We recently collected our new 19ft Journey Outback (19.61-2) from Brisbane Camperland and brought her home with great pride. However, there was one small job that needed to be done before I could get out and about and get a good night’s sleep. And I knew this needed to be done when we decided to buy it.
I needed to extend the bed and organise the under bed storage. You see, to create space and keep an open feel, the bed pushes back when not in use during the day (or anytime you’re not sleeping in it).
The steel frame does extend and there is a bolster provided that allows the mattress to slide forward, to create a queen size bed. However the timber bed base that the steel frame and mattress rest on is somewhat shorter than the extended mattress and the steel frame is limited in its extension length by a nylon strap. So, the result is that the overhang is somewhat excessive and the loads on the frame and base are high.
All this can be overcome by some carefully laid out planning and thought. Here’s what I did.
Dayv’s Guide To Extending Your Jayco Bed
The overall objective is to move the original timber panel of the base to become a new front face of the extended base. Plus, you’ll be inserting a new panel where the original one was and adding some extra side panels. If you can get the same thickness and pattern from JAYCO or another supplier, well done. If not, a trip to Bunnings and some 16mm melamine coated particle board will do just fine.
Please note that these steps outline how I did my extension to suit my needs and my caravan. You will need to make your own investigations and measurements to ensure you have the abilities and tools required and that this works for you and your situation. Unfortunately, I take no responsibility for what you do, how you do it or the outcomes.
Remove the nylon limiting straps from the steel frame. This will give you some idea of how far the frame can extend and still have ample ‘meat’ in its telescopic sections. For me this was about 430mm even with the frame extended.
Knowing the possible extension and how far you want to go, take your measurements and lift the mattress off and push it to one side and lift the bed frame up. It’s important here to keep the frame up from here on as the gas struts are now at their uncompressed state and can do no harm.
Note – DO NOT remove the aluminium section that bridges the two side panels of the base! This ties the two sides together and resists the load of the frame through the gas struts.
First check what you have in front of you and that you can do what I outline below.
Remove the original front panel of the base by removing the corner brackets to the side bottom and top. Put this to one side.
Cut a new (what was the front) panel to replace the original panel. Remember to cut this one shorter so that the new side panels will slide past it and create a smooth edge on the sides.
Cut the new extended side panels that go from the ends of the original sides to the back of the relocated front panel. For me these were about 250mm long – it’ll depend on the extension your chasing.
I used a ‘H’ section white cover strip to cover the join at the two side panels. Because this section was designed for 16mm sheets, I cut one leg of the ‘H’ so that it looked more like a ‘h’. This allowed the corner brackets to be reinstated at the 12mm sheet corners.
You can use corner brackets to fix the new internal panel to the aluminium section at the top and the original side panels. For some reason, I used a strip of aluminium angle (20mm) to join the sides to the internal panel – you choice.
You should now be able to re-affix the relocated front panel to the two new extended side panels using some new corner brackets using the same holes.
I suggest you finish the job by fixing a similar size aluminium section to the relocated front panel and consider fixing some blocking sections to be sure that the load from the bed frame is adequately supported at the new front and sides.
Lower the frame. It’s now I suggest you put a self-drilling screw into the telescoped section of the frame at the length yo
Replace the mattress. This should be pencils down and hands away. Enjoy the rest – you’ve earned it.