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7 DIY RV Sofa Beds You Can Make Today

RV Sofa Bed

Over the last few years, thousands of people in the United States have given up conventional living in homes and apartments and taken to the road in their RVs. Many purchase an RV that’s pre-made and fully functioning from day one, but just as many purchase older RVs, school buses, and other vehicles and transform them into rolling “tiny homes” on their own. Those who opt to build out their RV typically do everything, from tearing down and removing the old parts to constructing everything from scratch. That includes tables and chairs, beds, side tables, and more.

One challenge with a small space is constructing furniture with dual uses, and a sofa bed is one of the best. Read on if you’re refitting an RV, school bus, or van into your home on wheels and looking for sofa bed plans. We have seven DIY sofa beds you can construct today.

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7 DIY RV Sofa Beds Plans You Can Make Today

1. Multi-Use DIY RV Sofa Bed by It’s Worth It

Materials: Various lengths of wood, hinges, cabinet hardware, sofa cushions, or mattress
Tools: Table saw, circular saw, drill, wood screws, wood glue, tape measure, level, sandpaper, sanding block
Difficulty: High

This DIY RV sofa bed was a project made by an actual RVing couple who made a video. What’s great about this DIY RV sofa bed is that it doesn’t just have a double use but a triple use. It’s a sofa and a bed, of course, but it also serves as a storage area, which is always a plus when dealing with limited space inside an RV.

Possibly the best thing about this DIY sofa bed is that the makers go through various mishaps and have to go back and fix them. Showing these challenges should save you the trouble of doing the same and make it easier and faster to finish yours. The makers are also building it inside their RV, a bonus that takes it from the shop into the actual space, where you will eventually use the sofa bed.


2. DIY Folding RV Sofa Bed by Imee Made

Materials: Various wood pieces, hinges, cabinet hardware, sofa cushions, or mattress
Tools: Table saw, circular saw, drill, wood screws, wood glue, tape measure, level,
Difficulty: Medium to high

The first DIY RV sofa bed on our list wasn’t designed specifically for an RV but, from what we’ve seen, has been used by many RVers. While it looks rather basic, that’s kind of the point with projects like these; keep them simple, keep costs down but get a piece of furniture that works well and serves a dual purpose.

This RV sofa bed does all of those things and, even better, is a straightforward build that doesn’t demand extreme DIY skills. It can be easily adapted to fit into any RV or school bus as short or long as you like. One small drawback is that you need to purchase the plans on Etsy.

However, they’re only $6.00 and thus less than a Starbucks Frappuccino. You’ll be glad to know that the plans have a 5-star rating, and people seem to love them.


3. DIY Folding RV Sofa Bed #2 by Navigation Nowhere

Materials: Various wood pieces, plywood, multiple hinges, cabinet hardware, sofa cushions or mattress
Tools: Table saw, circular saw, cordless drill, wood screws, wood glue, tape measure, level,
Difficulty: Medium to high

These DIY RV sofa bed plans from Youtuber Navigation Nowhere are fantastic and delivered in a no-nonsense, fun way that you’ll enjoy. The maker creates the sofa bed inside his school bus, which is helpful for when you’re doing the same thing.

Like many of the DIY sofa bed plans on today’s list, this one serves as storage also. One thing you’ll need with all the DIY sofa bed plans today is cushions or a light, foldable mattress. You can, of course, sit on the bare wood most are made from. Sleeping, on the other hand, might be a bit uncomfortable without a mattress.


4. DIY RV Sofa Bed with Storage in Airstream by Sow the Land

Materials: Plywood, wooden slats, various hinges, sofa cushions or mattress
Tools: Table saw, circular saw, cordless drill, wood screws, wood glue, tape measure, level, angle iron
Difficulty: Medium to high

If you own an Airstream RV (or even if you don’t), these DIY RV sofa bed plans will work great! The maker owns his Airstream and is in the middle of renovating it, and these sofa bed plans are made to work with the rounded curves Airstreams are known for.

The Youtube video is well done and goes through all the different steps in an easy-to-follow way. It’s by Youtuber Sow the Land, and besides being brilliantly designed, he’s got a soothing voice that’s easy to listen to as you follow along. If you’re renovating a classic Airstream RV, these DIY sofa bed plans are definitely worth checking out.


5. Compact DIY RV Sofa Bed by I Like Woodworking by I Like Woodworking

Materials: Plywood, wooden slats, various hinges, sofa cushions or a foldable mattress, casters
Tools: Table saw, circular saw, cordless drill, wood screws, wood glue, tape measure, level, angle iron, clamps of various sizes
Difficulty: High

Many RVs and school buses are quite small and demand that, whatever you place in them, it’s compact. These DIY sofa bed plans from I Like Woodworking consider that fact to bring you a compact DIY sofa bed that should fit nicely in any size RV you’re renovating or upgrading.

Although it’s compact when used as a sofa, when it’s pulled out as a bed, this sofa bed is full-length. That means even your tall friends and family will be comfy while they sleep. What you’ll enjoy is that the bed is easy to pull out at night and push back in when morning comes. However, it will take some DIY experience, so you should plan to take a few days to complete the project.


6. Sprinter Van DIY Sofa Bed by Imee Made

Materials: Plywood, wooden slats, piano hinges, sofa cushions or a foldable mattress, casters, cabinet hardware
Tools: Table saw, circular saw, cordless drill, wood screws, wood glue, tape measure, level, angle iron, clamps of various sizes
Difficulty: High

If you’re converting a Sprinter van or other very small van into an RV, you need a very compact sofa bed that will still be comfortable when used as your bed. That’s where these DIY RV sofa bed plans come into play.

The makers, IMEE MADE, show you exactly how to make this compact, useful and practical sofa bed on their Youtube channel, and the process is completely mapped out for you. The bed uses cabinet drawer hardware to take it out and put it away as easily as possible.

As with most on today’s list, this design also doubles as storage space via drawers that you can easily access. If your RV, school bus, or van is small and you need all the space you can get, don’t miss these excellent sofa bed plans.


7. DIY RV- Dinette/Couch/Bed/Storage by It’s Worth It

Materials: Plywood, wooden slats, sofa cushions or a foldable mattress, casters, cabinet hardware, cabinet paint, metal table base with a hydraulic lift, recycled drawers
Tools: Table saw, circular saw, cordless drill, wood screws, wood glue, tape measure, level, angle iron, clamps of various sizes, paint brushes, sandpaper, sanding block
Difficulty: High

If you’re renovating a large camper, school bus, or 5th-wheel RV, these DIY sofa bed plans are perfect. The result will be a massive amount of storage, a large seating and eating area, and a queen or king-size bed perfect for a visiting couple (or yourself).

One caveat is that this will require some serious DIY skills and more than a little bit of time and energy. Making it yourself is certainly doable, but a DIY partner in crime would be very helpful. When you’re done, you’ll have a ton of storage space in your RV, which is always welcome.

You’ll like that these plans involve repurposing drawers from other furniture. Of course, if you have the skills and tools, you can make them yourself if you like.

divider 1Can You Remove an Old Sofa from an RV?

If you’re renovating an RV that already has a sofa, you might wonder if you can remove it. The answer is that, in most RVs, you can more or less remove anything you wish. In fact, you can strip the entire RV down to the bare floor and walls if you like and build or replace everything from scratch.

One thing to note about sofas and pretty much everything you’ll find in the typical RV is that they’re bolted down like mad. When on the road, you don’t want your sofa (or anything else for that matter) flying all over the place when you take a turn or hit a pothole. In other words, be prepared to remove several bolts if you want to remove the existing RV sofa and replace it with a DIY sofa bed.

Can You Screw Into the Walls or Floor of an RV?

When making a DIY sofa bed for your RV, you’ll want to ensure it’s connected firmly to the walls and floor in several spots. As mentioned earlier, the last thing you want is your new sofa bed to move around when your RV is underway.

To do that, you’ll need to attach your sofa bed, which is easiest using screws. Can you screw into the walls and floor of an RV? Yes, but with a lot of diligence and care. That’s because the walls in most are a single sheet of heavy-duty aluminum, so if you’re not careful, you’ll punch holes everywhere, which, when it rains, could be very problematic. Instead, many DIYers recommend using rivets or, if you use screws, to screw into the support beams (studs) you’ll find in most RVs.

Are There Studs in RV Walls?

Most RVs don’t have the traditional studs you’ll find in your home but aluminum studs instead. Some older RVs will have wooden studs, but unlike your home, they’re randomly placed.

That’s because an RV’s walls and roof are very lightweight, so the frame doesn’t have to support a heavy load. For that reason, there are none of the so-called “load-bearing” studs in an RV as, in most cases, there’s no load to bear.

To locate any studs there might be in your RV, a magnetic or electronic stud finder will usually work. You can also look for the rivets that hold the interior wall panels of your RV to the studs. They look like buttons.

Can You Use a Regular Sofa Bed in an RV?

You can use a regular sofa bed you find in a furniture store in your RV, but it’s not recommended. The reason is that you can’t easily bolt a regular sofa bed to the floor, and even if you could, it would still be too easy to come loose and cause havoc while driving.

Also, the typical store-bought sofa bed is extremely heavy. When refurbishing an RV or school bus, it’s always best to keep the weight down as much as possible. That’s why most folks renovating an RV choose to make their sofa bed themselves.

house dividerFinal Thoughts

Did you see a DIY sofa bed on today’s list that you plan to make for your RV or school bus? We sure hope you did and that it turns out well, is attractive, and, most importantly, gives you just the right amount of comfort and support when sitting and sleeping. What’s the best thing about making a DIY sofa bed for your RV?

When you’re on the road, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you made it yourself! Best of luck with whichever DIY sofa bed plans you choose, and safe travels!


Featured Image Credit: Alex Stemmers, Shutterstock

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