SUV Sleep Platform

I wanted a sleep platform for my 4Runner to take camping but the retail offerings were very expensive, and most of them involve permanent drawers which is more of a hassle in my opinion.

I cut the extruded aluminum on my miter saw with an aluminum blade, plenty of lubricant, took it slow, and the cut quality was perfect. The plywood tops were cut on the big CNC.

The extruded aluminum is 8020 metric (30mm x 30mm) because I wanted black without the extra grooves, and this is all McMaster Carr carried with those requirements. This came with the disadvantage of less options for the hardware, and I never could find plastic end caps that fit. 8020’s lead time was much longer and had excessive delivery charges for longer uncut lengths.

It’s setup in two pieces so I can remove the front section when not in use and I still have an extra shelf in the back for every day use.

The single-height size clear weathertite totes from Container Store fit underneath this height perfectly, and I use those for everyday road emergency kits as well as camping equipment.

I found a folding memory foam mattress that fits well. It has a tendency to slide around a bit when sleeping on it. I’ve considered using velcro, rubber grip strips, or sewing on some paracord to the corners to tie down to the platform.

I’m just over 6’ and the length is good. The height to the roof is fine when sleeping or laying down, although it is awkward when sitting up to exit.

Each section is anchored down with cam-lock straps. This isn’t perfect but good enough and much less hassle than removing the liners and anchoring directly to the body. I don’t have a photo but the front section has two vertical legs that rest on the rear passenger rubber floor mat, and is anchored to a bracket attached to threaded hole in the body where the rear seat latch bar is normally mounted. It probably takes about 30 minutes to swap the seat setup with this platform.

Overall it turned out like I wanted, but for most camping trips that are longer or with family I’d probably still opt for a big canvas tent. For quick solo trips, or trips where there may be inclement weather, I’d use the platform.

If anyone is interested in general details to do something similar for another vehicle, or specifics like dimensions and CNC CAD if you are making one for a 4Runner, I’d be glad to share.


For your foam mattress and the shifting around, you might try some of that puffy foam shelf/drawer lining material. It comes in a roll. I found it really effective for my mom’s wheelchair seat for similar challenges with scooting around. It’s non-adhesive, and would roll up easily when not in use.