Picking up the thread on building the rock and roll bed in the back of my kombi: Last summer I got the basics done in time for last year’s Berlin Bus Festival. Here is the complete thread. Last September I added a safety mechanism, a locking mechanism that prevents the bench from opening. Important when you roll the car in an accident and you don’t want all your tools flying around and into your head. Never thought much about this, but with a baby daughter now as the main passenger in the back, I found myself looking into safety more seriously. The mechanism seems to be around for a long time already and can still be bought via the German campervan specialist Reimo (German “Sitzbankverriegelung”, Reimo part number 58060). The detailed technical drawings that came with the Reimo Rock and Roll Bed hinges actually show already where exactly this bolting mechanism has to be attached to the bench seat and front panel. A catch behind the front panel locks into a hook that is bolted through the bench seat panel. The catch can be released by pulling a knob on the front of the front panel, see the photos below.
While I was at it, I also added a second small fire extinguisher under the bench. It complements a first fire extinguisher I had installed under the dashboard when I bought the van. The idea being that the front one is at hand when the engine catches fire while the back one is for when one manages to set the curtains on fire when cooking in the kitchen. Historically, a lot of buses were apparently lost due to engine fires. Zero-to-sixty-eventually just recently posted on good quality fuel lines and a fuel shut off valve as precautions to prevent engine fires in Volkswagen buses – check out his blog post and links therein. I had added the bench lock mechanism and the second fire extinguisher already last September. All became very suddenly very relevant four days ago when I drove Taiga Lily on the Autobahn on a very hot Sunday afternoon and a little Seat hatchback caught fire five cars ahead of me. I stopped and emptied the 2 kg front fire extinguisher into the engine bay, but could not stop the fire fully. Two lessons learnt: Place under bench not good for easy reach when seat cannot be folded up quickly, due to heavy baby seat on top of it. And: Two kilograms of powder are gone really quickly. Today I bought the replacement for the empty front extinguisher, and a second two-kilogramm extinguisher as more serious backup than the one-kilogramm one under the back bench.