Rib Seat Bed (Altair) vs California seat bed on rails

Discussion in 'Interiors, Seating, Lining' started by Long Distance Bertha, 5 Jun 2017.

  1. hi everyone, first post on the forum so go easy...!
    We're having a T6 panel van converted and need to make a decision on our rear seating. The converter offers two seating options, one fixed rib seat bed and the other the California seat bed on rails. We like the flexibility of the rail system and this was our original choice but the converter extolled the virtues of the rib seat bed in terms of comfort and less maintenance.
    We have young kids so the idea of them being a bit closer to us on long journeys appeals and also the option of utilising the rear of the van for storage by sliding the seats further forward would benefit us.

    Does anyone have any thoughts or experience that could help our decision? Is the seat on rails worth the extra cost? I had a search around the forum but couldn't find anything, please just send links to threads if this is a well worn topic!
    Ashlemon and former member like this.
  2. former member

    former member Senior Member

    We're on our second California and have had no maintenance issues. The bed needs a topper otherwise it's not comfortable on its own but having done at least 120 nights over four years combined Cali camping, I'd highly recommend them.
  3. former member

    former member Senior Member

    Oh and welcome to the forum!!
    Pauly and Long Distance Bertha like this.
  4. Chopman

    Chopman Senior Member T6 Guru

    Hi and welcome. :thumbsup:
    There are converters who will fit a RIB onto rails - Uberbus for example.
  5. Jayc

    Jayc Member VIP Member T6 Pro

    What pop top are you having..Rib seats are awesome but there is a height issue if your going for a low roof like Hilo..
  6. T6 Dave's Dad

    T6 Dave's Dad Senior Member T6 Legend

    Hi and welcome to the crazy gang that you'll find on the Forum :D - a bunch of great peeps with loads of knowledge and experience that they are only to willing to share if asked. There is plenty to read so browse the Discussions and look at the threads that are of interest to you.
  7. Floor Fit

    Floor Fit Member VIP Member T6 Pro

    Ive had both now and the Cali bed on rails is the best hands down - no maintenance ( so far lol) main reason as you've said the kids are miles back and cant hear you, with the cali rails they can be as close as you want and there is no set position as on some rail systems - try Exporia in Brighouse they supply and fit them with toppers and do top work !;)
    Ashlemon and T6 Dave's Dad like this.
  8. MrParsnips

    MrParsnips Member

    I was all set for a rib on rails until I sat in one at camperjam. Now I definitely want the Cali. Rib makes me swing my feet like a child when sat on it and I hear they still need a mattress topper as they are uncomfortable without.

    A question of my own though...how can I find the part numbers for the seat and rails etc? Anyone?
  9. Davenjo

    Davenjo Senior Member Moderator VIP Member T6 Legend

    With a RIB bed you don't sleep on the contoured side meaning you have a very flat and relatively comfortable surface to sleep on. We do use toppers but this is to protect the bed as much as provide extra comfort. With a Cali bed you sleep on the same surface you sit on and people use toppers to iron out the cracks and protect the seats (look at a Cali that has been reasonably well used and you will often see the fabric looking a bit stretched and saggy).

    Know what you mean about the height of the RIB bed though - the flip side of this though is the extra height for storage underneath.

    Can't help wit the part numbers.
    Dilbert likes this.
  10. Simon Kay

    Simon Kay Member T6 Pro

    Reimo Variotech also uses the 'back' on the seat cushions, meaning no bumps. It ain't cheap but you get the best of both worlds in theory. It's what I've gone for.
  11. MikeB

    MikeB Member T6 Pro

    Ours is limited by the door of the fridge.
  12. MrParsnips

    MrParsnips Member

    Not tried the rib as a bed myself but been told even when it is flipped it is not comfortable without a topper. Which defeats the object of it being so high as a seat I suppose, I presume it's only taller as a seat to allow for the extra padding on the reverse as well as seat side.
  13. MrParsnips

    MrParsnips Member

    So is this crash tested and suitable for passengers in all positions? Because another thing I found was some systems are only crash tested in one or two positions depending on lwb/ swb
  14. Davenjo

    Davenjo Senior Member Moderator VIP Member T6 Legend

    We could comfortably sleep on our RIB without a topper but, as above, we don't to provide a bit more comfort but also to protect the bed (if we didn't have Duvalays we would probably just use a sheet). The height of the bed is down to the sturdy frame sitting above the wheel arch together with, as you suggest, the extra thick mattress providing a contoured side (seat) and flat side (bed). More than happy with our set up and can honestly say I sleep better in the van than I do at home.
    Dale and MrParsnips like this.
  15. Simon Kay

    Simon Kay Member T6 Pro

    I believe so...but that probably depends on your country of registration. Probably best to discuss with a reimo dealer or your converter.
  16. Wills

    Wills Senior Member VIP Member T6 Guru

    What furniture have people fitted to their vans when they gone for a cali ocean bed? It's a little wide @ 115cms and furniture suppliers are saying their's will fit but maybe a little tight!!
  17. amdowney

    amdowney T6 TSI Manual Kombi Highline LWB VIP Member T6 Pro

    Debating the Reimo also. Want rails that go the full length of the van and maximum safety. Getting a Hilo so a RIB is no good for me at 6 ft3 for headroom... Cambee seem another the only other alternative but no isofix and pull not crash tested: Rock & Roll Beds | Cambee ™
  18. T6traveller

    T6traveller Member VIP Member

    I'm also having to make this decision. I'm not sure I can justify the extra £2000 for the cali bed.

    Would appreciate peoples views on this.

  19. Ann3x

    Ann3x Member VIP Member T6 Pro

    I'm planning on same combo of roof and R&R for my Kombi. Hilo roof booked in for October, then Reimo 3000 planned for new year.

    My priorities are very similar to yours I think, young family so seating at the back (no rails) would be baaaad. Want the isofix option and properly crash tested for obvious reasons too. The Reimo seat was the only one that seemed viable for this particular combo of use cases that I found (apart from RIB which is too high with a Hilo).

    Beware that the Variotech 300 does NOT lock for travel in the forward position in a SWB van. The variotech 3000 WILL lock in the forward position for travel but only if you get the more expensive bonded rail option (bolted rails only allow the positions adjacent to the bolts same as the 300).

    The only major concern I have (barring the cost) is whether the roof height will be too low with the Hilo / 3000 combo as I've not managed to find anyone with the exact combination so far. Not a huge deal as it'll be kids in the back 99% of the time and they will be travelling in the forward position but would clearly be long term advantageous if the rearmost position was usable too.

    *edit - didnt see this thread was from Feb.... ><!
  20. True Romance

    True Romance 204 TDi DSG LWB VIP Member T6 Pro

    Anyone answer this, could possibly be in the same position.

    Last edited: 13 Sep 2018

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