There's only a couple weeks left before I have to take off on my Colorado trip this summer for a family reunion. An idea about sleeping arrangements has been rolling around my head a bit lately. I raised my bed with 2'x4' x 7.5" high boxes over the benches and sleep cross-wise in the back of the van. At 67" tall, I just barely fit and usually sleep a bit crosswise. It works ok. That height is just enough for my head to miss the upper cabinets when sitting to make maximum use of the space.
When I was thinking about how to live in a van, I went thru the exercise of designing the interior using the Sportsmobile tool to assist in it. I had thought then that having a bed on the side, along the length of the van with a desk area on the opposite side would be a good thing. My van was designed to have a big 75" long side to side bed for two in the back and then put a table in the center for a 6 person dining area. That seems like a huge waste of precious space for a solo traveler. The dog sleeps on the floor and is not allowed on my bed (except for the time she fled up there to escape a broken latch and a door swinging while underway). The cats sleep wherever they like. I raised the bed to get more storage space and more head room for the cat litter box. I find that it is most comfortable for me to have a 3.5' - 4' width for my arms and torso to stretch out. The center aisle board is 3' long and that is fine too. My feet don't need all that space but crosswise doesn't give my feet room to stretch out.
The idea I have is to make another box to raise the seat at the end of the galley counter up to the level of the bed and just sit up high when I use my computer. I can rest my feet on the printer drawer edge or put them up on the opposite side. My little table can rise up to a comfortable height. It is perfectly comfortable to sit on top of the bedding. One impediment is there is a little lift up counter extension so I would either have to remove it or move sitting to the side of it. I thought that it would be handy but, in truth, I never use it. Then with the 3' board between the 2 benches, I could sleep lengthwise in the van and still have plenty of room at the top for my arms to stretch out. I did a little concept test and it seems ok.
In the future, I could devise a slot for the center board to slide into the opposite side and just come right out to form the widened bed. That would make it easier to push the bed area back when it is not night and have a bit more room in the back of the van when up and about. One thing I don't want to do is lose the permanent bed at the ready and have to make it up every night. When I park with a little slope like along a curb, it might not be so great or it might be ok. One thing I learned is that I absolutely must sleep with my head higher than my feet or my nose gets all clogged up (allergies!).
Hmmm. I could try this idea out this summer with nothing more than a board cut and put together with pocket screws in not much time. The finishing and trimming it out could wait and if it doesn't work all that well, I could easily take it apart and stow the boards and go back to my crosswise bed.
Back to mowing my too big yard.