Revised headboard for Prius camping

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Accessories and Modifications' started by Robert Holt, Sep 21, 2018.

  1. Robert Holt

    Robert Holt Senior Member

    Joined:
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    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    For sleeping on top of the folded-down rear seats whilst camping in our 2012 Prius hatchback, I built a headrest board to fit between the rear and front seats so that we have a continuous flat sleeping surface. The support arms for the headboard now fold flat for easier stowage, and the aluminum pipes that insert into the rear seat headrest post holes for supporting each end of the board are now secured at one edge of the board, as can be seen in this picture of the completed headboard on he workbench:

    14D56B3D-0BE2-4BCB-91EE-70444933CF66.jpeg

    So with rear seats folded flat and the headrests removed, the headrest board first is placed on top of the seat backs. Note: the support arms are now attached to the board with piano hinges which you can see in the picture below.

    7D9376FD-ABEA-4058-981B-A1582675B0A3.jpeg


    The support arms are now rotated into the upright position, and then secured by rotating the piano hinge on the other side up and over short studs , and then screwing on nuts (I have the nuts in rubber sleeves and just screwmthem on hand tight.). The support poles have also been removed and inserted into the holes for the rear seat headrests behind the driver’s seat and behind the passenger’s seat in the picture below.

    605432A8-7F26-41AE-9113-12E29CC37FE5.jpeg


    Next, the headrest board is now just rotated over onto the the aluminum support poles, and then the front seats are simply shoved back onto the front edge of the headrest board as in the picture below. The front edge of the headrest board rests on top of the rear top of the storage bin between thr two front seats, which gives it additional support in the front.

    D3978537-CC05-4EB6-84FF-B528A315CBFA.jpeg


    Demonstration by spouse in the picture below does not include the usual foam pads and sleeping bag! We are currently evaluating using a “top quilt” instead of a sleeping bag to get in and out more easily. We often exit from sleeping by the rear doors, in which case we will lean or sit on the edge of the headrest board, so it is important that the board is built to be stiff (I used 2 layers of thin plywood) and securely in place.

    2A075DF9-1197-4567-87F7-DDF88AB2E4C0.jpeg
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    well done again robert!(y)
     
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  3. Robert Holt

    Robert Holt Senior Member

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    Thank you, bisco.
    I am trying to reduce my carbon footprint, and when serving as the “bedroom” with the attached tent as living + dining room, the Prius becomes a perfectly acceptable Recreational Vehicle. The milage shift compared to my old pickup + camping trailer RV is 53-54 mpg versus 10-11 mpg when towing that trailer, so I creating greenhouse gasses approximately 1/5 as much. That at least allows me to sleep at night.
     
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  4. Starbrand

    Starbrand Senior Member

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    Location:
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    Vehicle:
    2015 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    i'm in love with your take on the modding community. In my opinion, i think the variety you give serves a specific niche and I appreciate what you contribute to the PriusChat community. KEEP IT UP! (y)(y)(y)
     
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  5. Robert Holt

    Robert Holt Senior Member

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    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
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    Thank you kindly.
    I am considering installing supplemental LED daytime running lights in the tow hook holes located on the left and right of the 2012 bumper cover, as I seem to keep having a daytime problem of folks pulling right out in front of me from side streets. Not sure if the base problem is the invisibility of the silver-gray color of our Prius, or simply rude drivers in our area, but the mod would hopefully reduce that problem and give increase visibility to supplement the low beam headlights when driving at night. I have the necessary lights, but fabricating the mounts and safely routing the electrical feed would take some time. What would be your opinion of trying that mod?
     
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