Sorry for being so slow in posting build updates: life and working on the van seem to take precedence over writing.
With a fan, insulation and a floor (and temporary Reflectix window covers which I have not documented) it was time to make the van live-able. Or at least to turn it into a steel tent.
In the Transit, the wider body makes an “east-west” bed possible at about 30” high or higher on the HR – the “beltline” of the Transit. A 72”-74” bed long fits. The best I could eek out with my E-350 was a 69” transverse bed.
The advantage of the mid-or high roof is that lots of stuff can be stored under the bed in the “garage.” With a high roof (which allows a higher bed) , a bike can be stored under a bed; there are tons of impressive designs on the ‘net. With a midroof, storing a bike with the saddle in place is iffy.
So I decided to build a twin bunk at about 30” off the floor, east-west. I did not push the bunk all the way to the back of the van, instead leaving about 18” between the rear edge of the van and the rear doors for some full-height storage. If I ever decide to change the bed to a double/full, the space is there (if I delete the bikes). As it stands, the bunk is centered over the wheelwells.
The supports for the bunk are attached to the walls at the head and foot. I didn’t want any legs in the middle of the garage. Actually, this shouldn’t have been a difficult design requirement as basically I was spec’ing a standard bed with very tall legs.
As noted elsewhere, the Transit is rife with holes which can accommodate pre-bulbed inserts, or PlusNuts. ¼-20 bolts fit nicely. And so I simply made a header and footer from 1x3 pine, attached to the wall with four bolts/PlusNuts per side. Weight is supported by the wall mounts, as well as the legs that rest on the floor.
To avoid the squeeks that can come with wood-on-metal, I glued strips of rubber mesh no-slip drawer liner (get it in hideous colors at the Dollar Store -- who cares?) to the wood at all points of contact with metal (HDX spray adhesive from Home Depot).
The sheet metal in a Transit is thin. The BEMM stipulates that no single point shou1d support more than 60 lbs. My bunk has 8 PlusNuts (and the legs rest on the floor) so I think my bunk is safe.
For the cross rails and platform, it was time for an Ikea run. Any college student who has slept on a futon for a year will tell you not to flip the futon: it is nasty and gross and black. Body moisture + no air circulation on a wood platform = mold. So I opted for the Ikea Luroy slats ($30) and built simple side rails from 1x3 and 1x2 pine.
While I was sawing and gluing, I built the frames to cover the wheel wells. I *might* have a water tank on the passenger side wheel well, so the cladding structures were built to hold a baby rhinoceros.
The notch in the bed leg reveals a factory M8 threaded hole – I believe for a seatbelt mount. I will use this to attach a strap to lash the jack, which Ford stores under the passenger seat.
So that’s it: I added a 4” Ikea foam mattress and I had a bunk! A quick trip to Moab to test it, and it passed with flying colors.
In the pix you will see the mattress end resting against the Thinsulate insulation. Niches for head and foot are definitely needed. And the Ikea mattress is very firm, so a softer topper may be in the offing.
NOTE: I did find after my shakedown trip that I needed to add weatherstripping foam to the slat-rails to keep the slats from rattling on bumpy roads. Problem sorted.