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Discussion Starter #1
I have searched several older posts without finding many resources so I'm asking again.

Anyone have suggestions or sources for how to have a SAFE bench seat for 2-3 passengers that converts into a bed?
I saw someone's links to the ones on Discount Trucks, but they don't appear to have integrated seatbelts. Is there a way to modify the factory seats to lie flat(ish)?

Any other layout suggestions for sleeping 4 while maintaining safe seating?

We are in the early stages of buying and converting a van to travel and sleep 4 for a winter southern route cross country trip. Moving up from backpacking, so we don't need bells and whistles. We aren't super mechanical, so the thought of installing seats and windows in a cargo base is intimidating.
 

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Welcome to the forum.

There is a company that sells the seats you seek, which has been mentioned somewhere here before. I think they are used in the conversion van industry. Maybe someone will be along shortly that will know.

There are ‘No Drill Zones’ on the floor, which can be found in the BEMM for you specific year of van.
 

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I'm looking for the same thing. The ones from Travois USA are exactly what I was thinking, but boy they are pricey!!! Maybe someone has another recommendation...
 

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There are a lot of companies out there making Bus and Motorhome seats, Might be an idea on where to search.

 

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I sleep 6 in my van.
On the 2nd and 3rf factory rows of seats I have a platform for 1 kid each.
Then I have a rear convertible platform bed for 3 more and I sleep on the "sofa" that is kind of a bunk below the rear bed.

A lot of the VW van folks build cots that hang off the cab doors. I want to look into that further at some point.

Just some ideas. Eventually I also want to replace my 2nd and 3rd row with foldable seat/bed options.
I just haven't found anything that's safe and affordable
 

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I sleep 6 in my van.
On the 2nd and 3rf factory rows of seats I have a platform for 1 kid each.
Then I have a rear convertible platform bed for 3 more and I sleep on the "sofa" that is kind of a bunk below the rear bed.

A lot of the VW van folks build cots that hang off the cab doors. I want to look into that further at some point.

Just some ideas. Eventually I also want to replace my 2nd and 3rd row with foldable seat/bed options.
I just haven't found anything that's safe and affordable
tire, could you please post pics of your platforms for the kids.

OP, I have been holding my breath for good folding bench that can be mounted per dot spec.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I sleep 6 in my van.
On the 2nd and 3rf factory rows of seats I have a platform for 1 kid each.
Then I have a rear convertible platform bed for 3 more and I sleep on the "sofa" that is kind of a bunk below the rear bed.

A lot of the VW van folks build cots that hang off the cab doors. I want to look into that further at some point.

Just some ideas. Eventually I also want to replace my 2nd and 3rd row with foldable seat/bed options.
I just haven't found anything that's safe and affordable
Yes, please share images of your sleep set ups!
I'm kind of giving up on the bench to bed idea because most of them would be small for two teens to sleep on anyway, and/or they need more space fore or aft, so would limit installs behind them of cabinets etc.
I've been looking at cots and hanging cot systems now.
 

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I'll post some pictures of my current set up when I get a chance but it's basically 1/2" plywood with reinforcement below that also help to level it out.
One actually has to go across a car seat.
It's all a little janky and I'm not happy with it but it works until I figure something better out.

Ideally it will be foldable and store behind the double seat in the 3rd row.

My Westi buddy recommended to look into these


Maybe hanging off of the headrests?
And in the first row hanging off the grab handles?
 

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I wouldn’t hold my breath for something DOT approved. It’s extremely expensive to get DOT approval and the market is tiny. So the unit cost would still be super high.

Rv manufacturers get away with untested seating because anything behind the driver doesn’t have to be tested. Same for companies like SMB. Their captains chairs installed are $2800 for a pair and don’t fold down and aren’t dot approved. However, they drill a plate through the floor so I would think they would hold in an accident. Just find a company you trust and have them mount whatever seat you want.

Think of it this way- how many people die every year in DOT approved seats in normal cars? The DOT approval is not something that saves all lives.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Easiest thing to do get an 148" Extended, high roof cargo model and put in a stock Transit bench seat and then a couple of sleeping platforms in the back. Buy a used 2 or 3 position bench seat with mounting rails from Craigslist (generally $50-$500). The rails get bolted through the floor with three 1/2" grade 8 bolts, each, with big fender washers and/or a 1/8 plate underneath. There are threads here describing how people have done it. Alternatively, a local van conversion outfit, or a handicap van specialist can install. In a high roof, it's pretty straightforward to put in a couple of sleeping platforms, mounted on rails ( L-track or E-track is common for this) bolted to the walls, or set up off the floor on 2x4s. E-track is cheapest and there are 2x4 brackets available that plug right in. One platform can be shorter than the other, front to back, and this one would be for the kids to sleep on, side to side, assuming they're shorter than the parents
 

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Yes, please share images of your sleep set ups!
I'm kind of giving up on the bench to bed idea because most of them would be small for two teens to sleep on anyway, and/or they need more space fore or aft, so would limit installs behind them of cabinets etc.
I've been looking at cots and hanging cot systems now.
Except for the price, the Travois seat seem like the best option. See ourkaravan's video of a similar (not sure if it is same as Travois, but functionality is same) seat. Slide it forward during transit, slide it to the back when using as a bed:


...and if your starting platform is a Passenger Van, then there are already the fixing points in the floor/frame, so adapting the bed manufacturer's rail system to the van's floor is at least reasonable, and should be as safe as the factory seating.

Search around enough on this forum and you'll find users that have used fender washers as the only reinforcement under the floor. :eek::eek::eek:
 
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