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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve been meaning to do a write up on how I built my sleeping platform for my Renegade and I just haven’t gotten around to it… UNTIL NOW!

When I was shopping for a new car, I knew I wanted to be able to sleep in the back. Not wanting something very big, I figured I would need to build a platform of some kind. After thinking about it for some time, this is what I came up with.

Goals (in order of priority):
  1. Be long enough so that I can lie flat
  2. Elevate one end so that it is horizontal
  3. Be foldable so that it doesn’t take up too much space when not in use
  4. Minimize weight while maximizing strength
  5. Minimize cost

Basic Plan:

The platform has 3 sections: front, middle, and rear. The middle and rear are the same length (24”) and the front takes up the remaining space (22”). These lengths were decided in order to ensure that the platform would have enough clearance to unfold while in the vehicle. In addition, the front section has a notch in it to allow space for the center console.

These sections were fabricated by building a frame, adding cross supports and a top board, spray painting the bottom, and carpeting the top.

The sections are connected by three hinges. The middle and rear have the hinges mounted on the top, the middle and front have them mounted below.

Additionally there are steel bars that slide into place to hold everything together when in use. There are 2 connecting the back to the middle, and 4 connecting the front to the middle.


Step 1: The Frames

The middle and back portions are fairly easy. They are simply 37” x 24” rectangles (outside diameter) with cross bars for support and for the bars to slide through. I used 1x2 furring strips to keep the cost down ( I cut them to fit together (no fancy angles), used a router to cut slots for the support bars (a little more than ½” wide/deep), and screwed them together.

(router cut slots for support bars)

I strongly recommend a right angle clamp ( as it makes everything much easier and you get much neater corners.

The toughest part of this was making sure my slots were all on the right place and that they stayed that way when I connected the pieces.

The front frame is more complicated because of the center console notch. Basically you have a 22” x 37” frame, but on the end opposite the hinges you have a 7” x 10” space 15” from either side. Lots of measuring, cutting, and drilling, but it’s definitely worth doing.

I decided further down the line that just the furring wasn’t quite strong enough. I added ¾” Aluminum Angle ( on some sides and middle cross beams in order to make the whole thing a little sturdier without adding too much weight (note I had to cut notches in the angles that went on cross beams where bars slid all the way through).

Step 2: Legs
I cut 4 4” lengths of 2x3 board and attached them to the bottom of the rear frame. This just about perfectly leveled the platform, but I also added in some threaded glides (
) to make it adjustable. You just drill the right size hole and glue in the plastic retainer. I actually haven’t been using the threaded glides in the front legs, only the back.

Step 3: Top
Once the frames are built, cut the top board to fit. I used ¼” medium density fiberboard ( It just so happened to almost be the perfect size for the middle and rear sections, with more complicated cutting required in the front.

After they were cut I screwed them down onto the top of the frame.

In order to make sure the cross beams were plenty strong, I also added metal brackets anywhere there was a notch ( I could have maybe just added screws on either side and had the board work as support, but I figured better safe than sorry.

Step 4: Front Section Legs
I had hoped the platform would be durable enough to not need this, but I ended up having to add them in. It could potentially be avoided if you used different material (more aluminum angle maybe?)

I cut two 18” lengths of ⅝” oak dowel ( In one end I fixed a cam screw ( and on the other end I put a rubber foot ( I found that the cam screw stays better when it’s glued in as well as drilled. It’s kinda tricky to make sure it’s the right depth, so don’t glue it until you know exactly how deep it needs to be driven.

I installed a drive cam connector (
) on the drivers and passengers side of the platform about 4.75” from the very front.

You need to be careful drilling, and measurement is required for this, but it makes the whole thing very sturdy (especially if you plan on sitting up/resting against the front seats). To install them when setting up the platform, just insert the screw and turn the cam. I grabbed a simple screwdriver to keep in the car for the purpose of turning the cam (

Step 5: Hinges
Lie the sections down in order leaving a gap for the carpet in-between them. Place the hinges on the edges of the frame making sure the pins are centered between the two frames and parallel to them. If they’re too far off it won’t rotate properly. I used regular door hinges in a dark color to match the paint. (

Step 6: Paint
This is pretty simple. Using general purpose spray paint, paint anything that won’t be covered by the carpet. I used flat black paint by Rustoleum (

Step 7: Support bars
While the paint is drying you can work on the bars that slide in place to support the platform. I used 1/16” thickness ½” square tube ( I used a reciprocating saw to cut 6 pieces 18” long, then filed the edges to round them out. These would work just fine as is, but I also sprayed half of each bar with Plastidip ( to work as a makeshift handle. Not really sure if that part is really worth it in hindsight.

Step 8: Carpet
This part is a little tedious, but makes all the difference. Go slow and it will end up looking great. Using spray adhesive ( and staples, affix the carpet ( to the sections. I found that removing the pins from the hinges and doing each section individually made this much easier. Start from one end, stapling it down, and then glue over the top and back down the other side. Make cuts with scissors or a utility knife at corners, around hinges, at the support beam slots, and where the cam connector holes are. After the sections are complete replace the hinge pins.

Step 9: Finishing Touches
I added a few D hangers ( to the very back so I can bungee it to the cargo tie-down of my Renegade. Nice and easy--just drill and screw.

After that, just slide the bars into the slots (which you can do when the platform is collapsed, not extended), take the platform to your Renegade, and try it out.


The platform fits well in the cargo area with the back seats up. There’s even a little space under it with room for things.

The platform can be unfolded in place due to the dimensions

With the back seats down you can open the platform partway (don’t unfold the front section) which could be useful for some purposes.

With the front seats scooted and tilted (in that order) all the way forward, you can open all three sections.

Reach underneath and slide the bars into place.

Insert the cam screw into the hole and turn the cam driver.

And…. you’re done.

I am about 6’1” tall and I can lie flat with my feet touching the liftgate and my head touching the back of the front seat. With a pillow I don’t notice the front seat at all (It slopes forward giving extra room). My wife has tons of space.

So there we have it. I hope this is at least interesting for some of you, and maybe others will try their hand at building one or adapting the design to fit their own needs. It certainly isn’t perfected, but it’s definitely functional in it’s current form.

A last note: I was asked if I sell these. This isn’t why I shared it but, after thinking it over, I could see myself being willing to. However when I first built mine it took 5 full days. I should be able to cut that down now that I know what I’m doing. I’d probably want $300 in labor costs to make it worth it for me. Materials would be in the ballpark of $100 on top of that. Again, this is NOT why I’m posting this write up. I’m just offering if anyone’s interested.

Additional photos can be found here:

· Registered
19 Posts
What an awesome write-up! and it looks very professionally done as well.

Few questions:
Once it is fully expanded, is the weight of the platform leaning heavily on the back of the back seats or it's not touching it?
My back seats don't fold down as low as yours (based on your pictures), so all I will need is taller legs for the rear board?
What do you estimate the weight for this complete setup?

Thank you!

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12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Once it is fully expanded, is the weight of the platform leaning heavily on the back of the back seats or it's not touching it?
Much of the weight is directly on the back seats. I figured this was not too much for them to handle and it's a good strong support for the platform.

My back seats don't fold down as low as yours (based on your pictures), so all I will need is taller legs for the rear board?
Yes. When deciding how long to make the back legs I measured the vertical ride from the floor of the back to the highest point of the folded seats When weighted. If you don't weight the seats when measuring and then have the platform resting on it, you won't end up with a level platform.

What do you estimate the weight for this complete setup?
Maybe about 25 pounds?

· Registered
31 Posts
Loved this idea

I took it and made some minor changes. Instead of furring strips, I used some old ikea bed slats. And I put the rear section on 2x4 rails with hinges.


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