In otherwise "perfect" motorhomes, many of us find that the dinette bed is just too narrow to be comfortable. Here, UKCampsite.co.uk member "Roadcruiser" shows how he extended his to over 4ft 6 wide with a simple but clever design, which you too can build at home.
Follow these simple steps to make your motorhome (or caravan) dinette bed over 4' 6" wide.
The Design Principal
Four inexpensive Plastic Folding Step Stools are modified to match the height of the existing
dinette seat bases using MDF board. Once modified (see Fig 1) these taller Step Stools will
become the new Bed Base Supports which are then placed in the gangway alongside the dinette
seats (see Fig 2) and covered with a length of Melamine to extend the cushion base area making a
much wider bed.
The Construction Process of the Bed Base Supports
The height of each Step Stool is increased to the required height by gluing 9mm MDF to the
outside of each of the two wider legs of each Step. Once these pieces have been glued in place
two additional pieces of thinner 6mm MDF, measuring approximately 40mm X 160mm, are glued
directly to the back of each of these pieces (see Fig 3) avoiding the plastic as shown. A larger
single piece of 6mm MDF is then be glued over these two smaller pieces and will also cover an
area of plastic (see Fig 4). The resulting three layers of MDF should then be drilled and riveted to
add strength to the leg height extensions on each of the Step Stools. Four rivets to each leg
extension should be enough but avoid drilling through the plastic to maintain as much strength in
the assembly as possible.
Melamine Bed Base Construction - Suggestions
Once the Base Supports have been placed alongside the dinette seats a length of Melamine 6' 6"
long and at least 18" wide will complete the extended bed base which should now have an overall
width of 4' 6" or more.
If required four small MDF blocks can be attached to the underside of the Melamine (not shown) to
enable it to be located into the handle holes in each Step Stool. Bolting additional swivel blocks to
the underside of these locating blocks should ensure that the top of each Step Stool are held flat
against the Melamine and each Step Stool/Base Support should now be in a safe and fully
extended position as originally intended.
These completed Base Supports should be much stronger than the bracketed hinged flaps found
on some motorhomes and will also allow more of the gangway to be used to make a much wider
bed. Access to any over-cab bed will still be possible as the whole assembly should now be strong
enough to walk over. When not required the Base Supports are easily folded and stored away.
Note: You should be especially careful not to trap your fingers when folding the Base Supports.
One tube of Fix-All Adhesive or similar
Four Folding Plastic Step Stools - (Wicks Builders Merchants £2.99 - Max Load 150 Kg each)
Part Sheet of 9mm MDF
Part Sheet of 6mm MDF
Large Head 30mm Rivets + Large Washers
Assorted Screws, Bolts and Locking Washers (for securing the locating and swivel blocks if used)
One length of 15mm Melamine approximately 6' 6" x 18"
Many thanks indeed to Roadcruiser for sharing his fantastic design, we hope it helps other motorcaravanners, or indeed caravanners, who are suffering with narrow beds.
Very inventive, and looks like great workmanship. However, the 4 supports plus the 6'6" x 18" top board plus - I assume - the extra cushion(s) for the top, all have to travel somewhere in the MH, so you'd need quite a bit of spare space for storage? Thanks for posting it though.
I have an Elddis Autoquest 180 And the whole reason for using the folding step stools for support is because they fold and slip behind the front seats. The Melamine also stands on end behind the drivers seat and is held in place with a Velcro strap around the head restraint. If the length is a problem to anyone then the Melamine can be cut in half but the idea will still work very well.
Regarding the cushions I didn't need additional ones as I just used the extra cushions provided for the dinette by the manufacturer and these along with spare cushions from the rear bed completely cover the base.
Obviously I don't expect everyone to rush out and widen their beds this way but for some it may be a solution they haven't previously considered. I particularly think this idea might be adopted by self builders as it could be a space saving device for a small camper.