Have you heard about the Campervan RIB bed and want more info?
The bed/seat system is one of the most important (and expensive) parts of your Campervan Conversion. There are many options on the market; it can be hard to know what to choose.
We’ve put together this guide on RIB beds to help you make the right decision for your project.
What is a RIB Bed
The RIB bed is considered a premium product in the world of campervan beds. Manufactured and engineered in France, they’re imported by many different converters.
It is designed to be used as a seat during the day and a bed at night. In my experience, they’re the most straightforward system to go from seat to bed mode. They come with proper 3-point seat belts, ensuring your passengers are safe.
We’ve fitted hundreds of these beds over the years and never had any issues with the mechanisms, even after 7+ years of use. This system should add significant value to your Campervan Conversion (compared with a rock and roll bed.)
Generally, the RIB is considered the safest seat on the market and warrants its hefty price tag.
RIB Bed vs Rock and Roll Bed
There is a pretty huge price difference between the products. But what's the difference between a RIB bed and a rock and roll bed?
Put simply, a rock and roll bed gets pulled forward, and you sleep on the same side. A RIB bed flips over as you pull the levers, meaning you sleep on the other side of the seat. This makes a flat sleeping mattress.
Rock and roll beds are generally products that smaller campervan converters have manufactured. They all vary in cost, how they work and what they look like. Most are not crash-tested and therefore offer no safety features. This might be fine if you only plan on using it as a bed.
If you plan on using seatbelts for passengers, you must know the bed/seat is safe.
Benefits of the RIB Bed
- A RIB bed has a flat sleeping side
- The mechanisms are much easier to use
- Fully crash tested
- TUV approved
- Much safer than most rock and roll beds
- Used by professional converters
- Bolted down through the chassis of the van
- Add value to your van compared with a rock and roll
- ISOFIX as an optional upgrade
What are the different types of RIB Beds available?
There are three different models of RIB bed available:
- RIB Altair (mainly used in campervan conversions)
- RIB Neptune
- RIB Uranus
The RIB Altair comes in different sizes, which you choose based on your conversion layout. The wider the bed, the more you eat into your storage and kitchen layout. We use the three seater 120 cm or 129 cm for our conversions.
- 1 seater - 60 cm
- 2 seater - 86 cm
- 2 seater - 94 cm
- 2 seater - 104 cm
- 2 seater - 112 cm
- 2 seater - 120 cm
- 3 seater - 120 cm
- 3 seater - 129 cm
- 3 seater - 140 cm
- 3 seater - 150 cm
You then need to choose whether you want the “slider option. The slider will bring your passengers closer to the cab. The non-slider doesn’t move and remains in a fixed position.
- Non Slider
Next, you need to add any additional options you’d like:
- Back support
- Integrated 3D sleeping support mattress
Finally, you need to choose your fabric options. You can choose between the standard VW Fabrics or buy an un-upholstered seat, which you would then get an upholsterer to cover in the fabric of your choice (e.g. leather)
- VW Fabric - Brick
- VW Fabric - Simora
How to choose between the RIB bed options?
You need to think about what you're prioritising. You can go for a wider bed, but that will eat into your cupboard width in the camper kitchen. You will need to consider where your fridge and table will go.
The two-seater RIB means you get more depth (and therefore more storage), but you end up with a smaller bed.
If you plan on having a porta-potti, you should consider where that will live. They are big and bulky. Some won't fit under the rock and roll bed.
Can you live with less storage to increase your sleeping room? Or do you want to go for the smaller bed and gain more storage?
Some people choose to have extra passengers sleep in an awning. You can purchase awning partitions to create an extra "room." Think about whether this would be suitable.
How are RIB Beds installed in your campervan?
This is where the increased safety comes in. A rock and roll bed is often just screwed into the floor of your campervan. In any high-speed collision, this is not going to be safe. A RIB bed is bolted to the actual chassis of the vehicle.
You need to ensure that you consider leaving enough space for the rear “cushion” of the RIB to fold flat. This means the bed will be further forward than a rock and roll.
How to look after your RIB bed so that it lasts as long as possible
Taking care of your RIB bed in your campervan conversion is essential if you want it to last as long as possible. Regular cleaning and maintenance of the camper bed is key - vacuum it regularly with an upholstery attachment, and be sure to periodically brush off any dust or debris that may have settled in the folds.
Additionally, using mattress protectors will ensure that dirt and oil build-up doesn't stick to the fabric - something that can reduce its life expectancy. Pay attention to which cleaning products you're using, too: some may prematurely degrade the material over time or strip away protective coatings, so read labels carefully before use!
Invest in some campervan blinds to ensure you get a good night's sleep in your campervan.
Wildworx RIB Bed Campervans
Wildworx has fitted RIB beds in campervans for years. We exclusively use them as our seat/bed supplier for our conversions. We offer RIB bed fitting as part of a full campervan conversion or on its own.