Lifting double bed
The lifting double bed required a few hours of head scratching to get it right! I wanted to have an area under the bed which could be used for storage and have a full length bed which was always made up. I also wanted to have room in the rear for things i may want to add in the future such as motorbike, bicycles, kayaks, etc. I felt the best option would be to have a bed that lifted up to the roof. The more i thought about it i thought it would also be great to have a feature that not just lifts up but can tilt side to side, so that when you pull over from driving miles and miles and just want a quick sleep on the side of the road before driving again in the morning you can level the bed out so that it is always flat. It's no fun sleeping at a slant. I know there are chocks you can get for the wheels but these all take time. This is a one button approach.
The headache was to make a gimbal that operates a bed and tilts in all angles. Thankfully there is a part known as a rose joint which has a bearing in it to give 360 motion on one axis and a slightly gibbous angle in a second axis which was perfect for the bed lift as the bed will never tilt enough due to height of the bed to cause the joint to come under stress. I then opted to use a linear actuator to give up and down movement on the third axis. Having rose joints means you can strap down the actuators fully so that they don't move at all.
The final hurdle was to build the bed. I simply took my old bed from my room hacked it apart, changed the dimensions slightly to better fit the van. Then i cut the corner off which is where the toilet protrudes into the bed area and strengthened all of the corners so that they pivot nicely and securely on the 4 actuators in the corners.
I then added all of the actuators and the joints to the bed frame, continually checking that the frame was strong enough in the points where weight would be applied and strengthening with more wood if needed. This worked excellent and after 6 months of using the bed so far it hasn't broken, cracked or given in once. In fact it's so solid that even when fully extended it is hard to feel any sway or movement. When the bed is fully down it rests on the rear storage area which you will see i built in the next section. This adds extra strength the build.