2014 Rav4 Sleeping Platform and Drawer – Keeping Rear Seats

2014 Rav4 Sleeping Platform and Drawer – Keeping Rear Seats

Hi everybody so I just wanted to give a
quick demonstration of the build I made my 2014 rav4. Making a platform
out of largely plywood and a couple two by fours. So the reason I wanted to build
it was because I spent several weeks traveling in my car last summer doing a
cross-country road trip back from where I was living in Denver back to the East
Coast and was largely sleeping in my car visiting national parks and while it works
perfectly fine- I did have everything I owned in the car with me moving back so
it was pretty claustrophobic and so I wanted to build something where I could have it
raised, have plenty of storage space underneath and I really wanted the drawer I made so I can pull
it out and my camping stove right there and just sit on the edge and cook or sit
in the camping chair and cook and store any other things that I wanted to in
there and then I wanted to make sure that this spot here had plenty of open
area and pretty beep so I could fit in my skis
and snowboards and had plenty of space just to fit in any other various
equipment so if you look in here you can see that there’s these two pieces of
plywood that line up basically where the two-person seat is and then the
one-person seat so this is wider and then I have two two by fours running up
the height of it and then a one on each side and then a two by four running
across the length of it so that it would have extra support and that’s under the
straw as well so here’s what it is can’t sit up all the way but can do a
nice lean so pretty comfy it’s all carpeted with indoor-outdoor carpeting
so it stays clean I can easily vacuum it and it’s nice and soft and then I
usually sleep with a therm rest over it with a sleeping bag and a pillow and
then here so here’s the head piece so this easily
back and forth so I could slide the seats
driver seat and passenger seat all the way back and forward and then I’ve got
these seven I’m drop pins right here so it just hold this onto the piece that’s
below that two by fours that are running across here and then also I have short
two by fours that are just about nine inches tall here one two three four of
those just to keep us stable but it’s pretty easy to to get it back in and out
and then this can pull back and then this whole thing moves on top of here so
the structure itself is built in two major pieces with the head piece as well
so the dimensions of the two bottom pieces were about 43 inches wide and
then the length for the closest one to me was about 29 point 5 inches and the
second was 30 and a half inches and then 11 inches for the head piece and I want
to make it this way so that this back piece stays stable and the drawer I
don’t really have to take this piece out I can if I want to but I don’t have to
and then I wanted to have full access to the rear seats so I made sure that I
made this piece in front of it removable and so I can show you what it is like
next to just remove that piece so here just gives a demonstration of what this
friend looks like when it’s fully down so there is a bit of tilt of the head
piece but I can just what I did find is that if I put the head rest of these
seats on upside down then it just about gives it some extra support and then I
can get put a little piece of something right between those two make sure it is
just at 180 degrees and then here you can see the support system of the rear
piece so I have a two-by-four just about here in the middle with a piece that
holds it up right there and then another 2×4 running the length right in the
front with three two by fours that I put the drop pins into
yeah as well and then there is the edge of the drawer
and up there you can see where it has the two by fours that this back piece
and front piece connect on to so now I’ll go ahead and give a demonstration
of how I’m gonna close this up and I’ll just do it from the back all right so
I’m just gonna go ahead and start by taking out the drop hands today
select all the two by fours which I usually just leave right in here and
then get a grasp of where each of the the holes are that I have that I used
for the pin right there another one over here
all right here so if we just drop down this back seat we can check out the
holes then I drilled in order to keep this in place and give it extra support
when you put the back and to the plywood in alright so this is what it looks like
totally closed so I still got full access to the rear seats and then I can
leave the two by fours over there I’ve also got my mosquito net right there
which I use for the windows plenty of storage space here got a little gap with
the two by fours that I used right in between this you can see it when I lift
it up and then we can also look in the drawer so here’s just where I could keep
the stove and once I want to use it just drop it down open it up right here put
those things up attach the propane to the side and it’s
really nice to have this drawer right here drop down it’s super easy to close
back up but that way yeah so in regards the
drawer I didn’t actually buy any separate wood for this I just used
leftover plywood for when I built the platform and when I had the vertical
supports so what I did is I just used piece of plywood on the bottom cut just
short little pieces on the side here so that when it is pulled out that I’m
still gonna have plenty of access to the stove that it doesn’t really hinder my
use at all when I’m using different equipment and then I just built a tiny
little block at the end so things wouldn’t just slide off and then here
you can see that I wanted to use hinges where that when it was here allied flat
but then I could also want a tear iliza yeah and so it’s pretty nice so then I
have a length and space to work on when I’m cooking so I did use 22 inch
brackets here and they are 100 pound brackets so I hope this gave you some ok
ideas your own car builds for a Toyota rav4
which is what I have or maybe a Subaru it’s pretty easy to change if you just
want to have different adjustments for the three for the front and if your
vehicle has higher elevation seats in the front and if you have any questions
let me know if you hate it don’t let me know
but yeah it’s worked out well for me so far I’m really excited about it and I’m
really glad that I was able to make the door and it all come together pretty
quickly yeah thanks for watching

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. This looks great! Have you verified it’s awesomeness with an overnight yet? Also, what’s the final length of the sleeping platform? Apologies if you said in the vid and I missed it..

  2. great build, mid process of building something similar, deciding on overall height. what is the height from floor to top at the trunk entrance of your system?

  3. Really like this setup, great job!! I have a Santa Fe and still want to use the back passenger seats. Your sliding drawer for the stove is very cool. Thanks for sharing, gives me some ideas on how to do my conversion. 🙂

  4. Great job! Very creative solutions, n I have a question: have u noticed a difference in ur gaz consumption yet? I'm wondering about the added weight. Tks

  5. I am currently planning a sleeping platform in the back of my 2014 Rav4. Like you I want to keep my back seats intact, currently have a few ideas of my own, but it was nice too find someone else doing the exact same. Thanks for sharing, I especially liked the pull out table/drawer. 🙂

    Can I ask what height you made the platform?


  6. I'm working on one now and this is similar to the design I came up with. Really great stuff! Might steal an idea or two from you

  7. Cool video! How hard is it to lay everything back out? Seems like the supports would keep falling while you're trying to get them lined up perfectly and the drop pins in. Do you have a video of you putting it back on?

  8. Hi Sarah, great job! I like your platform design. I’m borrowing a lot of your design to make one for my RAV4. I do have a few questions.
    I couldn’t get a good look at your drop pins. Would like to know what type you use and how well they flush with the top of the platform surface? Can you feel the pins across the rear edge of your forward platform through your camp air mattress? Also, with your stove drawer, have you had any fire safety concerns using your stove on the bare wood? Or from heat rise to the above hatch door? I like that feature, but I’m worried cooking on the drawer could be a problem. Thanks for posting your video. Great job!!!

  9. Can you make another one set up for sleeping like courtains installations and cooking as well? Id love to see how it works

  10. Brilliant! So simple and minimal…elegant and functional! The supports for the front bed pieces aren't even attached. So efficient using plywood for the drawer. The drop pins…fabulously simple and clever. Love it all!!

  11. Wow! This is such a nice set up. I love that you made it so you could still have your back seats. Great use of the space!

  12. I've 2015 Rav4 XLE. Same interior as yours. I really like your idea of keeping the back row seats. Earlier, I thought about taking it out. This is a better idea now. Thanks to you. I would recommend you to keep cargo net on the ceiling for extra storage.

  13. Well done. Minimal setup with easy adjustment. I am contemplating doing something similar on a Rav4 or Outback. Maybe those wooden can be fitted with folding hinges, but your removal pins worked well too. Maybe a little modification on the back end will you allow access to the spare tire space for storage purposes. I'll be solo traveling, so maybe a 60% design that matches up with the 60% back seat driver side while leaving the 40% for short storage bins I wish Toyota would have put the 60% split back seat on the passenger side, which is safer to sleep in, imho. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  14. Thank you Sarah! This idea is so helpful for keeping access to my 2nd row of seats. I definitely want a drawer too.

  15. legit. this is a very nice build.
    as a side question, how tall are you? I have a 4runner that i slept in the back of during my cross US trip, and i had to sleep diagonally to fit, being 6'2

  16. Nice one Sarah. Can I ask how high were the 2×4 supports? I am looking to copy your build but uncertain of how high to raise it off by or how much head clearance I might need.

  17. I enjoyed this very MUCH. It is very informative. I will let air out of my MATTRESS. So I don’t hit my HEAD. I usually just get a HOTEL. When I need a SHOWER. Ow. I hit my HEAD.

  18. Thanks for sharing, Sarah. It’s beautifully built. Couple of questions. First, how do you sleep in hot and cold weather? I’m concerned with not getting fresh air circulation. Secondly, can you do a video of your mosquito net set up or comment how to set it up? Thank you so much 😊

  19. Great design, the fold down drawer end was a clever way to add extra work space. This inspired me to do something similar to my Subaru Impreza soon, but I want to design a way to lock another drawer for my laptop bag

  20. Super awesome set up. What does it sound like while you're driving? Is it loud? I imagine there is quite a bit of rattling from the wood. Or is it not that loud?

  21. is the platform secured to the car? or is it big enough that it doesnt move around when you are driving. Awesome and simple design btw!

  22. Great design. I'm hoping to do something similar for my 2017 Rav. I think the dimensions are pretty similar. Thanks for sharing.

  23. What is the height of the plywood planks that run lengthwise and support the back section? Is it also about 9" like the front support 2×4's? I don't know about the 2014 Rav4 design, but the 2017 Rav4 back area isn't totally level due to a slight curve/hump in the middle where the seats fold. Did you have to have a lower height on the front 2×4's to make it all relatively level, or does it incline slightly towards the rear? Thanks.

  24. i think this is the best platform I've seen. i have a highlander and i didn't want to lose the back seating. as i carry passengers once a week and i don't want to load and unload a platform. mine will be different but the folding the platform in half and the drop pins are definitely something i am considering.

  25. I love it. I built something similar for my rav4 but it's probably twice as heavy as your setup. What do you do for bugs/rain? I'm thinking of a magnet bug screen for windows and just carrying a tarp to put over roof if it rains

  26. Girl. This is the perfect build. Thanks so much for a fabulous and versatile build, and sharing it with folks. Seriously, the consideration for still being able to use the back seats and not doing any permanent modification to the inside of the car is just awesome! Happy camping, and thanks again 🙂

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