Camp Bed Issue

Submitted: Monday, Sep 16, 2013 at 21:30
ThreadID: 104353 Views:7937 Replies:11 FollowUps:3
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When we go camping, as opposed to caravanning, my wife and I each have a camp bed similar to this -

The only problem is - to complete the setup, each of the bed end rods has to be attached to one of the bed side rods then the bed 'stretched' apart to attach the other side of the end rod to the other side of the bed (I trust this makes sense).

My trouble is that it is very difficult for me to 'stretch' the bed (getting weaker in my old age no doubt) - I was wondering if anyone else out there uses similar beds and has a 'magical solution' to this problem.


Peter F.
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Reply By: Rick (S.A.) - Monday, Sep 16, 2013 at 22:03

Monday, Sep 16, 2013 at 22:03
I understand the issue, and sympathise.

My solution, after attempting to stretch the material/stand the frame on one end & use leg power force the bar home on the lugs/grunt loudly/etc/etc was to buy several of these.

It's a Wild Country Goulburn stretcher, but in the 210 cm length, not 190 cm.

I've personally used two of these. The original had two of the leg pivot rivets break after approx 60 uses/nights. I repaired it simply with gutter bolts (I always have a supply on hand for repairing beds, chairs & the like). The repair is fine & no other rivets look suss.

The second one I've slept on for approx 30 nights. So far so good in the erection, folding, longevity & wear-ability stakes.

I now keep the cross leg, end tension stretchers as reserves.

AnswerID: 518261

Reply By: The Explorer - Monday, Sep 16, 2013 at 22:14

Monday, Sep 16, 2013 at 22:14

Yes they can be a bit tight. I have in some instances used a tyre lever/pipe - place one end of the bed pole in place and gently lever the other end on.

I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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AnswerID: 518262

Reply By: The Bantam - Monday, Sep 16, 2013 at 22:36

Monday, Sep 16, 2013 at 22:36
You could make a stretching jig out of two pieces of wood with notches on each end and a bolt in the middle.

Cut it just the right length and arrange some sort of stop so it does not travel thru centre.

AnswerID: 518266

Reply By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Monday, Sep 16, 2013 at 22:38

Monday, Sep 16, 2013 at 22:38
Maybe something like this?

AnswerID: 518267

Reply By: Tim HJ61 (WA) - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 00:12

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 00:12
You're not alone Peter.

I made up a lever out of a piece of jarrah timber about 50mm by 25mm. It's about 700mm long which happens to be the same length as the bed is when it's folded up.

There is a taper from about 300mm to the end so the lever fits in between the end bar and the frame and then as you lever it back towards yourself, you slide the lever down to a thicker section give more purchase.

It's also handy to have lying alongside the bed overnight in case something fearsome is needed.

AnswerID: 518269

Reply By: Member - bill f (QLD) - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 00:20

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 00:20
Hi Peter,
Can't really help you with your problem. First had it as a 10yr old but has resurfaced now. We are currently using tent cots with king single self inflating mattresses. Have sail track fitted to the roof rack & a sheet of vinyl off a truck for extra cover at night. Use it for short stays or places where we can't take the van. Bill
AnswerID: 518270

Follow Up By: Member - bill f (QLD) - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 16:47

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 16:47
Another solution might be to redrill one of the holes in each of the stretcher rods. Bill
FollowupID: 798098

Follow Up By: Rick (S.A.) - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 21:21

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 21:21
But Bill,

if you do that you'll lose the necessary tension to make it supportive & comfortable.
It may, with a hole drilled closer, end up like a wire shearer's stretcher!

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Reply By: desray (WA - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 01:32

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 01:32
I have two of these, on mine the bed end rods are different lengths. One is 100mm or so longer on each bed, put the longer one in last ,its longer so you have a lever to stretch the bed. You could take the plastic plug out of the end of one of yours and put a extension inside so its easier to pull and stretch the bed.
AnswerID: 518275

Follow Up By: Rick (S.A.) - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 17:06

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 17:06
Agreed, the holes on the rods are at differing positions relative to the ends. Thus there is more leverage with one end than the other, as noted above.
Locating the short end first & then the longer end does make tensioning easier.

The idea of a removable extension is a practical low cost remedy.


FollowupID: 798101

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 07:31

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 07:31
My solution is two of these:-
Down Under Swag

Seriously, we often use our swags just flat on the ground, without the need to erect the hoops when sleeping in a tent, or as extra beds at home. Just an opened out sleeping bag as a doona and we are most comfortable. on really cold nights you can drag the canvas top over the doona and the canvas "bag" then keeps one snug as a bug.

I once spent the most miserable freezing night trying to sleep on a stretcher. Not for me!
Too much cold air all round.

Other folk use self-inflatable mattresses, but the quality of the egg crate, high density foam mattress in our swags, doesn't require anything else except the ground.
And you have much less distance to fall if you roll out of bed:-)

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AnswerID: 518276

Reply By: Member - sparra - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 09:51

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 09:51
g'day peter,i bought a darche 'sonic' camp stretcher,no end rods to attach,best thing i have bought for a long time,quick to fold up and open,just got back from a seven week trip up cape york way,very comfotable too. i paid about $ 130 for it.

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AnswerID: 518283

Reply By: Krooznalong - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 12:50

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 12:50
PITA aren't they!

Kids have those things and when we needed something for a tent only trip we bought some different ones which are extremely simple to set up. Brand is Oztrail - Model is Easyfold. Absolutely brilliant.

Is a little bit of careful filing possible to solve the problem you have? I can't recall what the end bits that fit together look like so not sure if this is possible.
AnswerID: 518295

Reply By: Member - fawkesp - Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 20:04

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 20:04
My thanks to all that replied, I certainly was not expecting such a varied set of responses!

I will take all of your suggestions on board and hopefully come up with a solution that works for us before we head off again.

Thanks again to all.

Peter F.
AnswerID: 518312

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