Slide out bed over front seats, construction?

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Dec 7, 2017
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Working on rebuilding an '87 Fiesta on a Ford E350 chassis. I understand these things are _very_ similar to the Falcons of the era, and probably others as well. Though it seems there's only so many floor plans and set ups that can be crammed in to one of these vans, and that number isn't big, lol.

Like many others, mine originally came with the slide out bed over the front seats that a previous owner stripped out and converted to random storage. I'm attempting to rebuild it, and have run in to a bit of a creative block, so to speak. I've attempted to find pictures/diagrams/anything of how these things were constructed, and have only come up with one YouTube video where the guy showed about 10 seconds of how it worked before rebuilding it in to a slat bed arrangement. I did see it looked like a piece of plywood with simple wood "rails" that pulled out over another sheet, with a 3rd loose sheet of plywood that was slid forward to fill the forward space. Everyone else had an identical story - "van has a slide out bed *pulls it out about 3 inches and pushes it back*...I'll be converting it all to storage" and moves on. I get it...lack of head room, PITA to climb up/down especially if you're prone to 2 minute warnings at 2am, lol.

I'm trying to figure out how to support the slide out portion. Looks like the factory arrangement may have just been something like a 2x3 screwed to the double stacked 2x2 framework in the fiberglass cap area, with the bed sliding on top of that? But I'm not sure if that's enough support to do this right? Or maybe that's another reason so many of these were converted to a storage area - just not enough support for a 3 foot long extension?