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My Road Tripper
Thanks for advice. I am going to check that out. Just going through now making a list of what I may need. I am planning on doing about 10 days in the mountains of NC in October as a slight trial, but my date to leave is shortly after Christmas and I am heading west. I hope I have enough time to get things done. Please keep up the updates. It helps a lot.Shy
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I got a bit more work done today.

I worked some of the rust off the old carpentry skills and filled the gap between the front and rear seats on the driver's side. I still have some finishing work to do, but I made good progress today.

Here's my blank slate:


As you can see, there's a bit of a gap between the front and rear seats with the driver's seat all the way forward and tilted and the rear seat folded down.

And here's what I built:


The shelf, deck, whatever you want to call it accordion folds for storage and unfolds for use.

And here it is, installed in the car.


Those black stripes are Velcro straps attached to the tie down points built into the back of the seat. They anchor the shelf in place. One corner rests on the center console which seems, on initial testing to be plenty of support. The space is a little tight, but I fit just fine.

Storage position:


This is where the accordion fold comes into play. It took a little bit of playing with a jigsaw to get the left side to fit around the wheel well, which is why on the upper picture, the left side is not a straight line.

There's still a fair bit of work to do on the shelf.

I'll be painting the shelf black and carpeting it with carpet scraps leftover from the orchestra pit at work. This will make it a closer match for the interior while providing an extra layer of protection between the hinges and my mattress, plus the carpet will be a lot easier on my knees when I'm crawling around in the back. I'll also be adding removable U-channel stiffeners on either side to take some of the pressure off of the hinges and add some much needed structural support.

This is the OEM, stock underfloor storage tray.:


While it's a decent setup for normal, everyday usage, I'm going to need a somewhat different setup for my road trip gear. The existing storage tray will serve as a pattern for me to build a more customized version.
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I carpeted the accordion sleeping shelf. As for why the carpet is black, it's in part because it's a good match for the existing interior, but mainly because I was able to get it for free.


And here's its storage position:


The stiffeners aren't quite ready to install. I need to wait for the paint to dry. I should have pictures of the completed assembly tomorrow.
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Looks very good! You oughta send that design to the company making the vehicle - they could make it an 'option' for future vehicles! ;-)
This forum is on probation again.  Bob, turn your PMs on!
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Nice work! Dig that you kept it passenger-friendly.
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Thanks Vic and LeeRevell!

Here are the stiffeners:


They're each made from a piece of 1 inch angle iron and a piano hinge screwed together with #8, self drilling, pan head screws, then painted black.

They work every bit as well as I had hoped.


The rings in placed at various points on the stiffener are 3/16 inch stainless steel pins that lock the stiffeners into place.


The longer pins attach over the gap between the front and rear seat and go all the way through. The shorter pins only go through the hinge layer and are placed where the stiffeners rest on the seat back.

I also built the new tray for my under floor storage compartment today. I still need to work some of the kinks out of the design, but it'll make far better use of the space under the rear floor than the OEM tray.


I'll also be making a new cover for the tray.
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I think I've pretty well figured out the minor issues with my new under floor cargo tray.

I added some side tabs to lock it in place so it doesn't slide around in the back and I built a cover for it.


The OEM cover is a tri-fold, single unit. I've opted for a four piece sectional cover for easier access.

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I finished my under floor storage today.

Painted the tray and cover pieces.


Dropped it into position.


Carpeted the cover pieces and added pull loops for easy opening.


While the paint was drying on the cargo tray I worked on another project. In the cargo area, there's a light that comes on when the rear hatch is open. Unfortunately, there's no way to shut it off other than closing the hatch, so I decided to add a switch.

I cut a 1/2 in. by 1 in. hole next to the light.


Spliced into the feeder line for the light.


Connected the switch.


And reinstalled the light. Note that the hatch is open, but the light is off.


Now I don't have to worry about this light draining my battery if I leave the hatchback open for an extended period of time.
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You can find LED replacements for that bulb I bet, cuts the power required to next to nothing.
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I don't doubt it. when it gets a little higher on my priorities list, I'll look into it. I might also look into LED replacements for the overhead lights as well. For the time being though, just being able to shut that light off is enough.

The best part? I didn't even have to buy the switch. It was left over from a project I did at work back in 2006.

The carpentry work, I've done entirely with scrap lumber from the scene shop.

The hinges are used hinges from a previous show.

The steel stiffeners are also made of scrap and leftover parts.

The carpet is remnants from the orchestra pit.

So far all I've had to buy is some carpet tape, a few magnets (which I'll explain in a later post) and the pins to lock the stiffeners in place. Big Grin
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