If you’ve never travelled in a van before, then it can be challenging to know how to use the small area most effectively. Especially when it comes to working out what type of bed to choose. Therefore, getting the right campervan bed is essential to enjoying life on the road; nothing is fun if you haven’t managed to get a good night’s sleep.

Campervan bed ideas, what to pick

Choosing to explore the custom vans out there or completing your own camper conversion is a great way to get the bed set up you want and to personalise the space to work for you. To give you some inspiration, today we’re going to be looking at different bed builds to show you what options are out there.

1. Static Bed

Campervan bed - static bed and garage at back
© @vincentvanlife

A static bed at the back of your van is probably the most classic campervan bed, especially for those who choose to convert their own Sprinter style van.

This style of bed is so popular as it means you do not have to construct your bed every day, its there waiting for you when you’re ready to fall into it. Another brilliant reason to have a static bed at the back is the ‘garage’ storage area it creates below, great for storing outdoor gear.

The main downside to having a static bed is that it often means you miss out on a large seating area. This isn’t great, especially if you want to be able to host other people in your van, or if you plan on spending a lot of time inside your van. Having said that isn’t a bed just a giant seat anyway?!  

2. Pull Out Campervan Bed

Image © Two Van Birds

If you do want more room to move around in the day and a place to sit, then a pull out campervan bed that converts from a seat into bed may be the way to go for you. A pull out bed can be a great option as you have more space to chill out comfortably in the day time, without feeling like you have been in bed all day.

Pull out beds are generally quick to construct as they are made to slide out from the seat position easily. On top of this, the mattress is formed from the two sofa cushions, so you do not need to store mattress pads elsewhere, you will, however, need to store your bedding and extra pillows somewhere during the day- under the seat perhaps? 

3. Stackable Bed

For adventurous, outdoorsy people, having the freedom to store large items when in transit, such as a bike or even a motorbike is important. A stackable campervan bed is an excellent bed option that allows you to do so.

This type of bed is a double bed that dismantles into sections to be stored out of the way during the day. As well as giving you more space to store gear, a stackable bed gives you the space to move easily around your camper in the daytime, and an open plan, airy feel. On the downside, you would have to assemble your bed every night, which can be a hassle, especially if you’re tired after a day on the trail. 

4. Table To Bed

Video © Sweet Van Life

If you work from home in your camper or enjoy having sit down meals, then having a table in your van is going to be a priority. A table and seats surrounding it can take up a large amount of space, so combining it with the bed is a great way to give the area a double use.

By using the tabletop as part of the base for the bed, you are minimising the number of extra things your need to store to be able to construct your bed, saving space for other van life essentials. You are also eliminating the need to find somewhere to store your table when in bed mode. This type of bed is large and comfortable, and you still have plenty of storage under the bench seats. 

5. Murphy Campervan Bed

Floor space might be important to you in your home on wheels, and if this is the case, then a murphy campervan bed is an excellent option to consider. A murphy bed is a bed that folds down from the wall, traditionally seen in small apartments. If done well, the murphy bed can be a stylish choice, with everything hidden out of sight during the day.

A major bonus of this style of bed is that there is no need to construct your bed every day; it just flips down. You can also have a full mattress, meaning that there will be no annoying gaps between cushions to slide down when your sleeping.

If you don’t want so much floor space, you could build a bench seat for the bed to rest on when it is flip down, giving you the best of both worlds. 

6. Rock’n’Roll Campervan Bed

A rock’n’roll bed was a more traditional campervan bed style, initially seen in the classic VW bus. The Rock’n’roll bed allows you to have a seat that quickly and easily turns into a double bed.

This style of bed is great if you’re travelling in a compact camper van and need your bed to pull out lengthways. It’s also brilliant if you need some extra seat-belted seats in your van as you can buy units that can be used safely and legally as passenger seats. While rock’n’roll beds are practical, they are often not the most comfortable bed and can mean that you lose out on vital storage space.  

7. Kid’s Pods

Campervan bed - kids pods
© This Moving House

If you’re looking to hit the road with your family in tow, it can be a real headache working out how to give everyone there own bed and private space. When travelling with young children this may not be so much of an issue, but as the kids get older, everyone is likely to enjoy the trip more if they have a ‘room’ to call there own. One great solution for this is pod beds.

These pods are a great piece of design, practical and aesthetically pleasing, and make squeezing space for four to sleep in a van look easy. While these pods are brilliant, they do not look like a job any DIY-er could do so you will either need to be a skilled builder or commission someone else to complete the work for you. 

8. Over Cab Campervan Bed

Campervan bed - over cab bed
© @camper_travels

Some larger vans or old school motorhomes have space over the driver’s cab. If you own a van like this, then this is a great area to build your campervan bed. By doing so, you have a static bed that you do not need to assemble every day that is entirely out of the way of the main living area. This gives you more space to play with, in your main build, for gear storage, seating or whatever takes your fancy.

A downside to this style of bed is that you may not have a huge amount of headroom, depending on the style of your van.  

9. Bunk Beds

Kids bunk bed over adults bed
© @fitetravels

Squeezing more than two people into a small camper can be a struggle, but with some intelligent design, it can be done and done well. Bunk beds are a great way to add an extra campervan bed into your build and an excellent solution to sleeping the little ones. They’re compact and can be a fun and exciting way to get children into camping.

By placing the bunk bed above the main bed, no extra floor space is taken up in your camper that can be used for other living areas. When constructing a bunk bed, make sure that it is securely attached to the van and can hold the weight of a person! 

10. Electronic Campervan Bed

van life ideas - raised bed
@homesweetvan

For me, this is The Ultimate campervan bed solution, an electronic bed that disappears into the ceiling at the press of a button. Having an electric bed is like having a static bed and a seating area at the same time, your bed is always made and ready to go but can be put out of sight when you want to chill in the day.

While this is a fantastic bed solution, the system is expensive compared to other bed setups and can be heavy, so it will take up a lot of your camper’s weight allowance. On top of this, you do lose the ‘garage’ storage space that a static bed gives you, but you can still have plenty of storage under the bench seats that are below the bed.  

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right campervan bed for you is an individual process and depends on many factors such as budget, needs and amount of people travelling.

Getting your set up right is so important as the bed takes up a large amount of space inside a van, no matter what design you go for.

If you don’t like what you choose, there is no hiding from it, and it isn’t a quick job to change. Hopefully, these ten different options have given you some inspiration and some ideas on your perfect campervan bed. For more content from the Van Clan Team, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

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