Electric Bed Hoist
One of the things we decided we wanted was a permanently made up bed. Living in the van fulltime makes for a lot of bed making if you're moving sofa cushions etc. In a small van, a permanent bed can take up over half the floor space, so we opted for an electric bed hoist made by Happijac. This lifts the bed up into the ceiling when not in use. The motor uses up to 12 amps but only for a short period of time. The hoist is chain driven and can be stopped at any height but we used the trip switches provided to set the maximum and lowest heights.
The hoist is two 'U' frames linked by a drive shaft so both ends move up and down together
An aluminium frame was welded, and some Ikea bed slats support the mattress
Bed 'up' in the ceiling space
Ply light boxes were were built to enclose the bed when up. The lights can be used when the bed is both up or down
The underside of the frame was ply lined and wallpapered so the bed is flush with the bottom of the light boxes. The window blind rolls up behind the end of the bed
The finished bed in the 'down' position. We used a 14cm latex mattress from Ikea which is fairly comfortable. We later added a memory foam topper aswell