Episode two from Exploria, and check out their tips on fitting two of the most wanted items any windsurfer could want…
Van Conversions – Get ready for those windy weekends away
The presence of those odd sunny days and rising temperatures suggests that spring is almost here. It’s time to think about planning for those windy weeks or weekends away. Exploria are here on hand to give you some handy tips to help make your vehicle a little more comfortable for those times away and on how to utilise your van to its full potential.
There are various ways in which you can make your van more comfortable, but one great idea can be adding a removable bed system for those windy stop-overs and holidays. Often, finding a bed system that works well for windsurfers can be difficult, due to the amount of kit that needs to be stored inside the van – and let’s face, it bedding down amongst wet sandy kit is not ideal and is pretty uncomfortable. Although it can seem a fantastic idea as last orders are called at the bar, it doesn’t seem such a great idea the morning after; having spent the night rubbing up against the non slip of your boards and the smelly wet wetsuit that you used as a pillow (which you probably urinated in only hours before)!
Kombi Bed Systems
Bed systems for vans are often very expensive and many are inappropriate for windsurfing use. The Exploria Kombi bed was designed to be a fully removable bed system, as many people also use the vehicle through the week for work purposes. The unit just simply bolts in to the existing tie down points in the rear of the van and is equally easy to store when out of the van. The bed is simple to use and most importantly, allows mass storage underneath and gives a clear area to get changed near the side loading door. The unit also works with the standard rear VW Kombi / Shuttle seats in place. The other pro to this bed system is that it’s easy to store when broken down which is handy if you need the van for work during the week.
The kombi bed is also now available in various heights and can be used to suit other vans if required.
Click on the video below for a demonstration of how to fit the Kombi Bed.
There are various other bed systems that serve as a combined seat and bed system; however, these restrict storage unless your kit is strapped above or to the side – although dripping wet windsurfing kit isn’t ideal when you’re laid below it! Other options are to resort to a bit of DIY and timber to make yourself a rear platform; however, from experience, these can be difficult to make removable and strong enough, especially when trying to make it self-supportive without taking the majority of the rear space in the van.
Regardless of what size of van you have, many people can often find it a little lacking in space and sometimes a little claustrophobic. One great option is to add swivel bases to the front seats, which then opens up the cab space into the rear of the van. Let’s face it; the cab seats are usually the most comfortable, so you might as well use them while you’re sitting around in the van after a hard days sailing or are sat waiting for the wind.
Regardless of which van you have, there are swivel bases to suit most. The most important thing is choosing a safe swivel. In the unfortunate case that you find yourself in an accident, you don’t want to be flying through the windscreen attached to your seat. The other important factor is choosing a swivel that doesn’t rattle, as it’s those little squeaks and rattles as you’re driving along that can drive you insane!
After many years of fitting various swivel bases, we have settled upon a German made swivel base, which is fully TUV approved, rattle free and most importantly crash tested. It is also relatively easy to fit. Below we have shown you the step by step way in which to fit a swivel to your T5 van (bearing in mind you need two single seats to do this). We can also supply and give guidance on fitting swivels to other vans such as Vitos, Sprinters, VW T4’s and various others.
Click on the video below for a demonstration of how to fit a swivel base
For further information please visit www.exploria-online.co.uk
If there are any specific items that you would like Exploria to cover over the next 12 months then please send your requests to firstname.lastname@example.org