View Full Version : Sleeping Systems
I am in the "design phase" of a Nida Cor Camper similiar but smaller & lighter to Gary and Monica's Turtle on a Dodge 3500 4X4. I would prefer not to set up a sleeping area each night, so I was looking at the Happijac Bed Lift. The problem is I spend most of my free time in the mountains of WV and Upstate NY so I have an issue of leveling, so what do you think of this configuration?
www.epowernow.com/hangingbeds.html. made with 8mm static rope and adjusted by a 3:1 mechanical advantage; whereas, you could attach a small level and adjust the ropes to a level sleeping platform. I wouldn't want it to sway so I was thinking of having it encased in an exoskeloten of lightweight steel channel. Keep in mind my budget is about $25K for truck & camper, so nothing fancy.
02-20-2008, 04:26 PM
I have no good info for you, Dale. However, I request that you keep the board up to date on your project as I am looking into hanging bed options as well.
Not much help here, but I did want to mention that I read somewhere (I think on RV.net) that some people have trouble with the Happijac jumping off the track when not parked level.
So is the bed going to be over the dinette?
02-20-2008, 05:09 PM
I've reviewed the Happijac manual and see nothing that specifies how level, only that you should be "level". There have been complaints on various forums about these types of systems, but no more so than for other RV-grade components.
On a larger camper or toy hauler these may make sense. However, if you're building a rig smaller than the Wescott's Tortuga weight and space are at a premium. The mechanical components, weight, and space required for this type of bed lift might be overkill.
What type of floorplan/requirements did you have in mind? A better alternative may be available. This sounds like an interesting project regardless. Please post more info on your build.
The camper will be the size of a standard 8' bed with 6' of head room + thickness of bed which will consist of a welded 1"x1" angle frame, 1"x6" woods slats, 2 Luxury Therma Rests and a piece of eggcrate foam and bedding. The weight of the Aluminum Pulleys and 8mm rope will be negligible. The weight of the exoskeleton frame I haven't determined. It depends on what local materials I can find, probably 1"x1" steel angle.
02-21-2008, 12:28 AM
I am struggling to picture what you are trying to do. Do you have a link to camper you are using as a model? My first thought is that you are going to need a very strong roof to bear the weight of you, the bed, and the pulley system. Will the bed be for one person?
Have you considered a hammock? It would seem to meet your needs and be very simple. Some people love them and some hate them. Many use their Thermorest on them for insulation and comfort. I built the camper I live in on my F150 and my bed is 48 inches wide and runs across the pickup bed, behind the cab. I sleep diagonally across the bed. When I'm camped off-level, I just put my head on the highest corner and I sleep fine. As long as your head is higher, you can sleep okay at some pretty high angles. If it is really extreme, I use some RV leveling blocks to bring it closer to level.
The bed would be supported by the 1"x1" steel angle iron exoskeleton. I would attach pictures; but, I can't figure out how to add from my Pictures File. It's seems I can only insert a URL.
In trying to evaluate this problem in my head, I suspect that designing a roller-and-rail system for the four corners that will guide the bed, yet not bind when the bed is at different angles, is going to be difficult.
The problem is that the bed frame is somehow going to have to 'stretch'. With four fixed-position corner rails, the bed frame would have to be capable of changing geometry (i.e. when the bed and frame are both level the frame will need to be a square, yet when they're not the bed frame will need to be a parallelogram of various degrees). Does that make sense?
One solution might be to put the roller-and-rail on only one corner of the bed. The other three legs of your exoskeleton would act as guild rails/bumpers. I think that way you could design the single roller-and-rail system to have enough range of motion to accommodate different bed angles, yet not bind up. The downside to this design would be that there would still be some horizontal motion. Having the bed move around some while in use may be tolerable, but you would want to have a way to secure it when traveling. That could be as simple as hauling it to the roof and tying it off. This method would have much less horizontal motion than the swinging bed you linked in, but would still have some, since it's only attached to the exoskeleton at one corner.
Another solution might be to have the roller-and-rail system on all four corners, but make three of the four roller mounts telescope in and out to accommodate the changing bed geometry. I think this design would be really trick, and do a good job of eliminating horizontal motion. The downside is that it would be much more difficult to design and implement.
Either of these designs assumes the use of a separate rope or cable system to raise/lower/level the bed, as you have described.
02-25-2008, 08:07 PM
Go to a motorhome dealership that carries toyhaulers and look at how some of the beds are mounted in them. Weekend Warrior used to mount beds on kind of a strut system that mouned off of the sidewall framing. Allowed you to pull the bed down easily, but when it was up it stayed in place. Some of the newer haulers have the bed on an electric system that involves rails on the side walls.
I have seen one homemade unit that used the guide setup similar to what is used on sliding closet doors with pins in the rails to lock in the down and up positions. He just lifted one end, put in the pin and moved to the other end. It was in the back of a sprinter van.
In going this route I would pull my support from the side walls, and not the roof. The less you have to do with your roof, the longer your inside stays dry.
Thanks for the suggestions. Dale
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