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Transverse bed campervan layout guide


  Complete campervan layouts guide

The transverse bed layout is the oldest of all fixed bed formats and a best seller on the Continent, so you'll find this floorplan in van conversions from most major manufacturers.

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Introduction to transverse fixed bed campervans

As a tried-and-tested design, campervans with a transverse fixed bed are popular both on the Continent and in the UK. Built typically on the Fiat Ducato because it's slightly wider than similar panel vans, you’ll find this format in van conversions from almost all of the major European brands – not just campervan specialists like Dreamer, Globecar and Westfalia but also names better known for their motorhomes, including Hobby, Hymer, Knaus, Pilote and Rapido.

Why a transverse fixed bed layout?

If you’re in the market for something that’s compact with maximum storage space in the boot for bulky sports gear or bikes, for example, or if you want a van conversion with the comfort of a fixed double bed, this could be the layout for you.

Sleeping arrangements

Bed length is a key factor to consider. Widthways beds can sometimes be short, (minimum length is usually at least 1.83m) as these berths occupy the full breadth of the vehicle, and don’t forget that the person sleeping against the wall will have to clamber over their partner for a night-time loo visit.

A typical transverse bed campervan layout:
 Transverse bed campervan layout

Beds usually split and fold (or sometimes rise all-of-a-piece electrically), thus allowing the loading of taller items, such as bikes. If this aspect is important then check out how each manufacturer has developed the storage area, as they differ in practicality.

Storage considerations

This layout is as much about the storage below the bed as the bed itself and these models often boast some of the most spacious garages found in campervans, which is handy if you often carry bulky items. Panel van conversions also have the advantage of rear barn doors that open wide to receive your holiday gear in their underbed load areas, too.

Why choose a transverse bed campervan layout?

A transverse bed layout is about bed comfort as well as the storage space below, which is great for storing camping clobber but make sure you can easily get in and out of bed, as it might be positioned quite high up. This layout is usually only found on Fiat Ducato conversions, as this base vehicle is just wide enough to accommodate a transverse bed.

Choose because:

  •   I want a comfortable fixed double bed at the back

  •   I often carry things like bikes and kayaks

  •   I need easy access to the storage area through the barn doors

  •   It's my only vehicle so I need a daily driver-cum-campervan

  •   I like Fiat Ducato-based continental campervan designs

Our top tips for buying a transverse bed layout campervan

Van conversions with rear beds adopt different methods of folding/raising the bed for large loads – try before you buy. Compare load area dimensions, too, with the bed down and with it stored – they vary more than you’d think.

Our top picks of transverse bed campervans

There’s a huge choice of van conversions with transverse rear beds, mostly in 6m panel vans, but also the shorter 5.4m Fiat Ducato-based vans from brands like Globecar and Malibu. Note that there aren’t really any alternatives to the Ducato base vehicle because it’s slightly wider than the VW Crafter or Ford Transit, for example, making the Fiat just wide enough to accommodate a transverse bed.

Transverse bed campervan videos

Here are some of our Campervan magazine videos featuring transverse bed layouts. We hope you enjoy watching them as much as we enjoyed making them. It you like them and want to support the making of more videos like these, then don't forget to 'Like' or 'Subscribe' as it really helps us - thank you!

Pilote Van V600G Premium campervan review

Reviews of transverse bed campervans

Here are some of our Campervan magazine reviews of some popular transverse campervans.

Hymer Free 600 Campus Campervan Review

Hymer Free Campus 600 campervan review

Here's a special edition Hymer with an en vogue non-metallic paint finish, grey furniture and a pack of extras. It adds up to a saving of £3,665 compared with a Free 600 equipped to the same level.

View full review
Adria Twin Supreme 640 SGX Campervan Review

Adria Twin Supreme 640 SGX campervan review

The bed is transverse and measures 1.96m long, 1.77m wide at its widest point, and 1.53m at its narrowest. That’s a big bed and, below it, you still have a large space for storing camping clobber, with anchor points in each corner.

View full review

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Finished reading?

Find out more about campervan layouts with our complete campervan layouts guide.

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