Building a Bed on Wheels

One of the projects that Ryan and I had on our Hilton Head “to do” list was building our sleeping platform in the car. We weren’t able to find a good tutorial online for my 2009 Nissan Versa hatchback, so we pieced together a little of this and that and came up with the following. We hope it helps you, fellow traveler, who googles “2009 Nissan Versa hatchback sleeping platform DIY tutorial.” And for our friends and family reading, we hope we impress you with our construction skills (we actually calculated incorrectly and had to go back into Home Depot with our heads hung in shame to make another cut).

We knew we wanted to use 2 pieces of 3/4” plywood, but we would need to fill in the trunk space first. Milk crates were almost the perfect height at 11”, so we got three. They will also keep us organized on the road. We are channeling our inner Marie Kondo these days. Yes, these milk crates spark joy.

We covered the sides of our boards (46×32 and 39×37) in duct tape to save us from splinters and to protect the sides of the car/seats.

Because the milk crates were 1/2” too tall, we used a scrap of our 3/4” plywood to act as a shim. We also covered that in duct tape. Duct tape everything!

We bought a foam mattress pad for a little extra comfort. Here is my handsome husband modeling our $14 investment.

Next, I tried it out. I was pleasantly surprised.

We added our sleeping pads for a little more comfort…

…put down our sleeping bags, and tested our construction. “It feels surprisingly good,” was our general reaction. Ryan is 5’10” and can almost lay flat. But he’s a side sleeper anyway, so all is well.

For Christmas, my parents got us collapsible seats…

…so we set one up and I took a little rest. I see myself drinking many cups of coffee while looking at beautiful views from this very spot.

There is quite a bit of storage under the passenger seats with this construction. We plan to put our tent and shoes here. Don’t mind the water bottles hanging out under there (I’m sorry, Marie Kondo!). Our suitcases will go on the front seats while we’re sleeping.

The last thing we did was create an easy system for hanging curtains using black fabric, binder clips, and Velcro.

And voila! No arrests for public nudity in our future! (Can you spot the Ryan?)

We had a fun day making this bed/tiny room on wheels. The best part is that we get to try it our tomorrow. We head north to Charleston and will spend the day there. The next few nights we’ll be camping in Congaree National Park and Francis Marion National Forest. Hopefully, things won’t be affected by the government shutdown. But either way, this will be a good dry run of our bed and gear. I never expect things to go exactly to plan, so I’m sure we’ll roll with whatever comes our way. Unless it’s an alligator; then we’re just rolling out.

2 thoughts on “Building a Bed on Wheels

  1. Tina

    Seriously that picture of you laying on the bed made me crack up laughing. It all looks absolutely amazing though hope it brings you much comfort on your adventure 😘


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