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Discussion Starter #1
I bought my insight fairly recently and have big plans for him. One thing which seemed to annoy me is that the seats only bent forward a small distance and so the useable trunk space for lying large long objects seems diminished by the head block of the seat.

Last weekend I bought a pair of seats from a wrecked insight in Crewe.
£60 each. I have stripped them down to the bare metal and washed the covers in lots of vanish cleaner, they have come out quite nicely.

My intention is to either create a hinge or removable to piece to each chair. The reason is I think the insight would be a brilliant one night camper given a high tog sleeping bag and an airbed.

The hinge would allow the seats to fall below the middle crossbar of the car and therefore allow a mattress/airbed to lie in the car.

my success criteria are as follows.

It has to be secure when driving.
easy to dis and reassemble
look as stock as possible and retain normal ride comfort.

I am based in the uk and any advice or physical help would be massively appreciated.

Regards Andy
 

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I have stripped them down to the bare metal and washed the covers in lots of vanish cleaner, they have come out quite nicely.
Stick them in the washing machine on wool wash i did came up great.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Making the insight into a summer camper.

Had a complete rethink today about how to fold the seats and realised that only four threaded bolts hold the seat back to the base. My new solution is to carry a socket and wrench and screw driver to quickly dissemble the seat insitu this has to be the least damaging solution in so many ways and perhaps if i carry some thick waterproof bags big enough (like those vacuum storage bags for clothes) then the seat backs could be stored under the car to make more room while camping.
 

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Insight Camper?

Had a complete rethink today about how to fold the seats and realised that only four threaded bolts hold the seat back to the base. My new solution is to carry a socket and wrench and screw driver to quickly dissemble the seat insitu this has to be the least damaging solution in so many ways and perhaps if i carry some thick waterproof bags big enough (like those vacuum storage bags for clothes) then the seat backs could be stored under the car to make more room while camping.
You may want to consider the use of the separated seat back(s) horizontally as a continuation forward of the cargo area floor by adding some brackets at the cross member (behind the seats) to support the bottom end of the seat back and adding legs for support at the instrument panel end. With OEM Insight seats, probably only the passenger side seat space could be utilized in this way because of the length (height) of the seat back. (A seat back with a removeable head rest could possibly clear the steering wheel on the driver's side.) It would be preferable to devise some type of linkage that would enable the horizontal conversion without disassembly.

When the weather improves, some measurements will need to be taken to check out the possibilities of your Insight camper conversion.
 

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How about moving the other way, and devising a platform which extends out the back with a tent attached to the top of the car. This would permit a walk in area from the rear.
I believe in the camper world this approach is called as the "hybrid". Its limitation may be the weather. (I believe the Pontiac Aztec had an option for this as accessory.)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
all good suggestions, I had thought similar thoughts about using the seats to extend in where the mattress will lie but am not entirely loving the idea of brackets as i don't want to affect the appearance. I am convincing myself of an inflatable space filler since the mattress i use will be inflatable anyway i will already be carrying an electric pump and this keeps weight and saves space whilst not in use. I shall have to experiment however you are right about waiting for warmer weather.
 

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Insight Camper Mark II

Some more thoughts about the camper modifications. The best solutions would involve the least amount of fuss to make the transition to the camper state from the normal drive condition and back.

1.) Reworking the seat pivots to allow seat backs to tilt forward out of the way is preferable to having to disassemble them. How to accomplish this will require more study as it may require relocation of the seat back pivot axis.

2.) Removable platform sections over the tilted down seat back area could have folding legs at front end similar to those used on folding card tables. The rear end of the platforms would have pins that would slip down into inconspicuous sockets (flanged bushings similar to those used with oar locks on a row boat) at the crossmember behind the seats.

3.) For added head room and privacy, the rear hatch could be opened and covered with a tent material (pocket for antenna) also covering rear quarter windows and bungeed down under fender skirts and rear bumper. Screened ventilation and air circulation openings would be provided. A rear entrance or window could be added. If this space were extended rearward beyond the bumper, a folding platform step could be added for convenient entry. It would be preferable to have no connection to the ground (crawling or slithering creature accesss) other than the tires; all would be contained and supported by the Insight.
 
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