roomster camper 6H9B1261.resized - 9 Awesome Skoda Roomster camping conversions - easy to advanced

9 Awesome Skoda Roomster camping conversions – easy to advanced

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The Roomster isn’t a big car, yet it has found its place amongst many camping enthusiasts. There is a surprisingly varied selection of Roomster camping conversions, some very easy, others very detailed and thought-through. I have found and listed the best ones in this post.

Most people have chosen to build their conversion as close to the front seats as possible (whilst pushing them forward as much as possible), but some have chosen to go over the front seats (whilst folding the front backrest down to a flat position). Not having any backrests around you creates a feeling of much more open space, but doesn’t allow you to drive the car at all (like moving it around the camping area with the bed set up), so it’s really down to your own preferences.

Want to know more about Skoda Roomster for car camping?

Skoda Roomster Car Camping review

Check out our review – focusing on car camping of course. It is shorter than we’d like… but… could it still be a good candidate for car camping?

1. Easy – “Keep it simple” Roomster camping conversion

I really like simplicity in life and therefore this simple conversion appeals to me. All it does is two things – create a flat platform to put your bed on and raise the floor for some storage underneath. The foldable & extendable part rests on the floor, where the rear seats were.

You need some sturdy boards so that they don’t bend in the middle (or you can put one more vertical support in the middle and use thinner plywood). These boards sit on top of two (or as previously mentioned, you can opt for three) vertical boards serving as legs.

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Join them with standard hinges and tie them to the boot floor using durable strings/rope, throw a good mattress on and you’re good to go!

2. Easy – “Just fill in the gaps” Roomster camping conversion AKA “The Campster”

This one took a different approach – instead of building a frame that lifts the platform up, its primary focus is on creating a flat sleeping area, much lower than any other conversion on this page. This gives you much more headroom but also means you will have to store most of your stuff on your bed.

Material:

  • Foam mattress (200x120cm and 12cm thick)
  • 2 shelve boards [used as the bottom of shelves] (54 x 60 cm) with cut-out for the armrest (or any 1cm thick plywood will do too)
  • Timber for the feet
  • a few screws, angles and latches
  • Wind deflectors for the rear doors, for better ventilation!

Cut the mattress to about 190 cm long and 100cm wide in the trunk area and leave it as is in the middle door area (120cm). The length is about 181cm. Then use a roll-up slatted frame 200×120 cm (must then be adjusted to the size of the mattress) as the platform (like this one (you can also make your own one easily, see here).

The two boards in the front hook onto the rail that remains after you remove the middle seats (also see the two other conversions below this gallery, they did the same thing).

Here are two more different conversions that also focused on just extending the flat area of the boot behind the front seats.

I would definitely recommend any other mattress than the inflatable bed – it is wobbly, it punctures easily and takes too much room (you only need ~15cm foam instead of 30cm or more inflated bed height). I wrote more about camping mattresses here.

3. Intermediate – Triangular front frame Roomster camping conversion

This conversion is simple enough and approaches the area where you remove middle seats differently – instead of a rectangular shape, it uses a triangular shape towards the front. The main benefit I see is less material and therefore less weight and the fact you can fold the arch away (the legs of the triangle) – to some extent.

You can see that in photo #2 – although you might need to remove the legs, plus you won’t be able to fold both legs away completely as one gets in the way of the other. You could add another hinge and split the second leg another time so that it will fold on top of the other one. But the way it’s built in the images, you won’t be able to put the seats back even if you fold the legs. It might be handy for sitting during the day, but not sure what else you would use the folding legs for.

Plus they introduce a balance issue with the bed platform as two of its corners are not supported – try and remember that when going to the loo at 3 in the morning! If you give the folding legs a bit more thought + perhaps adjust the length of the rectangular frame in the back – you might be able to put the seats back when needed without removing the frame.

The bed platform is bed slats – make sure it’s flat, like this one (you can also make your own one easily, see here – scroll towards the bottom of the page), not bent like the typical ones made for thick mattresses. You won’t fit such a thick mattress into your car without losing a lot of headroom and making it a bit too claustrophobic. It’s probably 120cm or 140cm wide bed slats that you then cut to fit your boot – each slat could be a different length to fill in all the gaps. Its main benefit is that you can roll it away easily and it doesn’t take up much space. But be careful with how big the gaps are – the bigger the gaps, the tougher & thicker the mattress required – defeating the saved weight by using big gaps. I’d say small gaps and thinner & lighter mattress is better.

4. Intermediate – Plywood only Roomster conversion

This one reminds me of plywood boxes/crates we used to construct in elementary school. 🙂 Albeit a “bit” more advanced…

The entire conversion is built using plywood – even for the frame. This removes the ability to reach into the storage from its sides but does keep everything neatly stored and in place. It can also add more unnecessary weight – also depending on the thickness of the plywood you choose. I would suggest thin plywood for the perpendicular bits (frame legs and ribs) as even thin plywood (5mm thick) is pretty sturdy when used vertically. Use a bit thicker plywood for the flat bed surface/platform.

One of the benefits of this type of construction is that you can slide each part into another without any other joining materials – they support each other without screws or brackets. Therefore it’s easy to assemble/disassemble and store – just like flat-packed furniture.

There is one advanced bit of joinery used that you can leave out – joining each platform piece together using a hidden lock mechanism built into the plywood – it’s too complicated for what you want to achieve, plus you would need to use thicker plywood (more unnecessary weight). You could just drill a hole into each piece of plywood and tie them together with a strong insulated wire (heavy duty so you can make a hook or a “C” shape out of it that will just slot in). Or use any sturdy string to tie them together – a small gap up to 2cm isn’t an issue, you won’t feel it through your sleeping mat.

5. Intermediate – keep the rear seats in, sleep (almost) in the front!

This camping conversion lets you keep the rear seats in and creates a big & open sleeping area with storage in the back. Because the seats remain in place + the backrests are folded down below the platform, you can’t store anything there, only in the boot. But, you can still use the front seats for some storage and also be able to access it there easily. You could put some food boxes down below the seats (where your feet would go) and put your backpacks on top of them – with things you need the most when the bed is extended.

6. Advanced – aluminium frame + over the front seats

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, here’s one of the conversions that go over the front seats completely. It’s built using aluminium profiles as the main frame, wooden boards joined with durable straps, a middle console/box built using the same wood that also has aluminium profiles at the top, finished by a custom-made roll-up slatted frame. Not that easy to pull off, but if you do, you will have a very long sleeping area with plenty of storage, whilst still keeping good headroom/height.

The author of the conversion was kind enough to put all measurements and instructions, with more images into a PDF:

7. Advanced – Foldable Roomster camping conversion

This camping conversion (boot jump) is very well designed and requires more advanced DIY skills and components. But the final result is pretty impressive! It folds away nicely and when extended, provides a generous 189cm of sleeping area – quite a lot for the Roomster. It consists of two parts – wood/red and grey in the pictures.

The grey one sits in the back of the boot and can be turned around – one position is for general use and storage, and the second position (upside down) is for sleeping. This part can remain in the car all the time.

The second part is more complex to build and has more moving parts, which makes it easy to fold away when not needed. It replaces the rear seats. The red upholstered bit is actually a yoga mat, good idea!

You could opt for slightly tinner plywood instead of the timber the author has used, although the weight saving wouldn’t be too great – compressed plywood vs lighter timber doesn’t differ in weight that much.

8. Advanced – and stylish – your own camping box in one piece

You can carry it in the boot or take it completely out easily, this stylish conversion will make you want to show it to everyone. I’ve covered it already before, so here’s the full post, including the PDF instructions:

9. Advanced – aluminium frame + telescopic extension

I like this one a lot – so I made a separate post about it as it’s a bit longer…

Bonus tip: How to reduce the weight of your camping conversion

First of all, of course, use light and thinner materials that are strong enough to hold your weight. It’s usually lighter to build a stronger frame with supports in the middle and put lighter plywood on top. But if for some reason you need to use thicker plywood or wooden boards, you can cut out holes in regular distribution across the boards to reduce the weight:

Bonus #2: Fancy a real challenge? Try re-creating this masterpiece:

Swiss Roombox (no longer available)

It was on offer for around 7000 EUR from what I could find on forums – way too much if you ask me. But kudos for the idea and design, the multifunctionality and how it all fits together. I’m sure the price reflects the countless hours that went into the design and its creation, but that certainly limited their market to perhaps only hundreds of people. I’d imagine that most campers who want to sleep in their everyday, small car do it because they don’t want to pay tens of thousands for a custom-built camper or a caravan (RV), so they wouldn’t shell out 7000 EUR for a camping box either.

Thanks to Skodacommunity.de forum for many of these ideas!

How does the Roomster compare to other everyday campers?


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