Subaru Sleeping Platform/Camping Build

Toady we will start a build to of a sleeping platform for the back of the 2017 Subaru Forester. The project design spec is as follow:

Must have enough width to sleep two people
Must accommodate a six foot tall person (me)
Must tri-fold or break into three sections an store in rear area of SUV ( we do not want things flying around in a crash!)
Must be level or have a very slight incline.
Must be economical to build
Must be done in 4 weeks!

Having built a boat I am familiar with something I call a try batten. It is basically a stick that we use as a measuring aid to produce a pattern and check or build against the plans as we build. We will make a pattern using it.
First get a nice straight piece of stable wood like oak. Hey look I have one laying round! That is economical.
Next lay it out in the center of the work area.

As you can see we have about 77 inches to work with. Let’s call it 76 to make life easy.

Next we need to place marks at regular intervals on the batten. Lets shoot for 4 inches and that will give us a nice regular whole number of 19 marks.

Let’s take out batten back outside and start measuring

What we need to do is measure from the edge of the batten to the edge of the interior at very mark. In our case every four inches. After I measure I write the measurement on the batten in sharpie.

So we have the whole length measured and marked. But we also have a design requirement that means it needs to be level as well. So I move the SUV to a flat area in the driveway. Is it flat ?

Close about 1/2 inch off. Good enough we can work with that.

Next I place the batten back in the car on edge this time and place a level on it. Simply raise the batten until it is level and measure the distance from the deck to the bottom of the batten.

In our case it is 8 inches. I write that on the other side of the batten. So the batten is 1 inch wide. 8+1 =9 inches. Will that clear the wheel wells vertically? (this would be the underside of the platform).

Roger that!

Lucky me my neighbor just got a new desk this week and she was throwing out a huge box. Hey I can use that.
I lay out the box on the floor with the batten.

I lay out my batten and start marking up the cardboard

What we need to do now is measure from the edge of the batten at each mark. If it says 23 inches then measure 23 inches and put a small mark

What we are starting to develop is the pattern. One half to be exact!

Notice I placed my batten on the fold of the box.

Next I will simply cut out one half of the patter with a knife. Place you batten underneath so you do not mark the floor. Cut once lightly to go through top layer and then again to cut through.

Now fold your cardboard in half and repeat.

Poof we have a pattern

But will it fit? Drum roll please.

It does!

Ok time to test with some sleeping pads. We will have inflatable pads on top of these but for now this is a good prototype test.

Nice . Now we need to adjust and trim.

I notice we can add some width up top.

I notice we can add some width up top.

We also need to trim some.

Well that is it for today as it is starting to rain.

What did we accomplish? Well we have a great pattern to work off of as we move to the next phase which will be laying out the vertical part of the build. Yes we will use our batten technology to tackle the problem as well. Stay tuned!


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