Here's the bed fully assembled with Futon, comforter, pillows and sleeping girlfriend (she didn't know I took the pic). The front seats are slid and folded all the way forward. Iím 6 feet tall and when Iím sleeping, my head neither touches the driverís seat, nor do my feet touch the tailgate. Widthwise, in the shoulders where it counts, the bed is just a few inches shy of a queen sized bed. We use a queen futon from Ikea in the car.
The bed is in three sections, only one of which needs to be lowered for driving. This piece is held in place by three Allen bolts and is held up by two pvc pipes which simply pull out. Once disconnected, this piece just sits behind the front seats, out of the way. Since I chose to remove the rear seats in this design, the additional storage under the bed where the rear seats would normally be ends up being quite large.
These pictures were taken with the car empty but even with the car packed, the futon and bedding just fold up like a taco towards the back door, tucked under the dog bed / shelf as youíll see in the pictures further down.
The foot end of the bed is hinged so it can be lifted up to access the rear storage space.
Now, if we want to fold everything up for storage and put the rear seats back in, simply remove 3 more allen bolts and everything slides back behind the rear seats. I usually just take everything out but I wanted to have the option of storing it with the rear seats still functional.
Here we see the queen sized futon along with the down comforter, 4 pillows and extra blanket folded over and sandwiched between the dog bed/shelf and the bottom of the bed. The picture from the back of the car looks complicated like some crazy car camping hamburger but it's actually pretty simple. On the bottom are the items in the "trunk" below the bed, then window screens and window shades, then 1/2 the bed, next, a few things stuffed into the "bed taco," then the other side of the bed and finally the dog bed with a few blankets on top.
With this design, setting up the bed when I make camp is pretty quick and easy and only takes about 3 or 4 minutes.
1) remove the cooler and dog toys from the bed platform behind the front seats
2) move the front seats forward and reconnect the removable platform at the head of the bed with the 3 allen bolts.
3) from the rear of the car, push the top of the futon forward until it pops out from under the dog bed. The bedding will unroll with the futon and will already be in place for sleeping.
I just got back a few days ago from a 5,500 mile road trip along the east coast, down to Florida and back. Here's everything we brought on the trip with us minus the 4 pillows, down comforter and extra blanket.
The core of the bed frame that makes the bed solid and stable is made out of 2X6 wood with lots of brackets and screws. The bed is very sturdy and doesn't wobble or flex at all.