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Seats in the sleeper


Darkhorse

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My second project (after getting a proper hitch) is going to be installing seats in the sleeper. I have found limited information on the site with this, mainly pictures of couches or installing air ride seats in the front. I would like to install 3 seats in the back. I wanted to have 3 seats and install the upper bunk however after taking a few more looks and some contemplation I think I might try to keep some storage space by leaving the lower "bunk" and making a re-enforced platform for the seats on top of it. With the type of seats I would like I would have to do away with the upper bunk idea but I would rather have the storage, especially since the seats recline to some degree. Anyone have thoughts on how to approach this?

Safety for passengers is my number one priority, I may have to find someone with honed skills in this area so I know everything is sturdy and secure. Anyone have recommendations? I don't think (but could be wrong) that a service shop would do anything custom like that, of course maybe some of the actual "custom" shops would do it, just don't know any around me and if the price is reasonable. These are one of the types of seats I was looking at:

 

deleon.jpg

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I know a shop in Wisconsin about an hour from Minneapolis that could do the work.

 

You would need to do some vertical height measurements to determine how high do you want the seat platform from the floor to allow for storage beneath and then how do you get up to that height (steps?).

 

The seat base would have to be a steel frame work secured to the floor and cab and allow mounting for seat belts.

 

How would you access storage beneath seats, slide out drawer?

 

Will you have leg room between seats and cabinets to allow seat location for reclining? I know in our sleeper it would be hard to do.

Dave

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As it is right now the storage space under the bunk can be accessed by the doors (one on each side) on the outside of the sleeper. This would mainly be utility storage such as extra parts, tools and miscellaneous odd items so accessing from outside wouldn't be a problem. The bed flips up for access also but that would go away with seats installed on a permanent sturdy platform. The "height" of the bed/platform right now is probably about 1 1/2 feet high. That is a good storage space and isn't to high to step up for seating but one step across the front would make it easy for sure. Reclining would be a luxury, I haven't taken measurements but those seats have the option, its only the back that reclines, there's no foot rest that comes out.

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The lower seat cushions are not as deep as the bunk mattress is wide. If you wanted the capability to recline at least one of the seats, the center seat could be mounted with its lower cushion approximately even with the leading edge of the bunk mattress, giving you room to recline that seat several inches. The outboard seats can't be mounted that far forward or they'd offer no foot room between the seats and the cabinets.

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Think about maybe some used automotive seats that have the belts built in. That might make it easier to install. My father-in-law's '02 Buick LeSabre front seats have the belts built in to them. My son had a '06 Trailblazer SS that had built in belts. This means the shoulder belts too. So I think if you securely mount the seat base that's all you have to do. And both of the above listed seats have recline in them. And I'll bet you can source three of these seats from a salvage yard for a pretty good price. Even if you have to re-cover them I bet that wouldn't be too crazy expensive either.

 

TrailBlazer-SS-Interior-3.JPG

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I'm not sure I'm picturing what your saying Phil, it sounds like your talking about mounting the seats in front of the bed. My plan is to put a re-enforced platform in place of the bed and put the seats on top of the platform. Sorry if I miss understood, I'm getting tired!

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Think about maybe some used automotive seats that have the belts built in. That might make it easier to install. My father-in-law's '02 Buick LeSabre front seats have the belts built in to them. My son had a '06 Trailblazer SS that had built in belts. This means the shoulder belts too. So I think if you securely mount the seat base that's all you have to do. And both of the above listed seats have recline in them. And I'll bet you can source three of these seats from a salvage yard for a pretty good price. Even if you have to re-cover them I bet that wouldn't be too crazy expensive either.

 

TrailBlazer-SS-Interior-3.JPG

 

 

I am considering this also, seems to be a few second row seats from vans and SUV's on ebay that are pretty nice. Only problem will be finding 3 as most are only selling 2.

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I find car-part.com is a great site to search salvage yards. I just did a search for Buick Lesabre seats and there are tons around it looks like. There are all sorts of options too. When you search there you put in your zip code and it shows the ones close to you.

What van middle seats have the belts built in?

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I hate to talk for Phil but I think he is saying if the center seat front edge seat bottom was located even with where the front of the existing mattress is there would be room behind it to recline the back. I have not done rear seats just thought about it so am following you here with interest. I think if it where me I would even though seats have integrated seat belts. Add tethers through the floor in some fashion to steel plates large enough to spread the load at least that is what I would do when or if I do it. :)

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