I’m taking advantage of my Mom’s garage to re-build Junior’s cargo bed. I updated my Sketchup diagram and I think it will feel a lot more open and uncluttered with the bed side-to-side. I’m longer than the van is wide, so I’m not sure if it will work. Maybe diagonally. There is an a sweet $1500 upgrade available called Flarespace that would make the van 4-6 inches wider that could break the tie if necessary. But instead of paying for that, I’d probably try to make one out of fiberglass myself instead.
I’ve found combining 3D computer work and in-place carpentry to be a fast and effective design method. I can try a bunch of ideas on the computer, then nail down the curvy, non-square details in real life. I was able to figure out quickly which parts of the bed will change (has to be narrower, fits over the wheel wells completely differently) and which parts stay the same (still the same height, etc.)
Here you can see how I changed the frame to fit over the wheel wells. I did all of this in just a few hours with 18V Ryobi tools.
Here’s my latest Sketchup design. I modeled the curvy, egg-shaped walls to make sure things would fit, and imported and modded several existing models from Sketchup’s huge library, which save a lot of time. I *am* concerned that my tubs won’t fit as perfectly, but I can probably make it work.
Even from this one view, you can see how much more open the side-to-side bed makes the rest of the space! I may try sleeping in there tonight if I can get the rest of the frame together.