprisingly comfortable". And that was just with Thermarests (they are the extra thick Camprest, however). Ultimately, we will get/make a foam cushion top.

Please don't mock my workmanship as I'm a hack at woodworking and I threw this together faster than I wanted to. The supporting frame is all made from 5/4 x 6 (true 1" x 5.5") deck boards that I had lying around. The slats are standard 1x3. Back section lifts off and the main section is hinged to access storage.

It has its issues, and this was only one night, but I think it's going to be a good starting point. This trip had to seat 3 and sleep 2 hence the middle row seat still in place. I need the 3rd row available for use for the next year, so it's still in there, too. After that, it will come out and we'll lower the bed for more headroom.


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