How to Build a Bed in a Airstream Argosy

Rarely do we get to put to test our woodworking skills. However, renovating a Airstream Argosy and custom building everything will test your knowledge quickly. Our first woodworking test was building our queen size bed frame that open up to provide extra storage underneath our bed. Being that our Airstream Argosy is only 180 sq ft. It’s important to utilize every single space.

As the original part of our design, we knew right from the start we wanted our bed to be a queen size. After all, we have two dogs that demand a big bed to stretch on. It was also our plan to have the bed sideways instead of back to front. We wanted to utilize our panoramic windows and wake up each morning looking out. But more importantly, we wanted to create a extra storage compartment on the back window side to store sheets, blankets, and also use it as a shelf.

First we laid out everything for the build.

Materials we used were:

(2) 8 ft 2 x 4

(2) 8 ft 2 x 2

(3) 8 ft 1 x 3

(1) Piano Hinge

(4) 2 inch L Brackets

(1) Box of 1 1/2 inch wood screws

(1) Box of 2 inch wood screws


The only caveat in the build was building around our subfloor trap door. We needed to make sure we still had access to pull up our trap door and at the same time make a support piece to hold up our bed when we lifted it up.

Renovating a Airstream ArgosyWe wanted to use light wood so the top and bottom boards were 1 x 3 and our supports were 2 x 4. Our Queen size mattress was going to be 60 x 80 so we could just fit that in before the end curve and long enough to give us 3 inches on both ends.

We went with a 12 inch Zinus Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress It fit’s perfect and we can wake up looking right out of our windows without ever lifting up our heads.

The next step of course was to build the side and back end and how to integrate a shelf unit back there.  This was going to be the tricky part.

How to build a Airstream Custom Bed Again, using 1 x 3’s and 2 x 4’s we finished the frame, so it was  now on to the bed lift. Really just a square so the bed lift itself can sit on the frame. You can see in the right back corner how close we to the corner we got. This was important because we had to build the shelf back on the 2 x 4 that crosses in the back. Its also where the piano hinge sits.

The bed sits on 2 x 2’s and the 2 x 2’s sit on the bed frame with full support.

It lifted up pretty easy, but that was without the mattress and all the blankets Ariane just has to have.


Building a Custom Airstream Argosy

We had to make sure that we could still access our 30 amp box in the lower right hand corner and of course plumbing and other important access gear.

The back storage/shelf was just building a inner wall against the bed and then cutting out the top. We had saved some of the old Argosy shelves that we could use as templates.
Airstream Argosy Renovation
It was time to put it all together and test. We used 1 x 2’s for the slots that the mattress sits on. Once we put our mattress on it certainly made it much harder to lift, but not that hard to hamper anything.

Renovating a Airstream Argosy

Take a look at the whole process from start to finish.

If you have any questions about how we built our bed OR if you have your own Airstream Reno project. Ask away, we will be happy to answer.

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