Our Vibe 21BH, as a number of other Forest River ultra-lite floorplans, utilizes a stay made ‘Murphy Style’ bed to offer a little more living area space when the bed is in its stored position. While the Murphy Bed was a selling point for us when we were looking for our latest RV because of the added living space for a smaller RV, it’s design in our Vibe has some problems.
On our ‘Maiden’ trip for our 21BH we both complained about the comfort of the bed. The complaint was in the area of the mattress that your hips lay. As my DW described it, it was like there was something hard and raised running across the bed in that area. That area is the area where the platform (what the mattress rests on) and mattress are hinged. For those of you who are not familiar with the ‘stay made’ style murphy beds found in RVs, the mattresses are custom, made with 1 to 2 hinge areas, places that allow the mattress to fold. The mattress hinge that is the one that causes a comfort problem is the mattress hinge that is over the actual platform hinge. I thought that the comfort problem was just the mattress hinge and how that mattress hinge was manufactured. After a conversation with another forum member (CampNHeins) and Vibe murphy bed owner, he pointed out that the actual wooden platform hinge under the mattress seems to raise up from the weight of people in the bed. This hinge movement is caused by not having the proper support for the foot of the bed (wooden platform/mattress). The Vibe’s murphy bed design, and I suspect it is the same with all Forest River Ultra-Light murphy bed floorplans, has NO ridged support for the foot end of the mattress platform. The design just uses the couch seat cushion to support the platform. This design will not be good for the seat cushion overtime and allows the platform’s hinge to over extend, causing it and the mattress to raise upward.
My murphy bed mod is to add support for the foot of the bed platform, basically adding legs to carry the weight. I need a design that was easy to store when the bed was up in its stored position and would clear the couch when the platform was down. I needed these legs to be able to extend beyond the width of the couch and pivot down to the floor as the bed platform/mattress was brought down for use. I replaced the original fabric covered 2 x 3 x 48” support on the bottom of the platform and with a 2 x 4 x48” board. In each end of the 2 x 4 I drilled a 7/8” x 14” deep hole. For the legs I used a piece of ¾ copper (L) tubing, a ¾” to ½” 90 degree sharkbite type connector and ½” copper tubing as the actual leg with a rubber foot on the floor end.
This is a very simple design that allows the copper tubing leg assembly to be extended out past the width of the coach and pivot down to the floor to support the foot of the bed. The legs now carry the weight of the foot end of the platform rather than the seat cushions and eliminated the stress on the platform hinge causing it (and the mattress) to raise up and cause an uncomfortable area to lay on across the mattress.
Here is a link to a few additional photos. Click Here