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Hello all,

First post so thanks for having me!

I've been looking at converting a T5 for a little while with various options, one that is stand out for me is having a sliding bed system on rails in the rear.
For my needs this is absolutely essential to have the kids up close and then the back free for gear/dogs/etc.

So far I was thinking of starting bare and finding a converter however an already converted T5 in good nick and great spec has kind of landed in my lap.
The caveat being it has a fixed RnR bed.

I can get hold of a California bed system and a converter who would fit it, but I assume that this would mean basically stripping out the conversion (furniture and floor) getting the rail system installed and then putting it all back in again.

Is this a doable job? I have little or no experience with conversions, but my old man is incredibly handy with all things DIY and mechanics.

Is it even possible to take furniture out without trashing it and putting it back in?

Thanks for all the advice in advance!

Steve
 

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Hi Steve and welcome.
Anything is possible....but theres always gonna be hidden fixings that will be fun to hunt out.
Take your time and try not to damage anything.
Will the new bed work with the rest of your interior?
 

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Welcome aboard Steve.
As B&T says anything is possible, the way I look at it, everything was fitted from within the van so everything can come out. The bed system was likely to be the last part fitted as the fitters would want / need full access while building and installing the cupboard furniture and utilities.
 

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Another option is the Smart Bed Evo R. I've been looking at one as the one big thing I'd change about our van is having a sliding bed. Like you though, the thing thats put me off is the fact I'd need to gut the interior of my van to fit one generally - something I'm not willing to do as it pushes the cost through the roof. The Smart Bed Evo R though I've been told can be fitted with an existing conversion in situ. That said, in theory I don't see why many of the beds couldn't be by routing the wooden floor for the rails, dropping everything below the van to bolt them up etc.
 

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Hello all,

First post so thanks for having me!

I've been looking at converting a T5 for a little while with various options, one that is stand out for me is having a sliding bed system on rails in the rear.
For my needs this is absolutely essential to have the kids up close and then the back free for gear/dogs/etc.

So far I was thinking of starting bare and finding a converter however an already converted T5 in good nick and great spec has kind of landed in my lap.
The caveat being it has a fixed RnR bed.

I can get hold of a California bed system and a converter who would fit it, but I assume that this would mean basically stripping out the conversion (furniture and floor) getting the rail system installed and then putting it all back in again.

Is this a doable job? I have little or no experience with conversions, but my old man is incredibly handy with all things DIY and mechanics.

Is it even possible to take furniture out without trashing it and putting it back in?

Thanks for all the advice in advance!

Steve
I take it that you haven't purchased your van yet.
It would be an advantage for you to know what kind of camper that you want, and to do that I think that it would be an advantage to look at converted vans at converters and vans for sale and see what would work for you.
(When you look at them imagine that you are living in it, and that you've got all your bits and bobs that you take on holiday with you.)
If and when you get to that stage you can then decide either to buy one ready converted or to have one built, either diy or by a converter, to your required specifications.
Best of luck with your search.
 

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I take it that you haven't purchased your van yet.
It would be an advantage for you to know what kind of camper that you want, and to do that I think that it would be an advantage to look at converted vans at converters and vans for sale and see what would work for you.
(When you look at them imagine that you are living in it, and that you've got all your bits and bobs that you take on holiday with you.)
If and when you get to that stage you can then decide either to buy one ready converted or to have one built, either diy or by a converter, to your required specifications.
Best of luck with your search.
What I didn't say was that we have a sliding bed system in our van and find that it is a great advantage.
 

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I fitted a set of Caravelle rails to my van (same as those in the California - only the Velle uses 4 rails instead of 2).
Consider also that if you do pull out the existing interior, you won't just need to reinstall the kitchen, you'll also need to build the floor up another 10-12mm (depending how thick it is already) - the VW rails sit about 32mm up from the floor so are quite a bit taller than a standard kombi floor (which I think is about 19-20mm). This will affect how re-fitting the units as any holes will in the side of the van will no longer line up (if that's how it's been secured).
If you're dad's handy with the spanners / DIY it's actually not that difficult of a job (check out my build thread if you want - link below).
I consider myself a competent DIY mechanic and completed the conversion by myself over the course of a weekend with just the usual tools / axles stands. With two people it'd be a doddle!

There are a couple of different sliding bed options - the majority of which will involve removing the floor in order to secure the new rails down and bolt through to the underside of the van.
There's also an Unwin rail option that bonds to the floor but again you'd still need to remove your existing floor to accomplish that and for the cost I'd rather stick with VW's own rails so you know they'll fit properly and more importantly be safe!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi all,

Thanks for the replies all


Re: the Smart Evo R, I have seen that. Only reason I considered the California was that is has been recommended by a couple of conversion companies as being superior.

I have also been informed about the changes in floor height - for those who have done this, how did you pack the floor to create the extra height, and did you have to trim the units to make them fit in the narrower height space?

Colin at Oxford T5 said he would fit the California rails and seat, I think I would just need to have it stripped ready, and then build it back up afterwards.

Now the mountainous task of convincing my wife when I strip out the camper that has just arrived on the drive, given ll the convincing in the first place to get one we could go away in post Lockdown!
 
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