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Old 11-11-2012, 05:37 PM   #1
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Are those 50s style beds really comfy or hard on backs?

My wife and I are trying to decide to go with a 50s style interior or gaucho-style beds. My back is not in the best of shape. I lean towards the 50s interior with the forward facing bench-seat bed, but have been studying a lot of pics on here and have to wonder how comfortable the multi-piece beds can be. In a lot of the pics they look like uneven and irregular surfaces. So for those of you with these beds in your SMBs, how are they to sleep on? And if you've got problems with them, how have you solved them?

Thanks in advance for your input, and again, Awesome forum you guys!
-Scott
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:01 PM   #2
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Re: Are those 50s style beds really comfy or hard on backs?

Memory foam topper from Costco. Solves all the problems and folds nicely over the back when the couch is up.
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:44 PM   #3
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Re: Are those 50s style beds really comfy or hard on backs?

For me all it takes is a 1" foam topper to even it out. But since I only have bed high storage (no cabinets) and the the bed spans the full width of the van the driver side seat hinge is a bit of a poker. Most "normal" RB 50 vans would not have this problem.
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:21 AM   #4
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Are those 50s style beds really comfy or hard on backs?

Self inflating mats is what we use on top of our eb50.

Without it, not so comfy.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:09 AM   #5
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Re: Are those 50s style beds really comfy or hard on backs?

After reading that nearly everybody on this forum uses additional mattress on top of the RB50 bed, we chose to use a "rollover" type bed for our RB50 style layout, instead of the "jackknife" type that SMB uses.

Our bed was made and installed by Van Specialties of Tualitin, OR. They buy the rollover mechanisim, then build the frame and put on a plywood base so it's perfectly flat. They can put various foam in it - we chose 5" firm. Our rear platform extension is 3" foam. The rollover part of the bed is 12" long, so the crack doesn't fall at a major pressure point. Overall our bed is comfortable with no additional mattress. It is a little firm but that should make it last longer (?).

When made into a bed, the rollover part isn't supported very well, and it seems flimsy. It is fine for sleeping but not so good for sitting on the edge of the bed or when climbing in and out. So I made some removable legs to support it in the down position.

With all that said, I don't think Sportsmobile will install that type of seat facing forward, because it isn't technically rated for passengers or crash tested. Since there are just two of us we aren't concerned about the crash testing.

As far as RB50 vs. gaucho layout, the RB50 gives much more space for stowage (under the seat), while still maintaining a fairly large open space in front of the side door when the seat is up. It is true you have to go outside to access the rear stowage area, but after all we are camping.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:29 PM   #6
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Re: Are those 50s style beds really comfy or hard on backs?

I'd like to see pictures of this rollover bed. Thanks.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:06 AM   #7
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Re: Are those 50s style beds really comfy or hard on backs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by macmcintire
I'd like to see pictures of this rollover bed. Thanks.
I also found the patent for the mechanism - threw the sketch in.




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Old 11-13-2012, 11:32 AM   #8
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Re: Are those 50s style beds really comfy or hard on backs?

So the seat back folds down in front of the seat bench cushion up?

Nice. You probably don't have that "50" gap behind the bench when in seat mode.
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:26 PM   #9
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Re: Are those 50s style beds really comfy or hard on backs?

That looks a lot like the mechanism in my late 90's SMB with a "lengthwise" gaucho. It works pretty slickly. In my case the gaucho seat cushion is around 30" wide x 79" long, and the back is around 14" high (same length as gaucho of course). The way it works is that the backrest "somersaults" over the seat cushion to wind up flat and even with the seat cushion but in front of it (in my case then making the bed wider). They fit together tightly - no gap at the seam.

One disadvantage to it in the case of the long gaucho (but would not be an issue on the "50") is that when "somersaulting," the backrest sort of brushes along the gaucho seat top, so one has to remove all bulky bedding/pillows to some (?) other surface when making and unmaking the bed, or it won't go. Also the gaucho with the backrest in backrest-position is a bit narrow for napping.

(Sorry, getting off "50" topic here, but maybe this will be of interest to someone...)

I initially removed the couch back and just used the gaucho seat base as a lounge/bed. But then it was not as nice for sitting on during the day, because no backrest (back was in storage), and it also could not be made into a wider bed. Slightly unsatisfactory.

I've just come up with a new plan, which is to make it so I can slide the gaucho base out around 9", so it will clear the backrest (which will stay in place). Then I'll have an easily made bed wide enough for one, or for napping, and no need to remove all bedding/pillows for each transformation. As a side benefit, that will leave enough aisle space for legs, for morning/evening tooth brushing, etc. (when the couch back is flipped out there is not really any space in the aisle to speak of). And the couch back will be functional for during the day, and could still be deployed in the stock way to make a full bed. Win/win!
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