Removing front side bench Auto Trail V-line

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Milliemobile, Sep 19, 2015.

  1. Milliemobile

    Milliemobile Funster

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    We need to create more floor space in our v-line 620 or loose a lot of money and swap for a bigger MH.
    One option we are thinking is to take out the front side bench, this was/is the dogs bed when pulled out, we humans don't use it other than the storage underneath.
    Any self builders or enthusiastic diy bods advise if it can be done?
    Ideal would be to remove with no damage so it could be put back in future below the seat is some heating pipe and storage so would need to box up about 10 cm to go over the heating pipes with a door in floor to access then ideally make some storage for half the floor area to window level leaving other half behind drivers seat a raised platform area where dogs can sleep without worrying about Boston falling off anything high.
    Can it be done? Is it safe to do? Anyone know anybody that could do this?
    Or is it a mad idea?
    If we do this will be long term van and a lot cheaper than trying to swap for something with more floor area.

    Thanks in advance Lin & Nige WP_20150919_14_23_00_Pro.jpg WP_20150919_14_23_43_Pro.jpg WP_20150919_14_23_56_Pro.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2015
  2. jollyrodger

    jollyrodger Funster Life Member

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    Similar just a little planning needed .took out the long seat/bed all unit unscrewed .still keeping storages as was and creating more storage and more countertop area /cupboard space. 10.JPG IMG_20150501_154526.jpg 82.jpg 80.jpg 96.jpg
     
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  3. Milliemobile

    Milliemobile Funster

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    Wow that looks great, did you do yourself?
    I think might be an option for us to do a thin unit all along with a deeper unit at far end giving a bit of worktop for driver cab seat to use. Thanks for the photos.

    Lin :)
     
  4. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Looking inside the little box you can't remove it completely as there things in there, particularly the pipe which seems to disappear into the floor. So you will only gain a foot or so of floor space. Is it worth it? Can you not add more storage space on top of it if that is what you want.
     
  5. Mikeco

    Mikeco Funster

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    Not a difficult job if you are a bit handy, you could even lose one of the heating vents as well.
     
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  6. Milliemobile

    Milliemobile Funster

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    The vents can be relocated to the right side where the fuse box is, hopefully this area will be where we put a drawer units with access to the void, the void under the floor can be storage too as about 15cm deep. To the left thinking either flat lift up floor or perhaps a thin back section with worktop and a flip work top.
    Ultimately we need not to have the bench as youngest dog has fits and we hadn't realised the impact of her falling off either down side of cab seat or the floor, at home they all sleep on floor, old van slept on floor, our great idea of a pull out dog bed, doesn't work because before she fits there,is maybe 4 seconds when she tries to bolt before the fit takes her, in these few seconds she could really get stuck and once fitting she is ridged and would break a leg.
    Probably not the best reason but she is staying and I think done well removing the bench could be an improvement and work well.

    Lin :)
     
  7. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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    looks like its possible just a case of altering the heater pipework and possibly some cables magnum motorhomes in grimsby will have everything youll need and they are very helpfull
     
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  8. Milliemobile

    Milliemobile Funster

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    At moment need floor space, but long term would look at extending a whole row of storage once the dogs are no longer with us. So initial options needs to allow for adding more cupboards later. In our old van kitchen was there and impacted on cab seat a little so would always leave a bit of foot space. :)
     
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  9. Milliemobile

    Milliemobile Funster

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    Do they have an actual shop? Will look at calling on our way home at end of Oct
    Nige is pretty good at diy but we are just a bit unsure of securing stuff in the van and it being safe for travelling etc.
    We may have to look at getting a company to do the work, though if we can do it ourselves would be great and can really personalise it.
    If we go down the route of keeping this one which we hope too as we love it, thinking of a whole host of changes including the worktops that cover the hob and sink as they are a pain.
    I think we need to go to a meet where some self builders are in attendance and pick their brains lol :)
     
  10. jollyrodger

    jollyrodger Funster Life Member

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    Have done a van /bus or two in the past from the floor up ,so to speak so doing an alteration is no big sweat ,in the pics I posted ,and yes all my own work ,no space was lost except the van was classed as a 6 berth (if you were very friendly :)) it is now a 4 berth. and more practical .
    What was the seat base ,cut narrower by 2,5" is now the shelf within the cupboard .same height ,still lift up,,and you have better access to the 'new twin aux batteries I had fitted.
    All the woodwork started as an 8 x 4 sheet .
    Like I said before just a little bit of planning ,and any van can be adapted .
    At your end of the country the guy you need to see to pick his brains is are own @Terry great guy and a good diy 'r.
    Have fun (y)
     
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  11. Gellyneck

    Gellyneck Funster Life Member

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    We've got a Savannah with a similar side bench and, because of the heating pipework, the space underneath was pretty useless.
    Went with a simple solution and put a false floor in above the pipework (a couple of off cuts of 4 x 2 and plywood cut to shape). The ply lifts out to give access to the pipework.
    We get our gas and electric kettles, a mini oven, toaster, fan heater, etc, etc all stored in there.
    Simple and effective solution for us.
     
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  12. Milliemobile

    Milliemobile Funster

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    Yep I think that's our initial quick fix too.
    Would like to add storage drawers towards the right as well nxt to shower as we don't have,much storage space and we tend to be away for 2-3 months at a time.
    I think Nige will remove the bench see how easy it is access it and look at doing something himself, with a view to getting something more professional looking later.
    We are away in South for a while yet but it might be worth a trip home to remove the bench initially.

    Lin :)
     
  13. Gellyneck

    Gellyneck Funster Life Member

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    We have the optional travelling seat (2 additional seatbelts) fitted to our Savannah and the current job in ours is to fit a couple of drawers under this seat. Lifting the seat base for access is a pain!.
    If your bench is constructed like ours the front panel will be fitted by a few plastic inserts fitted flush to the inside face of the panel and screwed through into the floor / side wall or plastic corner brackets with a prize off covers giving access to two screws. Dawdle to unscrew and reassemble at a later stage, if required.
     
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  14. Milliemobile

    Milliemobile Funster

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    Are we right in assuming that other than weight and balance any modifications we make wont effect the future MOT when due?
    We remove the rear seats of my KA years ago to make it easier to travel with the dogs and I know we had to either put them back in each year after the 3rd or do as we did put them back in and sold car.
    As the bench isn't an official travel seat we should be ok or is there any other considerations?

    Thank Lin
    Ps if any self builders might be interested in doing this please pm us as we are still considering going down the posh matching done correctly route provided in can be done fairly quickly. Nige would help (hinder)wherever possible :):D
    Nice break in Scarborough? :)
     
  15. jollyrodger

    jollyrodger Funster Life Member

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    Won't make any difference at all to mot .
    Weight depends what you put its place and what you build it with .
    I took out the long cushions one of which has marine ply backing built in it (heavy) all old wood 12mm ply .seat base 6mm ply .
    Replaced with sealed 12mm MDF and 28mm work top.
    Went on the weighbridge .with me in it .full tank fuel.fully packed for travel .half tank water .motor cycle platform .
    Total weigh in 3120kg. (Max 3500kg).
    Try pm to @Terry he could give you guidance . cheers
     
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  16. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi Lin looking at your pics you need to build the floor up about 5 ins -this will be level with the cab floor then -Then it's a case of boxing in the water filling pipe and seeing what else can be removed etc -Hard to comment much more without seeing it in the flesh-Nothing to worry about re MOT etc it's your van and you can do what you want to it (y) Just be careful you don't damage anything and that you save everything you take out so it can be re installed come sale time:LOL:
    terry
     
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