Lightweight Rock-n-Roll Bed!

Convertible bed/seats are one of the trickiest parts of designing and building out your van. Beds consume a large part of the space in a van and a fixed bed isn’t always something one wants to spend/waste space on.

This DIY rock and roll bed allows you to better utilize space, especially in smaller vans where space is at a premium. This bed/seat combo allows you to use it for storage, for extra seating (with the option of adding seat-belts), and for sleeping when night falls.

In seat mode, this version can seat 2 facing forward and 2 facing backwards.

The bed can easily be clad in any finishing material. Mine was clad in Baltic Birch that has been stained white and finished with Varathane.

How it works

You purchase the design package for $200USD which includes an electronic document containing:

  • a detailed parts list,
  • a CAD file containing the editable design of the bed,
  • links to order all the parts (approx $600USD depending on finished size),
  • assembly instructions,
  • 3D printed clips to attach the upholstery to the 8020, shipped to you, and
  • layout design for the plywood to mount the upholstery.

Once purchased, You can modify the design using SketchUp (free CAD software) or hire me to modify the design for you. Then, purchase the materials, prepare them (or have the manufacturer prepare them), and assemble/install them. You can have the material supplier prep materials for you for approx $400USD, or if you have access to a chop saw, drill press, and the ability to cut and tap aluminum, you can do the work yourself.

I can assemble packages containing all the parts needed and ship it to you, including modifications. These packages start at $2,000USD plus shipping and are quoted once design is settled and you know the final dimensions needed for the bed.

I can do custom build/design, but prices would have to be worked out and your van would have to be able to be dropped off in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I would consider travelling to do custom work on a van.

In bed mode, this version is a touch smaller than a standard double bed.

If you would like to know more, email me at eric@thepetersens.ca. To see the bed in action, watch our van tour video below.

See the bed in action in our van tour video.
Watch as we disassemble our bed to add loctite to the bolts to keep them from coming loose.

Still curious about the bed? Below you will find 4 videos that outline the basics of how we built our bed.

Building the bed, Part 1
Building the bed, Part 2
Building the bed, Part 3
Building the bed, Part 4

Comments 42

  1. Hi, Eric
    my name is Tom Chi
    I’m very interesting your 86 Privia conversion mico van
    I have the 2015 Honda Odyssey mini van
    do you have any idea for my mini van conversion bed use lightweight aluminum
    I live in Los Angeles
    would you tell me how much you can estimate.
    Thank you
    Tom

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      1. Hi Eric,

        Do you build out the camper Vans. I have a 2010 Nissan Armada. Look to have it build out for the summer.

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      Hey there! I’d have to know the dimensions. Its $200USD for the design and parts list (including the 3D printed parts I send you), and I’d have to quote sending the parts as it depends on your final dimensions. If I know the size you need the bed/seats to be, it’s easy for me to figure out.

      1. Hey Eric, this is quite the bed! How much would one of these be with all the parts, minus shipping?

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          Any idea of the dimensions? I’d need that to know the materials needed. If you could get me those dimensions I can get you a price. Length closed, length opened as a bed, width from side to side, and height.

          1. Sure thing. Length open 76″, width 50″, the seat height could be 15″. For the height of the seatback I was thinking 33″. I would imagine the length closed would be a function of these other dimensions. Feel free to email me to discuss this further.

  2. Hi I saw your video on YouTube building your own van bed was amazing but I’m really interesting if you make a California king size bed if you can do that i can send you the model of the bed

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  3. Hola buenos días,

    He visto su vídeo en youtube y me encanta su idea. Me parece increíble lo que ha hecho en tan poco espacio. Me gustaría saber cuánto costaría una cama ligera como la suya para una ford transit connect. Gracias.

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      You could probably build one for a Transit Connect as long as you can get the 8020 materials or have someone weld the bed for you. The cost for the bed was about $1200CAD, but you can save some of that cost if you do some of the material prep yourself.

  4. Hi Eric, I saw you vid on youtube, I LOVE EVERYTHING in your van and I want them all in our Honda Odyssey 2003 minivan. I have been looking so long for this kind of conversion, AND ESPECIALLY so for the Canadian weather. How long did it take to convert yours or did you do things in phases? Would love to watch and learn everything about and on how you converted your van. I hope you make more videos and blogs about them. Travel safe and thanks a lot.

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      Hi Jeanette, It took us about a month to do the whole conversion. We did it over a few months, but did the bulk of the work over 2 weeks where we focused just on the van. More videos are on their way!

  5. Hello Eric.

    Love your Previa. We have had 3 Previa’s over the years. 2 of which are still in our extended family. I also have access to a parts Previa (for a short time) should you need anything.

    We have an 2004 Toyota Sienna AWD with 500,000 plus km’s which we really like and would be interested in doing a conversion similar to yours, especially the rock n roll bed.

    We live in Calgary. Would love to know what the next step is? Provide you with measurements?

    You two have done an incredible job both with your van and the videos.

    Thank you, Ben

    P.S. It will likely be just two of us traveling in our van as our kids are getting older. Wondering if you still use your rooftop tent and how much you like it? Also I f you had a choice to sleep in the van or the rooftop tent which would you choose?

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      Hey Ben, thanks for the compliments! This van actually came from Calgary…small world!

      Yes, I could certainly help you out with a bed. I’ll send you an email.

      In terms of the roof top tent, we generally sleep in the van if it’s just the two of us. The stealth factor is much higher so we have more options on where to park. If we were going to be in one spot for a while and didn’t need to move, we’d probably use the tent. My kids are all teenagers, so it won’t be long before we don’t need it either!

      Eric

  6. Eric, thank you for reply and e-mail. I would really like to do something with you on our van. I’ve now shown my wife one of your videos and she was really impressed. I hope to get back to you soon with some kind of a game plan. Fingers crossed.

  7. Hi Eric, as a snowbird, I have a Chrysler Town & Country 2012 in Mexico I think that I can found these materials there too. How much are the lightweight aluminum bed conversion drawing and part lists?
    Thanks, Silvio

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      Hi Silvo, I charge $200USD and can help make sure any modifications still work in your van. I include a parts list with links, the SketchUp CAD drawing that can be modified, details for upholstery, and approximate costs of materials. If you want to chat more, you can email me directly with the email address in the post above!

    2. I WAS TRY YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS BAT NO WORK.
      HI ERIC I LIKE YOUR BED’S SYSTEM, FIRST COMMENTS WAS RELATED TO MY CHRYSLER VAN IN MEXICO AND NOW I THINK TO START LEARN REAR IN CANADA ON MY FUTURE NV 200 OR 350 FROM NISAN .
      MY QUESTION IS WE CAN USE THE SAME DRAW FOR BOTH
      CAN YOU GIVE A COST OF THE ALUMINUM BARS AND WHERE TO BUY AND OTHERS PART THAT YOU INSTALL ON YOUR VAN , ARMORIES, ETC…
      THANKS , HAVE A GOOD DAY
      SILVIO

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  8. We have been talking on You Tube. I have the 2001 Toyota Previa Estima. Can you email all the plans etc? As too long to come in the mail! I believe its 200 USD? How do we proceed? Can I ask if you may do a discount for frontline workers?

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  9. Hello Eric,
    My husband and I just saw your youtube for the rock and roll bed. We are really interested in getting one made for us. We have a 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan. We dont have tools so most likely we will go with option 2. How do we proceed? We live in Calgary so we can head up to Edmonton to pick up the supplies. Pls email me with the price and the next steps. Thank you!

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  10. Hi I’m a Londoner.( of course in ON)
    I am very impressed by your van & simple systems. I keep up all your videos.
    I ‘d like to take your second option but I’m planning to live full time in a van so I’ll buy Ram promaster 159WB Extended. Could I still take your second option?
    If you could, please tell me the procedure and cost etc…. in detail.

    Thank you in advance.

    IKE

    One of my concern is that I have to make a van conversion because I already sold my house. Closing date is 23th of Oct. ㅜ.ㅜ Anyway, I will buy the Promaster 159 WB Extended cargo van. Within 2 months, I just want to make a bed for my van. I want to choose Your Option 2.
    Could you tell me a procedure, cost, time in detail?
    I am very much interesting in Rock’n Roll Bed. But I have no ideas how to.
    Before I saw your videos, I watched Promaster conversion of “Humble Road” YouTuber. I just have a plan to make a bed like

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  11. Eric, Nice work. I have an AWD 2009 Sienna that I’d like to duplicate your van concept into. Contact me and I can get dimensions and fees to you.
    Thanks,
    Scott

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  12. Hi!

    You mentioned that you can ship rock and roll bed for the van. Can I purchase a rock and roll bed for a Honda odyssey ?

    Thank you

  13. Hi!
    I’m looking to have drawers under the bed, it looks like there’s too much going on in the frame work for that to happen. Do you have a design that lends to what I’m trying to accomplish? Thanks!

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      Hi Bernadette,

      Yes, this can handle drawers. The design lends itself to a corridor in the center but that may be able to be designed to be different. Can you send me an email about it?

  14. Hi Eric,
    Awesome bed build using 8020.
    Your links for the connectors, hinges and t-nuts on AliExpress were very helpful.
    What dimension of aluminum rails did you use… 2020 or 4040, and where do you source them?

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      I used 8020’s 10 series which is based on 1″ (25.2mm) so when I bought parts from AliExpress I used the 2020 version and they worked fine. Hope that helps!

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