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An RV Bunk: Space for Kids to Sleep & So Much More

An RV Bunk: Space for Kids to Sleep & So Much More

An RV bunk is a great place for a child or teen to sleep. They’ve got their own space, and you’ve got yours. But RV bunk beds can be much more useful than you may think.

We’ve seen bunk beds in RV living spaces put to some great use in our two decades on the road.

So, today we’re sending out some of the cool ideas we’ve seen, heard, or read about in case you find them helpful for the way you RV.

What Is an RV Bunk?

You might chuckle when you see the heading “What Is an RV Bunk?” Everybody knows what bunk beds are, right?

Well, RVers and RV manufacturers can get mighty creative. We’re used to making the most out of small spaces, and adding sleeping quarters for kids or guests is often at the top of the list.

But not all RV bunks are the same.

Regular Bunks

Two twin-sized beds (or smaller), one above the other, is what we generally think of when we hear the term “bunk bed.”

Traditional bunk beds

A traditional set of bunk beds.

Many larger RVs come with bunk beds as part of the floorplan to increase the available sleeping space in the rig. RVs with bunk beds are (naturally) usually marketed toward RVers with families. They sometimes provide kids with their own private bunk room with a door to close to give older kids or guests a little privacy. We discussed these types of RVs in our post on RVs with bunk beds.

RVers who like to travel with adult guests often opt to upgrade the typically thin bunk mattresses that come standard in these rigs. In some cases, it’s even possible to replace RV bunk mattresses with mattresses that are slightly larger.

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All in all, regular bunk beds are the typical double bunk, one bed on the bottom and another bed above it, generally with a ladder to access the top bunk.

Cabover Bunk

A cabover bunk (or “over cab” bunk) is something you’ll find in a Class C RV. As the name implies, it makes use of the space extending out over the cab as a sleeping area.

A cabover bunk in a Class C RV

This cabover bunk sits in the space above the cab in a Class C RV.

A Class C rig generally uses the cabover space for either a bed or an entertainment center. Some people use it for storage.

While not technically considered a cabover bunk, the caps of 5th-wheel travel trailers will often have either a master bedroom with a queen-sized bed or a set of bunk beds with the entire cap being used as a bunkhouse, possibly even including a full bathroom.

Murphy Bunk/Gaucho Bed/Fold-down Bunk

A Murphy bunk pulls down for use as a bed when it’s needed and folds back up against the wall when the space needs to be used for something other than sleeping.

So, an RV with Murphy/pull-down bunks can be a bedroom at night and a living area during the day.

You’ll often see this type of RV bunk in a toy hauler.

The beds in the garage of a Forest River Cherokee Wolf Pack toy hauler

The beds in the garage of a Forest River Cherokee Wolf Pack toy hauler are moved out of the way to haul recreational items to the campsite. The bunks are raised or lowered as needed to accommodate sleeping or other use of the space. (Photo source: Forest River RV)

You can use the “garage” to haul your ATV, kayaks, or other recreational gear to the campsite, and then the beds pull down from the wall to create a sleeping area once the “toys” are moved out of the space.

Alternative Uses for RV Bunk Beds

If you have an RV with bunk beds and your kids have grown up, or you bought the rig used and really don’t need the extra bunks, there are a number of alternative uses for that space. You can alter the space to use neither of the bunk beds or just one of the two bunks. Removing the top, bottom, or both beds may be easy if you want them out of the way, but that does depend on how they’re installed.


Some have converted the bottom bunk of a set of bunk beds into an office space. So, you’ve got the extra bed on the top for a guest, grandchild, etc., and you’ve got a desk with a working area where the lower bunk once was. This is one of the best uses of space we’ve seen, especially for digital nomads who work from the road.

Pet Space

If you’ve got a kid and a pet, or even just a pet, the bottom bunk area is a great place to create a secure, comfortable space for dogs or cats. You can even slide a kennel with a comfy little bed and favorite toys inside it, and you’ll have a special area just for your pet built right into the RV.

The bottom area of a bunk room/space is a nice secure area for a pet. The top bunk can be used for sleeping, of course, or it can be turned into a storage area.

Storage Space

Speaking of storage space, many people convert their RV bunk beds into storage areas. Some simply store items right on top of the beds and secure them for traveling by closing the door (if there is one) or installing a gate.

Many travelers remove both bunks entirely to create a large closet. Others choose to leave the bottom bunk intact for guests and remove the top bunk, replacing it will shelving for storage.

Dining Area

Finally, some RVers have removed the bottom bunk and turned that area into a little dining nook with a table. This type of space can also be useful for computer work, games, puzzles, or crafts.

Can You Install Bunk Beds In an RV?

If your RV didn’t come with bunk beds and you want to create a pair, there are ways to do that, too. Depending on the size and layout of your rig, you’ll need to designate a particular area for this project.

One family that travels extensively with their two daughters had an RV with a pull-out sofa. But they knew that that setup wouldn’t work well as the kids grew.

That, in addition to the fact that pulling out the sofa bed every night and putting it away every morning can get old, inspired them to transform that area into a set of bunk beds for the girls.

You can read all about it, watch the progress in action, and check out the DIY directions by checking out this article in RV Magazine.

If you plan to have overnight visitors on your RV, but you don’t have bunks, check out our video about RVing with guests to see if it gives you some ideas about hosting extra people on board.

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