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Old 09-28-2023, 03:12 PM   #1
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Dinette bed support question.

So my van is equipped with the dinette bed. The manual says to slide the seat bottoms out to meet in the middle and put the seat backs down between the seat bottoms and the wall, easy as pie. But what keeps the bed from folding in half where the 2 seat bottoms meet? Most dinettes use the table dropped on a cleat of some sort to provide this added and critically needed support, but my table is WAY too short, and there is no cleat present to hold the table up.

I am seriously thinking about just making a quick 2x2 lumber rectangle to put in place on each end to support not just the seam, but the entire span between the bases. It's either than or add cleats and use the stubby table Sportsmobile gave me...

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Old 09-28-2023, 03:34 PM   #2
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Hmmm.. bed in my van is the same design (though not SMB). The manufacturer provided a second short table that fills in the gap you describe. Is there a second flat piece (tabletop, plywood, etc) somewhere in the van that is meant to do this job?
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Old 09-28-2023, 03:36 PM   #3
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Couldn't or doesn't it have fold down legs attached to the seat bottom frames?

I only saw one of these setups years ago when I looked at one with it.
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Old 09-28-2023, 03:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N147JK View Post
Hmmm.. bed in my van is the same design (though not SMB). The manufacturer provided a second short table that fills in the gap you describe. Is there a second flat piece (tabletop, plywood, etc) somewhere in the van that is meant to do this job?
Sadly, no, there are some unexplainable rubber stops on the sides of the dinette bases which might serve as supports to say 1/2" plywood panel, but the van is 30 years old, and did not come to me with any additional fill panel, and the manual says nothing about it.

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Couldn't or doesn't it have fold down legs attached to the seat bottom frames?

I only saw one of these setups years ago when I looked at one with it.
Nope. The seat bottoms are simply cushions upholstered over plywood bases with some chromed stops to keep them from sliding around in the seat position...

Flip down legs would be simple enough to make and install though. Not a terrible idea, and would certainly be space efficient which is what I need n this thing...
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Old 09-28-2023, 04:48 PM   #5
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Does sound like you could attach some supports on the dinette bases for a plywood panel.

With just plywood under the cushions, you would have to work out any clearance issues for legs with the cushions in the dinette mode. There are flip down legs available. My gaucho has them. They fold back or horizontal against whatever they support. For my gaucho, it is the back cushion since that is what becomes my bed extension in the down position.
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Old 09-28-2023, 04:55 PM   #6
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Hmmm.. bed in my van is the same design (though not SMB). The manufacturer provided a second short table that fills in the gap you describe. Is there a second flat piece (tabletop, plywood, etc) somewhere in the van that is meant to do this job?
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Does sound like you could attach some supports on the dinette bases for a plywood panel.

With just plywood under the cushions, you would have to work out any clearance issues for legs with the cushions in the dinette mode. There are flip down legs available. My gaucho has them. They fold back or horizontal against whatever they support. For my gaucho, it is the back cushion since that is what becomes my bed extension in the down position.
Yeah, I just need to figure out where to get the hardware for the flip down legs, I think I am going to go that way... Simple, durable, and almost factory correct, or at least what the factory should have done...
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Old 09-28-2023, 06:40 PM   #7
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Yeah, I just need to figure out where to get the hardware for the flip down legs, I think I am going to go that way... Simple, durable, and almost factory correct, or at least what the factory should have done...
I see a few longer options on Amazon that could be cut down.

The Field Van Store (formerly known as the Sportsmobile Store as you may know) sells a lot of parts not listed on the website, you might call or email. I have gotten a number of things not listed.
https://shop.fieldvan.com/about-us/#contact
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Old 09-28-2023, 06:56 PM   #8
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Post #6 in this thread offers a link for a bed support, but you can find many sizes available on a Google search
https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/fo...ble-30888.html
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Old 09-29-2023, 06:47 AM   #9
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I had a 98 SMB with the dinette bed setup you described. It had fold-down legs on both sides to support the cushions in the center when folded down. Iíll see if I have a photo kicking around somewhere.
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Old 10-05-2023, 11:32 AM   #10
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I have a 2017 Sprinter built at SMW with the dinette bed, that operates as you described. On mine, when you slide the seat bottoms out to meet in the middle, there is still a fair amount of the cushions that sit in the tracks they slide out on, so the cushions are essentially cantilevered out from each side. I was dubious at first but has worked just fine. We've been using it since it was built with no problems. Since I sleep on the side of the bed that is toward the front of the van, my wife has been known to just step up on the middle of the bed, over the joint between the two cushions and walk towards the back to get to her side of the bed. She weighs something like 140 and I've never noticed any sag when she walks on it, certainly none over the years of doing that. It still seems to be as flat as when we picked the van up.
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