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RV Makeover: Twin-Bed Transformation

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

Four Trailer Life readers converted the queen beds in their RVs to twin beds. Now they’re able to navigate the bedroom better and access storage more easily.

Part One: Identical Twins

Why is it so difficult to find a nice travel trailer that comes with twin beds instead of a queen? My wife, Judy, had both hips replaced, and after one dislocated for the fourth time, she told me that her RVing days were over. Well, I wouldn’t accept that, so I set out to find an RV that was more friendly to folks with mobility issues.

Before photo of Dick Tijsseling's remodel with queen bed

Unable to find a suitable travel trailer with twin beds, Dick Tijsseling bought a Winnebago Minnie, removed the queen bed (above) and built them himself (top).

After looking at hundreds of trailers online and at dealers, we found a preowned 2018 Winnebago Minnie 2200SS that had an open floorplan and a nice large rear bathroom — a must. Yes, it did have a walk-around queen bed, but with some renovations, I could make that work for us.

I started by removing the bed platform in the center of the floor and framed 35-by-79-inch twin beds on each side with a wide center aisle. This made it much easier for us to get in and out of bed, and it created a space for an extra chair.

Now we are back on the road and able to enjoy the beautiful outdoors. The entire job took about a week to complete and cost around $600, including the new mattresses.
Dick Tijsseling, Yerington, Nevada

Yellow bar showing $600 investment for Dick Tijsseling's project

Part Two: Twin Beds Again

Before and during photos of Ted Kamena's bedroom remodel

Using cabinet-grade plywood and 1½-inch wood strips, Ted Kamena built twin-bed platforms (above) in place of the original queen bed (top).

I read with interest Dick Tijsseling’s “Identical Twins” RV Makeover in the January 2020 issue. Like Dick, our RV had a queen-size bed that challenged my wife’s limited mobility. After much head scratching and many sketches, I came up with a plan for the bedroom in our 2011 Dutchmen Coleman fifth-wheel.

I started by removing the original bed and two mirrored wardrobe closets, then I built two twin-bed platforms against the side walls with drawers for storage. I cut 2½ inches off the bottom of each wardrobe and mated them between the beds for a 31-inch-wide closet.

The platforms are topped with three pieces of 5⁄8-inch plywood. The head and foot sections are secured, and the center piece has a hinge to allow access to additional under-bed storage.

The 30-by-76-inch memory-foam mattresses we bought are very comfortable. As for our dog, she sleeps in her own cozy bed in front of the closet.
Ted Kamena, Lake Havasu City, Arizona

Twin beds in RV with cabinets and closets between them.

The two side wardrobes are now united between the twin beds to make one wide double-door closet.

Yellow bar showing $350 cost of Ted Kamena's project

Part Three: Twin Bed Remake

I own a 2006 Keystone Cougar fifth-wheel with a rear kitchen. After a trip to a local state park for an introductory camping weekend and then a trip to Grand Lake, Colorado, I noticed that my wife was not putting her clothes in the closet along her side of the queen bed. She told me that she could not get to the closet because the space between the bed and the wall was to narrow.

With my background in architecture and construction, I decided that I should remodel the bedroom area to fit my wife’s needs. Like Dick Tijsseling and Ted Kamena, I started by removing the bed platform in the center over the tongue. I then moved the two factory closets from the outside walls to the center of the bedroom area, switching the them around so that the doors opened toward each bed, and reassembled them together.

See Related Stories: RV Makeover

Measuring the remaining space between the closets and the outside walls, I constructed two new bed frames with underbed storage and foot boards from solid oak. Standard single-bed mattresses did not fit the new bed frames, so I cut the original queen mattress in half and refabricated the two sides, adding a layer of 2-inch foam for comfort.

The aisle between the two single beds is much more functional and convenient. My wife will now use her half of the closet and has no problems navigating into the bedroom area. I added a shelf in the closet above the hanger rod. I also constructed additional overhead storage, between the closet and the outside wall, at the front of the bedroom area.

This was an over-the-winter project for me. I had the oak lumber and plywood on hand, and purchased gas-cylinder springs to lift the plywood door under each mattress. The only concern is paying attention to the amount of wood weight being added when replacing the original lightweight construction materials.

I spent $170 for gas springs and $42 for two sheets of 2-by-24-by-72-inch foam. The cost for plywood and oak boards was around $200.
Will Emley, Slater, Iowa

Twin beds in RV with mirrored closets between them

Will Emley used his architecture and construction skills to remodel the bedroom in his fifth-wheel to suit his wife’s needs.

Yellow bar showing $412 cost of Will Emley's project

Part Four: Twin Beds Yet Again

“Identical Twins” by Dick Tijsseling in the January 2020 Trailer Life was a big hit with my wife, Robbie. Like Dick’s wife, Robbie has mobility issues. After reading the article, she asked if we could replace the queen bed in our 2013 Gulf Stream Conquest travel trailer with a couple of twin beds. I said, “Absolutely!

Nightstand with fabric cushion between twin beds in Rick Matheny's RV.

Rick Matheny fashioned a cushioned seat and storage tray between the new twin beds.

The original bed was difficult to get around, and its placement limited access and the amount of storage. Now with twin beds along the side walls, there’s more storage space, and the ease of getting in and out of bed is remarkable. The cost for the project was around $600, with 20 hours of labor.
Rick Matheny, New Tazewell, Tennessee

Twin beds in RV with nightstand between them

The wide aisle between the Matheny’s twin beds makes it easier to get around.

Yellow bar showing $600 investment for Rick Matheny's project

Have you modified your RV or remodeled it completely? Tell us about it in 500 words or less, including the total cost and time spent, and email your description to [email protected]. Include an ample selection of photos illustrating the project, along with your full name and mailing address. We’ll pay $50 for every RV Makeover we publish.

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