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Old 12-27-2008, 10:19 AM   #1
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Transforming rear bath to bed nook?

Hi all,

I'm new to the forum...and new to airstreams. Bought a 69 tradewind this fall and am working (slowly) on the floor repairs now.

I'm having lots of visions of the airstream life. I'm not attached to keeping the bathroom and would rather have the space as storage and/or office/and or bednook. The bednook is most compelling now and wondering if anyone has done this and if there are posts/pics that you could send me to?

Some logistical questions that are arising in this dream state!:

What bits of the bathroom can be removed without compromising structural integrity? I've already removed the toilet (floor rot), but would like to remove the tub, the sink and at least the lower plastic 'surround'.

I'd need to remove the closets too to have room for a double bed. Any issues here?

Under bed storage-this is a bit of a black hole in my dream-maybe because it's a bad idea?! or maybe the seed for that dream is still underground, dormant but alive and waiting for just the right time to spring forth?!

Any feedback appreciated (hope I'll be able to find it! I've had a heckuva time figuring out this forum....but just like repairing the airstream, one step at a time, i keep plugging away).

much appreciation from the southern appalachians!

rivercaner
69 tradewind
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Old 12-27-2008, 01:48 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums............

Welcome to the forums.....you will find everything you need right here. I can't help you with your bathroom removal because having a bathroom in our trailer is very important to me....perhaps someone else can chime in here....have fun with your restoration....fixing the floor is very important to the integrity of the whole trailer.....you will be happy when it is fixed...and Happy New Year................pj
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Old 12-27-2008, 02:37 PM   #3
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If you carefully remove the trim, you'll find lots of rivets for all the seams. You can remove all the fiberglass sections that way, for the bench area, sink, tub, etc. Cabinets are all screwed in place and slide out rather easily. You'll have a fare amount of plumbing fittings, water heater, etc in that area to deal with, but if you're replacing flooring you can fill all that in. Are your intensions to resuse the black tank as a gray tank instead for the kitchen? You'll also find the waste pipes for that all go through the cabinets. Everything is small enough to fit out the trailer if disassembled at the seams.
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Old 12-27-2008, 06:11 PM   #4
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You can remove anything,or everything,inside the shell. It will all fit out the door. The structure is the shell. For under bed storage I built my bed with a hinge so i can lift up the plywood deck I keep my yard chairs in there.

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Old 12-27-2008, 06:34 PM   #5
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Thumbs down I would never give up our bathroom!

It's one of the reasons we have a trailer...to have a bathroom & a bed that only we use - not sharing with "who knows who". Also, it seems every time I have to use a public campground restroom I forget something or drop something in a puddle - yuck! Besides I hate to schlep things to & fro to a public bathhouse for all the world to see - not to mention "getting up" in the middle of the night. Without a bathroom, there would be no boondocking ~ well, I guess there could be, but....

I would also think a trailer w/o a bathroom would be pretty limiting...especially when it comes time to resell it.

Do what you want...it's your trailer, but if you do decide to take it all out - please keep all the parts to give to the next owner - they will appreciate it, I'm sure. Those kind of vintage custom Airstream-fit parts are very difficult to come by ~

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Old 12-27-2008, 07:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rivercaner View Post
Hi all,

I'm not attached to keeping the bathroom and would rather have the space as storage and/or office/and or bednook. The bednook is most compelling now and wondering if anyone has done this and if there are posts/pics that you could send me to?
I agree, love the bednook, using the black tank for gray water sounds like a great idea, maybe a simple toilet could be added, like marine or cassette. Here is a pic of tphan's setup, one of my favorites.
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Old 12-27-2008, 09:59 PM   #7
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Transforming rear bath to bed nook?

I am with Shari -- think carefully before taking this drastic step. If you have any thought that you may want to upgrade to a larger or different coach in the future, lack of a bathroom would be a selling problem -- most buyers for coaches over 20' expect and want a bathroom.

Having the bathroom means any rest area or picnic area stop has clean, known rest room facilities that are operable. Even when stopping at a modern full-facility rest area -- I use my own restroom in the coach -- far less objectionable and I know where everything is and how it has been maintained.

If you plan traveling secondary highways, most of the rest areas have only chemical toilets that can be quite unpleasant during the summer months. With a full bath in your coach, you have pleaseant surroundings wherever you stop.

Having had a white box travel trailer with a cassette toilet, I would urge you to consider whether that is really a step forward compared to our Airstream Thetford systems -- I know that in my experience it is much less objectionable to empty the black tank on either of my coaches than that old cassette toilet.

In the end, it is a decision that you will have to make -- it is your coach after all. I would encourage you to think carefully about just where and how you want to travel with your coach -- including the feelings of concerned family members as well.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 12-27-2008, 10:48 PM   #8
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I'm listening and appreciating the feedback. I'm not too surprised to hear strongly not to get rid of the bathroom! And....I'm hoping to find ideas for a good rear bed design.

Thanks again.

rivercaner
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Old 12-28-2008, 12:14 AM   #9
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bibbs, did you convert your rear bath to bed? or did you design a bed somewhere else with a hinged storage compartment? thanks!
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Old 12-28-2008, 09:26 AM   #10
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The set-up I have, which A/Simplelife pictured, is of a reconfigured rear end in which I squeezed in a queen bed and a very small bathroom next to it, which only has the original toilet, and a "convertible" shower space. No tub, or sink. This works much better for us than the original configuration, but it's just the 2 of us, no kids. While I was at it, I modified the plumbing to allow for the kitchen sink grey water to be optionally routed to the black water tank, or discharged straight out like in the original '72 design (no grey water tank). This was, of course, a major remodel, involving some re-positioning of the black tank. Good luck with your ideas! -tim
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:13 PM   #11
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To each his own

It really comes down to what works for you and how you will be using your camper. The thing is.....you don't always know what lies ahead for you. Will it stay in your back yard? Will you only be going to campgrounds
with nice bathrooms? Will you only be camping in perfect weather?
I do think that a cassette toilet is more conveniant to dump and clean.
The main priorities in a camper are 1) dry bed off of the ground 2) heat
3) shower. The sink and fridge are luxuries to me. As far as the stove
goes...I just make coffee inside the camper. I would rather cook outside,
so as to keep the heat and smells out of the camper.
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Old 12-29-2008, 08:13 AM   #12
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Good questions mandolindave. For now and probably at least through the summer, the silver roundbelli lives in a sweet spot in the corner of the back yard providing an extra bedroom/living space. Since I know so much more than I did when I bought her (and still have so much more to learn), I don't want to move her again until I've checked out possible frame and axle issues. I'm working on floor patches now (didn't know I had these issues when I bought her-did I say I'm learning?).

We'll probably have an outdoor kitchen. We use an awesome low tech soil-nourishing composting toilet.

The bed nook idea will continue to dream itself but no major action is anticipated for a few months.

Appreciation and good winters day to yall.
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Old 12-29-2008, 05:07 PM   #13
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rivercaner,I built my bed in the rear of a 26' argosy motorhome over the fresh water tank and generator compartment.we have a center bath which i converted to a very spacious powder room. No shower we have plans for an outdoor set up.

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Old 12-30-2008, 07:45 PM   #14
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Thats one thing I've been thinking about if I buy a "remodel" unit. I think I would put rear twins/bunks and a mid bathroom with just a full size marine/cassette toilet, and use as it as a closet in transit.

No shower, and no bathroom 2nd sink, just use the galley sink right outside the door or across the aisle.



like someone said, it depends on what works for you.
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