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Old 04-03-2016, 08:56 PM   #1
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1965 22' Safari
Cumming , Georgia
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BIG Project-- upholster the gaucho

Okay, so we finally pulled the trigger and brought home our first airstream- a 1973 Safari LY. I'm about to take on my first project. It's in great condition and is very original, HOWEVER it's sofa has been re-done (and I'm afraid
it was done badly). I could pull it apart and re-do what was done to it, but I would like to do a better job than the PO. I am looking for resources. I don't have a great idea of what it should look like. Is the backrest piece supposed to be connected to the seat piece?

Any hints or tips?
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Old 04-03-2016, 11:06 PM   #2
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That's the way mine was originally - connected.
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Old 04-26-2016, 12:23 PM   #3
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We eliminated our gaucho and replaced with two swivel leather recliners. I found a small oak cabinet at our local Habitat Resale store to go between the chairs and replace the storage lost under the gaucho. The chairs came with ottomans which double as extra chairs and on the occasion we have an over night guest an inflatable mattress works well. The chairs sit against the wall adding additional floor space lost by the gaucho and are much more comfortable for late evening relaxing.
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Old 04-26-2016, 02:36 PM   #4
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1964 26' Overlander
1964 19' Globetrotter
Eastern , Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pamu View Post
Okay, so we finally pulled the trigger and brought home our first airstream- a 1973 Safari LY. I'm about to take on my first project. It's in great condition and is very original, HOWEVER it's sofa has been re-done (and I'm afraid
it was done badly). I could pull it apart and re-do what was done to it, but I would like to do a better job than the PO. I am looking for resources. I don't have a great idea of what it should look like. Is the backrest piece supposed to be connected to the seat piece?

Any hints or tips?


I've redone several trailers now and you are wise to get some tips and plan carefully - it's a lot of work.

I'm not sure if the back was connected to the seat originally on your trailer but having redone an argosy with this set up I would avoid this at all costs. Do the seat and the back separately - they will be fine and should stay in place without that complicated fabric hinge.

The back cushion needs to be kicked out a few inches at the base to be really comfortable. My go to solution for this is to buy a foam pool noodle, trim to size and cover in a fabric tube to match your upholstery - fast, cheap and easy. Tuck it in behind the back cushion.

Foam: if you need new foam get the good stuff even though it's expensive. Order latex foam in slabs online (often sold as mattress toppers). It's more comfortable and much more durable than the cheap stuff at the fabric store. You can glue slabs together with spray cement to get the desired thickness. 6 inches thick is a good target. Use 3m super 77 spray adhesive to bond layers of foam. Foam should be wrapped in dacron batting and then a muslin layer before the cover is put on.

Fabric: Good upholstery fabric is expensive but there are several places that sell roll ends online. Make sure you get fabric that is light safe, cleanable and durable. Do NOT spend $$$ on tapestry fabrics that look awesome but will break down in a few years of sunlight and use. It's a lot of work to upholster large foam cushions... buy good materials and get it right the first time.

try some of these places:

http://www.totofabrics.com/
http://www.modern-fabrics.com/store/...?pg1-cid7.html
http://www.silverstonefabrics.com/aboutus.asp


Watch some youtube videos about techniques for making cushions.

This is how you stuff the foam into your cover:

Use cheap painters plastic drop cloth film in place of the "silk film" referenced here.

Buttons: If you decide to have buttons on your cushions, take some of your fabric to an upholstery shop and have them make the buttons. The cheesy ones they sell at fabric and craft stores will break over time.

Zippers: Buy a roll of bulk 'zipper" it will save you money and be sure to get the plastic coil stuff. It's much easier to work with than the old metal zipper material and very strong.

Beer, aspirin and 4 letter words: Buy some, take some, use some. Redoing upholstery is absolutely doable but requires a little persistence. You will be rewarded with comfy cushions, compliments and the knowledge that you saved a boatload of money by doing it yourself.
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