Truck Camper Restoration Project - Part 4
IKEA to the rescue! I had mentioned earlier that I found an inexpensive solution for rebuilding the bedroom, while also making what I feel are some improvements to the storage space therein. I'll admit right up front that I'm not a big fan of the default "hamper" cabinet configuration used on most truck campers. Yes, there are a few longer items that you can store in them, but by and large I've found that things tend to gravitate to the bottom of them to become lost or inaccessible.
When I first measured up the original Bigfoot cabinets I got to thinking about how the IKEA Kallax series of shelves/cabinets might fit right in and make better use of the space. The biggest issue to be resolved was whether or not the doors and drawers would be operable once the mattress was installed. My solution was to raise the cabinets right up to the bottom of the windows and mount the doors so that they would tilt out instead of swinging to the side. The original queen sized mattress was six inches high. IKEA had a nice memory foam mattress that was seven inches high and nearly a perfect fit. There is a bit of interference with the lower drawers, but they too can be used by pressing down on the mattress or only opening them partially.
The IKEA cabinets are a composite material with a honeycomb core. They are strong and lightweight and go together easily. I raised them up with adjustable legs from a copier machine in the front and an aluminum angle in the back. There is about 3.5 inches of space under the cabinets that can be used to store sheets, towels and blankets. The cabinets are attached to the aluminum angle and via the Kallax bookshelf mounting brackets that come with them. I used short steel expanding grip anchors in the paneling of the walls to provide anchorage points for the Kallax brackets.
The total cost for the cabinets, doors, drawers, mattress, sheets, duvet and duvet cover was about $800 US. I have about another $120 into the lumber, paneling, insulation and adhesive used to reconstruct the bedroom floor. The bedroom rebuild was completed on May 15.
Tom - KK8M -Warren, Michigan
MI Licensed Electrician, ISA Level 2 Certified I&C Tech, UL Certified PV Installer, Organic "Olla Irrigation" Gardener and bona fide Schlepper