Are you planning a trip and want to keep your expenses low? If this is indeed so, then you can save cash on accommodation with this simple solution: make a sleeping platform in your vehicle yourself. You might be thinking "how can I do this?", or perhaps "I cannot do this!" Don’t worry, I'm about to to tell you the steps you can take to make a comfortable sleeping platform.


  • One board measuring 1 x 4 in. × 8 ft.
  • One board measuring 2 x 2 in. × 8 ft
  • Eight boards measuring 1 x 3 in. × 8 ft.
  • Ten boards measuring 2 x 3 in. × 8 ft.
  • A pack of 2, 1 ¼ and ½ inches wood screws
  • One plywood sheet measuring 4 x 8 ft. × ½ inches
  • 4 door hinges or 2 piano hinges
  • Furniture Glue
  • Sandpaper
  • 2 clamps
  • Drill
  • Hacksaw
  • Marker


You'll need to change the measurements according to your vehicle. We are discussing here the measurements for 2 people in a full-sized standard van. We have created the pull out sleeping platform as it occupies less space.

1. Take the Accurate Measurements of Your Vehicle

You need to decide what size bed can easily fit into your vehicle. You must take the accurate measurements of your vehicle.

Length: You need to measure the length of the interior of the vehicle by sitting on the back side of the front seat. Take the measurements in such a way that your bed does not stick to the rear door of the vehicle. Considering these factors, we measured a 77-inch platform.

Height: You need to consider whether there is anything that you’ll need to store underneath the platform. If yes, measure that object and that height will be the height of your platform. Our platform was 17 inches tall.

Width: For measuring the width, decide the number of people who’ll use the bed and the type of mattress that you are going to use. Our platform measures 42 in. wide as we wanted to use two 20-inch sleeping pads.

2. Cutting of the Boards

The three frames in rectangular shape are used to create the platform.

You need to cut the boards according to the measurements.

  • Cut the five pieces measuring 2 x 3 x 77 inches long
  • Cut the eight pieces measuring 2 x 3 x 19.5 inches wide
  • Cut the twelve pieces measuring 2 x 3 x 10 inches tall
  • Measure the area required to clear the wheel well of your vehicle. For a 77 inch bottom frame, cut the two pieces measuring 2 x 3 inches.
  • For slats, you need to cut the 15 pieces measuring 1 x 3 x 24 inches and 2 pieces of 1 x 4 x 24 inches
  • You’ll need three pieces of 2 x 2 x 21.5 inches for sliding crossbars
  • Using one piece of 1 x 4 x 9.5 inches, you can create the structural support gusset

3. Arrange the Frames to Create Pocket Holes

Here you have 20 small-sized pieces on which you need to create 2 pocket holes using a drill. Now, with the help of furniture glue, join the three frames.

4. Join the Platform Box

Join the platform box using the eight pieces of 19.5 inches with the glue at the end. Fix the 2 inch screws into the pocket holes that you have created earlier.

5. Connect the Sliding Extension

Place the 1 x 4 inch slat board across the one end of the main box and fix it to the third frame using the 2 screws.

Fix properly 1 x 3 inch slat piece against the 1 x 4 inch board using the screws. Make sure to attach it to the main box only. The area between the slat boards and the width of the slat should be equal. Screw the slats on both ends that attach to the main box and screw only one end that meets the third frame. Follow the same procedure with the second piece that measures 1 x 4 inches.

6. Finish the Edges

Finish the edges using the sandpaper.

7. Prepare the Folding Platform

Use the 2 hinges and the ½ inch screws to create the folding platform.

8. Join the gusset and Extender Piece

For additional support, join the gusset using the 1 x 4 x 9.5 inch board. Attach the gusset pieces to the third frame using 1 ¼ inch screws. Use the 4 inch wide board as an extender guard on the third frame to protect the bed in the folding position.

9. Your Bed is Ready

With all the correct measurements and technique, your bed is ready to use.