When we sold our house we bought a used 2017 Cedar Creek 37MBH. This is a great size camper for us, and includes a rear living room, large master bedroom and a mid bunkhouse. We knew that the bunkhouse would be a great spot for the kids. It consists of a room downstairs with a loft above it. Our plan was for the loft to be their play area and we set it up with all of their toys. We wanted to use the room as their bedroom. The only problem was that it only included a fold out couch for them to sleep on. We had to fold out the couch and put sheets and blankets on it every night. We decided pretty quickly that this wasn’t going to work for us. We wanted to convert the area where the couch was located into bunk beds for this kids. This is how we did it.
Setting up the Room
We started by posting the Tri-fold Hide-a-bed Sofa on Facebook Marketplace and we were surprised at how quickly it sold. Luckily the couple buying the sofa was able to meet us at the campground where we are staying to pick it up. We had to take the back off of the sofa to get it out of the camper door and even then it was a very tight fit. We had to take it out of the bunkhouse room toward the living area, and then out of the camper door as there wasn’t enough room in the hallway to go straight out of the door.
Buying New Mattresses
With the sofa out of the way, I could begin to take some measurements and make a plan about how to build bunk beds for that space. Just a couple words of caution here, the room isn’t square, it gets less deep as it goes up. Also don’t forget the window in that room is an emergency exit and should never be blocked. Be sure that you measure at each height that you want a bunk to account for these things. I didn’t realize the room wasn’t square when I built the beds originally and I had to make some modifications to get them to fit. I did find that the room was a little over 30 inches deep at the floor. Using this measurement I was able to find some mattresses on Amazon that would work for this space. It was a Narrow Twin, 6 inch thick memory foam mattress. They were a little too long, but that was easily solved with a sharp knife. You can find the mattress at the Amazon link below.
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Building the Beds
Once I had the measurements and the mattresses picked out, I started on building the bunks. I used some 1 ¼ x 6 inch decking boards as the side rails and 1 x 4 slats for under the beds. I used decking boards as they already have a nice rounded edge on all four sides and they are generally a better grade of lumber. I had read some posts about memory foam collecting moisture and growing mold underneath the mattress if not properly vented, so I used pegboard on top of the slats to give more support under the mattresses and still provide plenty of ventilation. I didn’t want to permanently attach the bunk beds to walls in the bunkhouse, so I just used 1 x 4’s as legs for the top bunk. I used appropriate length wood screws to attach everything and wood putty to cover any holes. We painted everything a nice neutral grey furniture paint so we could get bedding that will work for both our boy and girl. We just have some temporary fleece blankets on there in the pictures below until Megan finds something she is happy with.
After the sale of the sofa for $600 we actually made money on this build! With each mattress costing around $80, and roughly $120 worth of materials, Megan still has some money left over to purchase the bedding of her choice. Keep an eye on our Instagram to see what she chooses there.
The main thing is that the kids love it. They like having their own beds and we like not having to go through the hassle of folding out the couch and making it into a bed every night. This project was a win!