Hacking a bed into the back of a station wagon

bed for station wagon

Materials: Dodge Magnum (or other station wagon of your choice), Dalselv twin bed, Sultan Lillaker slats, station wagon, saw, drill, optional strap hinges and paint stick

Description: Building a bed into the back of a station wagon to sleep on during camping/road trips.

The Sultan Lillaker slats fit perfectly into the back of the Dodge Magnum, but the bed frame will need some adjustment.

bed for station wagon
bed for station wagon

1. Remove the back seats from the Magnum.

2. Remove approx. 2 inches from each of the two shorter ends of the bed frame.

3. Re-drill holes for the screws and dowel in the ends you cut off.

4. Remove approx. 2.5 inches from each of the two longer sides of the bed frame.

5. Re-drill holes as above.

6. Attach one of the longer sides to one of the shorter legs (foot of the bed) but turn the side piece *upside down*. The slats fit perfectly into the back of the Magnum, but do not leave space for the frame, so they will need to sit *on top* of the edge of the frame, rather than nestled into the ledge inside the frame. Turning the sides upside down gives the slats more surface area to rest on at the sides. Place the side-and-leg into the car with the leg at the rear of the car. Measure the length of the front leg necessary to approximately level the bed (these legs will rest on the floor of the car – the foot space of the back seats – as opposed to the back legs, which will rest on the sides of the trunk),

6. Now assemble bed frame — remember to turn the longer side pieces upside down. Also turn the legs at the head of the bed upside down so that the longer length points downward instead of up, then trim them to the measurement you took above.(Discard the rest of the headboard pieces.)

7. Trim the tops of the legs close to the top of the bed frame so that your trunk will be able to close and your front seats will be able to scoot back as far as possible.

8. Attach the slats to the bed frame with a few screws in the plastic strips on each side.

9. Install in car.

10. Optional — if you would like to be able to access your wheel well and the space under the bed in the trunk, cut the longer sides of the frame about 2 feet from the foot of the bed, and hinge them with small strap hinges. Add some wood to the bottom of the frame to support it when the hinged part is raised (see picture). You can also drill a hole into a paint stick or similar at one of the corners to act as a prop to keep it open (again see picture).

~ Melissa Dunphy, United States