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With relatively simple modifications the Niva can be made to convert into a bed when needed. There are several ways of doing it, the easiest is probably the fold-back front seats method if you have removable head-rests.
Click on images for a larger view.
Front: Remove the head-rests (if you have fixed head-rests see below for the fold-forward method), and adjust the top halves of the seats backwards until they are level with the bottom section of the rear seat.
Rear: The hinges between the top and bottom halves of the rear seat need to be modified so you can fold the top section of the seat into the rear of the car:
Here's the instructions how to do it by bending the hinges (100K) from Russian. The translation is pretty poor sorry, but the images are enough to show you how to bend the hinges.
However, I found the above hinge bending method did not allow the top section of the seat to move rearwards enough into the rear without fouling the hump on the wheelarches. So I simply dismantled the 2 hinges between the top and bottom sections of the seat, and added about 50mm of leather strapping between the 2 halves of the hinges. This has worked very well, and remarkably the seat still remains reasonably stable when in position as a seat (or at least as rigid as the somewhat flimsy original set-up), though I plan to replace the leather with steel some day.
<images coming soon>
Other people's fold-back front seat beds:
Alternatively if your front seat's head-rests do not come off, you can adjust and tilt the front seats as far forward as they can go, and modify the rear seats to be able to fill the gap between the rear and front seats. You will need a mattress with this method though:
Seats removed from their base by a single custom quick-release latch (by lospatos ), and a simple frame to cover the bases. Lospatos says it's easy and fast to set up, and not as complicated as it looks in the images:
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