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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. Does anyone have experience with putting flip sofas in their van? I would like to put two of them across from each other from the wheel wells forward. I plan to have a bathroom across the back, going forward to the wheel wells, with a wall and a door separating the bathroom area from everything else. I appreciate any experience you guys have with this type sofa in your van. dc.
 

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...cut.... I appreciate any experience you guys have with this type sofa in your van. dc.
Check dimensions carefully because the majority of jackknife sofas I've seen are too wide to fit side by side inside a van (either open or closed). I had one in my Class C and looked at them for my van, but most are wider than one person needs to sleep and too narrow for the two of us to sleep comfortably. Your plan sounds good if you can get the right size. I suppose it will be like new Winnebago Travato except using sofas in lieu of 30-inch-wide beds, which in your case could make a huge king-size bed.

At the recent RV show there were a couple of vans that had opposing short jackknife mini sofas (about 3-feet long each) that opened to make a transverse bed about 36 X 70 inches. Or they served as part of bigger king bed too (I think the main goal).

Anyway, over the years I've seen many RVs with similar opposing jackknife sofas. As I recall Winnebago used them at the rear of Class B+ Euro-style Rialtas and others before that to make it a dinette, lounge, or bed. The main difference was those motorhomes were a little wider than a van.

Sounds like a great idea if you can find sofas small enough. I considered the same because it's efficient use of space, but I need more forward-facing seats with shoulder harnesses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the responses. I thought I had a good idea until the real couch dimensions got in the way lol. I was hoping to find some that were around 24" deep as a couch and fold down to 30" for sleeping, but that is not the case. They seem to typically be around 30" as a couch, folding out to 40" and above, too wide for ProMaster van widths. If I have to cut one down to fit, I might as well try finding just the mechanisms and make them the dimensions I want by myself. I am trying to keep as much of the van open as possible to help it not seem so crowded and closed up inside. Thanks again. dc.
 

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Thanks for the responses. I thought I had a good idea until the real couch dimensions got in the way lol. I was hoping to find some that were around 24" deep as a couch and fold down to 30" for sleeping, but that is not the case. They seem to typically be around 30" as a couch, folding out to 40" and above, too wide for ProMaster van widths. If I have to cut one down to fit, I might as well try finding just the mechanisms and make them the dimensions I want by myself. I am trying to keep as much of the van open as possible to help it not seem so crowded and closed up inside. Thanks again. dc.
Do you not want them to touch in the middle to make a very large bed? Or are you looking to maintain an open aisle and therefore end up with two narrower single beds?

The one I saw and tested at RV show was around 35- to 36-inch deep when opened, so it met the opposite sofa in middle of Sprinter van. When set up for seating it left an adequate aisle down the middle.

If you want a permanent aisle in a van (day or night) I think you may want to consider gaucho sofas instead of jackknife. It's a trade off in that gauchos make better beds but not as comfortable to sit on for long periods. Just food for thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
If I could find two 60" wide jackknife beds that met in the middle and sleep cross ways, it would let me create a space in front of the bathroom area above the wheel wells for closet and drawer space! Not sure if it would be comfortable for my wife to lay down crossways while traveling.....have to investigate that. I had planned for 2 jackknife sofas oriented lengthwise to leave about a foot opening between them when they're both folded down, but I might have to rethink that one. I will look at possibly a gaucho style, but I was hoping for easier access underneath than those appear to have. Glad I haven't made a purchase yet! Thanks for your input. It is appreciated. Have to dig deeper and learn more........dc.
 

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If you want to leave about 12-inches or so of space, then each bed will be around 30 inches wide like on Travato 59 K.

Gauchos as used by Sportsmobile are around 30 inches wide also, so technically it wouldn't open like a gaucho to make a wider bed. You wouldn't need any slider mechanism -- basically just a bed like on Travato.

The only other thought is to use a combination of options. Most people limit themselves too much by symmetry. For example, one side can be a gaucho that opens to make a wider bed, but the other side could be stationary like regular bed.

Additionally, you can also make one side longer for one person to sleep lengthwise and the other shorter to complete a crosswise bed for two people when in open position. Bedding/sheets is a problem though. But some use sleeping bags so for them it's not a disadvantage.

The cool thing about building your own is that you can custom design and build just about anything to meet your specific needs. Just keep in mind that if too odd or different it will reduce its resale value.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
When I look at putting two regular flip sofas (30" folded up) and the are 43" laid down, I am very close to having them meet in the middle (73" total width) laying just one down. Might just work out ok, and let us have a cushion to lean back against for some reading etc! Thanks for helping me think asymmetrically Chance. dc.
 

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I think you should consider building them. I did what you're thinking about for size. Mine are 72" long, plenty for me and my wife.

24" wide





30" wide



Cushions are 24" wide, backrests are 6" wide. Side by side you get two 30" beds.



If you made them the width you want, you could do the same thing to sleep crosswise, just a wider backboard to extend. Instead of 72" long, you could make them full, queen or king width.

If you picture a wall at the end of the couches in the last picture, that's where I have the rear partition with pocket doors to the porta-potti, dressing area. No shower, but do-able.

A few sheets of plywood, etc. Cushions did cost some $$$.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ed, those turned out nice and look like they have quite a bit of storage under them. Nice work! dc.
 

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Ed, those turned out nice and look like they have quite a bit of storage under them. Nice work! dc.
Thanks! I suggested them because they aren't that hard to build (basic box with double hinged top) and would work just as well to extend across the van if you made the hinged backboard a little higher. There is about a 12" aisle when beds are at 30" wide.

Mine look low because I built a 6" basement so the wheel wells wouldn't be too high for the beds to go over them.:D

More details on my website in my signature below.

Ed
 

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Thanks! I suggested them because they aren't that hard to build (basic box with double hinged top) and would work just as well to extend across the van if you made the hinged backboard a little higher. There is about a 12" aisle when beds are at 30" wide.

Mine look low because I built a 6" basement so the wheel wells wouldn't be too high for the beds to go over them.:D

More details on my website in my signature below.

Ed
Ed, how are your top boards attached? The hinges appear to attach the top pieces to each other, but I'm not seeing how they attach to the lower base/cabinet. Is there something underneath to keep them in place, or from sliding off?

Functionally it appears much like a gaucho, but I can't tell how the top works.
 

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Chance,
The top slides out and the third hinged piece changes from backrest to extension.

Looking from underneath, you can see a block that is bolted to the second 6" wide wood strip. It slides on the top 4" strip that is part of the bed frame. So, when extended, this block also keeps the bed top cantilevered out 6" past the base. I used threaded brass inserts so you don't see the bolts and nuts coming thru from the top.



There are two fender washers that create enough space so the top slides on the bed base. Not in the picture, I added a block of wood to act as a stop when you pull the top out. The top will either be 24" (block above against back of bed frame) wide or 30" wide (block above against stop block.)

I takes about 5 seconds to go from 24" to 30". There is a small stop block on the bed top at the front to keep the top from sliding out. When you want wider, you lift to clear the front small block and slide until it stops at 30".

If it doesn't make sense, I'll try to create a sketch!:) I spent a lot of time on this design, it covers the requirements I wanted.

Ed

ps. If I make a 6' x 1' "filler" and matching cushion, it would work as a king bed with no aisle. There's plenty of space for the filler and cushion in the "basement".
 

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Chance,

.....cut.....

If it doesn't make sense, I'll try to create a sketch!:) I spent a lot of time on this design, it covers the requirements I wanted.

Ed

....cut....
Thanks Ed. Makes sense now. I see you incoorporated a slide that I couldn't see before. Nice job. I like the fact that it's simple and should be quiet. Metal tracks sometimes rattle a bit.
 

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Take a look at rock and roll beds. Van Specialties offers some but I can't seem to find them on their site. Google image search will show some examples. Not impossible to DIY and I've seen folks use Westfalia hinges as a starting point.
 
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