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Old 07-01-2016, 06:06 AM   #1
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2006 22' Interstate
League City , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,061
Custom computer table using Airstream's flanges and legs

I was initially going to put this in the Interstate Mods thread, but then I wondered how many other Airstreamers (besides Interstaters) have need of a proper RV or trailer computer table such that they might want to see these ideas and follow-up comments. So I decided to make a standalone thread and perhaps it will appear more widely in the daily feeds.

Recently on the 06 Parkway thread, several of us T1N Interstate owners noted that we had removed the original Airstream-supplied tables from our vehicles pretty much immediately. We just didn't see them as very practical.

However in my case, removing the table did not solve an essential problem - I needed a secure table for my business computer. Sometimes I do have to work in the rear of our vehicle while my husband is driving, and my computer is pretty much the largest laptop on the market. Resting it on my thighs is not sufficient nor is it very safe for the computer if we hit a rough patch of road.

The solution I came up with makes use of the pedestals (legs) and flanges that Airstream supplied with the original table. Reduce, reuse, recycle! No need to re-invent all of this wheel - there was nothing wrong with Airstream's hardware; it was just the table top itself that needed to be refined and adapted for a specific purpose.

This is a super-easy project that requires the use of a couple of screwdrivers and perhaps a bit of sewing or gluing skills, but that's about it. Here's a pic of the final result, and the material sourcing and detailed assembly instructions are in the blog post linked below.

Notice how the table includes a Velcro hold-down strap for the computer. Very important. And because the table top is now made of perforated aluminum, features such as straps can be unscrewed and moved around as needed. I also talk about protecting computer drop sensors in the blog post, and about providing a measure of shock absorption generally.

If anyone else has ideas to add regarding this kind of application, I'd love to hear about them. Most people do regular computer work these days, but everyone's needs are different.

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Old 07-01-2016, 06:44 AM   #2
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Normal , Illinois
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Great idea, IB!

There are lots of folks traveling who are still working, and those of us with Airstream Class B's of one sort or another don't have dinettes...the only thing I miss about our first RV, a Class C.

This is a really good solution.


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Old 07-01-2016, 12:41 PM   #3
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2005 22' Interstate
san clemente , California
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Very nicely conceived and executed enhancement project. You really do a great job of explaining a DIY project.
Look forward to your next installment, I've stolen a few of your ideas for my INTERSTATE and am very happy with those improvements. AEW
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Old 07-17-2016, 05:47 AM   #4
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League City , Texas
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Related general question on mobile officing in the Interstate Ė

Does anyone use their TV as a second computer monitor? If so and if you wish to reposition it while on the road, how do you prevent it from swinging around uncontrollably in response to vehicle motion? (Same question might apply if you watch TV while on the road, actually).

I was going to buy a USB 3 portable monitor to take with me on trips until my husband pointed out that our existing TV can be used in VGA mode. It works quite well and in fact is a better option from a power management standpoint because it draws from the house battery and not my laptop as a USB 3 monitor would. Except I have to extend the TVís mounting arm, which leaves me with a logistical challenge. I can bungee-cord the TV to the nearest available fixed objects, but that solution certainly lacks elegance...
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Old 07-17-2016, 01:30 PM   #5
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Most TV mounts have adjustment screws at the pivot points that can be tightened to limit the amount of "swinging around uncontrollably in response to vehicle motion".
Glass half full or half empty to an engineer is the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

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Old 07-17-2016, 01:50 PM   #6
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Melbourne Beach , Florida
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Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
Except I have to extend the TVís mounting arm, which leaves me with a logistical challenge. I can bungee-cord the TV to the nearest available fixed objects, but that solution certainly lacks elegance...
On my previous trailer and the current one, I put a length of nylon strap with parachute buckles on it under the monitor mount when I screwed it to the wall. I can leave the pivot screws loose so we can adjust as needed when stopped. When stopping I release the buckle and wrap the strap around the mount arm, making it invisible. When packing up I push the monitor against the wall and secure the strap around the monitor bottom to top. I have the buckle on the top but I'm going to change it to the bottom to make it easier to reach.


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Old 07-18-2016, 07:18 PM   #7
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Nice job!

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