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2022 Woodland
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been exploring different concepts for a van build. Here is a configuration I tried and ultimately rejected, but it has some interesting qualities.

First a disclaimer/caveat: Since modifications to your vehicle can damage the vehicle and/or electronics, lead to warranty disputes, create unsafe driving conditions, etc., I don’t recommend them to anyone. You make modifications at your own considerable risk.

I removed the second and third row seats, and with the help of some “extension cables” (described in my prior post here: Front seat removal) I relocated the passenger front seat to the rear of the vehicle. I added a wood platform over the passenger side floor and part of the rear drivers side, using tongue-and-groove flooring salvaged from a neighbor’s remodeling project; and covered it with foam mats. The flooring is configured to allow airflow through all nearby vents, especially including the side vent for the hybrid battery under the front row seats. The passenger seat is mounted in the rear facing the passenger side, and is wired to allow the power adjustments. The seat faces a cantilevered desk. The desk support pylon is attached to the third-row seat mounting features, making the desk installation rock-solid.

It almost worked, but ultimately I found the seat and desk too uncomfortable to use: the seat is too close to the floor for ergonomic comfort, and there is not enough headroom to elevate the seat, so I dismantled this configuration. Pictures are below.


Plant Automotive tire Wood Road surface Floor
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2022 Woodland
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What if you used the third seat well for a footwell? Maybe even make the seat face backwards with your feet in the well and the desk across the back hatch opening?
Good suggestion, this is pretty much what I did, as shown in the pictures below! The desk is now installed across the back hatch and I sit at the edge of the wooden platform, on top of some padding. Two computer monitors are bolted onto the desk and supporting frame, driven by a laptop, for a total of three screens. The laptop sits on top of a microwave oven, all installed on a platform above the passenger seat in its new location. There is no blockage of the rear window as seen from the driver's seat via the rear view mirror. I would remove the passenger seat altogether but for the seat occupancy sensors that feed the airbag system – does anyone know how to bypass that?

Computer Personal computer Computer keyboard Peripheral Gadget
Computer Personal computer Computer keyboard Peripheral Input device
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I find the setup pretty comfortable to use so far. The laptop connects to the Sienna’s wifi and seems to work pretty well at streaming video, etc. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get the wifi up and running, other times it is ready to go without any intervention.

As for power consumption: according to the manufacturers the laptop consumes about 200 Watts and each monitor uses 38 Watts, so well within the 1500 Watt limit of the inverter. The microwave oven uses 1050 Watts to produce 700 Watts of cooking power, so I plan to use it only with all other equipment off. Once or twice the inverter has turned off for no apparent reason, and required the hybrid engine to be turned off and back on again to restart.
 

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In my 99 Sienna I went a different route. Welded a floor pivot, just so happens there was a boxed floor reinforcement there for the seat, for a swinging, tilting table useful for copilot, passenger, driver and stowed out of the way when not needed.
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