Rock And Roll Bench, Part 1: Getting Started

24 07 2012

I finally got started with building the rock-and-roll bed, a bench in the back of the kombi that can be pulled out to form a bed. I bought the mechanism two years ago from the German kombi supplier bus-ok.de, advertised as suitable for T1, T2 and T3. They came without any instructions, but the guys at bus-ok.de said that basically all the hinges on the market are clones of the originals ones from Reimo, a German campervan conversion specialist. And for those I had instructions because I had built them into our old bus, the Old Lady, in 2002. These instructions can also be found here on the internet. My sheets are labeled 2002 instead of 1990, but otherwise they are exactly the same. So in 2010 I put the new hinges aside and nothing happened for two years. Now with the Berlin Bus Festival starting in a few days, I finally picked up the thread again some two weeks ago. I got the boards cut in a local DIY market, in birch multiplex because I really like it. I went for the strength recommended in the Reimo instructions: 15 mm for front and side walls and 21 mm for the sitting board and back rest (19 mm as recommended by Reimo were not available in this material).

Leon Dogwonder with the boards for the new bench.

Hinges shown in the two positions, bench and bed, testwise attached to the side boards.

Hinges seen from the backside.

To give you an idea of how the finished bed-bench combination can look, I will add some photos of the Old Lady below. Taken in a dark underground garage, so it all looks a bit dodgy and dusty, but you will get the idea. One can also still buy the Reimo rock-and-roll bed mechanism I had used in the Old Lady. The set is officially for the Volkswagen T3/T25 bus (08/1979-07/1990) (Reimo part number 58001) and designed so that the bed level is 12 cm higher than the T3 motor compartment so that the bed can/should be combined with a 12 cm high storage room on the engine compartment. The same hinge can also be used for the T2 without storage space above the engine as the engine compartment of the T2 was just that much higher anyway. In the Old Lady I had increased the bench hight from 36 to 40 cm so that I could keep a 4 cm storage space above the engine. Good to keep tools and spare parts. But as a drawback one was sitting just those 4 cm too high and too close to the ceiling.

Rock-and-roll bench/bed in the Old Lady, a 1978 T2b.

Bench in the Old lady pulled out into the bed position.

Brackets that stabilize the bed position from underneath.

Additional support with Reimo foldable table foot.


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