Saturday, 21 March 2015

A pedestal for luggage

One very specific feature of this my MicroCamper which is not available in most micro camper conversions is the fact that this Fiat Doblo conversion will keep its 5-seating capability for daily driving. In contrast to what most other converters are doing, I am leaving the rear seat bench in the car. This limits the usable "living" space for the camper, but that space is so small anyway... All I need in that living space is the refrigerator and a seat with a table. No need to walk around there, as this is not possible anyway because of the low ceiling, despite the added headroom from that roof extension.

So my decision to leave the rear bench in allows me to have this car as a regular 5-seater. When going for a camping trip, I can fold the rear bench and use the additional space for specific "inserts" that can sit on top of the folded bench. When not used, these inserts can sit in the garage.

This is a bit similar to the rear insert which is offered by Amdro.

The rear bench is 1/3 - 2/3 split. First I built a pedestal for when the 1 single rear seat is folded down.

The folding of the rear seats in the Fiat Doblo can actually happen in 2 stages: the first stage fold-down is when the backrest is folded forward. This results in a relatively flat surface onto which something can be put on top. The second stage is folding the whole seat forward. In that case more space is opened up at the rear, but the flat surface disappears, and also the space at in the foot area of the rear seat. Therefore, I have decided to use only the first-stage folding down for my insert.

It is basically a 3mm thick hardboard, strengthened with 34mm x 34mm beams. It is cut so that it fits exactly onto that single left rear seat. It provides a smooth stable surface, onto which I can put foldable boxes. Ultimately, there will be an additional support on top of this for a bed structure; therefore it needs to be very stable. Hence the support with the thick beams underneath. There are hooks for attaching bungee cords for keeping those foldable boxes in place.

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