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Author Topic: Dinette Seats  (Read 1973 times)
mike802
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« on: May 13, 2013, 07:11:40 AM »

Hi everyone:  I finished up the frames for my dinette seats, which I built from steel in the normal camper style.  Installed them in the bus, put down some temporary plywood and cushions and gave them a try.  They would be great for sitting and eating, but for a long extended trip of 8 to 12 hours forget it.  I was thinking if I built them with reclining backs and a good head rest, long trips would be much easier to take.  Anyone have any ideas, or built this type of dinette seat?  I am asking a lot out of the old fashioned dinette seat, good eating posture, long term travel comfort, convertible into a bed with the ability to utilize the storage underneath, unfortunately pull out draws into the isle is not an option.

I was kicking around the idea of using a knife hinge so the seats work like a knife hinged sofa, but adding a reclining mechanism from some old car seats.  Any ideas would be very helpful.

Thanks
Mike.
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Mike
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TomC
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2013, 11:26:17 AM »

I have the same problem with my home made dinette. The best way would be to introduce some sort of tilt to get the seat tilted up into the legs more and the back tilted back. The simplest is just to use 2X4's to lift the cushions up. Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2013, 04:03:26 PM »

If you're building the seats from scratch then incorporating pivot-points to allow the angle of the backrest and/or seat squab to be changed shouldn't be too difficult. But if the frames have to be fixed or can't be altered - how about making the cushions slightly wedged-shaped - put them in one way around an you could have an 'upright' seating position, put them the other way around and it could be reclined

Jeremy

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Don4107
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2013, 04:30:26 PM »

The typical problem with dinettes that convert to a bed is if the cushion is dense enough to support you sitting it is like sleeping on a brick.  If soft enough to sleep it is like sitting on the plywood underneath.  Best solution seems to be harder foam for the seat and softer for the back which become the middle of the bed.

The wedge shape suggested above works well in our boat.  A 90 degree back just doesn't work for comfort.  Our first bus had some.  We just rolled blankets and towels to hold the bottom of the cushions out from the frame.
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Don 4107 Eastern Washington
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mike802
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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2013, 06:58:29 AM »

Thanks for the greats ideas guys, It looks like this is one area of RV seating that has not seen much innovation over the years.  I have found some videos of folding dinette seats for toy haulers, but they dont really work for my situation.  I thought about just using original bus seats with one set turned backwards with a dinette table between the two, but that would not make into a bed, or at least not a comfortable one.  I like the wedged foam idea and also the mechanism for supporting the legs just behind the knees.  Looks like I have a great deal of work ahead of me on this project, I will continue searching for ideas and inspiration.  This would make an interesting video, so I will be working on that also as I go.
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Mike
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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2013, 12:00:56 PM »

I got super lucky and found a dinette set for sale and installed them..

they are folding seats that have a spring base like a regular car seat so they are very comfy to sit in and also sleep on.. if you can figure out how to change the base to springs instead of solid wood it should help

here are the ones I have






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iMPAKS.com
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2013, 06:17:51 PM »

Thanks Bruiser:  That's moving in the direction I was thinking, I like the fold out design because it holds the cushions and people don't wake up in the morning with the cushions half off. But I would like to incorporate a reclining feature so when traveling, passengers can lean the seats back to a more comfortable riding position.  Today I went to the junk yard and picked up two bucket seats out of a Chevy pickup.  Will see what I can do with these.
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Mike
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mike802
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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2013, 08:05:37 AM »

I did a little work on my truck seat idea, for dinette seats.  Tore one all down and was thinking of widening it into a bench seat, then decided maybe it would be best to use 4 seats and keep them as singles.  That way everyone seated can adjust for their own comfort setting.  It would mean compromising a little on sleeping comfort, but in our case the dinette would only be used for occasional sleeping anyway.  Still have a lot to figure out, but I am video recording it all as I go and should have some footage to share soon.
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Mike
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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2013, 08:26:10 AM »

I kept a pair of left and right side coach seats to use for the dinette.  Since I already planned for 4 bunks, I wanted the seats for riders while travelling, so I can add seat belts.  Still need to get them recovered, as they are "awful red and orange".
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mike802
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« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2013, 07:06:56 AM »

It looks like I have got myself into quite the project.  I will not have the luxury of waiting to have them upholstered because much of the project will depend upon building new frames, foam padding and upholstery. 
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Mike
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« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2013, 08:36:37 AM »

I think you'll be surprised at how little you use the dinette for sleeping. Most want to sleep on the sofa first. I think I've used the dinette for sleeping less then 10 times. Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2013, 11:06:33 AM »

My dinette is also made from two sets of bus seats.  It is not intended for sleeping.  I bought a dinette table from Winnebago surplus and made my own mounting bracket from wood.  One day the driver had to make a panic stop to avoid a cow and someone sitting in the dinette ended up hitting the table hard enough to break the wooden table mounting bracket.  (No, he was not injured.)  A new bracket has been fashioned from aluminum and the next time I suppose the screws will come out of the table.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
mike802
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« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2013, 07:25:03 PM »

Quote
I think you'll be surprised at how little you use the dinette for sleeping. Most want to sleep on the sofa first. I think I've used the dinette for sleeping less then 10 times.
In our case, we care for two mentally handicapped ladies, so the sofa and bottom bunk will always be occupied, that leaves the dinette and top bunk for extra sleeping capacity. I don't really anticipate using the extra sleeping much, but we would like to have it just in case.

Quote
My dinette is also made from two sets of bus seats.  It is not intended for sleeping.  I bought a dinette table from Winnebago surplus and made my own mounting bracket from wood.  One day the driver had to make a panic stop to avoid a cow and someone sitting in the dinette ended up hitting the table hard enough to break the wooden table mounting bracket.  (No, he was not injured.)  A new bracket has been fashioned from aluminum and the next time I suppose the screws will come out of the table.
Now theirs a good case for seat belts, if for nothing else than to protect your bus. LOL

I worked some today on my dinette and I am now thinking of having one solid bench seat with a split back.  The forward facing seat will have reclining back rests, with a slide so the seat can be moved away from the wall for reclining.  I am hoping the solid bench seat will make sleeping more comfortable.  The backward facing seat will also have a bench seat with split reclining back rests that can be reclined out flat  and will also have slides.  I am hoping the two unites can use the slides to be slid together, the back rest of the rear facing seat will recline fully to make the bed.  I may also have to put slides on the dinette base to get both unites to butt up.  I am still not sure how all this is going to come together, but it is exciting thinking of all the possibility's.  I have some electric unites for the slides that have power up, down, back and forth with recline, lumber support and seat warmers!  If I can get this all to work it sure will make for one cool dinette!
« Last Edit: May 19, 2013, 07:30:10 PM by mike802 » Logged

Mike
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mike802
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« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2013, 07:29:23 AM »

Here is a little video detailing what I have done so far.  As I work my way through this project I keep changing my mind as to just how I want this all to work out, so stay tuned and expect some twist and turns as we go!

MC9 dinette seats part 1
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Mike
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FloridaCliff
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« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2013, 02:28:15 PM »

Mike,

Looking good!

That's the best part of doing it yourself, the changes don't cost extra!

Keep up the good work!

Cliff
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1975 GMC  P8M4905A-1160    North Central Florida

"There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded."
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