Best bed when you sleep in a van with pets

If you live in a van, the bed matters - it’s your bedroom, living room, and often your dining room.

Phillip got the frame online and adapted it to sit above the wheel wells.

He added plywood for comfort (our thin blow-up camping pads sank through the frame).

And best of all, he cut and adapted it so we can have a couch. This is essential to our happiness. Before the couch, we’d try to sit in bed (to read, knit, work on our laptops) and could never get comfortable. We couldn’t sit up straight because our heads hit the ceiling. A few pillows along the windows could work for a while, but not for both of us at the same time.

The couch is angled just right - as high as possible without our heads hitting - and I have worked on my laptop for entire days comfortably. (Well, my butt falls asleep eventually.)

Our mattresses have served us reasonably well, but we’re replacing them. Phillip has patched them at least 20 times, which is annoying (but glad we can repair rather than throw away!). But now we’re at a crossroads, and it’s the cats’ fault. They instinctively do that claw-stretch-thing, and have added holes to the top of the mattresses - and the tops can’t be patched (too slippery).

We have to re-inflate during the night now, and that’s a drag. We’re definitely taking years off our lives. The new mattress serves us better, though it’s not excellent.

We’ve had 24 muddy feet going in and out of this bed all rainy season, so we learned to put our mattress cover on top of everything (pillows and blankets too) to semi-protect the bed. It also helps with Booker’s incontinence and Max’s perpetually poop-stained butt. We’ve still had to wash the bedding inconveniently often, but the mattress cover catches more than half the stains.

It has to be over everything to work, though, and sometimes we forget to finish the job after getting all the animals out, or Hannah gets cold and subterfuges the situation.

Our latest innovation that keeps a little poop off the bed is Max’s special blankets. We got a cheap fleece blanket and cut it into 5 pieces, each about a square yard. When Max is getting ready to lay down we drape a little blanket on/around him, and the poop smears are contained. These little blankets are easier to wash (and faster to dry) than our full-size blankets. Plus Max prefers to be completely under a blanket at all times (except when walking or eating) so we have his little blankets in the van and kitchen to tuck him in, and he never gets in between our sheet anymore. Thank God.


mom November 14, 2018

very fun to read and great demonstrations of everything!

Beth November 14, 2018

You two are SO clever! Twenty four feet. Holey moley. (Wholly moldy? Homey motley? Holly money? Google doesn’t like my spelling.)

mom November 16, 2018

i go with holey moley, google be danged. :-)

Anna Lisa Gross November 17, 2018

I never tried to spell holey moley before, but that does seem right!

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