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Old 02-23-2004, 04:28 PM   #1
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Gaucho or couch bed

Hello,

I am currently shopping for my first Airstream. I hope I get the terminology right. I am inquiring about a 68 model that is supposed to have the front couch bed (gaucho? I don't know the correct term) removed. Is it difficult and expensive to replace it or is it a better move to install a futon. What are the options?

I do have average intelligence and skill with tools.

Thanks!

JMG
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Old 02-23-2004, 05:11 PM   #2
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Gaucho = Couch bed

Actually they are very simply constructed...at least in '64 and I think the '68 isn't that different. The challenge comes in matching old wood that has aged over the years. If there is a second one in the trailer you're looking at, it would be easy to use it as a "go-by".

Another option you may want to consider is having a built-in a Dinette instead. We removed our front guacho and built-in a dinette (click "photos" button below), it still makes down into a bed and is more functional during the day for our lifestyle.

A lot of folks have gone the futon route too...I would just be sure to attach it somehow so it doesn't move around while you travel down the road.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do ~

Shari
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Old 02-24-2004, 09:30 PM   #3
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Shari,

Can you explain how your dinette makes down into a bed? Does the table become part of it?

How does the gaucho convert into a bed?

Thanks,

John
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Old 02-24-2004, 09:39 PM   #4
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John ~

They both make into beds pretty easily...

Dinette - The table leg colapses and the table comes off the wall to rest on the edge of the seat frame. The back cushions fill-in the top of the table.

Gaucho - the seat slides out and the cushions flatten to make into the bed.

Does that help?

Shari
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Old 02-25-2004, 07:45 PM   #5
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John, I am currently removing the gaucho in favor of a dinette. I wouldn't worry too much that it is gone, other than it is only "original" one way.
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Old 02-26-2004, 06:51 PM   #6
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OK, I bought it. Its a 1968 26' Overlander. Or so I think. I have not seen it in person yet.

Complete and straight and everything is supposed to work except the front gaucho is removed. Ugly leopardskin carpeting.

I'm in the income tax business so won't get it until after April 15.

Hope it works out.

JMG
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Old 02-28-2004, 04:17 PM   #7
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Hello Shari,

I have looked more at your web site. Very nice. Questions:

I have never been inside an Airstream and will not see mine for six or eight weeks. The dinette looks good, but yours makes a single bed if I understand right. Is there enough room in an Overlander to make a dinette that makes a full bed?

Otherwise is the gaucho the best permanant way to have a full bed? (We anticipate putting in a futon in the short term.) Does an Overlander with a gaucho have any provision for a dining table?

Thanks!

JMG
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Old 02-28-2004, 04:27 PM   #8
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John

Yes and yes.

The front space in a 68 Overlander will be fine to fit a dinette in.

Attached is a picture of one. The table if there is mounted under the window to the right of the door.

Here is a link to more pictures of a 68 over lander
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Old 02-28-2004, 05:05 PM   #9
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Thanks John!

The space in front of most other models is larger...including some of the later year GlobeTrotters. We were somewhat limited by the length of the wall in front of the door...it's only 37". The gaucho that was there before did pull out into the doorway and make into a larger bed, but two things:

1) we wanted to keep the design of the new dinette simple, so opted for no slide-outs blocking the door
2) with a 19' trailer & no kids, we don't really need the second bed...we will never have another couple with us (6 for cocktails, 4 for dinner, 2 for bed)

As far as having a table with the gaucho, they usually fold out from the side walls and you use the gaucho with a couple of chairs. Our table was actually a free-standing collapsible one with two heights, dining & coffe table. We still have it and usually use it outside during happy hours.

Shari
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Old 02-28-2004, 07:19 PM   #10
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Hello,

I am still a little unclear. Is the space in the front of the Overlander large enough for a dinette that makes a full size bed?

Thanks,

JMG
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Old 02-28-2004, 08:54 PM   #11
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I can't answere the question, but just wanted to give a thumbs up to anyone who buys an A/S sight unseen, (on ebay?) whithout ever stepping inside of an A/S before the purchase, or know anything about them. Then going 300 miles to get it in the dark, rain, and snow, hooking it up and driving home with original tires and bearings unchecked.

Oh wait, that last part was what we did, sorry.
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Old 02-29-2004, 08:25 AM   #12
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Well,

I did send my brother to look at it. (He turned thumbs down and I bought it anyway). However, I have seen photos. It is represented both by the seller and the rv dealership that has serviced it to be straight and have everything work. Its probably o.k.

JMG
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Old 02-29-2004, 08:53 AM   #13
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John: You should have enough room forward of the entry door in your '68 Overlander to make a dinette that converts into a double size bed. Check out these photos of a 1966 22' Safari for ideas:

http://www.vintageairstream.com/arch.../66Safari.html

The front area forward of the door should be the same in your Overlander. You could even make the dinette table the same length as the cushions instead of having a fold-over table as seen in the Safari. That would provide enough room for dinner for Shari's four and a comfortable double bed for two.
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Old 03-13-2004, 12:58 PM   #14
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OK.

I couldn't take it, bummed a day out of the office (in tax season no less) and went and picked up the Overlander yesterday. It is much as I expected.

The one thing that does not seem to fit the idea of installing the dinette: There is a big plastic fresh water tank in the floor in the front end of the trailer. I presume that it was underneath the gaucho originally and hidden. Does anyone have any comments in this area? (My gaucho was removed and thrown away by the P.O.)

Are there drawings/dimensions of an original style gaucho available? It might be best to just build it back.

JMG
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