Thursday, October 23, 2014

What if: Interior, the chair

 The solution to coming up with a chair that fits the limited space yet will be comfortable in different situations, such as eating dinner or lounging with a good book, has it's root origins in a design I used in another of my rigs where I needed a set of chairs, adjustable for both upright and lounge sitting, that would also function as legs to support the big double bed when it was folded down. (I was more optimistic about my travel-companion situation back then. . .) Even so, there are some significant differences between the two solutions.

Rather than the basic flat seat and back with thick cushions I used on those early chairs, the starting point for this chair's geometry is the tried and true Adirondack.
The chair seat is a pretty standard 20” wide and is sculpted to be a comfortable shape. Additional comfort can be added with a seat cushion. It doesn't have to be thick or fancy to do the job, in fact the $10 stadium cushion sold pretty much everywhere would do nicely.

The space for the chair is slightly over 22” wide which leaves room at the sides for the supports that are key to the chair functioning in several positions.

 The slightly curved chair-back pivots, including folding forward so the chair can be tucked away when in bed mode. The pipe that acts as the hinge for this also extends beyond the chair sides to rest on the supports mentioned in the previous paragraph. This combination of hing ends and support brackets replaces the back legs usually found on chairs. (You know, so they don’t fall over backwards??)

The front of the seat is held up by a pair of traditional legs resting on the floor. These were necessary because the front of the seat extends too far beyond the bed structure to be supported the same way as the back. The bottom of these legs are radiused because the chair seat, which the legs are rigidly fastened to, will tilt at different angles depending on seating position, so flat-bottomed legs wouldn’t work very well.

How it all works:


To store the chair the back is folded forward, more or less flat to the seat, and the chair pushed back on the side supports to the furthest detente. 

The ottoman is then slid under the chair. This tucks the whole thing away so it fits completely under the lowered bed.

To use the chair, the mattress and center mattress support are raised and held in place with a simple strap and hook. The chair is then pulled out to the second detente on the side supports and the back raised to rest against the bottom of the raised mattress support. (This eliminates any additional structure or mechanism, simplifying and lightening the whole shebang.) This position keeps the seat bottom relatively horizontal and the back tilted back from perpendicular a couple degrees and is the ‘sit up and eat’ position.

For a more relaxed seating position, the chair is moved out one more detente. This tilts the seat bottom back about 10 degrees, very much like an Adirondack chair.

Still just resting on the bottom of the raised mattress support, the chair-back is kept at about the same relative angle to the seat, 95 to 97 degrees, again very much like an Adirondack chair.

One final detente keeps the same 10 degree seat bottom angle but reclines the back another 10 degrees or so for even more relaxed sitting.

If I want to be any more relaxed then that then that it’s time to make up the bed!

The exposed mattress platforms on either side of the chair, in addition to being hinged access for the tank and battery areas underneath, act as arm-rests and the large expanse (To the right in this drawing) all the way to the side-wall under what will be the head of the bed, makes a pretty handy end table.

And now to the foot of the matter:

I’m a kick up the feet kind of guy so an ottoman is in order. It has to fit under the chair when stored so that dictates the size. I added a little curve and slant to the top to make it comfortable in a number of positions and, by making the lid hinged and the base a box, I have a place to store small heavy things like the collection of paperbacks and magazines I always carry along.

This setup isn’t perfect and might be a little fiddly, but I think it’s a pretty good use of what I had to work with.

No comments:

Post a Comment