The biggest drawback of the RIB Altair seat fitted into our T5 was that despite its sliding mechanism it was fitted a long way back. This meant there was less room behind the seat so we had to split packing between the back and the middle of the van. In addition Fred sat behind the C post and was getting frustrated with being a long way back and not being able to look out the window.
So our thoughts turned to the alternatives and clearly a sliding system was required. We could retrofit the seats from a VW California / Multivan but these meant sleeping on the squab face when the seat was opened out and a separate rear shelf to give the length. I addition we found that every Cali owner was driving around with a mattress topper so they couldn’t be that comfortable. The next option was a Reimo Variotech which although pricy satisfied our criteria and we nearly went for. However on a chance visit to Uberbus in Poole we saw their flux version of the RIB Altair that uses the VW floor rails system and we were sold. It is the perfect combination of adjustability and comfort.
We liked the RIB seat / bed in our T5, it was comfortable to sleep on which is most important. It is better than many others because it folds out so that the back of the seat components forms a flat mattress rather than sleeping on the squab and seat back, especially as hat is the side Fred travels on. Scopema who make RIB are specialists in aftermarket seating so of course the bed and belts are properly tested. It does end up a little higher that a Cali seat but that doesn’t give us a problem.
We bought the seat from Uberbus and Mirko at Premium Camper in Cornwall fitted the VW floor rails. The seat travels on the rails and locks at 20mm intervals so it can be used in the forward position for travelling and the moved back for living. This effectively leaves a whole Kombi sized space for our kit.
We have added a bracket for the table leg support and Mirko boxed the frame so that now we have cavernous storage for our cloths grips, wash kit and sleeping bags.
Once the seat is opened out it makes a full 6ft x 4ft bed that we get a great nights sleep on and still leaves a lot of overnight storage underneath. We use a fitted sheet on the bed simply because it is easy wash rather than sleep on the seat back.