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Too fat to fit in a Thing?
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muchofiesta
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Joined: February 20, 2017
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Location: Raleigh, NC
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:09 pm    Post subject: Too fat to fit in a Thing? Reply with quote

Hey everyone -

I want a Thing. I've always wanted a Thing. Since I was like 5 years old riding around in my Aunt's Thing. And now I am finally in a position where I can make a Thing a reality.

But... I'm fat. So I am looking for brutally honest answers. I don't know anyone in my area with a Thing or I would ask to sit in it and see how it fits. I have only ever seen one Thing in the 15 years I have lived in Raleigh, NC.

The Things I am looking at are all out of state and I would hate to drive 6 hours or 8 hours only to find out I can't fit in the Thing.

So... in your honest opinion, how would a 6 foot tall man who weighs 335 pounds and has a rather large belly fit behind the wheel of a Thing? Anyone out there a similar size? Any opinions?

Thank you!
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74 Thing
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Too fat to fit in a Thing? Reply with quote

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=355280&highlight=smaller+steering+wheel

Smaller steering wheel, moving the seat tracks back and re-welding to the floor pan, and changing to aftermarket seats will all help (probably need a combination of all of them).

Here are some seat threads with some photos to see the changes...http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=517855&highlight=aftermarket+seats

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=471615&highlight=aftermarket+seats
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Joe 20
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Too fat to fit in a Thing? Reply with quote

Hi Buddy! I think you might have as much trouble getting into it as sitting behind the wheel. The door openings are pretty narrow. Heck, you might not even be comfortable in it. Like 74 said above, you can always put in a smaller wheel, etc. if you can actually get into it. Maybe you could find another small, Honda, Toyota, etc at a dealership and try it on for size. Maybe a CJ Jeep. Not trying to be a smart a--. I have a friend who's a little smaller but with back problems and he has a devil of a time getting into mine on the passenger side. I don't even drive mine if I know I'm picking him up.
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BugsandJeeps
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:30 am    Post subject: Re: Too fat to fit in a Thing? Reply with quote

Another option is aftermarket seats. I am 6'5" and around 280 and I used Bestop lowback Jeep seats with custom brackets. Seats sit a little lower and back further. Plenty of room for me.
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CraigInPA
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:40 am    Post subject: Re: Too fat to fit in a Thing? Reply with quote

NFL linebacker sized myself. You'll need to move the seat tracks back, or use a smaller steering wheel.

The biggest issue I have is getting in when the top is on. The center post won't let you slide your butt in first. You'll have to learn the "right leg in, grab the steering wheel, slide your butt in, left leg in" maneuver, which is not particularly graceful.
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JBall8019
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:50 am    Post subject: Re: Too fat to fit in a Thing? Reply with quote

muchofiesta, My buddy had a difficult time getting in and out of the passenger side of my thing and he was the same size as you. getting his legs and feet up through the door openings was a task. He is down to 240 lbs now and can get in easily.
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muchofiesta
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:30 am    Post subject: Re: Too fat to fit in a Thing? Reply with quote

Thanks everyone for your honest answers. Sounds like there are some fairly practical mods that can be done, but I should see if I can find one locally to see if I can fit before deciding.
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Air-Cooled Head
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:07 am    Post subject: Re: Too fat to fit in a Thing? Reply with quote

Start attending VW shows in your area.

Someone may let you "try on" their Thing. (Uohh! That sounds,,, bad. Twisted Evil )
And you'll probably make some friends, which will come in handy if/when you do find a candidate vehicle.
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wbailey2112
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:14 am    Post subject: Re: Too fat to fit in a Thing? Reply with quote

I'm 5'9" and just a bit over 300. I have a stock steering wheel with Scat aftermarket seats bolted on top of the standard seat tracks that are in the stock location on the pan.

My biggest challenge is gracefully entering and exiting it and when entering it not ripping off a rear belt loop on the door latch (this is apparently a very common occurrence for many Thing owners). Once I'm in I have no issues driving but I think the Scat seats sit a little lower and are able to slide a little further back than stock front seats.

BTW, I've also read that you should refrain from grabbing the edge of the windshield frame when entering and exiting a Thing since this will eventually bend the windshield frame and will change the angle of your windshield.
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ALANSD
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:59 am    Post subject: Re: Too fat to fit in a Thing? Reply with quote

its the steering wheel that is the biggest issue. It even makes it hard for me and I am no big dude.
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kubelmann
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:14 am    Post subject: Re: Too fat to fit in a Thing? Reply with quote

I knew a pretty big VW Thing guy 300lbs+ over 6' who went to the junk yard got a pair of VW Fox seats (with the mounts.) He installed the cpmplete seat assemblies at the correct location for his size. The seat is still adjustable from their own mounts. He also got the Fox's rear seats and used the upholstery and redid the back a a modified platform to match the from seats. He put in the smallest Grant steering wheel and he and his also large wife drove to all the meets/shows etc with their little dog in the back seat luggage rack/dog condo... His Thing also had HD air shocks to handle the couples combined weight.
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doublecanister
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:48 am    Post subject: Re: Too fat to fit in a Thing? Reply with quote

I find the seat to steering wheel distance my issue.
I wear my wallet in the front pocket to help with my back issues and it always seems to get stuck getting in/out.

I've pondered upgrading my seats (and got two) already that could work but making the adaptor to the vw frames is on my "to do list".

Pondered a smaller steering wheel too, not sure how it'd affect driving
or the looks of the interior.

T
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Zylinderkopf
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 8:45 am    Post subject: Re: Too fat to fit in a Thing? Reply with quote

wbailey2112 wrote:


BTW, I've also read that you should refrain from grabbing the edge of the windshield frame when entering and exiting a Thing since this will eventually bend the windshield frame and will change the angle of your windshield.


Yes. This often happens with new passengers trying to figure out the best way to get in and out. I ended up installing brackets I bought from Thethingshop that help keep the windshield frame in place (not that these make it ok to grab the windshield frame, but at least it protects the frame from clumsy, unknowing passengers).
http://www.thethingshop.com/WINDSHIELD-SUPPORT-BRACKETS/productinfo/181847WSB/
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offdwall
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 1:32 am    Post subject: Re: Too fat to fit in a Thing? Reply with quote

I am right there with you and I have decided to sell mine, but I have a lot of old injuries from a bad M/C crash. I have the Super beetle high back seats and the upgraded Gene Berg shifter, everything else is stock. It's the doorway that kills me! I also am tired of the shifter digging into my leg on drives. Mine is completely restored, so all the rest is original stock from Germany. If you do decide to go ahead, you will find it's natural to grab the front window frame to pull yourself up and forward to get in and out. After a while the windows frame will bend and you're done, broken windshield, or worse. However, they sell something called WINDSHIELD SUPPORT BRACKETS at the Thing Shop for $58, a great investment. Gives extra support so you can grab there all you want.
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Big Luni
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:50 am    Post subject: Re: Too fat to fit in a Thing? Reply with quote

At 6' you probably won't have to move the seat tracks, but the steering wheel is big by modern standards. A buddy of mine around the same size switched out the steering wheel and was fine.
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