Middle Seat Mod

After several hundred miles of traveling and camping with two Golden Retrievers, the non-functioning 60/40 middle seat became problematic. It took up too much space while providing little space in which Ginger and Mary Ann could get comfortable. It also encroached on cargo area, requiring some of our long and narrow kit to go up on the roof, like the double cot, tent pegs and table. Add that we rarely have passengers in that space, it was time to make a change.

There's a cable that attaches to a mechanism inside the middle bench that when deployed allows the bench to fold down and forward creating more cargo room. This cable on the 60 section has busted twice on us, debilitating the seat. I removed it by dismantling it from the hardware on its flanks giving me access underneath the seat bottom to the mechanism that releases it from its mount on the floor. Not the smartest thing to do in 105 degree heat, but it's out. I also removed the 40 seat - piece of cake on that one.

After measuring space and accounting for front seat travel I found the at 24" x 48" sheet of three quarter fiber board would fill the space nicely giving the dogs a few more square feet of room. I fashioned a set of braces that mounted with the existing seat hardware, creating room underneath the platform to stow the items that we'd normally put up top.

The platform is covered in gray trunk carpeting. It's attached to the existing seat mount hardware and to the center console.

There's a cut out to access the rear AC/heat controls.

It loads easily, holding the double cot, the Kodiak springbar tent hardware and the collapsable table.

Though it made for more room than the middle seat, 24 inches seemed too narrow to accommodate two large dogs so I added another eight inches and installed a pet barrier from PetsMart.

The barrier rattles like an old Fiat since it has threaded rods that go up the square tubing that allow for height and tension adjustment. I've since filled them with an insulating aerosol foam to eliminate the noise.

The barrier is attached to the eight-inch extension with 1/2 inch plastic plumbing wall attachments from Lowe's that fit around an oversized rubber grommet held in place by two nuts top and bottom. This allows the height to be adjusted and insulates any additional rattling.

The extra eight inches creates a cubby under which all of our sleeping kit can be stowed.

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