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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone!

This will be my first contribution to the forum. I just completed a sleeping platform for camping in the FJ. Below is a description with pictures, as well as instructions on building your own!

In summary

-Rear seats REMAIN installed.
-Includes pull out storage, that double as working area (I use it for cooking or prepping -- 100 lbs load limit each).
-It has 3 sections.
-When completely folded up into 1/3 size, rear seats can be fully positioned upright and locked.
-When folded out into 2/3 size, seats must be folded down, but the platform is
secured well enough for off-roading. I've tested this and everything is solid, but it can become squeaky.
-When fully unfolded it is four feet wide and 6 feet long.
-It's made entirely out of wood and costs about $200 total in supplies.
- You don't need much for tools. A few screw drivers, drill, drill bits, and a hand saw. You can get most of the wood cut at home depot or lowes when you buy it.
-Set up or break down is under 2 min and requires 2 bolts that are hand tightened. These bolts hold the first and second unit together.


-4' 4" of 2x4 (4x 1' 1")
-25' 5.5" of 2x2 (2x 39.5" + 2x 26" + 2x 22" + 1x 17" + 2x 54" + 3x 15")
-11' 9" 0f 1x6 (1x 39.5" + 2x 2' 2" + 3x 10.5" + 2x 1' 10")
-4'x8' 3/4" plywood

There are three units. The front unit has two drawers and 6 legs.

I suggest starting with the legs and frame, including the inner support legs and cross members. Put this in the FJ first to make sure everything fits.

The front unit uses all of the 2x4s, 2x 1' 10" + 3' 3.5" 1x6, and 1x 3'3.5" + 2x 1' 10" 2x2s.

Keep in mind that you will need to saw a few small rectangles out of the side and back panel of the front unit's frame. These will hold the "arms" of the second unit. Eventually, you will drill a hole through these arms and the 2x4s to bolt them together.

This might be a good time to try out the drawers. This is trial and error. You can buy a drawer kit at the hardware store, install it and measure the distance between the legs to know the right plywood size. You should have plywood left over to use for these drawers. Install them now if you'd like, but keep in mind the ball bearings will get saw dust on them if you do anymore drilling and sanding.

The second and third unit are not much more then a few 2x2s screwed together. Although, the second piece has three legs at the rear. This piece connects to the front piece by two "arms" the slide into the front unit.

Second unit uses 2x 3'1.5" + 2x 2'2" + 1' 5" 2x2s and 3x 10.5" 1x6s. The side 2x2s (2'2") will extend past the plywood and insert into the front unit.
The third unit uses 2x 4' 6" + 3x 1'3" 2x2s

Once these frames are constructed it's a good idea to fit the arms into the front unit. You might have to saw some more, or not, to get these snug.

Cut the plywood into three pieces: 2x 2' 1" (front and second unit) and 1' 10" (third unit).

If you want, you can leave the third piece longer and cut it to fit the final length. This piece unfolds inside the FJ, so you can be limited by height, but I was ultimately limited by how far the passenger seat can be moved forward. NOTE: the passenger seat does not move forward as far as the driver seat (this screwed me up because I made all of my measurements to the driver seat).

When screwing the plywood to the frame you want to expose 1" of the frame at the rear of the front unit. This will allow the second unit's plywood to sit on this 1" lip.

The front unit's plywood will protrude past the frame. This means you will want to cut the corners so that the front unit can sit as close to the FJ's rear door as possible. If you don't do this, you won't be able to lock your rear setts upright when all three units are stacked.

The plywood on the third unit should sit flush with one end of the frame. This is where the hinges will be placed.

Once the plywood is on make sure the second and first unit fit together well. If so, you will want to drill a large hole through the arms of the second unit and 2x4 legs of the first unit. This hole will be used to bolt the two pieces together. I used a wing nut so that I can easily hand tighten these.

Once the bolt holes are made, add the hinges. I used four light duty hinges (I had limited options). Once the third and second units are hinged together you can check the height limitations of opening the third unit. I found that to get 6' total a small bit of the corners of the third unit need to be cut to avoid scrapping the ceiling edges.

At this point you might notice to height differences between all three units. I let the third unit rest on the rear seats and ideally you want this flat and the three second unit legs to be on the ground. You may have to shorten the legs if everything doesn't line up. ALTHOUGH, because the three second unit legs are resting on the rear seats, they will depress when you lay on the platform. This means the second unit will sink about an inch when you lay on it. This might be enough to get the first and second unit flush.

I added a gate lock to hold the second and third unit together when they're closed.

I added some small felt moving tabs to the third unit so that it doesn't bang against the second when the road gets bumpy. I also added a few tabs under the second unit so that it doesn't scratch the first when I'm sliding it out to set up.

I used paracord and the original tie down points to keep it secured. I originally wanted to bolt it directly to the tie down points, but I couldn't get the legs to line up with all four tie down points (they're not symmetric).

For a nice touch I added some rubbery drawer liner to the drawer plywood so that my tubs wouldn't slide around, and it's a nicer working surface. I used a couple dinky hooks to lock these drawers closed so they aren't sliding open while driving.

Of course, you will probably want to sand and maybe stain everything. When you do that is up to you!



11 Posts
hey man do you still have the sleeping platform? How has it held up for you? I'm looking to build something similar. Thanks!
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