Repose

This was a little project I did to make the GL rear bench seat, which can be pulled forward to convert into a really comfy, nearly queen-size bed, usable as a bench seat when it’s in bed mode without needing to heave the whole heavy bed assembly back. All that’s needed is another pair of bollard pins in the forward location for the seat back to latch onto. I initially thought two bolts screwed into the sidewalls would do, but with fixed pins sticking out into the swing path, the seat assembly can’t be pulled forward. So the new bollard pins needed to be firmly mounted but able to be moved out of the way. It would also be nice not to have fixed pins sticking out of the sidewalls where people sit and ride, for safety’s sake.

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So I made a pair of 1/2″ retractable steel pins. They push in and lock with a quarter turn, and they spring out when released. The van body sidewalls are not plumb, so the mounting flanges have to be slightly angled for the pins to be horizontal to align cleanly with the seat back latch receivers.

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Finding the exact location to mount them was the trickiest part, but I managed to get it close enough on the first try that the seat back latches onto them smartly, just like it does with the stock ones.

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So if the bed’s made up, I just fold all the bedding back onto the foam pad, lift the seat back and lean it forward, pop out the pins, and the seat back swings back and latches in place, nice and secure.

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Instead of this:

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I have this:

It’s almost hard to tell the difference. Seat’s the same, just a foot forward and 4″ higher. The living area’s a bit smaller, but now it’s really convenient to change from bed to seat and back. When the bed’s pulled out anyway, I stow stuff under the lip of it on the floor, and when you push the whole bed back to use the bench seat that stuff ends up in the way, whereas this way, it’s not. So, benefits, tradeoffs; there’s only so much room in a box, everything depends on how it’s arranged.

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This leaves the underseat storage open, too, so I cut a piece of thin plywood that lives under the rear pad and can be pulled forward as a lid, things can be put there too.

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Oh, yeah, and I made a nice little sliding flip-up table top, too, maybe more on that another time.

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