Today was a warm and gloriously clear day with brilliant sunshine and gentle breezes… Man, I adore South Texas!  It is late-January and we were bumming around in shorts and tank tops!

We made some progress on the Tiny Home conversion!  Finally!!

The supplies we had on-hand for the rails are:

  • Two 2x6x8 for the lower supports, $4.50 each
  • Two 2x3x8 for the upper supports, $2.00 each
  • 14 M8-1.25-60 bolts, $1 each, with split washers and big washers, another $.50 each
  • 1.25″ doorknob hole cutter to template the recess
  • 1″ paddle drill bit to clear out the recess
  • 1/2″ drill bit, one pretty small bit for a guide hole (1/4″ maybe?)
  • Socket & ratchet to tighten
  • File to smooth the wood’s ends
  • Sawzall (reciprocating saw)  to cut the boards (don’t have a circular…) & cut the ramps.  Wood and Metal blades.
  • Sawhorses to hold stuff
  • Cargo straps to temporarily hold it all together
  • ATV-Loading Ramps to span the width of the van and hold the mattress
  • Full-Sized Mattress (74′ length fits perfectly, 54″ width)
  • Piece of plywood that had been a buckboard for this mattress, wrapped in an old bedsheet.  (This was made years ago for the bed this mattress lived in.)

We started out measuring the lengths that we wanted the wood to run down the sides of the van.  We will be using these for other supports, so we ran pretty much the entire length we could.  One wall had two RivNuts to attach with, and the other wall has four… but out local hardware store only had FOUR bolts to fit it, so we are temporarily only using two in each wall.

We marked the board where the bolts would need to

Bed Platform2
A small hole saw helped make the right sized recession.

pass through, and measured to make them all the same distance from the top. We then drilled a guide with the small bit.

We used the door knob hole cutting saw/bit to cut down about 1/4″ deep.  Followed by the paddle bit to clean out the recess, to accommodate the bolt head and washer.  We want these recessed so we don’t hook clothing on the bolt heads since its going to be pretty tight living quarters!

Final step was to drill the 1/2″ hole for the bolt to pass to the wall and subsequently thread into the RivNuts.

Bed Platform2
Once all the holes were ready, it was very simple to mount the boards to the walls and ratchet them down snug.
Bed Platform2
ATV Loading Ramps used to span support rails and hold up the buckboard and mattress.

The ramps we found on Craigslist were a couple inches too long, so Rock had to shorten them down to 69″.  This places them directly on top of the edge of the 2×6, and not quite in contact with the outside wall or skin of the van.  This should allow a little flex in the body, if necessary.

Bed Platform2
Buckboard in place on support beams and ATV ramps.

The mounting holes are 21″ from the floor, so
this makes a nice storage area below the bed for all our worldly goods!

To verify that we were pleased with the placement, height, etc. we set the ramps in place and using cargo straps and a couple bungee cords, snugged them down. This is not the final installation, just to test the fitment.

Bed Platform2
A perfect fit!

There is a smidge of room between the mattress and the outer wall, as you can see.  A full mattress fits perfectly!

After all this hard work, Rock had to rest a little bit…

Bed Platform2
Rock resting on the new mattress platform!

We took the Prairie Schooner for a quick jaunt around the block, which ended up with us at the Orange Box Store again… sigh.  We tried to find the remaining 10 bolts that we need, but they didn’t have them in stock yet.  So we satisfied ourselves with picking up the foam board insulation and adhesive, and the metal straps to secure the ramps permanently, for tomorrow’s installment of the project!

Today’s total cost in supplies was $20… plus the loading ramps at $50.  Not counting things we already had on-hand.

Bed Platform2
Load Testing the initial installation of the ramps!


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