Comfortable seating, achievable? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-21-2006, 11:49 PM   #1
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I have noted some questions about dinette seating, etc. recently, and eventually I have to do something about ours. The seating in the picture is quite uncomfortable, even with the pillows for additional support. By the second Scrabble game my body squirms: little support, back aching for support.

Has anyone ditched the cushions and installed the top part of a decent office chair, a marine "seating unit" as found at West Marine, or something more exotic? I have an old office chair which I'm thinking of parting out and mounting on a lazy susan to see if it fits in the space. My ancient Lazy-Boy won't fit. Solutions?
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Old 03-22-2006, 02:44 PM   #2
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Been wrestling with that one too, Per. We have a '92S13' and are in the process of conberting to a front dinette similar to yours. We don't know how similar the dimension limitations between the two are. We have considered and measured the options you mentioned. Most office chairs are too big for our scamp as are some of the marine seats.
The folding boat seats that are small enough don't pass the comfort test. We were about ready to admit to defeat and build a box with a cushion on it when we found two possible options. One was a small office chair sold by our regional DIY home center, Menard's ($45). The other option was a small boat seat sold by K-Mart ($22). Yesterday we bought the boat seats in order to preserve the storage area. The swivel base was $5 extra. The seat bottom may be a bit weak (plastic) but it appears to me that the bottom could be replaced with 3/4 plywood very easily if it doesn't hold up. Best of all the seats pased the Comfort test for both of us. We're all fired up and ready to build.

We're interested in your solutions to this problem.

Now if it will only warm enough to work in the garage.......

Dave and Diane
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Old 03-22-2006, 03:04 PM   #3
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Someone here mounted a boat seat to a wood base and installed it over the fiberglass seat base. They seemed quite pleased with the project.
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Old 03-22-2006, 06:21 PM   #4
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I'm looking at this in the Boler too. One idea I came up with is to build a "box" at counter height to rest a cushion against so the depth of the seat was comfortable. This would be like the seating in most stick built trailers. The only problem I see with that is if the dinetter was used as a bed at night, then there would have to be somewhere to store the box. The box could be used for storage which is a bonus.
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Old 03-22-2006, 06:48 PM   #5
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I would consider a car seat (bucket style), which are cheaply and readily available in a range of styles from wreckers; however, the base cabinet is probably too high for comfort. In the Burro, is that moulded 'glass, or is it a wood cabinet which could be cut down? I assume that it would be desirable, or even necessary, to keep the base cabinet in some form.

Automotive back seats might be an alternative to the obvious front seats, because they don't mount on tracks (they sit on a raised area of floor) so they are lighter and simpler, and some of the more individually shaped ones might be a decent fit to the available platform. The area they sit on is usually neither flat nor level, so I don't know how well they sit on the base cabinet.

Custom-made shaped base and back cushions with some shape (not just flat) might be another workable alternative, which would leave the dinette still able to convert to a bed, if the flat cushions can be stored somewhere during the day.
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Old 03-22-2006, 06:52 PM   #6
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Maybe Frederick can help you set up a couple of spare Odyssey van seats in the dinette area?
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Old 03-22-2006, 07:26 PM   #7
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Maybe Frederick can help you set up a couple of spare Odyssey van seats in the dinette area?
Only if he removed the seat benches already there... and made this a dedicated dinette only. Those seats are too large to mount on top of anything. But, they are comfortable.
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Old 03-22-2006, 07:49 PM   #8
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These CHAIRS are really comfortable when sitting on the ground and can add great back support when used on stadium benches...and possibly on dinette seats, as well. You can get some less expensive ones at WalMart, Target, K Mart, etc and give them a try. If it doesn't work, take them back for a refund and try the more expensive approach.
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Old 03-22-2006, 09:42 PM   #9
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These CHAIRS are really comfortable when sitting on the ground and can add great back support when used on stadium benches...and possibly on dinette seats, as well. You can get some less expensive ones at WalMart, Target, K Mart, etc and give them a try. If it doesn't work, take them back for a refund and try the more expensive approach.

My thoughts too. I've theTherm-a-Rest brand. The Therm-a-Rest matteress provides the cussioning and the form. Wouldn't be without them now.
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Old 03-23-2006, 01:18 PM   #10
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Two problems exist with the original bench seat/bed set up. To be used as a bed, the seat part needs to be horizontal, and to get the most space, the back is vertical.

Proper chair design tilts the back of the seat 10 to 15 degrees and the seat bottom down about 5 degrees.

I haven't done this yet, but unless someone smarter than I comes up with a better idea soon, I will make some hard foam wedges to fit under the seat bottom and behind the back to provide the needed angles for comfort.

So keep those ideas coming in. Even if they seem like an idiotic brain storm can't-possibly-work idea, they can be a trigger for someone who can put it all together and come up with a perfect solution.
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Old 03-23-2006, 01:31 PM   #11
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Two problems exist with the original bench seat/bed set up. To be used as a bed, the seat part needs to be horizontal, and to get the most space, the back is vertical.

Proper chair design tilts the back of the seat 10 to 15 degrees and the seat bottom down about 5 degrees.

I haven't done this yet, but unless someone smarter than I comes up with a better idea soon, I will make some hard foam wedges to fit under the seat bottom and behind the back to provide the needed angles for comfort.

So keep those ideas coming in. Even if they seem like an idiotic brain storm can't-possibly-work idea, they can be a trigger for someone who can put it all together and come up with a perfect solution.

I like this one. Now to figure out how to keep the wedges in place.
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Old 03-23-2006, 02:10 PM   #12
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I like this one. Now to figure out how to keep the wedges in place.
How about hook-and-loop fastener strips, such as VelcroŽ, on the seat base, wedges (presumably fabric-covered foam) and cushions?
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Old 03-23-2006, 08:15 PM   #13
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I used foam wedges for the seat backs in my bus camper and the wedges have enough friction fit that they never used to move.....at least used behind the backs, it gives an angle and when used as a bed you can use a foam wedge under the cushion or under the pillow to raise your pillow a bit more...acts as a place to store it while in the sleep position...Benny
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Old 03-27-2006, 12:38 AM   #14
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Thanks for the great suggestions. I'll widen my search as suggested for possibilities.
Loren's reminder of the appropriate angles is very helpful, so I'll probably mock up some plywood angle supports and test what feels good before I decide on what to do. Maybe a storage compartment could be included on the street side as part of the backrest since it is too far back as it is. Maybe I'll find something that will not prevent making a bed there too. I'll post the solution when I find it. Thanks!
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