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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Folks,

Background info...
On the verge (next couple of months) of joining the VW Transporter community. ;)(y)
  • Probably going to end up with a T5 SWB model and could be anything from a panel van to convert or a part converted day van / Kombi.
  • We have 2 kids (4 and 1 years old) and a springer spaniel dog.
  • The van will be our only vehicle so used all the time
  • We plan to get out and explore as much as possible for day trips or camping adventures.
  • Not looking to sleep in the van so RnR bed not required at this stage.
Question:
We want to get the best flexibility out of our van that we can, especially being SWB. Idea is Kids on back bench seat right behind us on journeys and then when we want to eat in the van/get warm from the bad weather, we move the rear bench back, drop a table down and swivel round the front passenger 2 seater.
I see it that we have two options...
  1. Shell out big bucks on a full sliding rail system (California / Caravelle style) ((i have seen some don't offer two lock positions in a SWB)) :cautious::unsure:£££££££
  2. Put extra mounts behind the bench seat and manually drop the seat back (whilst reminding myself of all the money i saved each time i do it!!:ROFLMAO:)
So am i missing any other possibilities? If you ended up with something similar what do you roll with now as the solution?

Sure i will be asking more questions on here in the near future. Thanks a million for any replies!

Edd
 

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Hi Folks,

Background info...
On the verge (next couple of months) of joining the VW Transporter community. ;)(y)
  • Probably going to end up with a T5 SWB model and could be anything from a panel van to convert or a part converted day van / Kombi.
  • We have 2 kids (4 and 1 years old) and a springer spaniel dog.
  • The van will be our only vehicle so used all the time
  • We plan to get out and explore as much as possible for day trips or camping adventures.
  • Not looking to sleep in the van so RnR bed not required at this stage.
Question:
We want to get the best flexibility out of our van that we can, especially being SWB. Idea is Kids on back bench seat right behind us on journeys and then when we want to eat in the van/get warm from the bad weather, we move the rear bench back, drop a table down and swivel round the front passenger 2 seater.
I see it that we have two options...
  1. Shell out big bucks on a full sliding rail system (California / Caravelle style) ((i have seen some don't offer two lock positions in a SWB)) :cautious::unsure:£££££££
  2. Put extra mounts behind the bench seat and manually drop the seat back (whilst reminding myself of all the money i saved each time i do it!!:ROFLMAO:)
So am i missing any other possibilities? If you ended up with something similar what do you roll with now as the solution?

Sure i will be asking more questions on here in the near future. Thanks a million for any replies!

Edd
Just an observation, think about your seatbelt mounting points before you do anything

neilly84
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hey Neilly84,
Good point. Thinking about it though if I never planned to drive in that position would that matter.

Can you move seat belt positions out of the pillar? Other idea would be to move seats back enough to give room to turn the front swivel seats around?

Probably going to end up trying to convince the other half to go LWB. Just seems overkill on the day to day use though.... :unsure::unsure:
 

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Hey Neilly84,
Good point. Thinking about it though if I never planned to drive in that position would that matter.

Can you move seat belt positions out of the pillar? Other idea would be to move seats back enough to give room to turn the front swivel seats around?

Probably going to end up trying to convince the other half to go LWB. Just seems overkill on the day to day use though.... :unsure::unsure:
If you have the VW sliding seat system, the seat belts and anchorage points are incorporated in the sliding seat.
 

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I bought the Caravelle sliding rails and 3-seater bench seat/bed for £2k from Kernow Transporters and installed these myself to my kombi.
The bench seat has 3 seatbelts attached and be located anywhere from right behind the front seats (to the point that there's not enough leg room!) to almost against the rear doors.
It has the benefit of being able to be used with a bed-extension / multiflex board to make into a full-width double bed if I want.
I have swivel bases on both front seats and a table rail fixed to the side so I can drop a table onto it and use for eating etc. as you say.
Advantage of the sliding system means I can run the seat all the way forward and folded flat for maximum cargo space (useful for moving house/large furniture etc)
I can then also fit 4 bikes in the back and passengers by having the seat slightly further back.
Slide it further back still and it's in the best place for folding out into the bed so that it extends right to the back doors.
Really flexible set up.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hey 64 Split, Thanks for the feedback and insight into your setup.Sounds Awesome!

Considering this cost £2K and you had to fit it yourself are there any other cheaper options. I have seen unwin rail systems which seem a lot cheaper but struggling to see what chairs fit the rails and whether a 3 seat wide bench seat or bed system fits them? Anyone know about this??
(Basing this on if i'm going to do the work with the help of the father in law then i don't want to be spending £2K!)

Thanks,Edd
 

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I bought my van with an Unwin rail system fitted with 3 seats. Although they reclined and were trimmed to match the front seats, they stopped the back of the van being used how I wanted and the I didn't like the Unwin rails. They had a rubber trim fitted to keep the channel free of debris but that mean you couldn't relocate the seats without cutting or removing the rubber trim.
It also meant unbolting 8 bolts to allow it to move. Not exactly quick!
You can get quick-release systems for the Unwin rails but I also wanted a bed option for going camping so the Caravelle seat bed was the next best option.
There are a coupole of sliding bed systems (Crystal Campers do one as do Evolution & Smart Beds) - none of which have the same level of adjustment options as the Caravelle system and are still pretty expensive and time consuming to install.
I preferred the idea of having an OEM set-up so I knew it'd be safe for passengers.
Then there's the UberBus Flux system which uses a RIB bed on Caravelle rails but that's almost double the price of the Caravelle setup but looks amazing!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hey 64 split,

Thanks for the feedback, the unwin system sounds a bit faffy. I seem to be struggling to find caravelle compatible seats / beds (rail systems come up in searches loads). Just trying to get an idea of rail costs and bench seat costs. Probably just searching for the wrong thing or being very dumb!

Thanks Edd
 

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Try contacting Kernow Transporters or Oxford T5 (Colin there has done many Caravelle rail conversions).
Kernow can supply the rails and seats (they often have some advertised on eBay), that's who I bought mine from. You can choose between Caravelle seats or the California 2-seat bed etc.
Self conversion is do-able if you're handy with spanners etc. Trickiest part is lowering the fuel tank and exhaust down to install the rails/brackets etc.
Took me a weekend working by myself - would be a days job with two people.
 

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There's room in the factory kombi setup to swivel the front seats round and put a table in! The seats are really heavy and not the sort of thing you just lift out and move back a 'notch', although there's a few on here that have added an extra set of mounts in the floor and modded a pair to move the seats back further than the factory position.

I use my LWB kombi daily with 2 kids and a dog, very versatile vehicle, I've a basic camping conversion behind the seats for occasional overnights.
 
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