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On our camping trip last weekend, it became very apparent that our kids had worn out their bunk mattresses. We purchased our camper in October 2017, and the kids have grown substantially over the last three years.
When we purchased the camper, the Teddy Bear mattresses were new on the scene and all the rage. After many camping trips, those 2.5-inch thick teddy bears have seen their better days. We will often wake up in the morning with Jackson sleeping on the sofa because it is “more comfortable” than his bunk.
Replacing the Bunk Mattress in Your Camper
Replacing the covers was easy. We were able to purchase replacement covers on Amazon. However, I knew that rather than buying 2.5-inch foam, I wanted both Jackson and Lucy to have 4-inch bunk mattresses.
I went on several camping supply sites, and their double bunk mattresses, in the 4-inch version, were around $500 each. I could get the 2.5-inch replacements, which are the same thickness as their current mattresses, for $212 each. At this point, I figured that I could purchase the Teddy Bear replacement covers (Check them out on Amazon) in the 4-inch versions on Amazon, and this would become a DIY weekend project.
Sean and I ran to the local fabric store this week, and to our shock, foam is super expensive!!! Two yards of 4-inch foam was around $89, and I was doubtful that the foam would even hold up. We got back in the car, and sitting in the parking lot, we began researching the Zinus full-sized mattresses. The Zinus has always been a favorite, and we use it in the camper. We actually replaced all of the mattresses in our house with the Zinus after sleeping on ours in the camper (Check out our article on camper mattresses by clicking HERE).
The full-sized Zinus 4-inch mattress topper (Check it out on Amazon) that was our number one pick as far as quality, was less than $100. The mattress would actually cost less than the foam from the fabric store. We picked the Zinus Gel Memory Foam option based on our research on camper mattresses.
The gel foam is 2 inches thick, with 2 inches of supporting foam underneath. This is a better choice than other mattress toppers that have 3-inches of supporting foam and one inch of gel or memory foam. Be very mindful of the amount of memory or gel foam when researching quality toppers and mattresses.
We ordered two full sized mattresses, and within two days, they were sitting at our door.
With all Zinus products, you must let them rise. I laid both of the mattresses out in our reading room to expand. With the 4-inch versions, within a few hours, they were at full-size.
Sean had taken the foam out of Jackson’s bunk mattress before we went to the fabric store. He had to cut the fabric off the old Teddy Bear mattress and pulled the foam out.
After the mattresses had expanded, we double-checked that the mattress cover was the same size as the mattress. We had checked the dimensions before we ordered too, so we were good for the next step.
We then laid the old foam on top of one of the mattresses, and used a sharpie to trace it.
Jackson and Lucy’s old mattresses were about two inches longer than the replacements. However, the old ones were so tight in the bunks; you honestly cannot tell the difference.
I knew that I couldn’t cut the trace marks, so I used a razor to cut through the gel foam. I then ripped the first layer away.
The first layer peeling off left it very easy for me to cut through the second layer of foam with scissors.
Once we cut through the second layer, we placed the mattress in the replacement cover, and I folded the diagonal bunk section underneath.
When I finished, we placed the new bunk mattress in the camper. I was in shock at the thickness difference from the old mattress to the new one. I have always been a stickler for making sure that the kids had good quality mattresses at home, but I kind of failed in the camper bunk department. However, there is always time to rectify things, and now the kids should have a fantastic sleep.
On the old mattresses, the cover was sewn in place and could not be removed. The new Teddy Bear mattress covers have zippers and can be removed to be cleaned.
I can’t say that all of my DIY projects throughout life have been successful, but I consider this one a win. The kids will have a better night’s sleep with quality mattresses, and I saved quite a good amount of money! Here’s to innovation!
Our products for the double bunks:
Have you made a DIY modification or replacement in your camper? We would love to hear from you! Please drop us a line in the comment section below!
Are you looking for a new camper? Check out our article on Camper Floorplans to see what is best for you and your family. More interested in renting a camper? Read all you will need to know with Tents, Rentals, and RVs.