Home Forums General Discussion getting in and out of the folding bed !!

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    • #823
      Tom and Phyllida

        I am not unfit, but am approaching 70 !

        Can anyone describe( illustrate !?!) how to get in and out of the folding bed in our Exsis ? Obviously you need to climb the steps, but getting in and out of a sleeping bag is not easy ! I have taken to sleeping in the downstairs made up bed, but would prefer to sleep  upstairs if I found it more comfortable to get in and out.

        Any polite and none ageist suggestions would be appreciated .



        North of Scotland

      • #824
        Barry & Maggie

          Aha!  A clear and concise DEMONSTRATION of the required bed-entering technique was shown at the last Exsistravaganza – a little known leaping technique (perfected by British troops in N Africa for attacking German tanks, apparently!) blah blah blah… And if you believe that…  🙂  But it did yield £100 for charity, so not entirely a waste of everyone’s time.  🙂

          Anyway, I, too, am over 70 and perhaps if I describe our arrangement, that may help you?  It works whether you sleep fore/aft or sideways.

          Firstly, may I say that your choice of a sleeping bag makes the whole operation 10 times harder?  We have had a fitted sheet made to fit the bottom mattress (though easy for a seamstress to sew your own) and then we have a good quality (good TOG-rating) quilt in a quilt cover on top.  Laundry is thus really simple.  This is just one bespoke fitted-sheet-maker, but many more if you use Google…


          The bed is then left with the sheet fitted and quilt cover thrown back folded over the bottom half of the bed where your feet go, or to the side (the ‘nose’ of the roof) if you’re sleeping sideways.  Pillows are left at the side while you get in bed. Climb upstairs and ”roll” onto the bed.  Tuck your feet under the duvet and then pull it up over your shoulders.  That’s it!  Struggling to get into a sleeping bag is for youngsters in tents!!

          In the morning, fold back the quilt, store the pillows on top of the folded quilt, then raise the bed, ready for the next night.  Simples!

          This is the aspect that we absolutely love about the Exsis.  No more “cushions-shuffling”, sliding settees in/out or around and then having to make your bed, each and every night – been there, done that, as they say.

          I’ve been motorhoming for the best part of 60 years and it was almost a Eureka! moment when I discovered that duvets work SO much better than sleeping bags in motorhomes.

          I hope this gives you some ideas and makes sleeping upstairs a possibility for you.

          Finally, if anyone else has ideas, techniques or opinions on this, or indeed any topic, it would be really good to hear them.


        • #826
          Tom and Phyllida

            Thank you Barry – that explains how to do it on our own – but what happens when there are two of you and one or other ( or both) needs to use the facilities in the night ( maybe more than once !!).


            Phyllida and I can’t wait for your description – or maybe someone else can reveal the secrets …  How about another collection for charity if a pair of hardened Exsis owners post a video …….

            Now, I’m off to tackle to issue of releasing/replacing the fresh water drain of which I got lots of guidance several months ago – just plucked up the courage to tackle it this week


            Tom and Phyllida

          • #827
            Barry & Maggie

              “Night-time visits” are problematic, whatever the circumstances.

              Without wishing to be indelicate (but this IS an “assistance site”, after all!) gentlemen are ably assisted by apparatus for night-time urination – just search Google or see the link below.  Ladies needs are more problematic and, being the gentleman that I am, I’m not even going to go there…!


              So that’s that problem sorted!

              Now the drain….   Positioning the Exsis more or less EXACTLY over a drain was not always easy.  Plus having to open the ‘boot lid’ to reach the tap each time, was a bit of a fag.  My solution was to use a plastic in-line on/off tap on the drain outlet and then a 45 to 60cm (18″ to 2ft) length of bendy convoluted hose.  The hose should be fixed so that it easily swivels (Jubilee clip, not too tight?).   The hose normally rests, bent up and parked behind the rear bumper moulding and is only pulled out when needed.

              Park as near to the drain as possible, the hose is then pulled out from behind the bumper and located into the drain.  When positioned, just turn the tap fitted to the hose extension ‘on’ and Presto!  Afterwards, just turn the tap to ‘off’ and bend/swivel the hose back up under the bumper.

              Good luck!



            • #828
              Barry & Maggie

                Oops…  I’ve just re-read your post, Tom & Phyllida, and realise it’s the FRESH water drain you referred to.

                This is a task that I have assiduously avoided for several years, mainly because of my worsening physical condition (I was a wreck before my hip replacement – I’m like a young gazelle now!!) but also because we maintain our Exsis in “going away” condition throughout the winter.  This means topped up with fuel, gas and water and I prevent problems with freezing in the tank and pipes by using a thermostatically-controlled warming dehumidifier when necessary.

                As we don’t use water from the tank for drinking (just washing/washing-up) and I treat it with silver compound, I’ve never actually drained it down.

                But I realise not everyone can or wants to keep their Exsis topped up in freezing weather, in which case that drain is essential.


                A final note, while I’m mentioning “dehumidifiers”, I cannot recommend their use highly enough – they are superb in preventing any damp, or those musty, mouldy smells in a laid-up motorhome –  Go round any second-hand motorhome sales site and you’ll soon understand “that smell”!   A “warming” dehumidifier prevents freezing too, but they do require access to a 240v supply.

                If you’re tempted to use one, don’t bother with 12v ones – I’ve tried three different ones and they were all utterly useless.  The best ones, for our size of vehicle are similar to this one, which was recommended to me by member Charlie…  https://tinyurl.com/ycv6eqtb

                This is a “dessicant” dehumidifier (extremely effective and very quiet in use).  Other types are “compressor” and “Peltier” types.  My advice is to avoid the Peltier types – they are barely good enough for a cupboard, if that!  The 12v ones are Peltier, but I’ve also bought a larger 240v-powered one that was as useless.

                The compressor types are very effective but are noisier than the dessicant types.  Budget for at least £100 to £150.  Cheaper, smaller, less powerful ones are not up to the job, imho.



              • #829
                Tom and Phyllida

                  Barry – a case of ‘too much information”!!  I was just looking for a light hearted guide to the gymnastics involved in getting in and out of the bed – especially not disturbing a partner whilst doing so – I really didn’t need the detailed guidance on incontinence aids ………



                • #830
                  Barry & Maggie

                    Ah well, some you win, some you lose!  Just trying to help…


                  • #835
                    Fred & Gill

                      Ah Tom, if only a backflip from the upper step was possible – especially at our age!

                      A sleeping bag is not really practical in a roof bed – something we learned early on in our elevating roof camper days.

                      We use two separate single 4.5 tog duvets, each in their own cover – in winter, as this weekends trip, we put a second duvet in each cover = 9.0 togs each. Separate duvets allows plenty of overlap.

                      Having separate duvets for us is useful, because in the cooler months Gill prefers downstairs to enjoy her morning cup of tea sat up cosy in bed. In the real winter, I do the same. When we are wild camping, as this weekend, we often both sleep upstairs which leaves the living area intact.

                      There are probably many variations of maneuvering in/out of bed. The Hymer manouvre was demonstrated at one Exsistravaganza, which is swivelling on your bottom and can be useful if you come down the ladder facing the back of the van. I go up facing the front of the van, move forward and then swivel on my knees so that my head is towards the back of the van and then climb under the duvet.

                      Its a big wonderful bed and well worth the effort.

                      Fresh water tank  emptying is easy from the side for me because of my simple mods.

                      I pushed some 20mm blue water pipe up into the base of the out let under the van (tight fit), used a washing machine hose connection, which is a loose fit over the blue pipe and connected black water hose to that which runs around the spare wheel carrier to the side skirt of the van. I pushed some 22mm

                      plumbing pipe into the black hose and have an end cap to seal it off (not really necessary).  I screwed a Terry tool clip into something (can’t remember) which holds the pipe safely in place at the side.

                      For waste emptying I have no need of a hose because if on a CL I drain waste into my empty toilet cassette and trudge off to the waste point which is not usually accessible to the motorhome. I made a fitting from 45mm bend (not 90deg) and a sleeve from waste pipe as an insert to fit over the odd size German outlet fitting and sanded down for a easy push fit. This fitment allows me to easily direct water into my cassette or into a drive over waste point as demonstrated in the photo at my house today.

                    • #840
                      Barry & Maggie

                        Great info, thanks Fred.

                        When I eventually (!) get my fresh water drain sorted, it will definitely be your system.  So good if you need a bit of fresh water in a bucket, for instance.  It’s such a good idea to be able to direct the flood out where you want.

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