Ody Weight Loss Clinic - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-22-2007, 09:40 PM   #1
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We're going to a campout Friday, and our son may have to go in our car since his is in the shop this time. The warnings from the Odyssey manual haunt me now and then, and for every person added beyond the 2 in front, the towing capacity goes down 150 lbs. Not to mention all his gear, bicycle, and whatever. Too close for comfort.

Then it occurred to me: we had a Chrysler minivan back in the dark ages and those lead-filled seats were hoisted in and out as needed, usually just before we'd visit the chiropractor, as it turned out. Why not the same in the Ody? Well, the rear seat disappears neatly into the floor so we had never done that, that's why.

So I pulled out my trusty but rarely used shop manual, and lo and behold there were the directions for how to remove the rear bench seat. Except there were not really any directions given. The drawing gave me a clue: it looked like four bolts virtually out in the open, easily accessible, and plain as day. Hmmmmm.........

Sure enough, the carpet pieces on the hinge corners folded readily away and with ratcheted handle and a 9/16 inch socket the bolts were out in a flash. Yanked on the little strap to pull the seat on edge and carted it away. Much easier than I had anticipated. Why......?

The answer came from the bathroom scale: this was not the bench seat from the Plymouth of my youth. It only weighed 72 lbs, and the heavy rubber mat that came out at the same time weighed 19 lbs. Total of 91 lbs surgically removed from the Ody.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I've have been looking greedily at a little 16 lb Kyocera solar panel to do that last little bit for extended boondocking. Where to pare the weight? This is the answer, because not only is the 91 lbs added to the overall towing capacity but it also adds to the rear axle weight capacity in a way (effectively compensates that much in terms of tongue weight).

The last time someone actually sat in that seat was back during the Clinton administration, so we are going to give it the old college try to do without. More room for stuff if we actually need it, too.

I count it as a minor triumph whenever I find a way to reduce weight, both to save wear and tear on the vehicles and to save fuel. By the way, the rear of the car ended up 5mm higher off the ground, hardly enough to affect the alignment in everyday driving.

The pictures show the mount and dismount, and the whole process was as easy as 3.14159265

If you tow with an Ody and the weight is creeping up there this may be an acceptable way to save some weight. (Frederick?)

(Aside to Roger: I did not gleefully rush out to Home Depot and buy 91 lbs of Romex, but I thought about it).
Attached Thumbnails
Bench_seat_folded.jpg   Bench_Seat_Hinge.jpg  

Seat_bolts_exposed_edited_1.jpg   Naked_hinge.jpg  

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Old 08-22-2007, 09:52 PM   #2
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the whole process was as easy as 3.14159265
<whispering> I see winged monkeys.
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Old 08-23-2007, 07:45 PM   #3
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If you tow with an Ody and the weight is creeping up there this may be an acceptable way to save some weight. (Frederick?)
I never met a calorie I didn't like.

Actually, when I am not towing, I am often the designated driver for my circle of friends. There are times when I feel I jumped the gun and bought the Odyssey too soon; before the 8 passenger version became available.
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Old 08-23-2007, 08:26 PM   #4
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I am assuming you put those bolts right back where they belong so you can find them when you want to put the seat back in.
Right?
Or are they lost already?
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Old 08-23-2007, 08:54 PM   #5
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Pete:

I thought it was such a great idea that I tossed them in the trash already. The next owner will be the one who can see the"wisdom" in what I have done. After trying this out over the weekend I will probably toss out the seat too if everything goes according to plan. The middle seats are next.
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Old 08-24-2007, 09:09 AM   #6
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What year is your Ody? I took my middle row out and it totaled 100#.
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Old 08-24-2007, 09:27 AM   #7
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The rear seats in my Element came out very soon after I bought it.

I saw them again when I took them out of storage and gave them to the new owner.

If I could "De Seat" the Jeep, I would.
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Old 08-24-2007, 09:42 AM   #8
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Patrick:
Mine is a '99. Our middle seats are individual ones. 100 lbs is more than my rear bench, although I could probably weigh it more carefully than I did, so the 72 lbs is an approximation.

Frederick:
Our Ody was bought as much for a hauler of lumber, plywood, and large musical instruments as for people. Since we met in person once, you are aware that we do not have any friends, hate people, and would never carpool willingly. Being on this forum allows us to communicate at a distance and not have to come into contact with actual human beings. What a relief!

Gina:
Bring it up here, and I'll "deseat" it for you. I have access to big crowbars, blowtorch, hydraulic jacks, etc. No charge.
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Old 08-24-2007, 07:27 PM   #9
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The third row seat in a current-generation Sienna presents a similar situation: it disappears into the floor, is carried (when folded) right at the very back of the vehicle, and is not intended to be removable. Since it is a split design, and has other nice features, I believe it weighs more than the 1999-2005 Ody third seat. Accordingly, various members of the Sienna forum have reported removing it, and found it easy to do.

I haven't taken ours out, and probably won't for a few reasons:
  • we leave both second-row seats out normally, so the third row is our only way to accommodate unexpected passengers
  • when removed, there would be a well in the back; great storage volume, but no longer a flat floor
  • removal is easy... but reinstallation might be less trival (I'm not currently in a mood to find out)
Although I have not removed ours, I think this is a good option to keep in mind. Maybe I'll just remove one side...
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Old 09-02-2007, 05:04 PM   #10
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Just to add to the mix,
I have the seats from my Ody in the basement next to the ones from my Previa!
All but the front two from both vehicles.
It is amazing how much junk they will hold when there is no consideration needed for Human Cargo.

Two Newf's and their stuff can tax any hauler and what a way to go.
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Old 09-03-2007, 01:17 AM   #11
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Per, I was considering buying a new bicycle, something that weighs next-to-nothing (about 5lbs less than my current bike) and can make me fly like the wind. The problem is for every pound less a bike weighs, the price seems to go up by a third or half. It quickly gets expensive.

Then it dawned on me! I could loose those five pounds and save thousands!

There's <strike>food for thought</strike> something to think about if all you need is 16 pounds for a solar panel . . .

--P
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Old 09-03-2007, 11:46 AM   #12
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Peter:
In the interest of "full disclosure" I should add that the 16 lbs of solar panel is merely the tip of the iceberg as far as potential weight additions are concerned. My wife is eyeing some kind of awning, I'm eyeing a number of small modifications which always seem to add weight. I'm always looking for ideas about things to rework for less weight to compensate.
Our Odyssey does well, but logic says the strain is there, so I may adopt the "driving with very little water" in the tank idea, etc., but the unexpected 91 lb savings gives me some headroom for some woodwork, oriental rug, HRV, storage cabinet, etc. etc.
Losing 16 lbs myself would put me close to the anorexic profile. My wife will have to speak for herself, but the dog could probably lose 3-5 lbs without showing too much rib. How about always driving with less than 1/4 full gas tank? Naw.
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