After I buttoned up the bed, I moved on to the next mini-project: bedside storage. There’s about five and a half inches of unused space on the sides of the bed, and since space in the van is in short supply, I decided to find a way to utilize it.
These plywood troughs didn’t take long to assemble. I’d actually cut the wood a long time ago, so all I had to do was assemble them and slap on some polyurethane. Inside each trough I installed a 12 volt and a USB outlet. The USB outlet was a bit of a surprise—it turned out to be a 12 volt outlet with a USB adapter stuffed inside. Anywho, lids and dividers will come later, after I confirm that there aren’t any long, skinny items in need of a place to live inside the van.
Like the bed slats, I used 3M Dual Lock tape to secure the troughs to the aluminum frame. Have I told you how much I love this dual lock tape stuff? I love it. It offers a wonderful compromise between locking things down and keeping things removable and adjustable. Perfect for the noncommittal van builder. After the entire van is finished (which at this rate won’t be until I’m 80), I can go back and screw the troughs down when I’m confident that I won’t have to access the underside.
A note about drilling large holes in wood—use forstner bits! Besides forstner bits, I’ve also tried hole saws, step drills, and spade bits. Hole saws seem to dull quickly, and they tend to burn the wood. Step drills leave messy holes. Spade bits won’t clear the debris. I picked up a Porter Cable forstner bit set, and although I didn’t want to spend the money on it, I’m so glad I did. The bits stay sharp, the holes are clean, and the design of the bit sends debris away from the hole. I only wish I’d purchased it earlier in the process of building the van.
Up next: more insulation!