Mavis 2.0 | Airstream Bed Remodel: 2 Twins to 1 Full-sized Bed

We lived full-time for three months in a twin bed set-up. And we only did this because we knew it was going to be a temporary thing. Mavis was originally a way for us to travel for short periods at a time and she would eventually make it to her final resting place as an Airbnb/guest house in the backyard of our future coastal container home. The last part of that plan is still a go. What changed is we didn’t expect to fall head over heels for Airstream living. During our first three months in Southport, NC where Jason spent the winter training to get his pilot’s certificate, we completely changed our way of thinking. We loved the simplicity of it all. We decided we had no desire to go back to our house full-time. It’ll be a pit stop between full-time Airstream living and traveling the country. So after Southport, we had some modifications to make which included this bedroom overhaul. We pretty much just did a switch-a-roo of the bedroom and sofa. Here is a look at the build of the full-sized bed:

The entire bed is framed with 1x4s. I first built the center five 1×4 cross beams and then fastened the rear board to the back wall with the nail gun and then screws to reinforce. I built the bed up high enough to be able to literally crawl underneath to stow things away. We wanted to make sure it was tall enough for things like our air compressor and tool box since this is really the only space where large objects can be stored. The center board is three boards thick for the two pieces of plywood to lay onto.

Building it this way made for all straight cuts and no figuring of the curvature of the wall.

This is the footprint of the former sofa – where the flooring ends and the subfloor begins. We didn’t lose a ton of floor space up front and we gained space where we removed the twin beds from the back.

I sanded and painted the front of the bed with satin latex paint. I also built a frame to separate stored objects underneath and carpeted the underside. This way objects stored underneath would be less likely to roll around. Also, things like the toolbox and air compressor would have scratched the floor up anyway.

Here’s a better look at the frame underneath.

The cabinet doors are simple and were built with birch plywood and then stained. I used spring loaded hinges so they’d stay shut while the trailer was on the road. I have plans to make a slide out step on the far right cabinet to help our dog get on and off the bed.

The top of the bed frame was covered with two sheets of 1/2″ plywood. This part my dad helped with because he’s a master with the circular saw. I’m still learning. 😉

A look at the top of the bed with wall to wall plywood. The plywood was then fastened to the frame with the nail gun.

The bed was centered in the front of the trailer and the ends were built up with vertical 1x12s. It was then framed with dividers to create little storage compartments.

A piece of plywood was cut to size to make up the elevated floor of the shelves.

We calculated the curve for the floor of the cabinet by measuring the length of the 1×12 and then marking the top of it every 4 inches. We then recorded the measurement every 4 inches from the 1×12 to the wall.

The bed nuzzles up perfectly to the shelf on either end with enough space to tuck the comforter and sheets.

Here’s a look at the compartments at the head and foot of the bed. Perfect for books and dog toys. 😉

The wall hanging is by Alex at @caliclecticstudio. I was looking for a way to cozy up the bedroom space since it felt so exposed front and center. Alex helped figure the perfect pattern to hang inversely across the ceiling. Her design is so light and airy. It looks so dreamy dancing in the breeze and sunlight.

These are actually votive holders by Nate Berkus for Target. They are the perfect size and shape for little plants.



My mix of neutral linens and the geometric throw pillow are all from Target.

This insanely soft reclaimed vintage linen pillow is by Rags 2 Riches Design.

Sheena

Sheena

Sheena is a free-spirited adventurer who designed and renovated a 1975 Airstream in 2016 and travels the US with her husband and mohawk-sportin' poodle. She's a business owner, self-taught carpenter, blogger, yogi, professional photographer and a lover of the outdoors and healthy living.
Sheena

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14 Comment

  1. Looking good! Can’t wait to see it all decorated!

  2. Do you have a full picture of the airstream inside? I have found a airstream close to me for cheap and was thinking of purchasing! Would like an example of how its all laid out. Absolutely LOVE your style by the way!

    1. Thanks so much! And I sure do! Check out this link: http://mavistheairstream.com/new-mavis/

    2. Hi Ashleigh
      A few tips before buying. Check the floors for rot around the bathrooms. if it has a rear hatch check both sides with a flashlight. They are notorious to rot because of a design flaw esp if it is a rear bath. If it has extensive floor rot ( like chunks missing) its a “lot of work” to replace the floor correctly. From the pictures Jason and Sheena showed of the bathroom demo they were very lucky to have minimal floor rot. Another notorious floor spot is the left hand side of the door. if it has carpet you can pull it up in the corner if there is rot.

      1. Yes, good tips! We did luck out with our bathroom but have looked in many with bad rot in that area. And yep – the front door. That’s where we had to replace a small section.

  3. Any pictures of the old bedroom?

    1. Yes! Here’s the photos of the old set-up: http://mavistheairstream.com/old-mavis/

  4. Hey! Do you think it would be possible to do bunks where you had your bed originally (with one lower bunk made into a crib) in addition to having a front full size bed? We have a 31′ 1977 Sovereign. I would love any ideas you might have for incorporating 2 kids, 2 infants, 2 adults, and up to 4 additional guests. We’re even up for eno hammock hooks! 😉 Thanks!

    1. Oh absolutely! We’ve seen several Airstreamers incorporate bunk beds on either side where the twin beds were. You could do a convertible sofa in the front of the trailer for guests and then your bed in the back. I’ve seen many fit a King sized bed in the rear of the trailer. Especially with a Sovereign – you’d have the extra space for that. We actually just purchased a ’78 Sovereign to help my folks remodel. The IG for it is @maudetheairstream. 🙂

  5. Love this! Thanks for sharing your journey as you determine the best floor plan for y’all’s needs. It looks fantastic!

  6. You all did a beautiful job with your Airstream! I’m in the process of renovating an Airstream Argosy from the 70s, but it’s 5 feet or so shorter than yours, I think. It currently has the twin bed setup, but my boyfriend and I were also considering doing what you’ve done and switching the bed to the front. We’re concerned about two things, and I’d love to hear your thoughts! (1) Does it feel a little strange to have your sleeping space so close to the door? If so, any advice (like the fringe!) for making it feel cosier? And (2) at over 6 feet tall, I’m worried it would be a bit cramped for two. What do you think? Again, really, really lovely job. So glad you documented it!

    1. Hey there! I was completely against the idea of having the bed up front because having it by the door seemed so exposed. But actually, we love it! It’s such a nice sunny place to take a nap during the day. And yep – the macrame hanging makes it feel more cozy. I also may add some gauze curtains up here too to close it in a little more. And by moving the bedroom we have so much more space in the rear of the trailer. Even enough space to exercise in now which is a huge plus! My husband and I are both on the tall side – I’m 5’8″ and he’s 6’1″ and there’s plenty of room lengthwise. There’s more room lengthwise than there was before when we had the twin beds with walls on three sides of each bed. Now there’s extra room at the head and foot of the bed. I highly recommend it, I don’t think you’d regret it! 🙂

  7. What size is your mattress?

    I am having a hard time searching for resources/info/inspo on a placing a king in a 1968 26′ Overlander LY.

    1. It’s a full size. I have seen people put a king in the rear of an Airstream trailer. If we had it to do over again, that’s what we would have done! A full bed is a tad tight for both of us.

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