RV Murphy Bed Pros and Cons


Murphy beds are great space-saving devices, so naturally, they work great in RVs, where saving space is crucial. But they don’t work in every RV, so what are the RV Murphy Bed Pros and Cons?

Here’s what I found out:

The pros of RV Murphy beds include helping to save space in a smaller RV and being multifunctional with a folding table on the underside. But the cons are that they are not as sturdy as regular beds, usually require a thinner mattress, and have to be set up and locked away after each use.

But that’s not all.

In this article, we’ll explore whether RV Murphy beds are comfortable and if you can put one in your RV. But we’ll also find out if they are dangerous.

Then, we’ll look at how you can make your camper RV Murphy beds more comfortable. Lastly, we’ll look at the most common problems they have.

Let’s get started.

Are RV murphy beds comfortable?

Yes, RV murphy beds can be as comfortable as regular beds. The important thing is to ensure a good quality mattress is used. Opt for the thickest mattress available for the space allotted.

Regular mattresses are okay, but you may opt for a memory mattress to enjoy your nights better.

Some RV mattresses are uncomfortable, so to enjoy your RV murphy bed, you want to check out the quality before you buy, as many come pre-installed. You could simply add a foam topper for a cushier feel or replace the mattress if it’s not up to par.

But are RV beds, in general, are comfy?

That’s what I explored in a recent article. I took a deep dive into RV mattresses which are notorious for not being very comfortable and for being oddly sized. I even offered some proven tips on how to make your RV bed more comfortable.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Can I put a Murphy bed in my RV?

It is possible to put a Murphy bed in most types of RVs. Most RV service centers can sell and install one. But they can also be easily installed by the average DIY RV owner. 

It’s not a complicated task if you’re into DIY, and doing it yourself could easily cost well under $1,000 compared to having one installed, which could easily be 2-3 times that.

CLICK HERE to see my favorite DIY Murphy bed kit on Amazon.

Just make sure that 80” length (for the full-sized) will fit vertically in your RV (6’ 8”). But it is available in twin, full, or queen-sized.

Now that is just the frame and mounting hardware. You’ll also need a mattress unless you plan to reuse your existing RV mattress.

Curious about RV queen mattresses?

Are they different from regular ones? In a recent article, I showed whether you could put a regular queen mattress in an RV and outlined the difference between a queen and a queen short. But I also explained why RV mattresses are different than regular ones.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Are murphy beds dangerous in an RV?

Murphy beds are not dangerous in an RV. But it is important to ensure the frame is properly mounted into the frame of an RV and not just the wall material. It is also crucial that the bed is secured and locked in the upright position when driving.

One of the defining features of Murphy beds is that they can be raised off of the floor from a horizontal to a vertical position.

That way, they save you a lot of space. To do this seamlessly, the beds have hinges and locks so that they’re not merely raised.

They’re also locked in place.

The biggest danger would come from either an improperly installed frame (which has the potential to become dislodged from the wall of the RV or from a bed folded upright that wasn’t locked in place.

But user error doesn’t mean that Murphy beds are particularly dangerous.

And because the RV is sometimes in motion, it is a good idea to secure the frame and mattress when upright in a more secure way than you would if the Murphy bed were just in a house.

So heavier duty latches are a good idea. Or if you’re like me, you might even get some bungee cords involved!

Thinking of living in an RV full time? 

Before you sell the house and say goodbye to civilization, you’ll enjoy checking out a recent article of mine. In it, I offered the harsh truth about living full time in an RV. You’ll find all the pros and cons, including the 1 con that would prevent me from doing it 100% of the time.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

How can I make my camper Murphy bed more comfortable?

Improve the comfort of a camper Murphy bed by adding a memory foam mattress topper or getting a pillow top mattress. Also, buy the thickest mattress the space will allow. But a high-quality pillow can also greatly improve sleep comfort.

Both of those will allow for improved sleep comfort. And the memory foam can also be cooler, preventing night sweats.

Some mattresses are too soft, while some pillows seem too hard.

A lot of RVers swear by memory foam mattresses. They adapt to your body shape by using body heat to soften and mold your body shape.

That way, you can experience optimal sleep, and they remember your shape. That’s the reason for the “memory” in the name.

And don’t think that any pillow would do. 

A sub-standard pillow can lead to having neck or head pains. So, just as with the mattress, you want to go for something top-notch.

As a guide, you want something in the $50 and above range. Now, different folks need and prefer different types of pillows. But some of the best brands include Casper, Tuft and Needle, and Layla, to mention a few.

But just to give you an idea, here is my absolute favorite pillow for my RV available on Amazon.

Most common RV Murphy bed problems

The most common problem with RV murphy beds is the frame screws ripping out of the RV wall or whatever the bed frame is mounted to. RVs are notorious for using thin laminated fake wood, which is not ideal for mounting bed hardware.

So, it can be a good idea to make sure the bed frame is screwed into something that is real wood and that more than 1 screw is used per side.

Also, fold the bed up and down carefully and gently. Don’t slam it.

But the reality is that most modern RV Murphy beds are so well-engineered that you’re not going to experience any major problem if you buy from a quality manufacturer and adhere to some safety precautions.

A key “problem” you’ll have to contend with if you’re going to be using them daily is setting your bed up in the evenings and putting it away in the morning. It’s not a ready-made bed.

So, there’s a bit of manual labor to do every day. This is probably not a big deal for most healthy young adults, but it might be an issue for a senior with health challenges.

Murphy beds do not come with headboards, footboards, and bed rails. So, if you’re into having a bed frame that looks grand, their minimalist nature might be an issue.

It’s good that we also go over two of the misconceptions people have about problems they assume come with the territory when one buys a Murphy bed.

Here are some of the most common concerns and complaints about RV murphy beds:

Safety

Some folks think that a Murphy bed is not safe — that there’s a possibility that it would fall and hurt someone.

The truth is that this is highly unlikely if the bed is installed properly and secured in place. Modern Murphy beds have been tested for safety and do not fall from their mount.

Uncomfortable

There’s a myth that Murphy beds are not comfy.

The truth is that they are as comfy as regular beds. Most are designed in a manner that you can choose the type of mattress you’d like to use with them.

And truth be told, the type of mattress is a key factor in how well you’re going to enjoy your sleep. So, you get to decide.

How to install a murphy bed in a camper van

Conclusion

In the article, we explored whether RV Murphy beds are comfortable and if you can put one in your RV.

But we also found out if they are dangerous. Then, we looked at how you can make your camper RV Murphy beds more comfortable.

Lastly, we looked at the most common problems they have.


Photos that require attribution:

Murphy bed, bed open (2009) and Murphy bed, desk open (2009) by Dan Rademacher is licensed under CC2.0 and were cropped, edited, merged, and had a text and graphic overlay added.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell travels on and off with his 3 daughters in a Newmar Baystar Class A Motorhome. He writes extensively on both RVs, campgrounds, parenting on the road tips, remote learning & schooling, and much more!

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