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  1. #1
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    Need ideas for a bus hammock - bear with me it's a long post

    I'm fairly new around here. Mostly reading and gleaning. Not much experience to share...yet. With that said I humbly come to you Gravity Defying Elders of Suspended Blissful Slumber for wisdom.

    I'm a teacher/bus driver/parent/sponsor/substitute coach at school. I make too many trips a year where sleeping on the bus is likely if not mandatory. My 6'2" frame does not fit in a seat very well when seated much less if I am trying to catch a nap before my turn to drive. I can usually wrangle a pair of seats to crash in but it is just an effort in frustration to try to get comfortable. Stringing a hammock across the bus is temping but just not feasible.

    Soooo, I started thinking about hammocks and hammock chairs and wonder if I could make a "hammock" that could be strung over the seat cushion portion of the pair seats. This would allow my upper body to be in a more natural sleep position and my legs...well...I'm not too sure about them yet. They may just dangle (which I'm sure would get uncomfortable) or maybe I would make a foot loop. They may just end up on the edge of the seat across the aisle.

    Here are the restrictions:
    • It cannot hang from the overhead rack (too much weight)
    • It cannot extend into the aisle (safety)
    • It cannot attach to the side of the bus, window frame, or arms of the seats (weight issue again)
    • It cannot extend into another seats space.


    What it needs to do:
    • Be reasonable flexible in mounting options
    • Be easy to transport
    • Be easy to set up
    • Support 200+ lbs
    • Support without touching the seat cushions


    Without much sitting in a bus and scheming yet I have come up with this idea.

    Make a "bridge" hammock with webbing loops on each end of the bridge. If the bridge is a few inches longer than the distance between the fore and aft seat headrests the bridge would hold the hammock left to right and the webbing would keep the bridge in place.

    A second bridge could be fashioned to hold the butt end and connect (webbing) to the arm and/or chair frame so it is not taking too much weight (keep the attachment close to the anchor points). It could be long enough to roll up or out for differing seat widths.

    If a foot loop is employed it may attach to the luggage rack since it would not have that much weight on it.

    Another option is trying to make a sling chair (see attachment) would fit the majority of typical bus seats--sideways--but it looks like more engineering than is possible for me in the next couple of weeks.

    I figure to spend some time on a few buses I have access to and start mocking up something quick. First outing is about two weeks away. Texas to Florida non-stop. One night outbound, two nights on the way back.

    Any suggestions or ideas. Anything that can help me cut the experimenting/prototyping down will be helpful.

    I hope to make 2-3 (wife and son) but I'm not as worried about them. Now, now, before you start thinking me the cad I may be, my wife is 5 foot nothing and can curl up on a barstool and sleep. My son, like many of the kids, crawl under the seats and sleep on the floor. So see, I'm not THAT heartless. If I can come up with something workable and have the time then I'll take care of them also.

    Ready........GO
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    You don't ask for much, eh?

    Can you post some pics of the inside of the type of bus you are using for a visual reference? I don't know about everyone else, but I haven't seen the inside of a school bus since I was in grade school...
    I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt. - Cormac McCarthy

  3. #3
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    I figured you'd like the challenge.

    It's got me walking around the house with some nylon wrapped around a 2x3 jammed in the door frames. The wife just keeps doing her thing. I think she hopes I will wander out the front door and forget how to come home

    The buses have seats more like coach class in airplanes or your typical Greyhound. Imagine the guy sleeping about 4-6 inches taller.
    Blue.gif

    Sleeping.jpg

    White.bmp

    Wow just figured out how to insert pictures...at least I learned something tonight.

  4. #4
    Senior Member fin's Avatar
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    Can it attach to the seat backs? And what types of seats are we talking about? Bench seats, or buckets like a touring bus?

    OOPS - I see you posted while I was typing. Question answered about the type of seats.

  5. #5
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    Just got back from picking my son up from a basketball trip. On our big bus the backs are high back but more like traditional school bus seats. A one inch dowel would fit side to side between the fore and aft seats and rest on the window frame.

    There are no arm rests but a sling that would go back up and around the inboard headrests might work. If there are arm rests I might be able to get away with a rod all the way across, distributing the weight.

    Off to church tomorrow afternoon to check out the buses there.

    It just may come together better than I thought...then again...

    Think...think...think...

  6. #6
    Senior Member fin's Avatar
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    Wait, I have drawings of something that may work. A couple of minutes, and I'll upload.

  7. #7
    GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    one thought, in case it isn't obvious.

    Whatever means you use to hang from the headrests will be supporting just from the mid-point of the head-rest, to the mid-point of the adjacent head-rest. You want more. I think you'll want to hang a frame from the head-rests to extend that support past the mid points. Could be as simple as rods...maybe that's what you were referring to with the 1" rod. In any case of that rod or beam or whatever is sturdy enough, you can attach the hammock at the ends of it, past the head-rest mid-points.

    You sure enough going to need sturdy head-rests to pull this off!

    Grizz

  8. #8
    Senior Member fin's Avatar
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    OK, hope these translate and make sense.






    Fabric would drape over seat. Dowel or wood support arms, leg supports. Dowel through back sleeve. Arm supports would attach to back dowel to keep fabric suspended above seat. Arm supports should be long to extend far in front of bus seat. Leg supports would need bracing to keep weight from collapsing them inwards. Fabric seat would be a basic bridge seat, continuous fabric to back channel, front of seat would be open bridge. Seat back would provide stability, with front leg braces. Something would need to keep fabric from sliding backwards when sat upon - haven't figured that out this quickly - probably grosgrain tabs that the front legs slide through. The whole thing could slip into a stuff sack/chair sack, like a commercial collapsible chair.

    Just a quick idea/drawing, and not a very good drawing of the idea at that - holes in this plan?
    Last edited by fin; 12-11-2008 at 23:53. Reason: updated drawings

  9. #9
    Senior Member fin's Avatar
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    Thinking about my above post, a bed could be done by sewing channels on each side of a specific width of fabric, and using a couple of dowels behind the seatbacks as supports. Maybe a couple of nylon straps criss-crossed over the top of the chair and around the dowels to hold in place. It would make a simple type bridge, like Grizz's vintage design.



    OK, did a drawing to illustrate this crackpot idea.

    Last edited by fin; 12-12-2008 at 00:08. Reason: Added drawing

  10. #10
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    What about thinking out the box. err.. bus. Somewhere there is a picture of a guy with a hammock slung under the frame of a semi trailer. One of the latino members or at least someone with that knowledge said the drivers often sling a hammock under the trailer while they are waiting to be loaded and unloaded. Wish I could find that pic. I don't know how you would go about rigging it up but it might be another option to look at. I also don't know if a bus would have enough clearance to do that.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

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