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Old 12-16-2008, 07:57 PM   #11
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My apologies for sounding like a thief....

jage,

I appreciate and understand your wanting to protect SMB's designs and processes. As a forum owner you need to be cautious about some posts.

I assure you, I am simply curious as to how the whole gaucho system works, like is it a metal frame (because the DMV and DelDOT mentioned to me that it should be metal, not wood), how does the system actually convert from a seat to a bed without major mechanical issues (as the seat position must withstand accident forces to keep the occupants safe, while facing sideways), how do the seat belts work (and are they attached to the floor/frame), etc.

I do not have the finances nor the motivation to make my own SMB Gaucho seat/bed anyway. Nor would I (or could I) convert my minivan to utilize such a huge seating system (the Ford E-350's are much bigger than a minivan). I was mostly interested in knowing how SMB does it (since I admire these RV's), so that I could adapt it to my minivan's feet/leg extension that'll go in front of the rear seat so I can have my own comfortable bed platform for sleeping.

This Gaucho thread is merely for educational and research purposes. Like you said, DIY projects are fascinating and educational. I'm not out to "steal the designs" of someone's SMB so that I can reverse-engineer or totally DIY an entire SMB. I just want to understand this seating system. (Besides, the same "convertible" seating idea is in the Roadtreks and Great West Vans, so this isn't a trade secret)....

Face it, if I wanted to actually see how the whole thing is made (and adapt it for my own use), I could go to the closest SMB facility and see some under different phases of construction in person. Since the closest SMB is in Indiana (640 miles, 11 hours away), I asked for some photos instead of driving for two days! I've looked through many members' photo sets of SMB facility visits, but have yet to see a gaucho system photographed "in the works."

I'm sorry to look like a thief trying to get free design handouts. I was simply looking for understanding and knowledge. I'll understand if you wish to lock this thread before someone posts photos.

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Homebuilt RV Project: Design Phase is 80% Complete! (but on hold until I win the lottery)
Ford E-350 EB w/ Cruiser Top, Flip-down "Gaucho" sofa/bed, custom cabinets, AGM batteries, solar panels, water heater, fresh/gray water tanks, sink, porta-potty....
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Old 12-16-2008, 09:50 PM   #12
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Re: My apologies for sounding like a thief....

Quote:
Originally Posted by dave_in_delaware
I'll understand if you wish to lock this thread before someone posts photos.
Nah, that was my pre-emptive strike. I realized if anyone did post pics I'd have to decide whether to take them down, delete the post, lock the thread and I figured I'd better call off public display before I had to make any tough decisions.

I recommend you try to see one in person. I also dont' know if the 50 bench and the gaucho work the same, but I'll bet they do.

Good luck!
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:08 PM   #13
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Considering the fact that Indiana is so far away, I foresee my only trip out there will be WHEN I pick up my new SMB. But that won't happen for a few years due to financial and personal issues...

I'm not sure what the difference is between someone posting a photo of part of their SMB vs me taking photos (in person) of some under construction at SMB. Well, other than one is much easier than the other (and possible in the next few years, the other isn't)....

But hey, it's your forum! I'll respect the "Gaucho secrecy" edict.

I have no idea if they work the same. I don't know anyone even remotely close to me to ask.
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Homebuilt RV Project: Design Phase is 80% Complete! (but on hold until I win the lottery)
Ford E-350 EB w/ Cruiser Top, Flip-down "Gaucho" sofa/bed, custom cabinets, AGM batteries, solar panels, water heater, fresh/gray water tanks, sink, porta-potty....
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:22 PM   #14
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i made my own version. i can send pics or put some in my gallery.
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Old 01-13-2009, 06:47 PM   #15
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The great thing about Sportsmobile is that they are willing to do as much or as little as you like. I bought my van with the 4x4 conversion and the penthouse and no interior. When I picked up the van I asked about the seat. I felt that was the one thing that I was not comfortable trying to figure out. They happily sold me the seat frame, cusions and seat belts that I would need. I felt that the cost was reasonable as there are not alot of options for folding type seats out there. IIRC I paid 550.00 for the seat in '05.
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Old 08-23-2009, 09:11 PM   #16
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Re: DIY gaucho structure and upholstery??



Would you be so kind to post pictures of your homemade gaucho. Perhaps it will help me figure out how to do my rear bed plans. Also, I see you are local and work at BD. I have am engineer friend there and live just down the street. Perhaps sometime I can look at your interior if you don't mind.

Thanks,
Mark Alston
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Old 08-28-2009, 02:09 AM   #17
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Re: DIY gaucho structure and upholstery??

Since we're on the subjects of gauchos there is one question I have. What is the distance from the top of the seat cushion to the deck.
I've already done a mock up of a sofa in my van and 12 inches "feels" right but that's with the current roof. Once I have the penthouse installed that "feel" would change but I'm planning on having the sofa completed before then. I'm assuming that they have made the gaucho as high as they can, to increase storage underneath, without making you think your head is going to bang against the roof.
Then again I might be wrong.
Anyone care to share their thoughts on the matter?
Thanks
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Old 08-28-2009, 10:40 AM   #18
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Re: DIY gaucho structure and upholstery??

Quote:
Originally Posted by WVvan
I'm assuming that they have made the gaucho as high as they can, to increase storage underneath, without making you think your head is going to bang against the roof.
I think that the gauchos are made as high as they can and still be safe and comfortable to sit on as working bench seat. Their folded bed height is basically the unfolded seat height. This leaves very little storage below in my opinion and leaves way more headroom above the bed than in necessary.

I am planning a bed platform behind the rear bench that has an extension that folds over the rear bench. This would be at window height and allow for full storage underneath it. The problem I have run into is that the bench seat backs are higher than this height (for good reason) and I need them to fold forward out of the way for the bed to extend.

FUN ASCII Art
Before extending...
Code:
_____________\
|            |\
|  storage   | \_________
|            |   |     |
|            |   |     |
After extending...
Code:
   Wide Bed
________________________
|            |  _______
|  storage   | /_________   <--- folded bench under bed.
|            |   |     |
|            |   |     |
On trips where this rear bench is not needed it would be taken out completely and the bed could stay in extended position with storage underneath it.

My idea anyway,
Mark Alston
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