Ultra Light Foamie Weekender (sleep Platform)

Canvas covered foamies (Thrifty Alternatives...)

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Ultra Light Foamie Weekender (sleep Platform)

Postby Ned B » Thu Dec 24, 2015 8:03 am

Hi gang, Merry Christmas! For the Third year in a row I'm visiting my parents while my wife and kids are back in NY. Too much chaos for my parents if everyone came down here for the holidays so I did a solo run Tuesday after work.
I must be getting older as I used to be able to do drives like that with No issues. This trip I was definitely struggling towards the end of the 450 miles. I am going to be making similar trips every couple of weeks this coming year, so I need to come up with a safer solution than cat naps at rest areas in the driver's seat.

My first thought is to build a sleeper trailer, foamie style. Keep it ultralight on a harbor freight trailer, get a hitch on the Prius & away I go. I'm loathe to stress the refreshed drivetrain of the car though... So I'm going to make that plan C.

On a side note the Prius is running like a champ after getting a remanufactured hybrid Battery put in, and I'm having a ball with it... Getting 45 mpg on average without trying hard. I've got 175,000 miles on it & want to keep it going as long as I can.

Plan A would be to build the sleeper trailer & tow it with the Escape, but... I doubt the wife will swap vehicles with me that often.

Plan B is for me to build a bed platform so I can stretch out en route in select rest areas on my way south. I'll pick up a memory foam topper & use that for the bed. I just have to get some plywood & a bit of Yankee ingenuity & I'll be all set.
I'll take some measurements & see what I can fab up in the next couple of weeks.
Last edited by Ned B on Wed Mar 16, 2016 3:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sleep platform

Postby KennethW » Thu Dec 24, 2015 8:49 am

I have taken many road trips with 3 kids and no tent in a minivan. The front seat of a minivan is close to a recliner when you put a bag under your legs. The bad part of sleeping in a car is blocking out light and venting out the humidly from your breath without letting the bugs in. Saying that ,A teardrop is a lot more comfortably and if build light and low a teardrop can be easy to tow(not even know it is back there). For your use a 4' wide 6 1/2' long foamy on a 4x4 hf trailer with the axle over the spring would probably work for you. I used 2" foam with vinyl floor covering over the canvas for the floor and 1 1/2" foam for the walls and roof. Edged the openings with canvas and no wood. I surface glued 1/8 FRP mounting plates for hinges,latches and door stops.(wylie windows supports the foam doors) I would think you could keep the small TD under #500. More likely if you could even do a 350 pound TD.
Think,Pico light out of foam on a HF trailer.
http://www.angib.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/t ... tear58.htm
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Sleep platform

Postby Ned B » Thu Dec 24, 2015 10:26 am

Ken interesting... Something to think of once the snows arrive then disappear again. I don't have room in my shop for a build right now & I doubt that the good weather will stay long enough to make the full trailer.

I could make cuts for the platform, just not a whole trailer.
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Re: Sleep platform

Postby KennethW » Thu Dec 24, 2015 12:56 pm

You could probably get the floor cut canvased. The walls cut canvased with the doors and Wylies windows put together in your home. Then when the weather changes you could put the floor on the trailer. The walls on and the roof rapper over the walls and canvased to the walls. All you would have left would be wiring and painting and painting and sanding and did I say painting. you might want to keep a lookout for exterior miss color ($5 at menards)paint.
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Re: Sleep platform

Postby Ned B » Fri Dec 25, 2015 12:10 am

The problem isn't the cutting, it is the finishing and the storing. I probably have a more complete tool set woodworking wise than most. I only have 200sf of shop space. I could see taking steps in oh, April or so, but not January.
As it stands, I'll need to do three or four trips by then. I'm thinking the bed platform, a sleeping bag & a mask will do.
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Re: Sleep platform

Postby wagondude » Fri Dec 25, 2015 7:47 pm

You might check on the seat configuration. You may find you don't need a platform at all. In my Subaru Outback, I can remove the front and rear passenger headrests, move the front seat all the way forward and recline it all the way after folding down the rear seat. The joint between the backs of the front and rear seats is where your knees hit (there is a slight ^ at that point). The only problem with the Prius is the low overhead clearance at the rear. But it might work. I have also found that I could easily sleep in a well lit parking lot by pulling the cargo shade closed.
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Re: Sleep platform

Postby DrewsBrews » Fri Dec 25, 2015 8:42 pm

My TV is a Scion xb (manual) it uses the same engine just without the electric motor in the trans to help out. I'd say if you could keep it under 500lb it would be no problem at all.
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Re: Sleep platform

Postby Mary C » Sat Dec 26, 2015 8:45 pm

Ned, where bouts does your parent live? 450 miles is a bit fer me too!

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Re: Sleep platform

Postby Ned B » Sun Dec 27, 2015 4:37 pm

wagondude wrote:You might check on the seat configuration. You may find you don't need a platform at all. In my Subaru Outback, I can remove the front and rear passenger headrests, move the front seat all the way forward and recline it all the way after folding down the rear seat. The joint between the backs of the front and rear seats is where your knees hit (there is a slight ^ at that point). The only problem with the Prius is the low overhead clearance at the rear. But it might work. I have also found that I could easily sleep in a well lit parking lot by pulling the cargo shade closed.

I'll give it a shot. I know I'll at least need a mattress topper and a sleeping bag.
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Re: Sleep platform

Postby Ned B » Sun Dec 27, 2015 4:43 pm

DrewsBrews wrote:My TV is a Scion xb (manual) it uses the same engine just without the electric motor in the trans to help out. I'd say if you could keep it under 500lb it would be no problem at all.


That's good to know, come spring. I'll have my son the mechanic install the hitch & tap into the lights for me.
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Re: Sleep platform

Postby Ned B » Sun Dec 27, 2015 4:46 pm

Mary C wrote:Ned, where bouts does your parent live? 450 miles is a bit fer me too!

Mary C.


Mary they're near Harrisonburg over in the Shenandoah valley. The problem isn't the miles, it's the miles after a full evening at work which makes for at least an 18 hour day... If not closer to 20
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Sleep platform

Postby Ned B » Sun Dec 27, 2015 4:53 pm

I'm not worried about the lights... Worst case I'll be using a sleep mask, and or I'll get a sun shield. As for ventilation, I'm a road warrior, I am well used to cracking a window when sleeping during rest breaks. One thing just hit me; this not about camping, it Is about safety breaks while traveling.

I just spoke with my parents tonight. they are 'fine' for now, but I will feel better by visiting them. Lori and I will make as many trips together that we can, but if she cannot go, I will need to make the run solo. These are mostly wellness checks plus helping out with shopping etc... Important for my peace of mind more than anything.
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Re: Sleep platform

Postby GPW » Mon Dec 28, 2015 7:49 am

Ned , please take care driving long hours like that ... It’s Not really safe !!! I’ve done it before during hurricane evac ( getting ready all day , then driving) and experienced halucinations and HAD to pull over and rest... That’s a No Bueno!!! :frightened:
There’s no place like Foam !
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Sleep platform

Postby Ned B » Mon Dec 28, 2015 7:52 pm

GPW Thank you, I'm going on almost 30 years of some form or another of long distance driving work. I'm pretty confident from all of those years & miles that I know my limits & when to stop. I try my best to take regular breaks, and won't drive on if I'm tired.
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Re: Sleep platform

Postby wagondude » Mon Dec 28, 2015 10:30 pm

I've done the hallucination thing too. It was crazy scary! Left work after 8 hours headed for Houston. Hit Dallas about midnight. I would wake up every time I hut the rumble bumps on either the left or right shoulder (6 lanes apart). A cop passed me like I was sitting still. Saw deer that weren't there three times before I finally pulled over for a nap. I'll never do that again. Sometimes I don't know how I survived past 25.
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