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Old 07-28-2011, 05:03 PM   #1
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Smile We made a bunkhouse!

This is our very first weekend camping in our "new" 1989 Excella 29 twin midbath. Thanks to some wonderful forum friends who helped us find it, we drove it home to Georgia about a month ago from northern Tennessee and then worked very hard on it! We replaced some rotten floors, fixed and updated systems, and then designed and built bunks for our seven kids. Many thanks to forum members who posted their own pictures!!!

We used Coleman cots for the bunks. We took the legs off and sweated copper pipe to replace the hinges on the cots. The uppermost bunks has to be shortened because of the curves of the walls and ceilings. We took out the overhead cabinets over the beds and took out the nightstand. We made oak frames to hold the bunks away from the windows and curtains so those are still fully functional. The top two bunks are fixed and the middle two are hinged and can clip to the bottom of the top bunks up and out of the way. They can be raised and lowered very easily. When raised, there is room to sit on the bottom bunks. The bottom bunks are the original twin beds. The two sets of triple bunks sleep six and the seventh child has an air mattress on the floor between the bunks. there is still room to get by, but barely! We have plans to make a but in ladder at the end which will double as shelves, but ram out of money for more wood, so until we can get more oak we are using a lightweight stepladder there. The bunks are light and comfortable! My husband and I tried each one, though the top ones are only 5'9" so they are too short for him. They are very sturdy! Each cot was 44.00 including tax and the wood and bolts etc came to around 225.00. The cots came with thin mattreses and the air mattress was only 2.50 because it is really a pool floaty.

When we can afford to, we will make a table to fit down the middle like a restaurant booth, and will finish the ladder. The bunks are Great!!! Comfortable, safe, and let us put all seven kids in one room so we have the living room to ourselves at bedtime! Here are photos if I can figure out how to post them. Thanks to everyone for all the great information. We have been dreaming if our own airstream for years. Until now our camper was a 1969 Coleman pop up!
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:07 PM   #2
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I cannot seem to figure out how to post the photos! Is it possible from an iPhone? I am at a campground w no wifi so I can't use the regular computer. Sorry for all the typos, typing on a phone is hard!
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Old 07-29-2011, 10:57 AM   #3
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We stopped at our house and I was able to upload some photos to my account. You can see the temporary ladder. You can also see one of the straps hanging down. The straps hold the middle bunk when it is hinged up out of the way when the bottom bunk is used for seating. The third and fourth pictures show what it looks like with no upper mattresses so you can see the structure better, and also what it looks like wiht the hinged bunks in the "up" position. The curtains and windows are fully operational. In the last picture you can see the air mattress for the seventh (floor) bunk stowed on the top bunk, and the stepladder lying down for travel. We will build a ladder of shelves where the temporary one is and we are hoping build a long table to go in between so that the kids can sit on both beds and play cards or eat or draw at the table.
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Old 07-29-2011, 11:04 AM   #4
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Wowzer!

That is the best bunk layout I have seen-well done and I am jealous that the nine of you can camp together! Way to go. Name for the trailer: "AlumiNiner" ol bill
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Old 07-29-2011, 11:24 AM   #5
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My Mom used to say "Neccessity is the Mother of Invention!" What an awesome makeover and everyone has room to sleep! And I like ol Bill's suggestion for the name ... Wendy
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Old 07-29-2011, 01:00 PM   #6
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Nice work!...at Falluminum you can compare notes with Ron ( Pizzachop) and his bunks for 9 children.
Our 66 Overlander has a bunk that it came with, although we keep it in the garage now as we don't need it. It does need new hinges though, it folds up to the ceiling with two hold in clips. Its wood.
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Old 07-29-2011, 03:05 PM   #7
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Very nice! What a beautiful example of "form follows function" or, maybe this is "function follows form" . . . whatever . . . this is just way too cool.

And, I love the idea of the game table down the center aisle.

I like to think of the nine of you all tucked cozily in your little mobile hobbit hole.

Debbie
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Old 07-29-2011, 03:21 PM   #8
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WOW, WOW, WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! nice job and what innovative way for everyone to sleep inside!!
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Old 07-29-2011, 08:54 PM   #9
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Thanks so much!! Everyone is tucked in as I write. The oldest and youngest girls are the only ones actually asleep yet, though. They were so excited! Oddly, they all fought overthr middle bunks, when we figured everyone would want the top!
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:13 PM   #10
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Y'all have a great set up!
Enjoy camping.
Jane
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:48 PM   #11
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Thanks! We were laughing, the kids are using the sides of the bunks themselves to climb up and down, so the ladder may be unnecessary!
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Old 07-30-2011, 04:03 PM   #12
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Did your AS already have that beautiful wood cabinets? I love your tri-bunks. I wanted to put double bunks in our 67 as all the wood in her is pretty much waisted do to 15 years with missing windows and dome lid.
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Old 07-30-2011, 06:37 PM   #13
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We may have to adopt that name, Bill! Alumininer... I love it! Cj, yes, this is an 89 excella 1000 and part of the excella package then was all the oak cabinetry. It is heavy though. It's very nice but I think I'd rather have the tambours! The kids are loving it. I wish I could find a replacement table, half of ours was missing when we bought it.
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:38 AM   #14
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Skatiero,

That looks fantastic! What a great improvement and way to make you 'stream function for your family. I hope to get a chance to see it in person at one of the events around GA.
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