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Old 02-18-2013, 12:34 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
mattpalmeris's Avatar
nanaimo , British Columbia
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 27
Front Couch/Converta Bed/Pull-Out Lounge for 1980 Airstream 28' Excella

Like others on the forum recently, I took a peek behind the front lounge in my unit and didn't like what I saw.

Upon buying the Airstream I knew the front sofa had been replaced based on the fabric not matching with the side wall under the windows or with the two swivel chairs in the front lounge area. Not really having another to compare it to, it has done the job in a seasons worth of camping. When looking at the water tank on occasion I could see signs of a poorly done DIY job utilizing metal roofing screws etc and where the sofa attached to the wall

Yesterday I got dirty and pulled off the cushions to reveal a bit of a hack job and of course some rot. It looks to be a sofa from a conventional RV with a simple fabric covered wood panel up front. The problem is it has been butchered and squeezed into the space so much so that the installer put 5/8th plywood down as a spacer so the tank would clear over top the seat belt bolts due to the fact that the sofa is not as deep as the original. There was also a bunch of wood blocks in various positions loosly floating around trying to keep everything in place and even some carpet patches on top the water tank.

I also have no heat ducts from my furnace running to the front of the coach and it also looks as if there may have been a heat duct running through the cabinet as the furnace has a punch out in the same location that has been punched out but now has a cover over the hole. The hole in the cabinet side is square however so I not sure if AS squeezed a 4" flexible duct through like the rest or had sheet metal ducting in that location.

I'm a fan of originality and I don't even mind newer if its better but this job certainly is not. So I am looking for photos of early 80's coaches and their front lounge/couches, mainly the frame work. The owners manual / service manual also shows something about a side table in some models that I have never really seen before. I do believe the base of the original sofa in my unit had a curved front and 3 tambour doors as the carpet on the step up to the drivers seat is cut in a curve to match that very profile. That style would coincide with fellow member redrobin911 and his Northern Ireland 1979 unit and the photos just recently posted.

I haven't measured yet but if the base of the front lounge is the same length as the rear twin beds and similar construction then I can start to source parts and rebuild my sofa base with parts from a old trailer even. The other alternative I guess would be to install a new sofa with the proper dimensions from flexsteel or similar maybe. So if anyone has some better pictures, specifically of their front lounge/sofa and possible furnace duct and/or has swapped out their couch for something better then please let me know.
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:27 AM   #2
Airstream Driver
PeterH-Airstreamer's Avatar

1997 30' Excella
1983 31' Airstream310
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 3,099
Images: 51
You must have the rare rear Bedroom model with the curved windows. Years ago we determined that they did not make any Motor Homes in 1980, but rather continue to sell units they manufactured in 1979. A look at your Airstream Vin may reveal that fact (M28T9V... with nine being the year it was built.)
I do not have any pictures of the original but also very flimsy front lounge frame, but I have some showing the original Lounge and the fold out/slide out table. The frame of the lounge is only screwed to the side wall and the floor under the tambour doors, making it weak by design.
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1983 310 Classic Motorhome
1997 30' Excella Trailer
AIR #13
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:05 AM   #3
Rivet Master
bkahler's Avatar

1974 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Kentucky
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,132
Makes you wonder why someone would remove the original couch and butcher things up to install a different one. Sometimes you just have to wonder about previous owners.

Air forums # 1674
1974 20' Argosy Motor Home
1974 31' Excella trailer (parting out, as of 4/1/2015 I have wheels, brake drums, windows & holding tanks left to sell)
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:25 PM   #4
Rivet Master
1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Silverton , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,101
And wonder...and wonder,,,I have considered a futon-type replacement, as the 'couch' hurts in places not convenient...we jerked the streetside chairs a couple of years ago...put in a singer sewing machine base for the computer desk...what you have is a work in progress...imagination is a wonderful tool......and she's yours, lock,stock,and barrel
Michael & Tracy
1989 345 Motorhome
We live for the moment, 'cause when you get there, it's gone...
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