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Old 05-10-2011, 09:15 PM   #1
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Penthouse bed design (1 , 2 or 3 pieces)

Hi,
I was going to pick up the upper bed from SMB in the summer but it looks like I will need the bed before the summer. As such, I plan to build my own, and would like to get some specific instructions on how and I would like to know how the bed is hung from the ceiling.
Well, my SMB is still on its way and expected to be here in a couple of days. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Spec: GMC3500 (2007) PH top. EB

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:45 AM   #2
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Re: Penthouse bed design (1 , 2 or 3 pieces)

Depends on the model. I have the EB-50 and the two piece works well for me. I can slide the bed forward to stand up to dress or get ready for bed. I can slide it back over top of the back section so it's out of the way while not attached to the roof. How you climb up to the bed might make a difference...I use a folding step ladder to go to the refrigerator then up top.
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:58 AM   #3
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Re: Penthouse bed design (1 , 2 or 3 pieces)

The bed simply rests in the rails of the PH top. All you need to do is get the width right, use something that won't break under your weight, and you are there. Only other measurement you'll need is the maximum thickness so as to not interfere with the PH. It should be pretty obvious once you get your van.

From there, let your creativity run wild. Mine is in three pieces and runs the entire length. It has notches cut out for the front and rear PH hooks as well as the PH electric motor.

I would wait until you get your van so that you can take your own measurements just to be sure you get it right...

OBTW, my first PH bed is a single piece and does not have any notches cut for the electric motor. It is currently collecting dust in my storage unit. If memory serves, it is about 74" long give or take a couple of inches. Feel free to make me a reasonable offer. I'm thinking something like free if you will get it out of my storage unit for me...

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Old 05-11-2011, 09:35 AM   #4
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Re: Penthouse bed design (1 , 2 or 3 pieces)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jessenej
Only other measurement you'll need is the maximum thickness so as to not interfere with the PH.
I have about an extra inch, and use the gap to store reflectix. I know other people put their bedding in the gap- point is you have some wiggle room in that direction, especially if you go with thick soft foam that can crush down easy.

Also:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1177&hilit=bed

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Old 05-11-2011, 11:23 AM   #5
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Re: Penthouse bed design (1 , 2 or 3 pieces)

I recall a long ago post where someone mentioned that the beds were made of something like "span grade" plywood, instead of just regular 3/4. I think they even posted a plywood association spec sheet.

Pont being, if this is true, regular plywood may be too bendy. Good luck.
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:29 AM   #6
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Re: Penthouse bed design (1 , 2 or 3 pieces)

Thanks all. Now I get the clear picture as to what I need to build.
I do need to determine the type of the plywood or/panel that I need to support the weight.
Total weight it needs to support should be less than 300lbs, and I was going to use 3/4 sheet cabinet grade maple or red oak. I will also look up span grade bluedog225 mentioned below.
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:47 PM   #7
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Re: Penthouse bed design (1 , 2 or 3 pieces)

If you're using plywood to span, make sure that you orientate the grain in the correct direction, aka across the span and not longitudinally with the van. It is much stronger this way. If you are using standard sheetgoods, this does however limit you to a maximum 4' long section.
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Old 05-11-2011, 01:26 PM   #8
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Re: Penthouse bed design (1 , 2 or 3 pieces)

Hopefully I can find the right stuff at Homedepot or Lowes.

Good news is, the SMB NA is sending me the hardware material I need to build the bed (hooks, loops, screws and etc). Nancy has been super great to work with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockbender
If you're using plywood to span, make sure that you orientate the grain in the correct direction, aka across the span and not longitudinally with the van. It is much stronger this way. If you are using standard sheetgoods, this does however limit you to a maximum 4' long section.
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Old 05-11-2011, 02:00 PM   #9
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Re: Penthouse bed design (1 , 2 or 3 pieces)

Other than lifting one and noting the $400 cost I did not pay much attention to the SMB bed.

My van is a Chev Express extended van (you did not say the length of yours). I made our bed out of 3/4" cabinet grade birch (?) plywood from Home Depot. It measures 40 1/4 inch wide by 78 inches long. The strip I cut off the side of the sheet of plywood I used to reinforce the ends of the bed. The foot of the bed (were we climb onto the bed) has 6 3/4 strip of the cut off added to make to 1 1/2 inches thick and the head of the bed has a 4 inch strip added (glued) to it to make it 1 1/2 thick. Half way between the ends I added 3/4" x 1 1/2" x 6" supports to both sides since the bed is supported on the SMB rails by the reinforcing end strips. This design gives my 6' frame an extra 3/4" of head room under the bed when the bed is down on the rails. The ends of the bed are rounded to make them head friendly and I carpeted the top and ends. We use two Therm-a-rests for matrices and leave all bedding on the bed and the bed made when stowed. Works fine for us.
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Old 05-11-2011, 03:37 PM   #10
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Re: Penthouse bed design (1 , 2 or 3 pieces)

Great info. I've just updated my posting. It's an EB just like yours.
I guess I have to choose where to add that extra 3/4! (headroom under the bed or the thicker padding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LenS
Other than lifting one and noting the $400 cost I did not pay much attention to the SMB bed.

My van is a Chev Express extended van (you did not say the length of yours). I made our bed out of 3/4" cabinet grade birch (?) plywood from Home Depot. It measures 40 1/4 inch wide by 78 inches long. The strip I cut off the side of the sheet of plywood I used to reinforce the ends of the bed. The foot of the bed (were we climb onto the bed) has 6 3/4 strip of the cut off added to make to 1 1/2 inches thick and the head of the bed has a 4 inch strip added (glued) to it to make it 1 1/2 thick. Half way between the ends I added 3/4" x 1 1/2" x 6" supports to both sides since the bed is supported on the SMB rails by the reinforcing end strips. This design gives my 6' frame an extra 3/4" of head room under the bed when the bed is down on the rails. The ends of the bed are rounded to make them head friendly and I carpeted the top and ends. We use two Therm-a-rests for matrices and leave all bedding on the bed and the bed made when stowed. Works fine for us.
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