ceiling hatch conversion

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jamesythe3rd
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ceiling hatch conversion

Post by jamesythe3rd » Mon May 06, 2013 9:45 pm

Hi all,
I'm currently scoping options for altering or restructuring the AFT tilting floor/ceiling in order that my growing kids can get easier access and egress from the top deck. The current hatch is proving problematic for nocturnal trips to the loo!
Does anyone know of a diy solution that does not involve dismantling, sawing, welding etc. Failing that, any suggestions as to viable options or experts, in Scotland if poss.
Thanks in advance.
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Driver+Passengers
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Re: ceiling hatch conversion

Post by Driver+Passengers » Tue May 07, 2013 7:52 am

Choosing/making a matress that allows easy access to the hatch when the beds are made is the first thing.

As far as modifications, one of the easiest things is to remove the pins from the small trapdoor hinges to turn it into a "slide" hatch instead of a "hinge" hatch. Unless you have well trained kids, there's always the possibility of it turning and dropping through. :shock:

After that, you're into turning the ceiling round, splitting the ceiling in two, or removing it completely and replacing it with bed-boards or slats. Others will be along shortly with their experiences. There are plenty of threads on here on the subject - search cat-flap, roof reversal, bed boards, etc...

Also consider a cab-bed for one...

Good luck,
Matt.
Last edited by Driver+Passengers on Tue May 07, 2013 8:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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umbongocat
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Re: ceiling hatch conversion

Post by umbongocat » Tue May 07, 2013 8:12 am

The catflap is another great option that makes access to the roof much easier. 321 Away offer them very cheaply. It involves sawing the roof in half in some way and re-inforcing it. Named after me but umbongochris came up with the idea. Have a look under his profile for pics. If you can't find any, I'll post some up later
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Re: ceiling hatch conversion

Post by digitalgypsy » Tue May 07, 2013 2:42 pm

Hey Jimmy,
Not sure if this will help but worth a look: http://www.clearcutconversions.co.uk/co ... ation.html
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umbongocat
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Re: ceiling hatch conversion

Post by umbongocat » Tue May 07, 2013 3:57 pm

digitalgypsy wrote:Hey Jimmy,
Not sure if this will help but worth a look: http://www.clearcutconversions.co.uk/co ... ation.html

That's a hell of a price :shock:

321 Away do a much better one using the existing roof which saves on the weight because plywood is quite heavy. Think 321 charge nearly half that price

Here's some pics of ours which was the prototype. They since have done many of them and call it the "catflap" the ones they do now look a little nicer as the metal bits are covered in felt so they're not freezing when you lean on it!

http://s1194.photobucket.com/user/umbon ... t=3&page=1
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heavylevy
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Re: ceiling hatch conversion

Post by heavylevy » Tue May 07, 2013 4:16 pm

hi jimmy

Try the link below only two bolt so free to do and you get the satifaction that you have done it yourself and not paid to have it done

http://igmaynard.co.uk/bongo/forum/view ... 44&t=57627

cheers

adrian
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jamesythe3rd
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Re: ceiling hatch conversion

Post by jamesythe3rd » Tue May 07, 2013 5:45 pm

thanks again for the swift response, food for thought. Don't think I fancy another 3am finger trapped screaming incident resulting in a domino effect waking of every other kid on the camp site! :oops:
Mike B
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Re: ceiling hatch conversion

Post by Mike B » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:24 pm

Hi just joined here after getting a bongo 2 weeks ago. went away this last weekend in it and found it hard to sleep upstairs . fond on here to swap the inner roof around so have just done it today. quite easy rely and well works better , had a few snags along the way but to be expected.
Any way Hi all and great info
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Re: ceiling hatch conversion

Post by Bob » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:48 pm

Well done Mike, and welcome aboard. 8)
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Re: ceiling hatch conversion

Post by Mike B » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:01 pm

cut the hatch in half today to make a bi fold hatch £11 pound in parts and works excellent
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Re: ceiling hatch conversion

Post by silvern » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:21 pm

This has worked well for me over the past 7 years...
I didn't want to faff about with big boards or expensive conversions so I experimented a bit and eventually ended up taking out the AFT ceiling panel and replacing it with fabric-covered timber slats that roll/fold back.
Image

I removed the original ceiling panel and installed the slats in its place. Here, the slats are shown partially rolled back a bit to allow access.
Image
To look at you wouldn't know it wasn't a standard fit item as the grey fabric is quite a good match (well, good enough).

The slats completely cover the roof opening and are held in place at the front end (cab) end by velcro. The slats are held together by straps which are screwed in (see below) and allow it to be rolled or folded back, as required to gain access to the roof.
Image
I refitted the standard interior light onto the last slat (not shown here). The last slat is a bit wider and lifts up when the roof is raised (via a bit of string - technology!).

I keep a 1" memory foam matress up there so there is nothing else to carry except sleeping bags. Usually, our kids (9 and 5, now 15 & 11) sleep up there with a few of the slats rolled back so they can nip up and down. If I sleep up there (the 35mm timber is easily strong enough for adults) I roll the whole thing flat so that I have the whole length.

In practice I find it more convenient than sleeping on top of the hatch, or moving big boards about. May not suit everyone, but it's cheap & cheerful and it works for us. Cost me about £15-20 in timber and some grey bed sheets. Also, I still have the original roof panel in the garage whenever I want to re-fit it.
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cobbdu1
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Re: ceiling hatch conversion

Post by cobbdu1 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:34 pm

Hi Silvern. I can want to give this a go but can’t see you images. Is there any way you could post them again please?
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Tony x
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Re: ceiling hatch conversion

Post by Tony x » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:34 pm

It's a lot of work but I put a second hatch in, just like the factory one but a little shorter. You need a second bedboard with the trapdoor for this. I paid £100 delivered for one off ebay.
You have to turn the central light through 90° but construction is as per how the factory did theirs and is straightforward but time consuming.
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Re: ceiling hatch conversion

Post by silvern » Sun Mar 31, 2019 4:24 pm

cobbdu1 wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:34 pm
Hi Silvern. I can want to give this a go but can’t see you images. Is there any way you could post them again please?
Sorry for the delay, I don't visit the forum as often these days, I've tried to re-link the photos in my original post here, fingers crossed...

This has worked well for me over the past 7 years...
I didn't want to faff about with big boards or expensive conversions so I experimented a bit and eventually ended up taking out the AFT ceiling panel and replacing it with fabric-covered timber slats that roll/fold back.
Image
Image

I removed the original ceiling panel and installed the slats in its place. Here, the slats are shown partially rolled back a bit to allow access.
Image
To look at you wouldn't know it wasn't a standard fit item as the grey fabric is quite a good match (well, good enough).

The slats completely cover the roof opening and are held in place at the front end (cab) end by velcro. The slats are held together by straps which are screwed in (see below) and allow it to be rolled or folded back, as required to gain access to the roof.
Image
I refitted the standard interior light onto the last slat (EDIT - shown below). The last slat is a bit wider and lifts up when the roof is raised (via a bit of string - technology!).
Image

I keep a 1" memory foam matress up there so there is nothing else to carry except sleeping bags. Usually, our kids (9 and 5, now 15 & 11) sleep up there with a few of the slats rolled back so they can nip up and down. If I sleep up there (the 35mm timber is easily strong enough for adults) I roll the whole thing flat so that I have the whole length.

In practice I find it more convenient than sleeping on top of the hatch, or moving big boards about. May not suit everyone, but it's cheap & cheerful and it works for us. Cost me about £15-20 in timber and some grey bed sheets. Also, I still have the original roof panel in the garage whenever I want to re-fit it.
Image
cobbdu1
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Re: ceiling hatch conversion

Post by cobbdu1 » Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:58 am

Thanks for that. My plan is to try and turn the interior roof around first. If it goes wrong I've got your option to fall back on.
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