Build A Bed In Your Previa

Scenario; you love the great outdoors and you’re tired of pitchin’ a tent…especially when you live in the Pacific Northwest where rain can really put a “damper” on things. Next best affordable and practical option is to get yourself a minivan…Preferably an AWD Toyota Previa! Throw a rocket box on top and it’s not so soccer mommish. Next build a bench that flips open to a double wide bed. When it’s a couple feet up off the ground you can store tons of gear below and then there’s plenty of room for you and your girl to sleep comfortably.

Build a bench-bed in your Previa Minivan

We figured it’s pretty self explanatory on how to build them just from looking at the photos here. But below are some suggestions and ideas that might be helpful when building yours.

Below are a few options for arrangements:

  • By taking out the middle row of seats, it opens it up for a bench/single wide bed set up.
  • You could make a quickie single sleeper bed/bench.
  • But it’s quite simple if you want to add a hinged extension that flips open to a double wide.
  • With Previa’s pioneering, forward thinking, way ahead of their time, amazingly practical rear flip up seats (which the Honda Element copied to the T), allows the option for a ‘double wide flip open bed set up’.

How to build a bed in your Previa Minivan

How to build a bed in your Previa Minivan

Build your own leg supports vs. milk crates:

  • As you can see from the photos, you can either go with the more technical direction where you actually build your own legs/support or you take a simple/lazy approach with the milk crates (which also double as extra storage.
  • PROS of technical leg supports – More options for storage. Impress your bros more than they will already be. More sturdy.
  • PROS of simpler/lazy milk crate approach – Time factor = Get on the road sooner.
  • CONS of technical leg supports – There are none. If you have the time go this route!
  • CONS of simpler/lazy milk crate approach – 3 bulky milk crates floating around. Yes they can double as storage but they are not that practical.

How to build a bed in your Previa Minivan

Things to remember:

  • We made sure that the height of the bed was at least high enough to be able to store traditional storage tubs (rubber made) which was also just high enough to use the milk crates as support while in ‘bed mode’. Milk crates come in different sizes so be sure to get the ones that you will be using and measure them first.
  • Applying the hinges can be a bit of a pain, especially the piano hinge. We recommend using the more traditional door hinges. 4 door hinges is bomber but 3 will work.
  • We recommend building it as a ‘free-standing’ bench and not attaching/drilling it into the van wall. This will allow you more options in the future…And it’s a total headache due to the curves of the wall among other surprises in there.
  • You can use cheap wood but just be sure to apply a lot of L brackets.
  • We also recommend using at least 3/4” ply. Anything less and it’s too flimsy.
  • We also recommend carpeting it with a staple gun. This way your sleeping mat/bedding doesn’t slide around as well as gear when it’s sitting on top and driving around. If you go with carpet, you will have to use the door hinges due to the piano hinge being to small and due to the carpet creating a gap.

How to celebrate after building a bed in your Toyota Previa

Have fun and good luck! We would love to see what others come up with!