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Old 03-01-2013, 10:32 PM   #1
AmCruiser
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Default Next Project - Sleeping/Seating Mod

As Iíve indicated in previous posts, we love our our 99 American Cruiser. It does have a couple of issues that I hope to remedy with my next project.

The first involves sleeping. The sleeping area is just behind the cab and consists of a bench seat on the left and a dinette on the right. The area can be configured as twin beds, keeping the aisle down the middle, or as one big bed the width of the van. Although full width is more comfortable, for sleeping, its pretty difficult to get out of bed for that inevitable trip to the bathroom, so we generally opt for the twin bed configuration. Unfortunately, the bench seat side forms a narrower bed that the dinette side making it particularly uncomfortable and I have rolled out of bed on more than one occasion.

The other issue is lack of comfortable seating to watch TV. One of us has to sit sideways on the bench seat and the other in the rear dinette seat, neither of which is overly comfortable for any length of time.

To fix it, I intend to modify the hinged panel that that folds between the the bench seat and the dinette for the full bed configuration. I will cut it into two sections, a short full width section just behind the cab, and a much narrower section just wide enough for one of the narrow bench seat back rest cushions. The added narrow cushion should make the bed wide enough for comfort while still leaving a narrow aisle to get to the bathroom.

For improved TV viewing, I am moving the TV to a portable mount over the rear dinette seat (to be stowed when not in use. For seating I just ordered two folding/reclining stadium seats from Amazon. Iíll place these side by side on the front dinette seat platform and the short full width hinged panel section as shown in the sketch and stow them when not in use.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Potable Reclining Seat.jpg (3.0 KB, 2884 views)
File Type: jpg Seating Mods2.jpg (93.2 KB, 2884 views)
File Type: jpg Seating Mods.jpg (83.2 KB, 2884 views)
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:53 PM   #2
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Default Re: Next Project - Sleeping/Seating Mod

Keep us posted.
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:16 PM   #3
markopolo
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Default Re: Next Project - Sleeping/Seating Mod

Great drawings.

Your modified twin bed arrangement looks like a great idea.
Both occupants can exit their bed from a side rather than an end
Both occupants would be able to watch TV from their bed.

The stadium seats looks ideal also.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:56 PM   #4
AmCruiser
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Default Re: Next Project - Sleeping/Seating Mod

A change in plans - my wife suggested that we could put the stadium seats on each of the dinette seat boxes facing the drivers side of the van, and put the portable TV mount directly opposite on the drivers side. I've got to admit, it looks like a better set-up than what I was thinking.


I've got a couple of simple power saving mods in the works before hitting the road again.

I have ordered an LED bulb (LEDwholesalers Waterproof Ba15s Bayonet Base Single Contact 15 SMD 3528 LED Light Bulb 12 Volt, Warm White, 1429ww) for each of my four 2 bulb light fixtures. I plan to put the LED bulbs in the socket powered by the single bulb switch position and leave an incandescent bulb in the 2nd socket. I'm anxious to see how well they work.


I've also ordered 2 illuminated rocker switches, to replace the bathroom light switch and the waterheater switch as I occasionally forget to shut them off.

Springs coming fast!
Randy
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 31NnkKvyeYL__AA300_.jpg (8.3 KB, 2768 views)
File Type: jpg 41h9-5L6cqL__AA300_.jpg (7.0 KB, 2768 views)
File Type: jpg Seating Mods3.jpg (164.2 KB, 2768 views)
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:59 PM   #5
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Default Re: Next Project - Sleeping/Seating Mod

Great ideas but will it be convertable back to original for resale purposes? How much for the bulbs and where? Thanks.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:34 PM   #6
AmCruiser
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Default Re: Next Project - Sleeping/Seating Mod

I bought the bulbs on Amazon for $8.25 US each (Ledwholesalers Waterproof Ba15s Bayonet Base Single Contact 15 SMD 3528 LED Light Bulb 12 Volt, Warm White, 1429ww ). They aren't quite as bright as the originals but can always switch on the 2nd bulb (which is still the original) if I need more light.

I was going to cut the original hinged panel but have decided to store it and fabricate the new pieces from plywood so I will be able convert back.

I got the stadium seats last we and I think they will work great, the are quite comfortable.
Randy
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:22 AM   #7
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Default Re: Next Project - Sleeping/Seating Mod

Wa haponed???????
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:04 AM   #8
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Default Re: Next Project - Sleeping/Seating Mod

Unfortunately, its tax season and I do the books and taxes for my brother-in-law's truck repair business. He dumps his year's worth of paperwork on me in mid February and I spend most of my free time in Feb/Mar loading it in to QuickBooks, generating a P&L and then doing his taxes. This year I'm running a little behind but hope to finish this weekend so I can get to my projects. I did take some time last weekend to add a sewer hose carrier underneath that I made from plastic deck post covers from H-D.
Hopefully, I'll have some progress to report and some pictures soon.
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Old 04-06-2013, 01:22 AM   #9
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Default Re: Next Project - Sleeping/Seating Mod

Ok. Just got a little worried,that's all.
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Old 10-03-2013, 10:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: Next Project - Sleeping/Seating Mod

Hi folks: I am looking at a 2000 American Cruiser on line but it is not near me to check out and I could really use some help before flying out to buy it.

(1) The woman selling it says there is no plywood foldout on the couch to make it wider. Did some models come with that feature and some not ? Looks like if it did not that it wouldn't be too hard to add this feature. Does the bottom of that couch lift up for storage or what is going on beneath it ?

(2) What are the dimensions of the couch and fold down dinette for sleeping ? I am 6' tall and worry about having enough length in any of these class B's. Also the width doesn't look very generous. Would you consider the cushions comfortable for sleeping ?

(3) What is the floor to ceiling height of the unit. Some specs listed it as 6'3" but the seller says 6' at the sink/stove area. Does it vary along its length or were the specs exaggerating ?

(4) Do the front seats swivel at all ? They look pretty tight to the dinette and couch to do that but I see a fitting for a table between the seats so I was wondering if they moved at all ?

(5) I actually wished for less of a bulky bathroom as it seems to compromise the rear view out the back end. Can you see well enough out of the American Cruiser to back up ect ?

Thanks in advance: Jim/Colorado
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