Okay, maybe the title is a little dramatic. One thing we love about our TAXA habitat is the cleaver design aspects. One thing we like even better: when we have an idea for a modification to help our Mantis better fit our lifestyle, it can be done.
So, after a year of frequent use, we made two observations. First, we had never converted the bed into a couch (2019 model). Second, we had a hard time accessing the under-bed storage due to observation number one.
Inspired by a social media post by fellow TAXA campers, we decided remove the boards and cushions in order to replace it with a liftable bed system, a mattress frame, and a full sized mattress.
We had a handful of goals with this project. We needed to access the storage space under the bed as we are dreaming about an epic National Park adventure and we want to pack supplies for two weeks. We also wanted a very comfortable bed, after all, we sleep in the camper at least one weekend a month! Third, we wanted to preserve room to lounge on the bed for reading, the back corner under the reading lamp is my favorite space in the habitat. Finally, we wanted to be able to restore the Mantis back to stock, so no doing what can’t be undone.
So we gathered supplies: a pair of three foot gas struts and a bed lift kit, a wood slat full-size bed frame, an eight inch full-size mattress, a couple pine boards (we should have gone with birch to match the space), and a handful of bolts, nuts, and washers.
The wood was necessary to build a couple boxes on the drivers side to attach the bed lift. We also needed one board on the passengers side to properly space out the bed lift to fit the frame. This was certainly a measure twice, or even thrice, and cut, drill, and install once. After installing the bed lift onto the box, the lift was mounted to the bed frame. Finally the bed slats were rolled out, mattress brought in, and the bed made. We likely invested 2-3 hours of time into this makeover, and probably half of the time was measuring and thinking.
The project, at a total cost of just over $2,000, has successfully achieved the goals we set out to accomplish. It gave us access to more than twice the storage under the bed. The new bed is very comfortable. We probably increased the thickness of the bed about six inches, still giving us enough room to lounge. This was a critical part of our shopping and planning. We found a bed frame that would add less than two inches of thickness, and a highly rated eight inch mattress, thinner than a standard mattress. Lastly, we could still put it back to stock easily and leave little trace of the project if need needed.
The best part of the project? Waking well-rested to start the day with a great cup of coffee in the outdoors.