Camping beds for kids

Submitted: Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 07:50
ThreadID: 75192 Views:13872 Replies:13 FollowUps:5
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We're planning a camper trailer trip to WA, and our kids currently have the old army style stretcher beds, my husband thought we could save on time setting up camp each day and storage space by using a quality foam mattress for them (ages 4 & 9). Just what type of beds others use for their kids. Thanks
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Reply By: DALE.M - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 07:59

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 07:59
Army stretchers are great so i would keep using them and they keep them off the ground
AnswerID: 399307

Reply By: Member - Teege (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 08:17

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 08:17
Burry
I agree. The stretchers are the way to go. I don't know how yours fold up, but maybe you could investigate some of the newer more compact stretchers. "Good quality" mattresses are extremely bulky, and unless you have loads of room, are a real pain when packing.

teege
AnswerID: 399309

Reply By: Member - Andrew L (QLD) - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 08:19

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 08:19
I gather your camper trailer has an attached annex to it that your kids can sleep in/under, if so, I would go the foam mattress or even air mattress for compactness. Get the kids to inflate and deflate as part of the setup and pack up process.

Young kids are pretty tough, I can't see the need to actually have to take a bed for them when camping. My own kids spent quite a few trips over their younger years in Central Australia in swags with me under the stars.

I'm with your husband, but even better for his point of view, go an air mattress.
AnswerID: 399310

Reply By: Member - Carl- Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 08:25

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 08:25
Hi,

I go with Dale on the army stretcher idea. There are some cheap copies but I would stay away from them.

Perhaps try and grab some other army things there as well.

Mossie net, some army boots etc.Your boys might develop a love of the army and run away to the military at 18. In this way you will be free to travel and retire instead, of working to put them through university. Your wife will be free from all that extra cooking and doing their laundry each week. They will not be borrowing your 4WD every other weekend and getting it scratched.

Sure the army will continue their education and give them a degree but more importantly, it will teach them to make their beds, tidy their room, wear some decent clothes and listen to "music" and not just racket.

Sorry, got a bit carried away there. I should have taken mine on more camping holidays when they were young. You are doing the right thing.
AnswerID: 399312

Reply By: Rod - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 08:51

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 08:51
I have a soft floor CT and 3 boys 9,6 and 2. The 9 and 6 year olds sleep on a bunk bed whilst the 2 YO is still in a portacot.

The bunk beds are similar in style to these http://www.rrsport.co.nz/products/large/KBUNKDLX.jpg

Our tip is to only partially disassemble the bunk beds and lay them flat on the mattress of the CT to save setup/pack down time. Ours required a small modification to do that easily. If you try to assemble/disassemble all the time, it can be quite fiddly and take some of the fun of camping away.
AnswerID: 399318

Follow Up By: john&thejayco - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 19:52

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 19:52
burry,
we have room in the old jaydove but the kids often like to camp out under the awning,we have a set of the bunks that are pretty quick to set up and the advantage we find with the bunks is one mozzie net covers both kids.the bunks we have can be found at great outdoors but are very similar to those Rod showed in his link.
John.
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FollowupID: 668385

Reply By: Member - Oldplodder (QLD) - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 08:56

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 08:56
When we were travelling with our boys in a 9'x9' touring tent, we didn't have room for stretchers, or the time to put them up on one night stands.

We made some foam mattresses from 3/4" thick extra high density foam, about 1500mm long x 500 wide, and rolled to about 400 dia. As they grew, their feet just stuck over the end. With their light weights, it does not need to be as thick as for an adult. Wife and I have a double bed size foam mattress of 1" thick high density foam.
Wife made some covers, vinyl one side and cloth the other side. Found with cloth both sides, the underside would get wet from condensation.
A lot easier than struggling with stretchers, just as comfortable, and I still use one for the ocassional weekend away from home.

Those thicker self inflating foam mattresses look like they might as work just as well. We did try inflating air mattresses before that, but we found found foam mattresses don't spring leaks in the middle of the night and take a bit more abuse. :o)

As with with any camping gear, we always try it out in the shop before we buy. Boys always thought that was the best part of a shopping expedition, especially when the biggest kid (me) joined them on the floor.
AnswerID: 399320

Follow Up By: Matt Watson - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 09:57

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 09:57
The self inflating foam mattresses are great... until you want to "deflate" it.. They are a royal pain to roll up.

Matt.
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FollowupID: 668296

Follow Up By: Member - Oldplodder (QLD) - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 10:06

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 10:06
Agree Matt,

Takes me about 5 mins with mine (feels like 10 mins), but if you don't have the space for a roll of foam, it is an option. :o)
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FollowupID: 668297

Follow Up By: Member - Tour Boy ( Bundy QLD) - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 14:22

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 14:22
We use thermarests and just leave them inflated and place on top of the mattress and throw the doona over and fold up the camper as normal. Takes 15 secs and done.
Cheers
Dave
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FollowupID: 668340

Reply By: Alloy c/t - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 10:50

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 10:50
Keep away from air mattresses ,forever blowing them up becomes a pain and they are damn cold to boot when on the ground , you can now buy Kids size swags that take up little room rolled up or leave them unrolled on top of the c/t bed. A swag gives the kids their "own" space to look after.
AnswerID: 399334

Follow Up By: Top End Explorer - Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 05:30

Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 05:30
Thats what I do a perfect solusion to a simple problem.

Cheers Steve
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FollowupID: 668775

Reply By: PradOz - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 11:32

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 11:32
Set them up in a couple hammocks. Roll up small and easily. You just need to hang them from somewhere.

Maybe you should visit the next camping show and see if any of the beds and stretchers on the market would suit.

As suggested elsewhere kids that age would adapt easily to thinner rolled up foam beds and they dont need to be very wide either due to their size
AnswerID: 399338

Reply By: Member - Timbo - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 12:29

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 12:29
Kids that age don't need a proper mattress - just a $10 foam roll each from any camping/department store will provide insulation from the cold as well as a small amount of cushioning. It's all I ever used well into my 20s - come to think of it, it's all I use now when I can't be bothered installing the roof-top tent for a short trip!
AnswerID: 399350

Reply By: SDG - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 23:00

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 23:00
I use self inflating matresses for the kids, as well as for myself when travelling by bike.
A stretcher in cold weather is no good. It allows the cold air to enter the body from underneath. Kids complained of the cold when I used them in Queensland last October.
Airbeds are good, and if there is a blanket or something under it, it will insulate against the cold, but can be a pain to inflate regulary.
Each person will have a different story. The best thing to do is try all, and make a decision that suits the individual that is using item.
AnswerID: 399461

Reply By: Member - Josh (TAS) - Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 23:43

Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 at 23:43
I would agree with rod in reply 5 about the bunk beds. We travelled for almost 3 yrs with 3+5 yr olds (now 6+8). We would leave the bedding on the bed and simply take the legs and uprights off. There is a T or cross piece that the legs and uprights attach to. we simply rolled these over so they were flat and put them on our mattress still made up. Took about 2 minutes to set up, don't think I could blow an air bed up that quick. It keeps them off the floor and are quite good to sleep on.
AnswerID: 399472

Reply By: Outa Bounds - Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 19:28

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 at 19:28
We've got stretcher beds for our kids (now 5yrs and 7yrs) the type that can stack into a bunk. When we had the camper trailer we used to just pull the legs off, turn the t-pieces inwards (what the legs had slid on to) so that they wouldn't rub, and chucked them on top of our bed in the camper. That saves a lot of time when setting up and packing up! Needless to say they were only made into bunks if we were staying somewhere for a while and needed some extra room (soft floor camper).

But we don't have the camper any more, we brought two 3 man hiking tents (one for us and one for the kids). And we purchased two of those double 4wd type foam / self inflating mattresses. I can attest that stacked on each other they are as comfy as our queen size bed! Yeah been sleeping on them for weeks now here at home! Only problem with having them as camping mattresses is the size, they don't deflate much and I reckon just one is more bulky than a swag! You certainly wouldn't be saving any space if you got some singles of that type to use instead of stretchers, but as far as comfort comes, they're A1

If you could get a thinner foam mattress with vinyl on the underside and cotton on top like someone mentioned then I think that would be ideal.

As for us, Hubby wants an air mattress to replace the bulky 4wd ones, but I want foam! Guess we'll have to keep what we've got!
AnswerID: 399620

Reply By: dionbremner - Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 23:11

Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 23:11
We made up swags or bed rolls out of old tents for our kids. It helps to keep everything together in the one place. So when it comes time to pack up each kid just rolls up their bedding in one roll and can then roll it out again a the next spot. We use either form or self-inflating mattresses. I agree with an earlier post - kids don't need much of mattress to be confortable.
Cheers
Dion
AnswerID: 400778

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