How-to: Modify a Memory Foam Mattress for a Cargo Camping Bed - Second Generation Nissan Xterra Forums (2005+)
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb How-to: Modify a Memory Foam Mattress for a Cargo Camping Bed

Hey everyone! There has been some interest and threads here about sleeping in your X. I've wanted to remedy this for some time. While there are the obvious answers of a RTT, air mattress or platform bed, I wanted to create a custom mattress to fit perfectly in the rear seating and cargo space.

Most of the sleeping setups will look something like this:



While this isn't a terrible setup, in my experience air mattresses take up storage space, deflate, and sometimes are a pain to inflate remotely. With this being said, I took the plunge and scored an 8" x 80" x 60" memory foam mattress. The process from here was pretty simple.

Step one: Create a stencil of the rear seating and cargo area like the following:



My method was to take two wide sheets of paper and measure out the wheel wells. I measured the overall length of each well, where the curve began and marked these to create a template of the curve. This doesn't need to be an exact copy of the curve as you will end up refining after the first cut. My suggestion would be to cut less the first time around and mark new cuts as you test it's fit.

Step two: The next step will be stripping the mattress to the foam. Mine had a zip cover and an elastic sock-like layer to keep everything together. I had to cut the stitching at the end of the mattress and ended up tucking it into the mattress once the cutting was completed. All the pictures below show the process:







Step three: Use an electric carving knife to effortlessly cut through the foam. To cut the wheel wells we chose a rounded bevel cut so we could keep about 3" of the top layer of foam. To fit the top end with the center console completely flush, 4" of foam was removed



Step four: Rewrap and cover. The mattress will lay flat with the rear cushions out, seats down, and front seats pushed all the way forward. When traveling you'll obviously not want your front seats tight against the dash, so fold the top end up a bit to move the front seats back. Otherwise, this solution is practical because there's not much setup when using the mattress, other than removing the rear seat cushions and some seat adjustment. The rear and cargo area is open to store more things as well! I will be using this setup during the summer and I'll be sure to update then on how well it works.













Here's the setup for traveling, just fold the foam and push down to move the front seats back.



Thanks!
JamesOfCarson.

Last edited by JamesOfCarson; 01-10-2019 at 12:41 PM.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 10:52 AM
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Suggestion: embed the images within the post so you don't have to click on every single link (look for a picture of a mountain and sun on the toolbar).


That looks super comfy! How do you plan to stow it for travel? Just pile stuff on top?
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by eighty View Post
Suggestion: embed the images within the post so you don't have to click on every single link (look for a picture of a mountain and sun on the toolbar).


That looks super comfy! How do you plan to stow it for travel? Just pile stuff on top?
Hey, thanks! I had originally done that, but the images are just so freaking huge so I thought it would be annoying.
Yeah, so essentially, in the last few pictures the mattress can just be flipped up towards the front so the front seats can be moved back for driving. As for packing things, just throw it on top, or in my case, I'm going to strap storage boxes to the roof between the rack. I think it'll work out just fine!
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 12:34 PM
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Hey, thanks! I had originally done that, but the images are just so freaking huge so I thought it would be annoying.
the site will automatically resize them down.


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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by eighty View Post
Suggestion: embed the images within the post so you don't have to click on every single link (look for a picture of a mountain and sun on the toolbar
*Updated the photos!
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 01:28 PM
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That is awesome!

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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That is awesome!
Thank you, I have such an itch to use it, but the damn temp is so cold in WI right now. I seriously cannot wait to be comfy while camping, without really having to setup anything.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 03:26 PM
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Nice writeup and photos, and that looks really comfortable. Thanks for posting.

We do the sleeping pad / action packer method when we want to sleep inside, and it works well for us, but is a bit more time and effort to setup than this would be. I'm looking forward to hearing more about how this works out for you with some real world use, especially managing gear storage.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by outback97 View Post
Nice writeup and photos, and that looks really comfortable. Thanks for posting.

We do the sleeping pad / action packer method when we want to sleep inside, and it works well for us, but is a bit more time and effort to setup than this would be. I'm looking forward to hearing more about how this works out for you with some real world use, especially managing gear storage.
Yeah definitely, thanks for the comment. I'm looking to strap large watertight containers in-between the roof rack for most of my stuff, aswell as a hitch carrier.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by JamesOfCarson View Post
Yeah definitely, thanks for the comment. I'm looking to strap large watertight containers in-between the roof rack for most of my stuff, aswell as a hitch carrier.

Thanks for sharing.

This is very similar to the camping set up im working on. I have decided to use 2 of the 3" foam mattress toppers combined( i found some on sale for super cheap, no doubt the matress is the better route to go).

anyways i was also considering using storage bins on the roof/ hitch cargo carrier.

it seems like such a simple sleeping solution. the one thing that im wrestling with is airflow. ive thought about rigging up some kind of "awning" with a tarp, and have it hang over the roof rails and down one side of the truck, this would create a little space for one of the rear windows to be cracked for airflow but also keep out the elements.
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