10-25-2010, 08:50 PM #1
Subaru Forester Sleeping Platform
So, I have always lusted after peoples ski-venture mobiles, the pick-up bed sleeping platforms, sportsmobiles, Honda Element conversions, all the stuff on YotaTech, the BajaTaco and especially Sinecure's Ballin' Rape Van. I really like the idea of being able to park your car anywhere and sleep. I like that even in 40 mph winds, when my little 1980's summer tent is being blown to Timbucktu, my car won't be blown over.
Since I don't have enough money to buy even the commode from a SportsMobile or even a decent truck (i'm saving though, eventually I will own), I decided to try my luck in the Suby. It is a 2002 Subaru Forrester, Manual tranny, decent ground clearance and good snows make it a great winter car. Its boxy shape gives it enough room to do something creative with it. So I went for it.
Now, keep in mind that it is not fully complete yet. It will eventually have a companion box and a full deck across the back, but for now this will do.
I had a couple of criteria when designing it:
- had to be easily removed by 1 person (i.e. not super heavy or awkward)
- had to be easily broken down and "stored" (i.e. does not require tools to take it apart and doesn't have to occupy the whole area when not in use. Basically, if group camping, this can be broken down so my car can be used as a shuttle car.
- had to be able to use either half as a stand alone (i.e. I can use it by myself and don't have to put the whole thing in.)
- had to incorporate a "kitchen" (still to come)
Basically it had to be versatile and sturdy at the same time. Please let me know if you have any helpful hints or critiques, i'm still looking to improve things.
Here it is all layed out. I have a 4 inch foam mattress that has a red slip cover sewed onto it. It is actually very, very comfortable.
The whole mattress is just over 6 feet long, the platform is about 5'8"
Here it is being broken down. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask. It can be set up/taken down in about 3 minutes.
Obviously the straps go over the loose deck too, just got lazy for the pictures.
Eventually the kitchen will go inside this box.
It will (hopefully) look like this:
Hope this is helpful for any of you trying to build your own platform. You don't necessarily need a truck, you just have to sit down and tinker with things for quite a while.
Here is a list of links that helped me:
There are some others, i'll see if I can find them.
10-25-2010, 09:00 PM #2
Aewsome! Thats my plan for over christmas / thanksgiving, depending on when I'm home and have access to tools next. Thanks for all the links as well, I love the yotatech one with the pull out table! Gonna have to bookmark this page.
10-25-2010, 09:07 PM #3
Very impressive, nice job.
10-25-2010, 09:23 PM #4
Nice work. thanks for sharing
10-25-2010, 09:31 PM #5Hugh Conway Guest
can you fist on that platform?
10-25-2010, 09:57 PM #6
10-25-2010, 10:03 PM #7
so somewhat serious question. have you actually slept on this yet? Looking at the image it appears that you are putting weight near the front (relative to the frontseat) with a board wedged at an angle and relying on the hinges to hold you up. This seems like a possible point of failure if I am seeing it properly, as it doesn't put weight into the board, but instead relies on a couple wood screws to carry the load. I'd be concerned of those hinges creating an unexpected wakeup.
10-25-2010, 10:18 PM #8Just living the dream...
- Join Date
- Feb 2010
- The Flat Middle West
Great work! As long you are not claustrophobic, very doable. Definatly props for shit you built with your own hands!
10-25-2010, 10:20 PM #9
zombinate, thanks for the observation. I actually sleep with my head towards the rear of the car, placing most of my weight over the box which is very sturdy. I do have to be careful climbing onto it though as those hinges are indeed a point of failure. Another point of failure is the last 11 inch section where my feet go. Those little struts aren't very strong either.
I'll be sleeping in this over the weekend at the Moab Ho-Down, so that'll be a good test.
10-25-2010, 11:45 PM #10
Advantage short guy. I just fold the seat forward, throw a thermarest and sleeping bag in, and just manage to fit in there. Sweet set up though.
10-26-2010, 12:11 AM #11
Cool idea. I have often thought about doing something like this to my Legacy but I have always ended up tossing sleeping pads/bags/blankets directly in the back. You certainly lose a lot of headroom with that platform, and I'm not sure if you really gain much storage/organization that you couldn't have in some rubbermaid bins.
10-26-2010, 08:50 AM #12
Yes, you can use rubbermaid bins with a thermarest over them. I thought about that. The point of building this was to make something that was level, sturdy and comfortable. I wanted to build something that I would be comfortable in and that I would enjoy sleeping in, not just something that I could "survive" for a couple nights in. Does that make sense?
10-26-2010, 09:40 AM #13
[ame="https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2644871&postcount=125"]Teton Gravity Research Forums - View Single Post - Perfect ski/surf car = Honda Element Ecamper?[/ame]
I did something in the same realm with a Honda CRV for a season. Worked pretty good - but did have more head room than a forester I think.
10-26-2010, 11:13 AM #14
10-26-2010, 11:36 AM #15
very nice. I love the way it folds up, and gets out of the way when you don't need it.
10-26-2010, 12:30 PM #16
Thanks for posting this, it inspired me to remove the rear seat bottom out of my outback just now... I don't need a platform so I'll just do a ~7' long sheet of plywood hinged to fold in half for storage. Taking out the seatbottom rather than just folding it forward frees up a lot of room if anyone else is considering something like this. Just need to remove two bolts with a 12mm socket, only takes a couple minutes.
10-26-2010, 12:46 PM #17
That goes to all of you. I love seeing pictures of other peoples setups, does any one else have something like this? I saw the element car camping thread and i've seen the sportsmobile threads but would always like to see more.
10-26-2010, 12:48 PM #18
Glad this is getting people to work on their own ideas. Patches, does the seat back fall into the space vacated by the seat bottom? I thought about doing that but didn't know if it would free up any more space cause the seat back looks like it locks at a flat level in my Forester.
10-26-2010, 01:02 PM #19
In the legacy outback ('01) you would normally fold the seatbottom forward, then fold the seatback forward. This gets you a flat platform, but the seatbottom sticks up where your head wants to be. If you remove the seatbottom then you can pull & lean the front passenger seat forward and get about 7' of room lengthwise. The top of the center console is the same height as the floor in the back so you can span the whole thing with plywood. Maybe a couple struts on the front edge so it doesn't mash down too hard on the console.
10-26-2010, 01:07 PM #20
I don't sleep on the rubbermaids, I just put them in the front seat or in a front/rear corner and sleep directly on the floor. Can't get much more stable than that.
If I could sacrifice people-moving ability I'd remove the entire back seat and make a storage area under a platform extension.
10-26-2010, 01:11 PM #21
10-26-2010, 02:17 PM #22
How tall are you? I am 6' and sleep diagonally in my forrester with both seats down. Your platform might eliminate my problem.Best Skier on the Mountain
1992 - 2012
Squaw Valley, USA
10-26-2010, 06:14 PM #23
10-28-2010, 01:15 PM #24
Has anyone considered reducing bulk and weight by using a hammock/sling/bivy approach, or even a modified cot to span seat and other irregularities?
We've used cots for years for camping and they provide excellent support and are simply two tubes on legs with a sturdy nylon 'membrane' for the bed support. They fold up to about 36" long x 6" diameter or so and could easily be stowed in any vehicle.
10-28-2010, 01:33 PM #25Registered User
- Join Date
- Mar 2008
- northern BC
anybody own a passat I had a buddy who would sleep in his 93 4dr with NO modifications just put the back seat down & sleep 2