Tully fully supports our sleeping setup in the Rover.

A bed built for two (and two mutts)

June 28, 2019

If you'd rather click through the photos in a gallery, go here.

I love to sleep in my vehicle. Either one. So do the mutts.

In fact, the four of us have camped before three races now. (Two of those went fantastically, including my half-marathon PR last fall. One not so great.) At the beginning of June we camped at the start of the Vashon Ultra, where I won the 10-miler. 

That was the first race I slept on the Rover's new setup. We built it for the trip to KC this winter. We used our experiences with the Honda Element's bed and improved upon that build. When we set up for the night in the Element, we have to lay the front seats flat and move part of the bed forward. Because the Land Rover is longer than the Element, we wanted to build a bed that would be ready to go. We can literally crawl in the back and sleep as soon as we pull into our place for the night.

So we built another two-piece platform. One piece is always in the back of the Rover for the dogs to ride on. When we go camping we connect the front piece. 

We built it as long as possible with the front seats back far enough for Mikey to drive. It's not long enough to fit his whole body, but he makes do.

That's the trade-off: The Element's bed is bigger, but the Rover's mattress is thicker and requires no campsite setup.

The Element's 3-inch mattress isn't thick enough, so this time we went with a 6-inch full mattress and again cut to fit. I had to vacuum so much yellow and blue foam after.

As a bonus, I got to use my new-to-me overlocker. A patient moved out of the country and sold me her serger with all her thread cones. I used it to shorten the sock-like knit cover that came with the mattress.

We bought a bunch of warm sheets and blankets for the winter trip and headed out. We quickly decided the platform was too tall. Mikey and I were so close to the ceiling we could barely move in bed. As soon as we got home, we shortened the platform about 2 inches.

Just the main portion of the platform in the Rover. A dog bed we already had happened to fit perfectly.

We found some toggle clamps on Amazon to attatch the front portion of the platform to the back. It takes me about 10 minutes to carry out the front platform and mattress and make the bed.

We have been attaching the dogs' leashes to the bed, which is secured to the vehicle by built-in D rings. But we wanted to attach them directly to the vehicle's D rings. So last week I constructed some leash attachments using climbing webbing and Kevlar thread. The dogs are that much safer and more secure if we were to get in a crash.

We've made a few other improvements to the Rover. First up was installing rock sliders, which double as steps.

Next was a basket, which we installed after we got back. Not sure if we'll keep the Yakima setup or move it to the Element and go with a BajaRack or similar basket on the Rover.

(Update: We upgraded the basket to BajaRack in 2019.)

Mikey is about to wrap up a more-than-yearlong work project, so we're planning our next big trip in a few weeks. So looking forward to taking the Rover on some forest and desert roads!

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