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Old 06-16-2011, 01:06 PM   #1
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PH Bed Storage Retrofit?

Hi All ~

As I get more familiar with my new-to-me '93 SMB and as I spend more time here on this forum learning new questions continually pop up for me.

My newest question is: did the older SMB's not have a method of PH bed storage when the top was in the up position? I've seen some pics of the newer vans and it looks like the PH bed is tethered to the top so that when the top is up the bed goes with it.

My PH bed is in 3 pieces, but I don't have any sort of bed storage method other than leaning them upright against one of the PH windows when the top is popped.

Is this something I can retro fit or were the older PH springs not rated for that much weight... the bed is quite heavy.

a couple pics for reference


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Old 06-17-2011, 12:14 PM   #2
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Re: PH Bed Storage Retrofit?

I have the electric top so I'm just guessing here. Iím fairly sure you can adjust the springs to handle the weight if you purchased a 2 piece bed but youíre still going to have that last section in the way. Plus if you adjust for the added weight, it might be slightly more difficult to lower the top with the bed sitting on the rails. Iíve always figured the 3 piece bed was designed for ease while stacking one piece on top of another or flipping them on end toward the front or back of the van. I see the trouble with a walk through model. I have the 50 model and never leave my bed attached to the roof. I always bunk on top and generally just slide the longer section on top of the shorter section. I also leave my bedding folded in half on top of the longer portion of the bed so I never have to pack away the bedding. All I have to do is pull the long section into place, flip over the bedding and crash out. With the short comings of the 50, having a ready made bed after the top is raised is really nice and one of the reasons I purchased that design.
I think if I had a walk through model Iíd want a 1 piece bed with supports that are easy to release so I could drop one end then move to the other end and lower the rest. But if the top is too difficult to lower with the bed resting on the rails, you'll have to push it back up and attach it to the ceiling to help bring down the top.
BTW you would probably have to do something with those rear handles I would think.
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Old 06-17-2011, 03:51 PM   #3
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Re: PH Bed Storage Retrofit?

I have the full bed that attaches to the top and does go up and down with it. I also have a walk through design and it does make it nice to have the bed out of the way when not in use.

I have not had a problem with the top being harder without the bed attached but my wife can not pull the top down at all with or without the bed attached. She can breing the bed down by herself but is not able to put it up and attach it at the same time.

My bed ends about 5 inchs before the handles to pull the bed down and is attached by 3 cables( 2 up front and one in back)

i'm 5'10 and fit ok on the bed but we do have a 12" extention that makes it nicer.

Not sure what the base of the bed is made of but it hold my fat rear.
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:06 PM   #4
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Re: PH Bed Storage Retrofit?

We have a one piece bed and it connects to the top for storage. I would talk to SMB about retrofitting it to an older top. The rear bed hanger has a bolt through the roof and the front two attach to the front mount for the P/H tubes.

Mike
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Old 06-22-2011, 05:35 PM   #5
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Re: PH Bed Storage Retrofit?

Probably not hard to make something if you have attachment points. Cables or straps can be attached permanently to the top, and connected to or disco'd from the bed. I think the newer beds might be lighter, but just a guess since moving ours around is not much problem.

You can always stack the bed pieces on the outside of the top to see if the weight will force it down or test opening (not my fault if bed pieces fly!)
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:20 PM   #6
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Re: PH Bed Storage Retrofit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by audisnapr
My newest question is: did the older SMB's not have a method of PH bed storage when the top was in the up position? I've seen some pics of the newer vans and it looks like the PH bed is tethered to the top so that when the top is up the bed goes with it.

My PH bed is in 3 pieces, but I don't have any sort of bed storage method other than leaning them upright against one of the PH windows when the top is popped.

Is this something I can retro fit or were the older PH springs not rated for that much weight... the bed is quite heavy.
I have a one-piece bed in my 2004 SMB. The base platform is a torsion box with fabric and foam on top. The torsion box itself is about 1-1/4" thick suggesting a light-weight wood perimeter frame with several narrow cross bars and two 1/4" skins of the same fiberboard paneling as on the ceiling. It is screwed together but I do not know if glue was also used. Two small boat cleats in the front and one in back are used to suspend the bed platform from small loops attached to the rear latch mount and front support housing. A hand-sized pull handle is attached to the front so you can pull it conveniently (hidden under sheet in pix). There is 3" or so between the bed and the ceiling when hanging, more than when closed.





Some other photos are here viewtopic.php?f=40&t=7299

The platform is light enough that I can get it in and out of the van by my self, it's just big and awkward. While the penthouse would be easy to lift with the bed attached, SMB recommends the rear of the bed be lowered to the rails to avoid alignment issues when lowering.

This is something that I could make. I would use rigid foam inside the perimeter frame instead of middle crossbars, then glue and staple two luaun plywood skins to the frame.
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Old 06-24-2011, 02:13 PM   #7
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Re: PH Bed Storage Retrofit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kzinti2
Should maybe move your smoke detector out- ours is in the front section, and I moved it towards the driver side to get less false alarms when cooking (usually cook on pantry from passenger seat).
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Old 06-26-2011, 06:26 PM   #8
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Re: PH Bed Storage Retrofit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jage
Should maybe move your smoke detector out- ours is in the front section, and I moved it towards the driver side to get less false alarms when cooking (usually cook on pantry from passenger seat).
Good eye and good idea. Now moved.

Thanks
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:26 PM   #9
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Re: PH Bed Storage Retrofit?

We use a 3/8 thick plywood, 15Ē X 72Ē
Which I fastened to the 3 sections so it becomes 1 piece.
Drilled 3/8" holes in the plywood to past the 3/8" nylon rope thru.
We hang the bed from the handles in front using S hooks.
And a rope with a S hook in the center of the plywood in the back
which we hook to the chain hanging from the top.
We never fastened the latch in back.
So when we raise the top the back in of the bed comes with the top.
Then we just hook the front of the bed to the handles.
We leave the sheets on the bed.
Glen
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