Finding the best campervan rock and roll bed

There is no right or wrong when choosing a campervan rock and roll bed and the best advice is to look around as many example conversions as possible.

Buying a campervan rock and roll bed is one of the biggest purchases that you are likely going to make for your campervan or motorhome.

Understanding the difference between an M1 crash tested rock and roll bed and one that is not is frequently something campervan owners overlook.

Considering the campervan rock and roll bed options

Depending on how you intend on using the van will dictate which design you go for, whether it be:

  • Full width,
  • 3/4 width,
  • Single width,
  • Split down the middle (this is what we have in our T4)
  • To carry passengers
  • Only a few suppliers offer campervan beds with isofix (View RIB on eBay are one of the few manufacturers that offer ISOFIX)

These are just a few of the options. In addition to this, you need to consider:

  • What kind of rock and roll bed mechanism you desire (Manual or Electric)
  • Catch design that locks the bed in place some are manually spring loaded and others are magnetic/electric.
  • Some have gas struts to aid with roll up/roll down and some do not.
  • The finish – do you want powder coated metal, painted metal, or perhaps even a wooden finish

It is important to weigh up all the options that are on the market and get the right one for your requirements.

I will highlight a few personal top picks that are worth a look during your pursuit for your ideal campervan rock and roll bed so that you can make an informed decision on your purchase.

Where to buy a campervan rock and roll bed

I personally find eBay is a good place to start as the majority of manufacturers sell on there. You can see how popular the campervan rock and roll bed is and also read honest reviews from previous customers that are not always available on the supplier website.

A lot of the best rock and roll bed manufacturers will build to order and some of the more popular ones have 4 to 6 week wait times.

For this reason i’d recommend ordering via eBay as you also get the buyer protection if you choose to purchase (and the vendor will prioritise your order accordingly).

What makes a high specification rock and roll bed?

  1. M1 Tested
  2. With seat belts
  3. Quality of metallic finish (IE powder coated vs painted)
  4. Fold out mechanism (Manual or Electric)
  5. Quality of welds
  6. High quality bearings used for the moving parts
  7. Thicker box section steel used in manufacture
  8. High quality hinges
  9. Look out for the roll out mechanism as front legs on some of the cheaper beds can scratch your floor
  10. Fitting kits / spreader plates usually included

Top picks

Below are my top 4 personal favourites,

Each one offers something slightly different, but above all else I think they each offer great value for money whilst having a great social media following online (and lots of great feedback on eBay).

This is just a small selection from the magnitude of choice available in the UK market.

M1 Tested

  • Manufacturer - RIB
  • M1 Tested rock and roll bed
  • Perfect for families - Optional ISO mounts
  • 3/4 Rock and roll bed design (112cm)
  • Includes upholstery
Great value

  • Manufacturer - Outlaw campers
  • Not M1 Tested
  • Good quality, nice design and amazing price
  • 3/4 Rock and roll bed design (110cm)
  • Includes upholstery with optional kickboards
Full width

  • Manufacturer - Camperworx Halifax
  • With 3 X seat belts, Gas strut and fitting kit
  • Great low cost full width bed with easy mechanism
  • Full width Rock and roll bed design
  • Excludes upholstery
M1 Tested

  • Manufacturer - Jac Conversion Kits LTD
  • M1 Tested rock and roll bed
  • Perfect for families - Optional ISO mounts
  • 3/4 Rock and roll bed design with customised measurement option
  • Includes upholstery with choice of colours/finish

List of UK suppliers

Below is the start of a comprehensive list of campervan rock and roll bed suppliers that I am aware of. If I have missed any off please feel free to add a comment below this article and I would be happy to add them.

Campervan rock and roll beds without M1 test (cannot be used for passengers)

It is worth asking if these suppliers can supply M1 Tested if you like the design of their work (and they have seat belt mounts).

It is likely some will be able to organise it. You often find that the larger campervan rock and roll bed suppliers can do beds with and without the M1 test but of course it will be reflected in the price you pay as there is more work involved.

Campervan rock and roll beds WITH M1 test (can be used for passengers)

This is a list of campervan rock and roll bed suppliers that I know for sure can offer an M1 tested frame. If I have missed any please feel free to comment below.

Campervan Rock and Roll Bed with or without the upholstery

Some rock and roll beds are sold with upholstery included, it is worth pointing out that it is sometimes better to buy the frame and upholstery separately especially for the highest specification frames.

It is a good option to buy together from the same supplier if you want to keep things simple and ensure you get the correct fittings.

In this review we will look at just the frame designs and safety aspects to watch out for. The upholstery is more of a personal choice on which way you go.

Cost of a rock and roll bed

A cheap rock and roll frame can set you back anywhere from £250 right the way up to £1200+ and then you have the cost of the upholstery/foam on top.

Cheap vs Expensive campervan rock and roll beds

As with any product you buy, generally speaking the more you pay for, the more features you are likely to get.

  • Cheaper frames are unlikely to be M1 crash tested
  • If it is not M1 tested it should not really have seat belts installed (as it is not for use in motion)
  • The finish on the cheaper beds is unlikely to be high quality. The more expensive beds are usually power coated
  • You can expect to pay more for full width rock and roll beds. The three-quarter beds will usually be cheaper.
M1 tested rock and roll bed
High quality m1 tested electric rock n roll bed manufactured by Van Beds LTD

Which rock and roll beds fit a Transporter?

Rock and roll beds are usually universal and can be installed into any campervan conversion providing the measurements work. You can view dimensions for VW T5 and T6 models here.

A lot of suppliers in the UK build their product to order so can quite often vary the measurements to your requirements.  

Therefore those beds that are advertised as VW Transporter rock and roll beds are just ones that would satisfy the typical dimensions required for either a full width or three quarter width with room for cupboards down one of the sides in the traditional layout.

If a campervan rock and roll bed doesn’t specifically mention Transporter, check the measurements will work with your desired interior layout.

The floor fittings are usually universal and will require holes and base plates/reinforcement installing in your floor.

Install a VW Transporter rock and roll bed

Ideally it is best to get rock and roll beds installed professionally especially if you are fitting an M1 Crash tested bed for use in motion however the principle is very simple for someone with a little bit of DIY confidence.

Transporter T5 and T6 campervan rock and roll bed fitting kit

To make life easier, if the bed that you have purchased has not arrived with a mounting kit, it is worth paying a little bit of money for a specific one that can be found easily online (Example from eBay).

It is also important to consider reinforcement for the area that you will be installing the bed. Just putting bolts with a washer and nut through the floor of your van is not going to be strong enough in the case of an accident.

Transporter T5 T6 campervan rock and roll bed reinforcement

You can buy T5 and T6 specific kits like the one below.

rock and roll bed fitting kit

Good value cheap Campervan Rock and Roll bed

Not all beds need to be M1 rated and there are some fantastic bargains about in the UK for those just looking for a low cost option.

A really nice example of a cheap but quality designed bed below manufactured by Camperdiy (Hon and Co Trading) based in Lancashire (eBay link here).

I have seen a lot of their products installed in T4’s, T5’s and T6’s. A very popular reputable manufacturer.

3/4 width campervan rock and roll bed
A nicely designed 3/4 width rock and roll bed

Check the mounting plates, welds and bolt fixing design to ensure you are getting a quality product.

campervan rock and roll bed locking mechanism
Close up of a well mounted spring loaded locking mechanism

What does M1 Crash tested mean for a rock and roll bed?

M1 crash tested rock and roll beds means the product has undergone a M1 pull test which simulates a crash at 30MPH into a solid object (normally concrete). All seats that will be used in motion within a van must legally meet this minimum standard.

If your intention is to use the bed with seatbelts to carry passengers, it is therefore essential that you buy an M1 crash tested bed.

You will see cheaper rock and roll beds without seat belt fixings, these are designed for use when not in motion and would technically fail an MOT if seat belts were to be fitted.

Are there other safety tests?

Yes, there are other assessments such as M2, N2 and N1 which have different levels of forces applied during the testing however, this is rarely seen for rock and roll beds as they cost considerably more.

Rock and roll bed seat belts

It is common to see seat belt fitting kits sold online for campervan rock and roll beds. These should only be used with M1 tested beds.

If you are buying a second hand Transporter with a rock and roll bed installed with seat belts it is worth verifying that the bed meets safety standards for use in motion as some owners will buy the seat belt kits to upgrade cheaper rock and roll beds without realising the MOT implications.

How much does a rock and roll bed weigh?

You can expect a full width rock and roll bed frame to weigh in somewhere between 75kg up to around 100kg depending on the steel box section used which is the average weight of an adult!

If you are interested in finding out the legal payload of your vehicle you can view it HERE.

Rock and Roll beds do add a lot of weight to your vehicle so make sure you factor this in when installing it as a fully laden Transporter campervan can easily run over the legal payload if you are not careful.

Campervan Rock and Roll bed Conclusion

Ultimately the best campervan rock and roll for you and your transporter will come down to personal requirements. If you just want a cheap frame for use when camping and have no intention on using in motion then a £250 budget will get you exactly what you want.

If you increase your budget to around £400-£500 you will expect to get a heavier duty frame with better components and usually a better design that will ensure you don’t scratch your floor or exert a lot of energy when folding it up or down.

At the upper end of the budget look out for the M1 tested beds that usually come with seat belt mounts. These can be used in motion legally providing they are installed correctly with floor mounts that spread the load/force.

If buying a conversion second hand, watch out for aftermarket seat belts fitted to cheap rock and roll beds that are not intended for use in motion.

Don’t rush your purchase, assess each design on its merits and most importantly don’t just buy it because you like the colour of the upholstery!

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