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Old 08-26-2012, 04:16 PM   #1
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Total Restoration Layout Limitations

In the early stages of deciding whether we do a complete restoration or purchase a relatively new AS. One question we are not sure about is if one does a complete tear down and rebuild restoration, what limitations other than the window placements does one have in designing where the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen etc... are located. In particular the 28-29 ft modles with the mid twin bedrooms and rear bath. Is it practical to switch the location of these two spaces ?
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Old 08-26-2012, 04:23 PM   #2
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Hello! I would think the locations of the water tanks, black tanks, sewer access, etc. may or may not have implications. Think "under the floor" and in the walls for what might or might not be in the way. Posting the exact year and model will help you get some stronger advice! Projects are the way of life here on the Airforums! Good luck!
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Old 08-26-2012, 05:52 PM   #3
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IMHO, the biggest issue will be window placements. It's possible to move tanks from the bottom, but a shower wall that bisects a window is, um, goofy...

It would be a big deal to move stuff, probably only feasable if you are going to do a complete frame off rebuild.
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Old 08-26-2012, 05:55 PM   #4
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fringe is an issue as it puts a hole in the roof. Put can be patched. There are no real limitations as long as you have the time and money you can move and patch stuff.

But yes windows and what patches will look like are the limitations Once you have it gutted you can take the inside skins of and the belly pan to move plumbing around.
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:05 PM   #5
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I'm certainly no engineer, but I would think the distribution of weight in the rig would be an important consideration for how the frame will carry the weight and how it will affect the towing ... heavier stuff like holding tanks, fresh water tanks, and frig (all more so when full), and to a lesser extent, AC, furnace and water heater come to mind. Of course if you are moving anything that requires water or electricity, there's that to deal with as well. If you are moving pluming and electrical, seems it might be best accomplished during a complete tear-down.
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:16 PM   #6
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I agree that the location of the windows is the first order constraint. A secondary consideration are the various hatches for accessing things from the outside and the various vents on the roof for plumbing, the kitchen exhaust fan and the refrigerator. If you are intending to do a full re-build you can move most anything if you have the time, money and necessary skills to do so. Even windows could be moved if you really had to but that is a bit extreme.

Standard RV toilets are usually designed to sit directly over the black water tank but there are marine toilets that have a waste pump - either manual or electric - that can pump waste to a holding tank that is remote to the toilet location. In my 1973 31' mid-bath model there was no factory installed gray water tank. The black water tank was above the floor directly under the toilet and it was relatively small in size. I installed two new 32 gallon holding tanks cross-wise under the floor just in front of and just behind the rear axle. The toilet is directly above the rear of the two tanks. The other drain plumbing has to make its way to the front tank. The kitchen sink has the longest run to get to the tank but it routes through the bottom of the cabinetry on the curb side of my unit before it drops through the floor. If you can find a route for your drains you can put them most anywhere.

I replaced all of my fresh water plumbing with PEX tubing. Almost all of it routes through cabinets except the part that dips down to where the fresh water tank is under the kitchen floor. As long as you can find a route for it you can put it most anywhere too.

The electrical wiring pretty much all routes down the middle of the ceiling and drops down the wall to where it is needed. If you have the inner wall skins off you can re-route anything to anywhere else if you want. You may end up with a few holes here and there in the walls and ceilings if you decide not to use a given location for something like a 110v outlet for example. If you need to you can easily enough route new wiring under the floor or through cabinets if you can find a route.

The original heating system is forced air and has a central heating unit inside the cabinets somewhere. On my unit it was under the kitchen sink area and had ducting under the cabinets to the front and back of the my layout. If your changes are not too radical you may be able to leave the heater in place and build around it. I changed my source of heating and the water heater entirely so it did not matter to me where these items were to begin with. I did add an aluminum patch to cover up the hole where the water heater access hatch was originally.

As a general rule I think if you are going to do a complete rebuild it is a good idea to start with a trailer that has a layout that is close to what you want just because that is easier. Anything is possible but not everything is practical depending on your time and budget constraints.

I hope that helps,

Malcolm
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:25 PM   #7
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Vents for furnace, stove, refrig, holding tanks and holding tank vents, water heater, water fill spout, battery boxes, bathroom vent, outside door, windows, awnings, steps, axles, airconditioner, roof vents and fans. I would not want to move any of these in a rebuild. Can not see patching or reskinning the outside for arrangement. Others have done it. Weight distribution is important. Some custom builders use an app to calculate weight distribution when doing the layout. I am very happy with the center bath, rear bedroom layout. Might like a front bath. Do not want a rear bath because they seem to cause problems. I would pass on a rear bath trailer for a rebuild.
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:23 PM   #8
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It takes ALOT of thought to do a total rebuild, especially if you're thinking of moving things. Chris spent an entire winter on electrical, plumbing diagrams and we didn't move anything major. Once your trailer is gutted, tape out on the floor where you think you might want things, measure pathways, build mockups out of cardboard, and walk the trailer. We did this and ended up staying with the basic plan our trailer was originally built on because we weren't happy with layouts we came up with that didn't involve moving windows and rendering hatches obsolete. I spent some time on the vintage AS site getting some ideas for things too. That did help. We moved a hallway and our bathroom is completely different from original except toilet and waterheater placement. Kitchen is a little bigger than original. Dinette arrangement will be different. Batteries will be in a different place. The major things are in the same basic places, though like the frig, stove, black tank. Good luck and PLAN.

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Old 08-27-2012, 07:02 PM   #9
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First and foremost, thank you to everyone who posted a response. It was very helpful in my thinking through this. What we would have in mind is a total frame up restoration. The only space movement would be trying to swap a mid twin bed/ rear bath with a rear bed queen / mid bath. We really like the shape of the 28ft 1968's. Will need to think further on this. Thank you again.
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oskiwawa
First and foremost, thank you to everyone who posted a response. It was very helpful in my thinking through this. What we would have in mind is a total frame up restoration. The only space movement would be trying to swap a mid twin bed/ rear bath with a rear bed queen / mid bath. We really like the shape of the 28ft 1968's. Will need to think further on this. Thank you again.
We have a 68 28'. And thought about this idea. BUT, The trailer is only 7' wide a lot less between the wheel wells. We scraped the idea because of space issues. I figure you need a 70's 8' wide to make it work properly and look good.
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Old 08-28-2012, 02:07 AM   #11
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If you do decide to swap the rear bath for a side bath you might want to consider making your bath a walk through one rather than a walk beside one. Our trailer was already a side bath model but it was pretty small. There was a hall way next to it and a closet on the other side of the hallway. I put the bath fixtures and closet in about the same place but instead of having a hall between them I merged all three into one room. The only disadvantage is that you do have to go through the bathroom to get to the bedroom. Since it is just my wife and I that use our trailer that has not proven to be any kind of a problem and the extra space makes the bathroom a lot bigger. I also moved the bedroom wall just a little bit further forward to make a little more space for the bed. We have a full-size queen bed with the foot of the bed facing the bathroom. There is just enough space to walk on each side of the bed too. We do have a 1973 31' rig though so I did have a little more space to work with.

Malcolm
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