Originally Posted by PirateChris
Has anybody found a satisfactory approach to adding a temporary additional (3rd) seat to an AS-Interstate Twin?
Hi, Chris. Yes, there is a solution -- which many people may not prefer, admittedly, but here goes.
Personal opinion trigger warning: I think that the twin design on its face is (cue the musical chords) dumb, de-dumb-dumb, DUMB
. The key on every level to efficient operation of a Sprinter camper conversion is versatility
. WHY, then, have about a third of the entire van (the beds) devoted to just one immovable purpose? Those twin mattresses don't even make good seats!
The first-gen Interstates offered a jack-knife couch option. During the day, the couches are placed upright, and our van has four seat belts back there. People can sit sideways with a lap belt which is bolted to the frame of the Sprinter. There are aspects of this design that I don't like - IMO, Airstream had the right idea, but the execution was a bit lacking. Nevertheless, despite the flaws, this option is a whole lot safer than a bean bag or a food cooler placed on the floor and used as a seat.
Both my husband and I have been perfectly happy with the comfort of these jackknife couches being used as beds for the past 4.5 years. Some people don't like that seam in the middle. Well, I'm a side sleeper and I actually find it really comfortable to insert a shoulder in there - it takes the pressure off. The consumer market is now starting to offer a bed with a slot in it where you can insert your shoulder and your upper arm. People pay big bucks for a semi-custom option like that, but our style of jack-knife couch basically offers the same functionality at no extra cost.
Jack-knife couches are still sold today, but I've yet to see anyone do this kind of retrofit to a younger Interstate. One or two people on this forum who wanted this kind of versatility set their minds to finding a first-gen Interstate RS (as it is called), and they did buy that kind.
Here's a pic of the couches up and down (not showing the pairs of seatbelts on each side, which were tucked into the center seams for this photo). I later replaced that the clunky OEM table with a Lagun.
Added bonus: Being able to raise one side and leave the other side down has been a blessing for us as a married couple. I am a morning person. My husband is the farthest thing from being a morning person as any human could possibly be. I get up at the butt-crack of dawn and put my bedding away, and happily sit down on my couch and go about my morning activities. My husband's side of the couch stays down with his unconscious form on it until he musters the ability to join me several hours later.