||Thu May 10, 2012 10:20 am
|A while back I decided (after a particularly uncomfortable night's so-called sleep) that I had to come up with a better solution for the overnight arrangements in my 1995 "big window" SA 2.6i Microbus when touring with 3 kids, 2 dogs and a roof tent!
The problem - if you can call it that - is that these buses were built with a ~4" raised engine deck to accommodate the inline-5 at 20 degrees, so there is only a thin carpet pad to cover the hatch. Carrying a full-length mattress just isn't an option!
So after taking inspiration from various Bay-window interiors like the Devons and Vikings, a lot of measuring following the chance acquisition of a second Caravelle-spec rear bench and hinge set, I set to work.
Started from this, the standard Microbus set-up:
After removing the covers and dissecting the frame:
A simple but effective locking arrangement (a tension spring was added later):
You can see where I'm heading:
The all-new base frame, made from 20x20x2 ERW, to carry the z-hinges (narrowed down to suit the 2-seat)
Floor reinforcements, 40x80x4mm with M10 nuts welded on (the middle ones are topside as they are right on the line of the floor reinforcing member that carries the gearshift rod bushes):
The finished result, re-trimmed with subtly adjusted covers and foams (to get the crucial 2" or so needed to get it all in):
The middle seat cushion still needs a little adjustment, but it's very comfy!
The great thing about this set-up is that all our touring stuff can stay over the engine and doesn't have to be moved about at the end of the day, the kids and dogs get more useable floor space, everybody wins!
Now to make some storage bins, a luggage guard and some overhead racks to complete the package...
Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group