If your RV bed lifts to reveal additional storage space, you’ve got a great feature that can help to store an amazing amount of your travel gear out of the way. But if it’s hard to raise or lower the bed on your own to retrieve those stored items, an affordable RV bed lift kit may just be what the doctor ordered!
Storage under an RV bed is a fantastic use of space. But that space quickly becomes useless if you can’t easily access it.
In today’s post, we’re looking at an RV bed lift system that can easily be operated by one person, AND is budget-friendly & easy to install!
This could be a game-changer for many RVers, so let’s get right to it!
What’s an RV Bed Lift Kit?
Let’s face it, storage space in RVs is at a premium, so you want to be able to access and use it all! Many RVs have usable storage space under the bed, but accessing it can be difficult if there’s no system in place to hold the platform & mattress up once you lift it.
A bed lift kit uses gas struts to provide the additional lift and support needed to make it easier to raise the bed to your desired height and hold it up once it’s lifted. If your RV came from the factory without any struts at all, RV bed lift kits include the gas struts and all the hardware needed to install them.
But even if your rig came with struts, they may not be strong enough to hold the bed up once it’s lifted, so you’re still left fumbling to hold the bed up with your head and neck. (That’s never a good thing!) In this case, you can simply replace the current struts with stronger ones from an RV bed lift kit.
Once you’ve installed a set of heavy-duty gas struts that are capable of lifting AND holding up the bed, you’ve got yourself an accessible storage area and two free hands to grab what you need when you need it!
What Is a Gas Strut?
A gas strut (sometimes referred to as a gas spring, stay, or shock) allows for the lifting, lowering, and positioning of an object such as a cabinet or storage bay door or (for the purposes of today’s post) an RV bed.
The way a gas strut works is by essentially forcing gas that’s under pressure into a cylinder. The gas strut provides the force for lifting, lowering, and holding/positioning whatever it’s attached to.
This is different from a strut that uses a spring and a piston, like those seen in our post on the repair of RV cabinet door struts. In a gas strut, compressed gas replaces the spring.
A gas strut is generally larger and stronger to account for heavier doors (or beds in the case of bed lifts for RV use), such as those shown in our video showing the replacement of our RV basement door lift springs.
In fact, if your RV has struts under a bed that simply aren’t strong enough to do the job of lifting and holding it up while you access the storage space, replacing them requires the same steps we took to replace our basement door struts.
How to Install an RV Bed Lift Kit
Installing heavy-duty gas struts that serve as RV bed lifts is a pretty straightforward DIY project, and the kit itself won’t break the bank (not to mention that the cost of the bed lift kit is preferable to breaking your back trying to hold up that bed!)
A kit like this one from Hatchlift comes with everything you need to install the bed lift. You can order directly through the Hatchlift website (use the coupon below to save) or via Amazon (free shipping and free returns).
We replaced our worn-out basement door gas springs with high-quality units from Hatchlift. If your RV isn’t already equipped with door lifts, Hatchlift makes complete installation kits… and bed...Show More
We replaced our worn-out basement door gas springs with high-quality units from Hatchlift. If your RV isn’t already equipped with door lifts, Hatchlift makes complete installation kits… and bed lift kits, too!
Save 10% on your entire order with the coupon code listed here.Show Less
This one happens to be for a queen bed, but clicking on the link below will show you several kits in a number of different sizes. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s notes to determine the appropriate size for your RV bed.
- Bed lift Kits are NOT REPLACEMENT SPRINGS. For new installation - Recreational Vehicles Only. No Foam Mattresses
- Order the correct kit for your CURRENT RV BED. Do not order for a "future" mattress upgrade or adding a pillow topper later
To install a Hatchlift RV bed lift kit, you’ll need the following tools:
- Drill & bits
- #2 screwdriver
- Measuring tape
- Pencil for marking measurements
- A couple of pieces of scrap wood for the bracket installation. (Only necessary if there’s a lip on your bed framing. Your scrap wood will need to be the thickness of the lip/rail of your bed frame.)
Pro Tip: Pre-drill all holes, so you don’t risk splitting the wood.
- Measure the appropriate length from front to back for the hardware (bracket) installation. (Note that the right measurement for your gas strut will be listed in the manufacturer’s instructions.)
- Install your bottom brackets.
- Measure the appropriate distance for placement of the upper brackets in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Install the top brackets using the wood provided with the bed lift kit.
- If the bed doesn’t close as freely as desired, make adjustments as necessary.
We suggest watching a video or two of the installation process before installing your own. This way, you’ll know about any potential issues and necessary adjustments based on someone else’s trial-and-error time.
This video from Colorado Camperman should be helpful:
Do You Use Underbed RV Storage?
If you use an under-bed storage area in your RV, we’d love to hear how you use it and how well it works for you. Did your RV come with a bed lift? Or have you installed an RV bed lift kit? Let us know in the comments!
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