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Old 08-24-2021, 10:28 AM #1
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Sleeping platform ideas / design techniques

Hello all. I am not sure if this is the right forum for this but if not, please move as needed.

I want to build a sleeping platform in the back of my 4Runner. I did some searching and have an idea of what I want it to look like. At first I want I just want a simple platform. If time permits, I can add sliding drawers but that's is not a must at the moment. Storage is not a big concern since I have a cargo box to help with those needs.

I want the platform to be at least two sections. One in front of the wheel wells and one behind. Ideally I would like the front section to be able to come out allowing the back section to remain and sit flush up against the back seat row when the seats are installed.

I would like the the platform to follow the contour of the sides of the truck.

Does anyone know a technique or tool to create an accurate trace for the sides?
I know I could wing it and make it work but I would like to make a clean cut if possible.

Also, any suggestions on platform material? Plywood? 1/2"?

Thanks!
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Old 08-24-2021, 10:41 AM #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zguy1 View Post
Hello all. I am not sure if this is the right forum for this but if not, please move as needed.

I want to build a sleeping platform in the back of my 4Runner. I did some searching and have an idea of what I want it to look like. At first I want I just want a simple platform. If time permits, I can add sliding drawers but that's is not a must at the moment. Storage is not a big concern since I have a cargo box to help with those needs.

I want the platform to be at least two sections. One in front of the wheel wells and one behind. Ideally I would like the front section to be able to come out allowing the back section to remain and sit flush up against the back seat row when the seats are installed.

I would like the the platform to follow the contour of the sides of the truck.

Does anyone know a technique or tool to create an accurate trace for the sides?
I know I could wing it and make it work but I would like to make a clean cut if possible.

Also, any suggestions on platform material? Plywood? 1/2"?

Thanks!
The best way to get the shape would be with cardboard aided design, then transfer to the plywood.

I have thought about making a fold-y section for the front seats, since the rear doors don't open far enough to slide it in and out

If you ever have to remove it, making it out of several pieces would make it manageable. like if it were split into rectangular left drawer box, rectangular right drawer box, top piece that covers drawer boxes and fits to the interior shape, fold-y part for over the rear seats with legs that could also fold. Thats at least what I've thought about in my head
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Old 08-24-2021, 11:54 AM #3
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Trace with cardboard. Or donít. If you have something thatís rectangular and nearly the right size putting a mattress or pad on it should be okay. Iíd just make something the height of the wheel wells for the back and anchor it to the tie downs. Leave a lip near where the seats are.

When the seats are folded down lay the next section of plywood on top of the lip. Then add legs to support the ends by the front seats. This piece could easily be taken in and out.

Or you could add a hinge connecting the two pieces. Then fold the inside piece back and store it there.
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Old 08-24-2021, 03:02 PM #4
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@Silver4RunnerV8 posted a pretty cool modular design a couple years ago that might work for you or at the very least give you some ideas on what you want to do. here's a link to the thread:

Full Size Bed Sleeping Platform
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Old 08-24-2021, 07:48 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by y=mx+b View Post
The best way to get the shape would be with cardboard aided design, then transfer to the plywood.

I have thought about making a fold-y section for the front seats, since the rear doors don't open far enough to slide it in and out

If you ever have to remove it, making it out of several pieces would make it manageable. like if it were split into rectangular left drawer box, rectangular right drawer box, top piece that covers drawer boxes and fits to the interior shape, fold-y part for over the rear seats with legs that could also fold. Thats at least what I've thought about in my head
Yes, this is sort of what I was thinking about as far as design goes. I will definitely need to be able to remove it.

I still got to get a handle on tracing it out with cardboard though.
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Old 08-24-2021, 07:56 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tironeous View Post
Trace with cardboard. Or donít. If you have something thatís rectangular and nearly the right size putting a mattress or pad on it should be okay. Iíd just make something the height of the wheel wells for the back and anchor it to the tie downs. Leave a lip near where the seats are.

When the seats are folded down lay the next section of plywood on top of the lip. Then add legs to support the ends by the front seats. This piece could easily be taken in and out.

Or you could add a hinge connecting the two pieces. Then fold the inside piece back and store it there.
Cardboard sounds like the way to go. Just need to figure that out.

Leaving the seat in place sounds like a good idea when creating the first section. I want to have the platform be close to the edge just to keep things from falling through. Plus my OCD would bother me.

I am going to be using two lightweight Helinox backpacking sleeping cots on the platform for comfort. I have used one of these cots all last year for a two month road trip and it was super comfortable. I also went on a trip last year with my girlfriend but she had the cot and I had a sleeping pad. I really want to avoid a sleeping pad just simply cause they are never comfortable. Will need to use one this time though if I can't get to the platform in time.
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Old 08-24-2021, 07:59 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjg514 View Post
@Silver4RunnerV8 posted a pretty cool modular design a couple years ago that might work for you or at the very least give you some ideas on what you want to do. here's a link to the thread:

Full Size Bed Sleeping Platform
Thanks for the link! I will take a look at it.
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Old 09-01-2021, 01:54 AM #8
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In my opinion, forget the platform. Take out your back seat bases, fold the seat backs down, air mattress on top of the flat load floor. I am 6' and I have enough room to sit up with out my head hitting the headliner. An air mattress just fits like this and I have just enough room to spread out while laying down.

If this system works out for you, take out the rear seat backs and build a mini platform there for storage underneath. Then plan out storage on the sides over the wheel humps.

At the bare minimum, figure out a way to mock up your imagined sleep setup and see if you like being that close to the headliner before you invest more time into the project. For me, being able to sit up in bed is not a luxury I am willing to give up for storage space.
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Old 09-01-2021, 02:11 AM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpinUltra View Post
In my opinion, forget the platform. Take out your back seat bases, fold the seat backs down, air mattress on top of the flat load floor. I am 6' and I have enough room to sit up with out my head hitting the headliner. An air mattress just fits like this and I have just enough room to spread out while laying down.

If this system works out for you, take out the rear seat backs and build a mini platform there for storage underneath. Then plan out storage on the sides over the wheel humps.

At the bare minimum, figure out a way to mock up your imagined sleep setup and see if you like being that close to the headliner before you invest more time into the project. For me, being able to sit up in bed is not a luxury I am willing to give up for storage space.
Thanks for the the ideas. I probably should have clarified a bit more. I already remove the seat bottoms when needed. When I am camping by myself I remove the passenger section. When I am camping with my girlfriend I remove the drivers side section too. The Helinox cot fits perfectly as it is now. The issue is that two of them will not fit side by side hence the reason to raise the floor up a few inches to clear the wheel wells. These are the ideal setup for us as they are more comfortable than an air mattress. I spent almost two months on one last year.
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