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Thread: Herbie's Chevy Astrolander/ZMB Build Thread

  1. #221
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    1,916
    Lots of work, not too many photos to share, yet.

    The Rock-n-Roll bed is nearly complete. All the fit-up, welding, and grinding is done. I'm working on the finishing in pieces because it's hard enough to move the big pieces around and there's moving parts.

    Here's the "base" frame. On a VW bus, this would simply be three pieces of plywood bolted together and fastened to the rear firewall. Here's an excellent set of photos of how a Rock-n-Roll bed normally goes together. Obviously I don't have a rear firewall or engine cover to sleep on, so there's a bit more "structure" to my version.



    The frame is just over 8" high, so I can still fit my Valterra 12gallon tank under it. The Rock-n-Roll hinges attach to the side pieces, one bolt through the center tube (sleeved), and the other through the plate. Setting the angle of the hinges is pretty critical to getting the "rake" of the seat back correct. The raised front tube (right side) sets the angle of the seat bottom, but also has to be at the right height for the supports to sit on when the bed is deployed. This will be easier to understand later. I've left the rear cross tube open as I plan to use it to chase wiring through. The chunk of angle-iron on the left attaches to the two short upright tubes on the rear - this makes an adjustable perch for the rear portion of the bed and substitutes for the rear engine-lid where the bed comes to rest on a VW.



    The base flipped over, and primered. I'm re-using the same holes through the floor that I drilled for the old Conversion-van bench seat, so the passenger side bolts right through the seat's frame (also sleeved), while the driver's side has an extended flange. I did it this way, rather than just making the frame wider, so that I could leave a little room on the driver's side to build out the cabinetry there. You can also see the short length of angle-iron on the forward end of the driver's side of the frame, this is part of what will hold the water tank in place once it's all bolted down.



    And here's the the seat bottom. Structure is framed in steel, with tabs to hold the plywood flush with the tubes. The "corner" pieces are short lengths of 1"x3" rectangular tubing. I didn't want to weld the seat pieces to the hinges (for ease of finishing, moving, rebuilding, etc.) and the hinge plates normally just bolt directly to the plywood, so I needed something substantial to bolt to. Using the hinges as templates, I drilled these pieces first, added weld-nuts, and then built the rest of the seat base frame onto them. The seat back (not pictured, yet), is pretty similar, except that the "top" of the frame is a bit more complex because I had to graft in the folded-steel sections that the headrest tubes mate with (more on this later). After the steel is painted, all the plywood will get a coat or two of wipe-on poly, just like the fridge cabinet I built last year.
    Last edited by Herbie; 07-25-2017 at 02:47 PM.
    ChooseAdventure.net
    "My minivan is cooler than your bro-truck"
    2003 Chevrolet Astrolander 4WD Van - DIY GTRV PopTop, 4" Lift

  2. #222
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    33
    Hmm, your images aren't loading for me. Miiiight be my browser. I'm super interested in the bed mount. Seems way sturdier than my piano hinge build right now.

  3. #223
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    1,916
    Quote Originally Posted by jdreier View Post
    Hmm, your images aren't loading for me. Miiiight be my browser. I'm super interested in the bed mount. Seems way sturdier than my piano hinge build right now.
    Dammit. Every time I think I have Google Photos figured out. Edited the links and hopefully that fixes it up.
    ChooseAdventure.net
    "My minivan is cooler than your bro-truck"
    2003 Chevrolet Astrolander 4WD Van - DIY GTRV PopTop, 4" Lift

  4. #224
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    FLORIDA
    Posts
    421
    Working....


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #225
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    109
    Quote Originally Posted by Herbie View Post
    Dammit. Every time I think I have Google Photos figured out. Edited the links and hopefully that fixes it up.
    Easy peasy Google drive instructions.

    Long live the Astros!



    Her first morning after sleeping in a van. Her face says it all (many years later she said she was joking for the picture). And it's going to be 16 years so... I guess the creepy 23 y.o. with a van wasn't so bad after all!
    Currently building Gandalf (1998 Roadtrek Versatile 200 2WD)

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