How to sleep 2 and still have my wheelchair on board?

Valentinat30

Full Member
Good morning all!
So I have a VW T30 SWB and at the moment I can manage to sleep 1 + doggo.
The van is a WAV with rear tail lift. Ideally I would like to sleep 2 + doggo and still take my electric wheelchair.

I am wondering if there is anything I can do to the front 2 seats or behind the front seats? I have considered pop top but might struggle to access it?

I know getting a bigger van will help but don't have the funds right now. Defo consider it in the future though.

Love to hear your thoughts and ideas. Many thanks x
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RAW

Full Member
I know getting a bigger van will help but don't have the funds right now. Defo consider it in the future though.
Well as the VW range tend to fetch a lot with re-sale I would think that you could afford something bigger if you sell what you have with the funds provided from that sale.
As far as doing something with what you have could you move wheelchair access to the side door, and then put a fixed bed at the rear with access and storage below. Then you could open Rear and be in a warm bed watching the environment outside...
 

Valentinat30

Full Member
Well as the VW range tend to fetch a lot with re-sale I would think that you could afford something bigger if you sell what you have with the funds provided from that sale.
As far as doing something with what you have could you move wheelchair access to the side door, and then put a fixed bed at the rear with access and storage below. Then you could open Rear and be in a warm bed watching the environment outside...
Thanks Raw
As for selling up. Size would be an issue for parking in everyday situations. With councils putting up posts left right and centre and parking spaces being too tight, putting the lift on the side or having a bigger van for everyday use would be harder than it already is. So the bigger van would be a second van along side my everyday WAV.

Thank you for the suggestion, I will definitely look at the side ramp opption with a bigger van!
 
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wildebus

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I think RAWs suggestion about releasing some funds by swapping to a non-VW van has a lot of merit :)

In terms of space utilization, if you had seat swivels on the front and then had an extension to make the seat base into a full length bed length that might do the trick? There are a few converters who do this this with the T5s. The downside would be that if you do this with the passenger side you would end up blocking the sliding door, which is not ideal.
 
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SquirrellCook

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At a glance our beast "Murky" fits the requirements. More than enough room in the back with a low floor, so easy ramp. Then it starts to go wrong. The rear door is lift up, so that could be an issue if you were on your own. The bed is above the rear storage which is also a wet room with shower and toilet. The bed is quite a climb form the main floor level. The toilet is an unflattering crawl to get down. Then because it's a bigger vehicle there is the steps to get into it.
I'm just using this as an example, for every pleasure there is a price :(
 
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Valentinat30

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T5 has got the be most expensive small van and least suited for you, which I think is the gist of the other replies?
I do agree with all of the above @Pugwash69 it was bought really for practicality as a disabled vehical, and for a singleton it has served well to sleep in short tearm. However, 1 is now 2 and in this weather a one man tent is not what he wants, especially since I always get the van ;) . Since the funds are low and it looks like the only opption would be for me to get another van, I am looking into making the front seats into beds for the time being.
@Geeky Philip and I were chatting about ex ambulances and I am thinking that might be my best route while still running my VW as an everyday WAV untill i take the plunge to life full time van life!
 
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Pugwash69

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When I loaned my LDV Maxus to some friends they put a single inflatable mattress across the 3 seats in the cab. Even if you've got a walk-through you could bridge the gap with some support.
 
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wildebus

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When I loaned my LDV Maxus to some friends they put a single inflatable mattress across the 3 seats in the cab. Even if you've got a walk-through you could bridge the gap with some support.
If you are thinking laying sideways, note that the T5 is a pretty narrow van (around 4'6" wide internally) so could be a bit tricky for most folk (that option is often employed using a stretcher type affair sitting on the doors for children upto around 10 I think?)
On a "full-size" van like the Maxus, I agree that a near-length bed is perfectly doable like that and a good idea for an extra bed (y)
 
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Valentinat30

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A bed over the front seat was my first thought. But like @wildebus says, I can only find things for the T5 to suit children. Not sure I would feel safe putting a man on it! Sadly to smaller space for a single inflatable :,(

I think for now I will look to change the front seats for lay flats. I can always make a couple of sponge blocks for extended leg room. Not ideal but your all spot on that it will be a struggle with this van.
 

wildebus

Full Member
You said about a tent not being much fun but have you considered an attached awning and "safari room" for more space? You could heat that along with the van interior and make it part of the one space?
 

Valentinat30

Full Member
I love the sound of safari room!! :giggle:
We did look at some electric awning (no sides) and drive away awnings. I am intrigued how I could heat this area?
 

wildebus

Full Member
I love the sound of safari room!! :giggle:
We did look at some electric awning (no sides) and drive away awnings. I am intrigued how I could heat this area?
You could fit a diesel heater maybe. They are a popular option in T5s.
What might be a good option in your case is one of the Chinese heaters that are pre-fitted in a housing such as this - https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/12V-Air-Diesel-Heater-5000W-4-Holes-LCD-Monitor-PLANAR-For-Trucks-Boats-Bus-Car/293289460210?hash=item44496a01f2:g:GAwAAOSwWI1drXWL
Something like this would keep up with heating needs and you could direct the heat outlets into the awning room and the van itself through the open slider door.
Then when/if you change your camping van could use it on that and even take it apart and fit the heater permanently in the new van :)

I used to have a diesel heater in my T5 LWB van and it certainly got it warm enough. I used a drive away awning (Kyham Motordome) on it at VW Festivals and it was very handy (I found the T5 quite cramped as a camper for two TBH).
 

Nabsim

Full Member
Can you fit fold up/down single bunk beds to one side?
Do you have to have it as a WAV or would one of the seat conversions that ket you enter from a wheelchair do the job? All depends on mobility once inside really but that would allow more options if practical
 

Valentinat30

Full Member
Can you fit fold up/down single bunk beds to one side?
Do you have to have it as a WAV or would one of the seat conversions that ket you enter from a wheelchair do the job? All depends on mobility once inside really but that would allow more options if practical
Hi @Nabsim
The VW has to stay as a WAV so I can get my electric wheelchair on board. When I go vanlife alone I take my manual wheelchair, which is not really suitable as alot of the time I am alone. Without measuring, I am not sure how much space I have left to play with, if I took the singe rear passenger seat out. A rock n roll bed defo wont fit. My current bed is 185cm and that is snug behind the lift, but still can't get in the wheelchair I need when that is in.

Now seeing the DVLA list for laptops, I defo won't be spending going up. Until I find the funds to get me an ex ambulace, I am looking at what I can do with the front seats and awning set up as the most reasonable set up to allow room I think.
 

Nabsim

Full Member
Yes sorry, I missed the electric bit for the wheelchair, that makes a big difference. Not sure if you have considered how you are going to keep that charged up when off grid but that could be costly.

Lots of sun solar works well but that’s viable barely 6 months of the year in UK for moderate to large power users without spending a lot. I would have been stuck a few times where I gave left my mobility scooter charging too long although it will be much less problematic if your wheelchair can take a quick charge.

Ex ambulance, library bus or even mini bus fir disabled sounds like best option fir when you get round to building one
 

wildebus

Full Member
Yes sorry, I missed the electric bit for the wheelchair, that makes a big difference. Not sure if you have considered how you are going to keep that charged up when off grid but that could be costly.

Lots of sun solar works well but that’s viable barely 6 months of the year in UK for moderate to large power users without spending a lot. I would have been stuck a few times where I gave left my mobility scooter charging too long although it will be much less problematic if your wheelchair can take a quick charge.

Ex ambulance, library bus or even mini bus fir disabled sounds like best option fir when you get round to building one
I don't know much about WAVs or whatever, so forgive my ignorance and maybe incorrect/inappropriate comments ....
Ref the Minibus for disabled bit, I think that has potential? My VW LT came with a undermounted wheelchair lift at the rear door with a remote that could be accessed by the person on the lift.
I didn't fit one, but a folding bed could be installed which is out the way when not in use (like a build on this forum that someone has to allow his motorbike to travel inside).
Would that kind of build work?
In terms of weight, those lifts are blooming heavy (I think mine was around 300kg?) but I *think* there is an increased weight allowance permitted on a standard license when there is mobility equipment fitted (an extra 750Kg?) so a 3.5t GVW limit becomes a 4.25t GVW instead (in terms of licenses. the vehicle still needs to be able to accomodate any extra weight)
 
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Valentinat30

Full Member
Yes sorry, I missed the electric bit for the wheelchair, that makes a big difference. Not sure if you have considered how you are going to keep that charged up when off grid but that could be costly.

Lots of sun solar works well but that’s viable barely 6 months of the year in UK for moderate to large power users without spending a lot. I would have been stuck a few times where I gave left my mobility scooter charging too long although it will be much less problematic if your wheelchair can take a quick charge.

Ex ambulance, library bus or even mini bus fir disabled sounds like best option fir when you get round to building one
I have encountered the issues with charging the chair. So far I have windled my way around a full or partial charge at many a coffee shop for the price of a coffee and slice of cake!

I agree that I won't be able to skimp on the solar, and have thought also about a generator for off grid. If I am lucky my new set of wheels might even come with one installed?
 
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