Mattress for van

Redheddedwonder

Active member
Hello, recently got a e350 extended Quadvan. Gonna be a a pretty basic camper for us, just a bed and dual battery is panned. First is the bed, I removed the two rear seats and plan to build a frame that bolts to the existing holes for the seat mount brackets. But can’t really plan it until I figure out a mattress, what do you guys recommend?
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
I suggest don’t get memory foam. They get weird in the cold.
I just leave my mattress heating pad on, but you are right, if the viscoelastic foams drop under freezing they are quite hard.
 

dgregorycope

New member
I purchased a queen size foam mattress from Wal-Mart for my E350 EB. Mattress installed length wise. Width wise fits perfectly. At 6'3" didn't trim it. Plenty of room for small fridge and cabinetry.
 

ober27

Adventurer
We used a 10" memory foam, liked it so much we bought the identical mattress for our home. I cant speak to the cold, we've slept a few nights in the 30s, but never below freezing. Between the van and the house we've spent ~400 nights on ours and couldn't be happier with them. I will say we have turned them both upside down because we like the firmness of the base foam better than the soft memory foam, that may vary with different brands, ours are both Spa Sensations mattresses. I did cut the length down to allow us space to mount the two captains chairs in the middle when we need space for 4 passengers. I used a large serrated butcher knife to make the cut. I used two 2x4s, one above, one below to compress the foam next to the cut.
 

Redheddedwonder

Active member
Thanks for the recommendations!

I need to get measurements to see what size will fit, I need to decide on a mattress before I can start building the frame for it.

So this is an EB with the second row bench still in, anyone have a recommendation size wise that fits? I am in the PNW so could easily get pretty cold if we camp in the winter meaning the foam could get stiff.
 

Paddy

Adventurer
Yes and it doesn’t need to be freezing. Our went weird in the 50s probably. And turning a memory foam mattresss upside down makes it into a non memory foam mattress, imo. I’m not that picky luckily. Foam will be hot in summer though. So it’s a balance.
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
In hot weather the memory foam insulates much better than regular open cell foam. I have a 1" layer of conductive/gel memory foam on the top of mine, which makes it quite a bit cooler to sleep on. Personally I think a 7" mattress with 3" of low-medium density on the top, and 4" of high density on the bottom is ideal. Maybe use a 1" memory foam topper on top, which can be removed if you camp with a cold cabin.
 

Redheddedwonder

Active member
What is opinions on fold down benches? Are they very comfortable? friend of mine just offered one for free he has, but if they aren’t comfortable I would rather stick to my plan.
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
The comfort of the bench is totally dependent on the foam used for its mattress, and if it has any variations in its surface. Most seem to have no more than 4" of foam thickness, and cannot accommodate more due to the linkage.
 

ober27

Adventurer
When we first bought our van we thought we could just add an extension on to the fold down bench to give us the size we needed. We thought the bench folded flat and level, after adding the extension we learned it wasn't perfectly flat. We spent two miserable nights on that setup, we picked up the memory foam mattress on our way home from that trip. I'm sure some benches are better than others, but that was our experience. Good luck with whatever you decide.
 

Redheddedwonder

Active member
Good to know, it’s free so I may check it out but I am leaning towards the normal bed. Also based on storage needs, can store totes of gear under a bench!
 
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