A forum for van conversions, van living and travel

The vanlife => Van Conversion => Topic started by: Camper_Dan on April 10, 2018, 05:56:07 AM

Title: Slider Slat Beds... JUST SAY NO!
Post by: Camper_Dan on April 10, 2018, 05:56:07 AM
Greetings Everybody!

I've been reading a lot of complaints about sliding slat beds lately, so I wanted to give everybody a heads up.

Among the many complaints the most common ones are difficult to build, difficult to slide in and out, expensive, too many sharp edges and splinters, you can feel the slats through your bedding, and mold under their bedding where the slats are.

We are experiencing a huge problem in the vandwelling community.  Newbies posting how to videos and direction, when they have no experience, and bragging about their builds before they've even ever used them.  How many of them have any experience, or have been using their rotten advice for a year or more?  ~NONE~ That's how many.  The ones with experience that are continually pushing bad advice have a reason, MONEY... 

When you're deciding whose advice you should listen to, ask yourself a couple of questions...  How much experience do they have, and how do they support themselves.  If they're making money promoting vandwelling, or various products or services, their advice is very questionable.  Many of them are making $50k-$100k per year, giving bad advice, and all while pretending to be poor broke vandwellers.  They have ruined far more lives than they have  helped.

As time allows, at the urging of others, I'm going to try to write a series of tutorials that I'll post here.  Since we spend about a third of our lives in bed, a good one on beds seems like a good place to start...


Title: Re: Slider Slat Beds... JUST SAY NO!
Post by: treesner on April 10, 2018, 06:30:16 AM
For the part about the slat beds, I had been thinking of doing one as just an option to make The bed bigger if I needed a double instead of the usual single. The one in your post does look horrible. Do you think that 2 or 3 wide slats would be uncomfortable? My though was no as many beds use slats with spacings like that

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Slider Slat Beds... JUST SAY NO!
Post by: Roman on April 10, 2018, 08:21:28 AM
My bed, 7 years old, is made from Ikea springy bed bed slats. Mattress 2 singles from a Dojo (judo gym/studio) made from organic materials. No told ever!
I use it single mode if I wish to get of on the road quickly in the morning & in double, when my over night spot allows a lay in.
Title: Re: Slider Slat Beds... JUST SAY NO!
Post by: Roman on April 10, 2018, 08:33:47 AM
This is interesting video for the bed @ 2:40 in, for those who don't like sliding the bed each night.
Title: Re: Slider Slat Beds... JUST SAY NO!
Post by: Camper_Dan on April 10, 2018, 12:49:57 PM
Greetings Treesner!

I just wouldn't use slats, they are expensive and complicated to make, and don't work well completed.  You have many slats that have to be in near perfect alignment for them to slide in and out smoothly. 

I would opt for something like the wire mesh that my futon sofa/bed uses, as mentioned in my reply below.

Title: Re: Slider Slat Beds... JUST SAY NO!
Post by: Camper_Dan on April 10, 2018, 12:52:58 PM

Re: Mold...  Some people never encounter mold problems because they're rarely where it's cold, wet, or high humidity.  The same can be true for condensation, and other moisture problems.  My suggestion is that it's better to be be prepared before it happens, than need to re-do everything after it happens.

Here's a screen shot of the bed in the video mentioned by Roman:


This bed looks like a commercially built bed, the slats aren't designed to slide, and have straps to firmly hold their spacing.  It also looks like the slats for the middle part of the bed are closer together and double thickness.

Part of the problem with sliding slats is that when they're pulled out, the gaps get much wider, making it more likely that you're going to feel the gaps.  There are better and lighter weight choices than slats, that will fight mold and moisture problems better.

My metal framed store bought futon sofa/bed uses a wire mesh like this:


This appears to be the same thing as cheap wire fencing found at any big box hardware store.  I'm sure it's probably lighter and cheaper than slats, and will fight moisture problems better.  My futon frame is extremely light weight.  It can be attached to the frame with screws or bolts, or lashed on using rope.  I have also seen some that are attached by springs so they act like a box springs would.  In the end, I would just avoid slats all together.

Another consideration if you're making a convertible sofa/bed,  or dinette/bed is the seating position.  For most people the most comfortable seats don't have flat seats, or flat backs.  Instead, the front of the seats are higher than the back, and the seat backs are in a slightly reclined position.  If your convertible bed is also going to be your primary source of seating, these little considerations can make a world of difference in your comfort level.