Big is beautiful.
I’ve always liked projects. Making this pig something I’d be O.K. with while scuming my way across the southern part of America was a good time.
Having an elevated, folding sleeping area was a necessity. I’m pretty tall, and not being able to stretch out comfortably would make me miserable.
I ended up designing a 60/40 split for the platform. This increases the modularity of the entire platform for storage. With one sides removal, it is possible to stow tall objects like bikes while maintaining a large sleeping area. The base is supported by a front facing wall and a rib that runs the length of the platform. This rib is locked into the floor by u-bolts.
The front seats in the Element lie completely flat at roughly 14.5’’ from the interior floor. The sheets of 3/4’’ plywood I used for construction put the entire platform about 15’’ high.
I used 3/4’’ ply, 1x2’s and 2x4’s where needed. The basic unpainted, un-carpeted build took about 16 hours with two sets of hands1. Something I didn’t discover till it was all built was that with the front seats up and the leg portion of the bed resting on them you get a sweet lounge chair.
I also made a new space tire cover to free up all the space under-neath. I put things I want to stay especially safe in there. Cutting the board length-wise gives access to either side with the platform installed.
The roof rack I installed is from Yakima, sourced mostly from Craigslist. 58’’ bars seemed to work best. Also, you can get the Yakima Basket Case under the bars, so I did that and secured the spare tire.
The roof-box is by far the best installed option. I’ve got tons of useless crap up there. Retail for the entire setup is north of $900. I spent $350, so I’d recommend trolling ebay and craigslist to save quite a bit of scrilla.
Thanks, Dad. ↩