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Old 12-29-2009, 06:13 AM   #99
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Heater Mount link

I was asked in more than one PM for more info on the heater mount. Here's a link to Zeppelium's thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f427...ion-46720.html

I'm waiting for the flexible gas hose from Camping world. Couldn't source it locally.
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Old 12-29-2009, 06:30 AM   #100
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Gaucho Design

We're starting on the side gaucho next and would love some real-world feedback.

Right now, we're planning to make a 52" wide double, using cushions of 27", 12.5" and 12.5". We're leaning heavily towards hinging all the cushions so we don't fall through the seams.

As usual on this forum and elsewhere, there are many good ideas that are well documented.

We're trying to cherry-pick the best ideas from these threads:

Vintage Airstream drawing :
http://www.vintageairstream.com/Images/sofa1.gif

Arlen and Shirley Manning's site:
The Project - Goucho Detail

Stan Z's bifold cushion pictures (currently the last post):
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f145...cho-30092.html

ModArch's great Caravel resto pics (look around #200)
Picasa Web Albums - Brandon - 1967 Airstrea...

David Winnick's '68 caravel restoration:
http://www.vintagetrailering.com/pho...0storage-L.jpg

Any real world advice is welcome!
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Old 12-29-2009, 10:10 AM   #101
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65CV-

I have been really happy with the way both of our gauchos turned out. When I was building mine, VTS didn't have any of the hardwood slides available, and they weren't sure when (if) they would ever get any more in. I found Arlen and Shirley's site, and followed their advice for fabricating your own. I was very happy with the way they turned out, and they are a lot cheaper than the ones at VTS (and I can guarantee they will last longer). Note that mine are all wood, and not part aluminum as Arlen's were. I think this is fine, if not better.

I also thought the 3 cushion concept that Arlen had was good. I did A LOT of research trying to find what I thought was the best design both in the "transformation" from bed to couch, and also for the best design in terms of comfort. My Carvel didn't have the original street side gaucho when I got it, but after looking at various photos of original layouts on vintageairstream.com I felt that the original design looked like the back cushion was too short and also not set at a comfortable angle. My street gaucho has 3 cushions; one is the back rest, one for the seat, and one that is what Arlen calls a "bolster" cushion that sits on top of the seat cushion, but behind the back rest cushion. The bolster cushion and the back rest cushion are chamfered (beveled) on one of the long sides at the same angle that allows them to mate up when reclined in the bed position. All 3 cushions are used in the bed and couch positions.

The photos shown in Stan’s thread (post #1) show a back cushion at almost a 90 degree angle- I think you would find this to not be very comfortable in the couch position. The 2 cushion gaucho makes for a bit quicker transition, but not worth the discomfort in my opinion. His final results shown in his post #6 have a nice “folding seam” connection, but it looks like there isn’t a lot of room for your rear as you use it as a couch due to the thickness of the two cushions.

Also- I didn't like the look of the angled wood support legs at each end for support of the cantilever in the bed position (shown on vintageairstream.com drawing). The slides I made would probably hold us just fine on the cantilever, but for peace of mind I installed (2) folding leg supports (available at VTS). I don't have any photos of these but will try to take some today while I am out polishing.

A few more notes on Arlen’s design- I found that the Velcro he used to keep the cushions connected was un-necessary and also my wood back support (his picture #4) is fixed in place, where his is made to pivot. I found that when my wife and I are asleep, I never had a problem with is being in the way or me hitting my head on it.

I did extend my street side gaucho out slightly- mine is 49" in from the street side wall, and there is still enough clearance between gaucho and kitchen to get to the restroom at night. One mistake I did do was subtract a little from the width of your cushions because upholstery and polyfill wrap will take up a bit of space. You can see in my photo #256 where the seat cushion is slightly off of the front rail when in the bed position.

I have an elaborate CADD drawing I did for both front and side gauchos showing a section and elevation. I am off this week but when I get back to the office on the 4th I can send you a PDF if you wish.

The front gaucho is a bit different in terms of the cushion concept, I can go into detail on it when you get there if you wish. One more piece of advice- when you buy foam material- go out and actually lay down on a sample before purchasing. In my opinion you would rather have it more comfortable for sleeping that sitting. There is a lot of info/ opinions on the forum about foam density (firm for sitting, but medium density for sleeping). I would rather sleep better than worry about the foam slightly bottoming out when you sit on it.

Look'n good! Good luck!
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Old 12-29-2009, 01:14 PM   #102
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Great answer...

modarch-

Thanks for the detailed reply!

We're still a little torn between doing what you and Arlen did and a modified version of Stan T's design. If we go with the latter, we'll increase the distance for seating. Since we're planning to finish off at 52", that will add some, then we'd drop a little height. The sewn hinges are definitely attractive for sleeping comfort.

VTS now has the slides in stock and the thought of buying rather than building is pretty attractive right now.

More questions if you don't mind:

(1) The folding legs - are they the table legs, Part Number VTS-559, cut down?
(2) When closed, how far is your side gaucho from the wall?
(3) Do you find that you are falling in between cushions when sleeping?
(4) How's the polishing coming?

You're absolutely right on cushions. I was in the Latex Foam business for years -- we've tested our combo latex/poly cushions for a week to be sure we have the right density and ILD combination.

Finally, I would be interested in the pdf if you don't mind. See the PM for my email address. We're probably coming through Memphis in the spring. We'll look you up -- I owe you a beer!

John
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Old 12-29-2009, 06:28 PM   #103
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John- I agree, the sewn hinge is pretty cool. Sounds like it will work for you with your extended dimensions. Answers:

1) Yep- those are them. Just cut down and install with carriage bolts so the hardware won't interfere with the masonite that slides on top when the bed is extended. See pics attached to this post. The masonite is under the cushion in photo #1 so you can't see it. Photo #2 is from under the gaucho looking up.

2) I didn't get a chance to verify when I was at the trailer today, but I am pretty sure it is 29" from the back wall according to by cadd drawing.

3) I was also worried about the cushions shifting, or falling between them, but they never have moved on us at night. If you think you will have problems, or experience problems later, you could attach Velcro tabs I suppose. I guess if you had a really slick fabric, then they could possibly shift.

4) Well, starting to get close to the finish line. About 50% done with the second pass using Nuvite C. I am following VTS suggestions. Still have to find a Cyclo. I read warnings about how much time it would take, but man…. I stopped keeping track of time. Roof was a pain- the F7 wouldn’t cut it, but G6 seemed to do a bit better. I see you have gotten quite a good way w/ yours, so you know what I am talking about! It was pretty cold doing it in 39 degree weather today!

Got your PM- I will shoot you PDFs asap. I see you’re a sketchup guy- not sure if it can import an autocad .dwg file, but if it does- I can send you that as well.

-Brandon
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Old 12-29-2009, 07:48 PM   #104
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I think you guys are on the right track. Yes, my current 3 cushion set up makes for a comfortable bed, but the seating depth is a little short for a normal sized person. Since my gaucho frame was all there and functioning I stayed with the 48 inch bed size. John, I think if you expand yours to 52 inches total you might solve that problem. When I bought the trailer the two cushion design wasn't that great either due to the 90 degree seatback mentioned earlier in this thread. And yes it is true that the wrapping around the foam and the fabric adds a little to the width. So with 48 inches of foam on a 48 inch base my bed is now a little too big. Not a big deal, it is just that you have to squish the cushions a bit when you set up the bed.

I would be really curious what the original design from 1965 was on the side gaucho?
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Old 12-30-2009, 09:34 AM   #105
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Original Gaucho Design

Stan-

I think the link from vintageairstream.com that I posted the other day is the original design. I have some parts that I pulled out of a junk pile that I can snap pics of if you'd like.

Thanks again for the advice.

John
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Old 12-30-2009, 09:37 AM   #106
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Starting on the Gaucho

What a difference in weather! Sunday was 55 degrees and sunny -- a joy to work outside. The last two days have been nearly single digits in the morning. I'm making parts in the basement for assembly when the weather improves.

Great info from modarch and Stan Z. Thanks again guys! We are definitely going with the 52 inch design. I ordered 4 slides from VTS, but the fold down legs weren't in stock. I love the idea of extra support that is hidden, so we'll wait for those. Still noodling the design for cushions, but that can wait.

Here are pics of yesterday's progress on the bed. The dry fit on my workbench looks good -- I hope it goes this well in the Caravel. The plywood webs are now dry and ready for fitting.

It's still way colder than freezing outside, so I'll work on the heater and a door for the hanging closet today. Forecast is better tomorrow, so that will be a better assembly day.
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Old 12-31-2009, 04:55 PM   #107
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Olympian Heater Install

Finished the heater installation today. Since it will be hidden way back in the corner of the trailer when not in use, I went with a simpler installation than Zep.

I used the 3' flex hose from Camping world, two gate hinges from Lowe's and drilled through the formica/plywood wall with a 1 1/4" forstner bit to allow the flex hose room to move.

The pictures show the empty frame mounted on the gate hinges and the running heater. When it folds back, it will hopefully stay in place with 1" diameter magnets -- it completely disappears from sight everywhere in the trailer but the head. The radiant heat is so much nicer than the old electric heater and much, much quieter.
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Old 01-01-2010, 05:43 PM   #108
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Installing the Gaucho

The hanging closet is installed. The door will be done when I do the cabinet doors. Once set up, it's far easier to just keep going on the frame and panel stuff.

I mounted a Blue Sea Breaker and Trimetric 2020 Battery monitor. Also installed a CO monitor -- it sounds essential for use with a catalytic heater. They're all screwed into a backer piece of plywood. The closet wall is 1/4" plywood, with supports epoxied on for the hanger.

The 52" slides from VTS are due Monday, so it's a good time to jump on wiring. As you can see, this little trailer is starting to fill up. Almost time to pull out the temporary workbench to install the dinette.

One more week of vacation left and I still have to design and build a dinette. Whew!

Happy New Year.
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:15 PM   #109
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Bed building

The bed slides arrived from VTS. They are obviously hand made, as each one is a little different. One side appears to be maple and the other oak. I was pretty worried about their ability to move easily when they arrived, but once warmed up, they slid better. Not great, but better. Hopefully some wax will help.

They're about 4 1/2 inches longer than the original Airstream slides, so they should handle our goal of a 52" bed when opened.

To handle the cantilever, I made a very sturdy backer board and notched it to let in the static part of the slider. The first picture shows one of the sliders fit into the backer. It's temporarily sitting on the bed base -- it's a lot prettier than the top of my workbench! The other slider is open in case anyone is curious about the build quality of the VTS slides.

The second pic shows the slides mounted. I built the bed by mounting the far slide on the plywood web, parallel to the hanging closet. I pushed it back hard and drove the first screw of the backer board. Then I screwed in the backer board every 6 inches into the rib behind (on the row of rivets). The trailer wall wanders about a half-inch over the course of the bed.

After this picture was taken, I evened off the moving parts of the slide to the face of the base, then screwed in the bed base. It moves evenly, but does take some effort to slide. It's still not waxed.

While waiting for the slides, I mounted the breaker panel and a Xantrex inverter in the rear of the closer compartment.

With the last of the bed base cut, we mocked it up at the full 52" width and laid on the boards for size. Probably a little over-engineered and a tad heavy, but it felt very solid
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Old 01-07-2010, 01:01 PM   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 65CV View Post
To keep the weight light, the cabinet frames will be frame and panel construction. Years ago, I found a good technique in Woodsmith magazine.

Run a full length dado in the stiles and rails. Make a tongue on the end of the stiles where they insert into the railss. The panels will slide right into the groove. Quick, simple -- and very light if 1/4 inch plywood is used.

The first picture is a panel ready for glueing, inset into the frame. The rail is folded back -- note the panel and tongue are the same dimension.

The second picture is a panel with 1 1/2 inch stiles and rails in mahogany along with 1/4" rails in sapele mahogany. It weighs about half as much as the old doors we had.

These are a little washed out. The ones in the trailer are a little dark. Wish I was better at photography!
65CV/John:

I just found your thread, and I add my compliments for your good efforts and postings. I have not begun my interior rebuild, and I am curious about your technique in the posting above. You use this for cabinet side walls or for cabinet doors? If doors, are they inset doors or overlay (and would it make any difference)? Sorry for my ignorance! Hank
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Old 01-07-2010, 06:09 PM   #111
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Frame and Panel

Hank-

Good question.

Basically, if it's not structural, I tried to use frame and panel construction. The doors on the Caravel, especially on the closets and overhead lockers, were surprisingly heavy. I'm trying to save weight there. I was also able to use this type of construction for the side of the refrigerator, where it wasn't structural.

Hope that answers your question.

John
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Old 01-08-2010, 07:38 AM   #112
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Full Circle -- starting the Dinette

No pix right now -- Tung Oil is drying on the parts from the gaucho -- slowly in our cold New England basement. We have a beautiful light snow today, but the temps aren't great for finish work.

The dinette frame is almost finished. I decided to go with a design based on two of the earliest threads I found at airforums.com. It's like coming full circle on building the last piece. With our water tank in the middle, it's a bit more complicated.

Uve and Carlos were both inspirations when deciding to and planning for our renovation. Their work is outstanding. If you haven't read these threads, you're in for a treat. If you like their work, check out Episode 17 of the VAP.

Uve's "a 63 for me" thread (link goes to the dinette discussion):
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f142...r-11687-7.html

Carlos' thread:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f321...ari-15592.html
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