Van Conversion-for Vamping?

The Odyssey has shaped up quite nicely. Gone is the makeshift bed created from free endtables and a pine board!

The van.

Prepping the solar panel and the L brackets for install.

The work was exponentially accelerated by visiting my friend Lisa and her husband Ron. He was supposed to just help me with my solar install and it turned into sooooo much more! I am so incredibly thankful for their help and support!

While Ron worked on the solar Lisa and I trimmed up the floor and the hatches (since I cut them crooked!).

Then we went to work on the bed. Deciding the make the legs 10” long to accomodate boxes underneath and headroom above.

We cut the legs and drilled the pilot holes for the hanger bolts and with a little instruction from Ron (and screwing up the first one) we used 2 nuts and “bound” them then used them to screw the hanger bolt into the leg with a ratchet.

I decided on making the board for the bed 24”x72” since my mattress is 27”x75”. We attached the heavy duty top plates and screwed the legs (6) on the bed!

I knew I wanted to cover the board with something and paint takes so long to dry and the smell to dissipate that I thought I would cover it in fabric.


Then I thought, as long as I’m covering it, I might as well cushion it and it would be useful if the mattress wasn’t on it.

Leftover piece of carpet so the foam was not directly on the wood.

Two layers of 1″ foam.


I used a staple gun to attach the fabric (indoor/outdoor for easy cleaning) to the underside starting with one staple on each end and side first.

After the bed was assembled we started on the table. Cutting a template was the first step. Paper, then cardboard.

Then we found a nice piece of plywood in the never-ending garage of Ron’s and cut it out. Sanded it and measured the height of the legs.

The piece of 2×2 left over from the bed legs was exactly the size we needed.


So, I put my new skills to use and inserted the hanger bolts and the heavy duty top plates.



Now, how to secure it to the van? Ron to the rescue! He had some heavy duty metal straps that he bent and drilled holes into. The bent end inserted into the armrest and the other end would be. Screws to the bottom of the table! I stained and installed the table when I returned home.

The solar panel progress came to a halt because I neglected to purchase extension cables (male and female) so a trip to Home Depot later we started to work on the hatches.

Piano hinges (kinda pricey) and free wood and small hinges later. We have what we need.

Now to order the missing solar items and my first trip with my new bed, table and hatches!

To do:


  • Extension cables
  • Battery
  • Solar controller
  • Battery box

-Make curtain/covering for back window

-Buy a Co2 detector

-Buy a 12 volt cooler

-pare down stuff more

-Add tie downs for side curtains

Going to Northeast Water Management District – Florida River Island campground.

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