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Underbed storage area

Amarillo

Amarillo

Tom
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I'm planning better use of the underbed storage area in our 3 seat bench Beach boot, in particular the space between the rear of the bench and the multiflex. Here is a cross section of the crates I intend to make for that space.
Boot (2).jpg
The two large crates and the gas box can remain in place with the bed made up, the crates rest on the floor rails, and the gas box between the rails. Resting on top of the crates, but clear of the gas box, will be two trays. These need to be removed and slid under the van below the sliding door to make up the bed. On top of the trays, and level with the top of the multiflex board, I hope to make a folding kitchen table (approx 150cm by 44cm), the leg mechanism fitting within the tray cavity.

One crate to contain things like wetsuits, the other wellies and waterproofs. The crates cannot be slid out without unpacking the kitchen table and trays, but the gas box will slide out. I have mocked up a cardboard crate, and it fits into the space beautifully.
IMG_2030.JPG IMG_2027.JPG
I am planning to make make the crates and trays from 18mm pine, with the front of the crates from 5 x 28mm hardwood dowel so contents can be instantly identified and to use as a grab handle.

The folded table can also act as an extension of the multiflex, giving a surface area of 102cm by 150cm. This may be just large enough to serve as a double bed for our two young boys without us having to make up the 150cm by 200cm bed. We shall see.
 
MattBW

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That space is where with the slidepod I put my water tank but that installation in itself was a real eye opener about how much space there is behind there (and a good place for secure storage potentially too). It's a lot of unused space in many vans.

This has made me decide to change my tank to a thinner taller one, to one maximise the cab space for living in but also to leave some space for storage (duvets go behind, pillows over the wheel arches etc).

I must admit after my Cadac experience and looking into liquid gases and the fact they are heavier than air has made me want to put them in a sealed box too.
 
Amarillo

Amarillo

Tom
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That space is where with the slidepod I put my water tank but that installation in itself was a real eye opener about how much space there is behind there (and a good place for secure storage potentially too). It's a lot of unused space in many vans.

This has made me decide to change my tank to a thinner taller one, to one maximise the cab space for living in but also to leave some space for storage (duvets go behind, pillows over the wheel arches etc).

I must admit after my Cadac experience and looking into liquid gases and the fact they are heavier than air has made me want to put them in a sealed box too.
Before driving to a campsite, we position the bench seat in place for making the bed without having to move it forward or back on arrival.

The gas box is not sealed, but it is about 3" taller than the 907 bottle and has a simple lift off lid. What, if any, effect that will have on any escaping butane is something I have limited knowledge, but I hope that most of any escaping butane would confine itself to the box. The box was ridiculously expensive, and for that price I expected a sealed box.
 
MattBW

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Natural gas in your house is similar to air and will disperse all around but butane is heavier than air so it should settle in the bottom of the box but of course it will still escape as you move about..
 
GreggB

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That space between multiplex board and bench is one that I’m still battling with. Like you we keep bench in the correct position for making up the bed and there is a lot of stuff that ends up there piled of top of each other. It’s not too bad once the driveaway awning is up and most stuff is emptied out but on a recent one night camp digging some items out was a challenge.
Still refining what we need to take with us so too early to commit to a storage solution.

Two things that do help are leaving the rear headrests at home (one less thing to move/store/reach around) and making a small modification to allow the bench to slide when upright or flat in bed mode.
 
Bellcrew

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Natural gas in your house is similar to air and will disperse all around but butane is heavier than air so it should settle in the bottom of the box but of course it will still escape as you move about..
The gas is compressed to ensure it is stored as a liquid, any leaking gas will fill the container and then start to over-top the sides, this is the unresolved dilemma of carrying butane/propane in containers not sealed or fitted with a floor dropout vent. Boat owners invariably fit gas detectors to guard against gas build up in the bilges, whilst less of a problem in a vehicle it is still a risk.
 
Barbara

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I'm planning better use of the underbed storage area in our 3 seat bench Beach boot, in particular the space between the rear of the bench and the multiflex. Here is a cross section of the crates I intend to make for that space.
View attachment 36009
The two large crates and the gas box can remain in place with the bed made up, the crates rest on the floor rails, and the gas box between the rails. Resting on top of the crates, but clear of the gas box, will be two trays. These need to be removed and slid under the van below the sliding door to make up the bed. On top of the trays, and level with the top of the multiflex board, I hope to make a folding kitchen table (approx 150cm by 44cm), the leg mechanism fitting within the tray cavity.

One crate to contain things like wetsuits, the other wellies and waterproofs. The crates cannot be slid out without unpacking the kitchen table and trays, but the gas box will slide out. I have mocked up a cardboard crate, and it fits into the space beautifully.
View attachment 36010 View attachment 35996
I am planning to make make the crates and trays from 18mm pine, with the front of the crates from 5 x 28mm hardwood dowel so contents can be instantly identified and to use as a grab handle.

The folded table can also act as an extension of the multiflex, giving a surface area of 102cm by 150cm. This may be just large enough to serve as a double bed for our two young boys without us having to make up the 150cm by 200cm bed. We shall see.
That space between multiplex board and bench is one that I’m still battling with. Like you we keep bench in the correct position for making up the bed and there is a lot of stuff that ends up there piled of top of each other. It’s not too bad once the driveaway awning is up and most stuff is emptied out but on a recent one night camp digging some items out was a challenge.
Still refining what we need to take with us so too early to commit to a storage solution.

Two things that do help are leaving the rear headrests at home (one less thing to move/store/reach around) and making a small modification to allow the bench to slide when upright or flat in bed mode.

How do you get the bench to slide when flat in bed mode? I am sure that could be useful.
 
Amarillo

Amarillo

Tom
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Royal Borough of Greenwich
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T6 Beach 150
That space between multiplex board and bench is one that I’m still battling with. Like you we keep bench in the correct position for making up the bed and there is a lot of stuff that ends up there piled of top of each other. It’s not too bad once the driveaway awning is up and most stuff is emptied out but on a recent one night camp digging some items out was a challenge.
Still refining what we need to take with us so too early to commit to a storage solution.

Two things that do help are leaving the rear headrests at home (one less thing to move/store/reach around) and making a small modification to allow the bench to slide when upright or flat in bed mode.
After our first trip away we decided to leave two of the three rear headrests at home: child seats go in positions 1 and 3 on the bench, so those headrests are not required. We kept the middle headrest in the hope that it would reduce the risk of loose luggage flying into the passenger compartment.

We have four MUJI drawers under the multiflex containing all our cooking and eating needs.
IMG_0825 (1).JPG
When camping the drawers stack in the awning (driveaway or safari room), and the two child seats fit under the multiflex. My hope is that whipping out the child seats to access wetsuits, or whatever, in the open topped crates will be relatively easy.
 
Amarillo

Amarillo

Tom
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How do you get the bench to slide when flat in bed mode? I am sure that could be useful.
Pull the strap and it will slide in bench or bed mode.

Leaving the bench in bed position is not due to the hassle of moving the bed/bench around on its runners, it is about managing the boot space effectively and minimising the amount of gear that needs to be shifted to make up the bed.

If the bench is forward of the bed position, the entire boot needs emptying before making the bed.

If the bench is rearward of the bed position you are not making maximum use of the boot area.
 
Barbara

Barbara

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300
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T5 Beach
I'm planning better use of the underbed storage area in our 3 seat bench Beach boot, in particular the space between the rear of the bench and the multiflex. Here is a cross section of the crates I intend to make for that space.
View attachment 36009
The two large crates and the gas box can remain in place with the bed made up, the crates rest on the floor rails, and the gas box between the rails. Resting on top of the crates, but clear of the gas box, will be two trays. These need to be removed and slid under the van below the sliding door to make up the bed. On top of the trays, and level with the top of the multiflex board, I hope to make a folding kitchen table (approx 150cm by 44cm), the leg mechanism fitting within the tray cavity.

One crate to contain things like wetsuits, the other wellies and waterproofs. The crates cannot be slid out without unpacking the kitchen table and trays, but the gas box will slide out. I have mocked up a cardboard crate, and it fits into the space beautifully.
View attachment 36010 View attachment 35996
I am planning to make make the crates and trays from 18mm pine, with the front of the crates from 5 x 28mm hardwood dowel so contents can be instantly identified and to use as a grab handle.

The folded table can also act as an extension of the multiflex, giving a surface area of 102cm by 150cm. This may be just large enough to serve as a double bed for our two young boys without us having to make up the 150cm by 200cm bed. We shall see.
If the boys sleep in the lower part of the van, do you need the multiflex?. I have the 3 seat bench and being only 5ft I can sleep just on the bench flat without the multiflex. I sleep across the van and the multiflex board is left at home.
 
MattBW

MattBW

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The gas is compressed to ensure it is stored as a liquid, any leaking gas will fill the container and then start to over-top the sides, this is the unresolved dilemma of carrying butane/propane in containers not sealed or fitted with a floor dropout vent. Boat owners invariably fit gas detectors to guard against gas build up in the bilges, whilst less of a problem in a vehicle it is still a risk.
It's also much more likely to ignite than natural gas, at work we consider the risk of lpg igniting during a leak to be twice that of natural gas.
 
Amarillo

Amarillo

Tom
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If the boys sleep in the lower part of the van, do you need the multiflex?. I have the 3 seat bench and being only 5ft I can sleep just on the bench flat without the multiflex. I sleep across the van and the multiflex board is left at home.
We considered that option very carefully before embarking on our year's European tour: two boys sleeping across the bench without the multiflex. However, we like the multiflex for boot organisation, and as the upper berth is out of the way, it is good to have the two boys up there when we can so Clare and I can enjoy the massive king size lower berth. The idea of using an extended multiflex for two boys is only intended for single night transit stops.
 
Barbara

Barbara

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Pull the strap and it will slide in bench or bed mode.

Leaving the bench in bed position is not due to the hassle of moving the bed/bench around on its runners, it is about managing the boot space effectively and minimising the amount of gear that needs to be shifted to make up the bed.

If the bench is forward of the bed position, the entire boot needs emptying before making the bed.

If the bench is rearward of the bed position you are not making maximum use of the boot area.

Thanks for information. I find it is good to see what others do as it all helps to give me ideas. I'll have a go at moving the bed in the flat position tomorrow.
 
Amarillo

Amarillo

Tom
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I'm now ready to buy the plywood and dowel for my four storage boxes. I think I can cut the 4 bases and 2 side panels for each base from a single sheet of 1220 x 2440 x 18mm marine ply.
boxes plywood (2).jpg
My carpentry are, at best, amateur. So this is how I intend to construct the boxes.

1. Cut the base and side panels for the large crates with a circular saw.
2. Drill 10 x 28mm diameter holes approx 8mm deep to hold the 28mm dowel front and rear
3. Hold the side panels firmly vertically and align the edge of the side panel with the edge of the base.
4. Drill 5 pilot holes through the base and into the side panel and screw but not tightly.
5. Once both side panels are lightly screwed onto the base, glue the ten 28mm dowel cut to 460mm between the two side panels.
6. Glue the side panels to the base and screw down firmly.
7. Pilot drill then screw through the side panels to the centre of each dowel.

Once the lower crates are complete I'll measure for the upper trays, aiming to have the upper trays 28mm below the level of the multiflex. so there is room for the folding table above.

Given my very amateurish skills, is this a reasonable plan? Or should I be seeking professional help (to make the crates and trays)?
 
L

Loodle

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I'm now ready to buy the plywood and dowel for my four storage boxes. I think I can cut the 4 bases and 2 side panels for each base from a single sheet of 1220 x 2440 x 18mm marine ply.
View attachment 36170
My carpentry are, at best, amateur. So this is how I intend to construct the boxes.

1. Cut the base and side panels for the large crates with a circular saw.
2. Drill 10 x 28mm diameter holes approx 8mm deep to hold the 28mm dowel front and rear
3. Hold the side panels firmly vertically and align the edge of the side panel with the edge of the base.
4. Drill 5 pilot holes through the base and into the side panel and screw but not tightly.
5. Once both side panels are lightly screwed onto the base, glue the ten 28mm dowel cut to 460mm between the two side panels.
6. Glue the side panels to the base and screw down firmly.
7. Pilot drill then screw through the side panels to the centre of each dowel.

Once the lower crates are complete I'll measure for the upper trays, aiming to have the upper trays 28mm below the level of the multiflex. so there is room for the folding table above.

Given my very amateurish skills, is this a reasonable plan? Or should I be seeking professional help (to make the crates and trays)?
No carpentry skills here, I'm afraid, but surely 18mm ply will be very heavy? My OH did the crates for our beach in 10mm and they were fine...
 
Amarillo

Amarillo

Tom
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T6 Beach 150
No carpentry skills here, I'm afraid, but surely 18mm ply will be very heavy? My OH did the crates for our beach in 10mm and they were fine...

That's just the sort of advice I like. 12mm ply is considerably cheaper than 18mm marine ply: £27 vs £75. The weight of marine ply is not given, the weight of the crate made from 12mm ply would be ~4.5 Kg plus the weight of dowel, glue and screws. The weight if I used 9mm ply would be ~3.4 Kg plus dowel.
 
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Romke

Making the Most of our Coast
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That's just the sort of advice I like. 12mm ply is considerably cheaper than 18mm marine ply: £27 vs £75. The weight of marine ply is not given, the weight of the crate made from 12mm ply would be ~4.5 Kg plus the weight of dowel, glue and screws. The weight if I used 9mm ply would be ~3.4 Kg plus dowel.
Forget about dowels. Use 16x16 or 20x20 mm aluminium L-profiles and rivets. Much easier and stronger!
 
westfalia

westfalia

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The base of a box can be a thicker material and it would work better as you
can fix the uprights into the base ( screwed and glued ).
The problem with thinner sides is - how to fix them together, aluminium
angle iron, glued and fastened ?

A box made out of 18mm ply will be quite heavy even when empty, if you
dovetailed all the pieces together, it would last quite a few lifetimes.

3 other options are Ikea, slidepods or buy an Ocean. Lol. :thumb
joke,joke,joke it was a f++kn joke.
 
M

Martin Croft

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48
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GL
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T5 SE 180
I'm planning better use of the underbed storage area in our 3 seat bench Beach boot, in particular the space between the rear of the bench and the multiflex. Here is a cross section of the crates I intend to make for that space.
View attachment 36009
The two large crates and the gas box can remain in place with the bed made up, the crates rest on the floor rails, and the gas box between the rails. Resting on top of the crates, but clear of the gas box, will be two trays. These need to be removed and slid under the van below the sliding door to make up the bed. On top of the trays, and level with the top of the multiflex board, I hope to make a folding kitchen table (approx 150cm by 44cm), the leg mechanism fitting within the tray cavity.

One crate to contain things like wetsuits, the other wellies and waterproofs. The crates cannot be slid out without unpacking the kitchen table and trays, but the gas box will slide out. I have mocked up a cardboard crate, and it fits into the space beautifully.
View attachment 36010 View attachment 35996
I am planning to make make the crates and trays from 18mm pine, with the front of the crates from 5 x 28mm hardwood dowel so contents can be instantly identified and to use as a grab handle.

The folded table can also act as an extension of the multiflex, giving a surface area of 102cm by 150cm. This may be just large enough to serve as a double bed for our two young boys without us having to make up the 150cm by 200cm bed. We shall see.
Just a polite note... 18mm pine is quite hefty for this and prone to movement... I have done much using 15mm birch ply. Jar more stable and easy to join using biscuit joints... Its easier to machine and also takes on the look of a cabinet made product.
 

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