Here's a few of the improvements I've made. Keep in mind I greatly value function over form
And being able to get it back to factory form after we are done with it.
I made some bed rails out of 1x3 pine, and pocket screws. If you don't have a pocket screw kit, you can just predill the bottom screws at an angle. I'm pretty sure they are 1 1/4 screws pocket screws. They worked perfect for the bottom two screw that went into the side rail of the factory bed. Didn't poke through. The riser are 8" tall, and I'd say that's the MINIMUM height. My boys ar 7 and 8, and I'm not too worried about them rolling out. Just enough to keep them in if they have a nightmare. If I made them again, I think I'd go to 10". I'd say 12" is the minimum for very young kids.
I removed the cabinet doors in the front. Honestly, they'll only serve as finger pinchers. I screwed a 2x2 INSIDE the cabinet for a step for them to get up. They step on the bottom bed first, then use the 2x2 to get up to their bed. I'm very happy with the function, and when the time comes it will be very easy to remove. I did plunge the first screw a little to deeply, and it dimpled out that cheap cabinet framing a little bit. Watch out for that.
It also removes weight. Weight that I can now use for useful things. I also took the bathroom door off, and I removed the cabinet in the slide out bunk. The bathroom door might go back on at some point as my kids get older, but I'd prefer a curtain for weight. We'll see what happens.
We put a new 6" foam mattress in the back for the king. We originally put the factory mattress on top of that one, but I think we'll try just the 6" mattress for a while. Comfort is king, so I'll do whatever it takes to get a comfortable bed. The extra mattress cut off too much headroom if we can help it. Removing the cabinet helped a bunch with that also. I don't think it's a very useful cabinet, and we'd be better served by a couple lightweight corner shelves. I'd rather have a window out the back like on the Outback design, but beggars can't be choosers.
I also picked up these for the bottom of the table. Best purchase I've made so far. Really improves the function.
I'm working on increasing our battery capacity at the moment. We'll be doing a lot of boondocking.
Overall I'm very happy with it. It is probably the perfect camper for us. I think I'd rather have an 2012-2013 Outback 23RS in mint condition, but this works too.