Widthways beds in Relay/Ducato/Boxer vans

'm considering one of the above group of vans for my base vehicle, partly due to the much-touted ability to fit the bed width-ways.

However I am worried it’s a tight fit. Max width of the van is 187cm, I’m 5 11 (i.e. somewhere between 180 and 181 cm!). After the insulation and cladding what are you typically left with, in terms of bed length? I had the thought of using thinner PIR board in the bed area to buy an extra couple of inches, but I’m guessing there’s probably some bodywork ribs that would interfere with that idea?

If people (esp. those 5 11 or longer!) could share their experiences it would be much appreciated, thanks!

Welcome to the forum.

I’m about your height, maybe a half inch taller, and would not even consider installing the bed perpendicular to the van. I tend to stretch when sleeping, with my feet pointed, and like to have some headroom as well. If you can comfortably sleep curled up or sleep at an angle then go for it, but it’s not for me.

There might be a way to do it however - if you’re willing to cut some holes in the side of your van. I’ve seen vans with fiberglass extensions (bumps that stick out the sides) installed in the sleeping area. This would require cutting holes in the sides of the van to install them. I have a friend with a Sprinter van that’s equipped with them.

I think they’re called bump-outs or flares.

In our promaster (ducato) we have about 4 inches extra on either side and iI can stretch out just fine. That being said I’m just a tad over 5’8". What I see people do often on these vans is box that section out and just use some thin insulation in those areas. I think the interior there is 77" and I remember when buying it was the only one that could fit a full size bed sideways, but I’ve never tested that theory myself.

The flares seem crazy expensive to me and I imagine by the time you get them installed and painted to match the van, you’d be spending well over $5k or morei. Not something I personally would want to attempt to DIY. I would imagine there are lots of issues there with possible water intrusion if not done properly.

Thanks for the replies guys, based on info from other owners my plan is to, as Bretly says, use thinner insulation at either end of the bed in order to create recesses, probably 25mm instead of 50mm insulation which will buy me nearly an extra 2 inches!

Supposedly the given interior width of the van (1870mm - more or less exactly my height) is as measured between the braces/struts. So the recesses behind which we typically fill with insulation are extra space, and the struts are far apart enough to accommodate the width of a double mattress.