My limited carpentry skills along with an incomplete toolset required help. My buddy Jason Gillman came to the rescue. I called him and told him my idea, he then came by my house to get a look at what we would be working with. After a few days of thinking it over, I drove my hopeful future cabin out to his garage (as a professional carpenter, he had everything we needed there).
What we started with:
- 1 – 6′ piece of 1/2″ plywood
- 3 – 6′ 1×8’s
- 2 – standard hinges
- a whole bunch of wood screws
And that is pretty much it. Later on I added some indoor/outdoor carpet to the top but that is a “nice to have” and not a necessity.
Once the back seats are down, it creates an angle that slopes toward the back. We cut the 1×8’s to match that angle so I would be able to lay on a flat surface. This angle created enough room under the platform to store all kinds of things like camp stove, tent, camp chair, etc. and I won’t feel like I’m sleeping in a coffin. Then we took the 1/2″ plywood and ripped it to fit the width between the wheel wells (that was 37″). At that point we joined the angled 1×8’s to the plywood, set it back in the car and (of course) it fit.
Having completed the base, we worked on the custom attachment, the hinged board at the head that would give me the full 6′ of sleeping area. We then put the entire setup back in the car. When I moved the seats up, we flipped the extra length over and resting on the console, you guessed it, it fit perfectly.
All the credit goes to Jason on this one. I would still be cutting and going back to the hardware store again and again if it wasn’t for his help. I hope anyone else thinking about doing something like this can use any of these plans. In my research I saw nearly every possible car converted into a camper, it can be done.