Furniture layout plans

In a year of researching, I have thought a lot about Kevan’s furniture layout.  The factors I have decided are most important to me are:

  • I must be able to fit the (very big) dog crate in the back. (I have a Labrador, he will be coming camping with us, and he needs to be able to travel in safety (not get hit with flying objects in a crash) and comfort (he must be able to lie down, stand up, stretch out, sit, play with toys, chew a chewbone). No I did NOT consider getting a smaller crate. (Shame on you!)  Crate can come out when we are camped.
  • I must be able to reach behind me and poke treats through into the crate (positive reinforcement has worked so far and he LOVES travelling in his crate.  I would like to be able to continue this positive reinforcement).
  • The bed needs to be long enough for a very long girlfriend.
  • I want as much storage as I can get, but the seats can’t be too high (very long girlfriend).
  • I want both of us to be able to sit inside the van if it is raining and have somewhere to put our tea, with room for the Lab.
  • I want both of us to be able to sit in bed and still have somewhere to put our tea (and a thermos for refills).
  • I am happy to cook  standing outside under the tailgate (don’t want to worry about proper gasfitting or carbon monoxide poisoning).

Here are my highly technical drawings of the layout I have come up with:

P1050645

TRAVELLING LAYOUT

P1050648

TRAVELLING LAYOUT, TOP VIEW

DAY LAYOUT

DAY LAYOUT

DAY LAYOUT, TOP VIEW

DAY LAYOUT, TOP VIEW

NIGHT LAYOUT

NIGHT LAYOUT

NIGHT LAYOUT, TOP VIEW

NIGHT LAYOUT, TOP VIEW

The blue portion at the rear and the green portion in the middle are both part of a single construction, form the rear kitchen and the rear seat in ‘day mode’, and will be screwed through the wooden floor into the threaded holes in the van floor that previously secured the rear seats. The red portion is a moveable frame, possibly with some small wheels like drawer runner wheels, to allow it to move back to allow the crate to be put in through the side door, and moved forwards to form the front seat in ‘day mode’.  I will put some locking mechanism on the red frame to prevent it from rolling or moving in either position.

In day mode, a table leg will be inserted into a fitting in the floor and a fitting underneath the tabletop.  The ‘island table leg’ and fittings can be bought through Just Kampers Australia here.  I will make the tabletop myself of a size that, in ‘night mode’, will fit between the two seats and, in conjunction with an additional ‘infill piece’ of ply, will complete the bed.  The tabletop and infill piece will rest on the edges of the two seats.  The table will look like this:

Alternatively, I might go with a folding table leg and a hinge kit that attaches the table removably to the wall (also available from the above Just Kampers Australia link). I will build the rest of the furniture myself, out of a wooden frame and plywood panels, possibly covered in latex-backed jute or marine carpet (to hide my amateur cutting and joinery).  I will put hinged doors to access the storage areas underneath, and I will cut the cushions to size and make covers myself out of vinyl.  Two great resources I have found about how to sew your own campervan cushion covers are here and here.

Hopefully it will end up looking something like this:

P1050667

Photo of a photo in a VW campervan magazine

… and not this

Photos from a Gumtree campervan ad that I stuck in my 'ideas' sketchbook

Photos from a Gumtree campervan ad that I stuck in my ‘ideas’ sketchbook

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