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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Making the bed in a Shasta Compact

Well, some of you may be wondering how anyone can sleep in a teeny Shasta Compact.  I went across country with 3 children, ages 16, 14 and 10 and we all fit!  However, when my husband joined us, it was a tight squeeze.  I purchased a one minute set-up tent at Target and the boys (my two oldest) slept in it for the remainder of the trip.  To see our travel blog:

Below are some photos of how we made up the bed.  The original design of the bed included slide out benches that do not meet in the middle (they remain two separate beds).  We wanted the option to pull the benches together to make one large bed.  The solution below is a temporary one, because we were running out of summer before we finished the Pearl, at some point we will work on making a more elegant and permanent solution.

For now though...

When the bench seat and back cushions are laid flat, there is a gap of a few inches which we fill with the decorative pillows so that the flat cushions will stay tightly together.

This makes a fairly large bed - king size sheets are needed.

Under the cushions are 1/2" thick plywood sheets.

Here is what it looks like under the cushions

The plywood is supported by slats which fit into the existing slots on the benches.

There are three slats, we store the table under the bed at night.

Each plywood sheet is stored under the bench cushions during the day.    Being only 1/2" thick, you can't feel them through the cushions (the cushions are 5" thick.

bench cushion back in place

as you can see, my back cushion overlaps the window trim a bit.

Dave is storing the slats in the bench.

Sometimes, we would put the back cushions on the floor, between the two benches and I would put the decorative pillow in the gap between the back cushions and the benches to hold them tightly together.  This way, we had 3 small beds.  Bella slept in the canvas bunk that suspends above the bed.  



  1. Love your "slats" that hold your bed, I have the original tiny supports for the beds and we always leave a gap, it is just me and my husband, but, I would love to put them together. Thanx for the pictures.:D

  2. Could you possibly share the exact dimensions if the table including height? Thanks!

    1. Sure thing. I got home late tonight, but I'll measure it for you tomorrow morning.

  3. Thanks so much! We bought our 61 shasta compact a couple weeks ago that has most of its original stuff except for the table. We haven't quite decided whether to try to make an original style table or see if we can find a similar one on ebay.

    1. Hi! I just added a new post with the table dimensions and some additional photos. Good luck!

    2. Here is a link to the new table post:

  4. Can you tell me how long the bench cushions are for a Shasta compact

    1. Sure thing, I'm away right now, but I'll measure them on Sunday and get back to you.

    2. Hi, I'm looking for the dimension of the cushion too. Just got a Shasta compact, no cushion. Can you please share that measurement with me too?

    3. The seat cushion is 72" long X 24" deep X 5 1/2" thick. The back cushion is 72"long X 10" high X 5 1/2" thick.

      Note that the back cushion will go a bit over the window at 10" high but it has worked well for us.

    4. Forgot to mention, I ordered through, medium density, dacron wrapped. You can order custom sizes and they have a lot of fabrics to choose from.