The bench seat folding bed supplied with our van was a two sear Scopema RIB Altair. Supposedly this is the #1 bed for vans in Europe and certainly appeared a better option than a rock n roll style bed where you sleep on the sitting surface. The sleeping surface is nice and flat and for a short nap I found comfortable enough.

However, our first night sleeping on the mattress was appalling – it was so firm. We both found the bed to be so hard that we needed to search for something to put over the top of it.

First attempt – We purchased a roll up memory foam mattress topper. Because we were worried about ho much room is was going to occupy rolled up on the back we elected to return it. Space is so limited that we did not want to lose most of the back shelf on top of the mattress to bedding.

Second attempt – We purchased a Minijumbuk Sleep Therapy Mattress Topper (King Single size) at a half price sale at David Jones. We thought this relatively thick woollen topper would be sufficient and it was certainly an improvement but not good enough. Around $300 wasted.

Attempt three  – We purchased two Wanderer Stretcher Foam Mattresses with opened size L180 x W60 x H3cm from BCF. Our target was the smallest possible solution. At $69 each this was a cheaper option and better than the woollen topper but still not a good night’s sleep. We considered moving up to thicker fold up style mattresses but because of the layout of the van with the sleeping room narrower at the feet end we decided we should go down the custom mattress path.

Attempt four – We went to PureSleep bedding at Clontarf and had a measure up for a custom folding mattress topper. 60mm thick medium soft foam folding mattress in three section with zip off covers. The dimensions appear below. This is still a large option but with a folded height of 180mm will take up less space than a roll up topper and should be a nice snug fit – a little wider than the RIB bed footprint. For this option we chose the softest density foam – thinking it would be a topper for the hard bed underneath. This was a mistake – it was too soft so we went back for another try.

Attempt five – Back to PureSleep for another set of foam inserts. This time we elected the hardest most dense foam. We got to try this on a three night trip to Brunswick Heads and while it was an improvement this time we felt it was probably a bit too firm so are considering going back to get the in between “medium” density option.

VW RIB Altair Mattress cover

see Kampervan journey