After taking inventory of our new pre-owned 2002 Thor Wanderer Lite 215 RL fifth wheel, we asked ourselves what we needed to make our first long trip the best trip possible related to the functionality and safety of our RV. What rose to the top of the list was a new bed setup.

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We got rid of the old mattress, shampooed the carpet and we were off to gather materials to build the new bed.

A trip to the dump with the old mattress and a good carpet and upholstery cleaning later, we had space for our new bed. We decided to add a short platform that would hold two foams – a three-inch firm queen-sized foam and a memory foam. The bed platform would double as a storage area for folding chairs and a folding table.

John took measurements (didn’t want to make the bed too high because we want to be able to sit up and read), drew up a plan for the queen-sized platform and necessary materials to complete the job were purchased.

Bed 2 Gather tools and supplies

pre-cut boards were sanded, shocks, hinges and screws assembled


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A platform tall enough to store our folding chairs and folding table was assembled first before topping with the beginnings of the mattress frame.


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Hinges allow the frame to be raised and lowered.

Bed 5

Start adding slats and you’ve got a strong, arable mattress platform on its way.

bed 6

Add shocks to the underside of the platform and it stays in place on its own after being raised.

And there you have it. After a few days of planning, construction and adding a little protective paint, a great bed/storage area has been created just waiting for the perfect mattresses and bedding. I can’t wait for our first night in that bed! How much better can life get?

Other smaller but “must attend to” items before our trip were:

  • replace the damaged electrical supply cord
  • install an inverter
  • install the solar panel on the roof that we already owned (used formerly when traveling with the Jazz)
  • replace batteries
  • paint rusted or corroded exposed metal exterior items (hitch, stairs)
  • install a few shelves in interior cabinets
  • install a flat-screened TV
  • buy new rear stabilizer jacks
  • install vent covers
  • patch the awning
  • straighten the bend in the awning arm
  • new set of tires

The remaining improvements – additional shelving, electronic front landing gear/jack, replace dining table with one that has fold-down leaves – could wait until after our first trip in the Wanderer. When you’ve found your perfect RV and then made it safe and your own, you can’t help but have some great camping adventures! Happy trails friends!

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