The process of choosing a RnR bed is a difficult one as demonstrated by the recent thread on the vwT4forum. I’m not going to go it here needless to say I cannot afford an OEM one and neither do I require one given the frequency that I carry passengers. For me it was a toss up between the Bluebird version and the one made by Cannons Forge. I chose CF on the basis that the seat belts attach to the Bed and not the van sides.Dave at CF was brilliant during the planning stage and did everything he could to ensure that the bed would be perfect for my requirements. I ordered the bed on the 11th Feb and arranged delivery for the 16th Feb (3/4 frame is £290; foam at £80; 2×3 point belts at £50 each (£100); boards @ £40; delivery at £50; total £560). It arrived at about 8.00am on the day really well packaged.
So since then I have fitted the bed and installed the ply panels – what follows is my experience of the process. So we lifted the bed into place and checked the points for mounting. No problems here so with the points duly marked we lifted the bed forwards and drilled the holes. Once the holes had been increased to the appropriate size we were able to check the bed fitted and then remove it so the floor could be fitted. Once the floor was fitted I was able to refit the bed. I cut the spacer pipe to length and installed the bolts etc as specified by Dave. The bed was easy to fit and works a treat.
The bed looks the business and in terms of the metal work I have no complaints – it is a top bit of engineering. There are four very small issues:
1) I had previously had the front mount points full of auto body sealant. This made installing the bolts very tricky and I had to be uber-careful not to cross or rip the threads. The extent of the problem is such that the edge of the thread on the bolts has been blunted and is less pointed. I am now concerned that the bolts may not have their full strength and could pull through in an accident. I am proposing to back up the mounting points underneath the van with additional 10mm nylock nuts. I may even go the efforts of contacting Dave and seeing if he can send a pair of replacement bolts – but that’s a further step.
2) Our family has a reputation for fixing things well and I have really tighten up the bolts well. It would have been good if Dave had supplied a torque value for the bolts but he has not so we can’t work to that value. Anyway the problem is that the supplied washers have started to deform and pull through the slot in the base bed. Again this could be a concern in an accident but is easily fixed by using some slightly heavier weight square washers bought from B&Q for about £3.
3) I noticed at this point was that the bed when in seat mode slightly touches the side of the van. I could do with another 5mm on the side to ensure that the bed doesn’t rub and mark the carpet. Anyone with more adventurous carpet may actually struggle to get the bed fitted.
4) Lastly I was not overly impressed with the quality of ply. I guess Dave assumes that we will be mounting the cushions on to the ply directly but I have decided to make my cushions removable. This will allow me to use them outside the van and take them off for a wash if they get dirty. If I was do this again I would probably purchase my own ply and get a better quality at the same time. Another point connected with this is that the supplied screws are too long if you are looking to remove the cushions have have a wood base – they pushed through!
Anyway, a few very small points and I am sure Dave would have been happy to advise if I had called him at the time. Top Job 😉
And here is the reply from Dave on all the issues I raised.
Hi Chris, thanks for that and its great to have honest constructive criticism
I will try and reply in number order:
- When we fit we always run down the existing captivated nuts with a 10mm tap, this will prevent this problem occurring.
- We are looking at getting a more informative info pack together which i will include torque settings for bolts. Re the washers we will look to supply different washers with the beds, in the meantime we will double up on the large diameter washers.
- Most of the beds we have fitted are ok on touching the ply sides, but its no problem for us to manufacture with 5mm less overhang on passenger side, (we were just trying to squeeze as much width as possible on the 3/4 seats).
- As you mentioned, we supply these screws for fixed upholstery fixing and did not realise you were having loose cushions. We tend to screw the boards down from the top in this case.
- Again with the ply, the better quality Eastern ply we use is fine for fixed upholstery as its covered. I agree with loose cushions you will be better off with a different board quality.
Thanks again for the honest feedback.