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  3. Thursday, 19 December 2019
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This is for those new to the hobby to share the "workarounds" we have evolved with our van.
Ours is an Autoquest 100, which is based on the Peugeot Boxer chassis and the layout is similar to that used in many other maker's vans.
It is nominally 4 berth, with 4 travelling seats; there is also what is called a child's berth, but more of that later. You can see the layout in the following pictures:




It is not until you actually start using the van that you realise that there are some limitations with this type of layout. The manufacturer calls this a 4 berth. There is a double over the cab and another double can be rigged where you see the table. The so-called child's berth is on the opposite side to the table.
See what happens when you rig the ladder in order to climb up into the over cab berth.


The foot of the ladder fits into the gangway OK, but there is no space for it if you rig the base for the dining area double berth as you can see here:


The problem is that, if the dining area double bed is rigged, there is no way you can use the over cab double at the same time. Theoretically the van is a 4 berth, but practically, for us, is is only a 2 berth. Although you could use our two singles concept and the over cab double, but that was not what the manufacturer envisaged :D

We found that it is possible to rig the dining area berth as a large single, and leave the gangway clear, and that is what we have ended up doing.



Pulling out the bed base only to the edge of the seats means you have to drill a couple of holes either side and use two long bolts and nuts to secure it in place. If you don't pull it out all the way, there is a danger of it sliding off the rails. :D

Rather than rig the ladder and me to sleep above the cab (we have tried that and it is OK despite me being 6ft 2 ins tall), we have used a trick to extend the child's berth for my better half. This works only if your front passenger seat has a swivel. Ours did not, but it was simple to buy the swivel unit on Ebay and it was easy to fit.


I obtained a memory foam mattress and cut it to shape:


The memory foam mattress being stored in the over cab berth when not needed.

So there you have our work around to make the best use of the van for our needs. It takes about 10 minutes to rig the berths for sleeping and we don't mind that. A small price to pay against a much bigger and more expensive van to operate. Ideally it would be nice to have a fixed rear double bed, but you are talking about a totally different type of van. It is not until you start to use your van regularly, that you find out the problems and limitations and you invent your own solutions.

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