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Old 02-06-2011, 12:20 PM   #1
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1989 29' Excella
Tyrone , Georgia
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Couch project

Our 89 came without a couch... We have considered our options and although the magic couches from flex-steel look great, we began to ponder the possibility of creating our own design that would accomplish the following:

1. Be a great couch. The kind of couch that makes you want to turn on a movie and just relax with the whole family.
2. Be an acceptable bed. Maximizing the space available, we want it to convert to as large of a sleeping surface as possible.
3. Be a good dinette. By installing a flush floor mounted table pedestal we would like the table top and pedestal to be removable, and concealable within the couch itself. So, Leave a storage space within, behind or under the couch where the table top can be stowed and easily put in place.
4. After the design is worked out, we'll attempt to maximize storage space.

Materials.
Considering the large size of this we are thinking the frame should be built from aluminum in an attempt to keep it as light as possible.

Goal.
To be done by our first outing. Springstream

What do you all think? Negatives, positives, design ideas, design issues, etc.?

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Old 02-06-2011, 01:18 PM   #2
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2007 23' International CCD
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Sander 17 (Dave) has done a beautiful job of transforming his Airstream from front couch to dinette. His woodworking is gorgeous. Check out his thread for more pictures and the process from beginning to end.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f258...des-31748.html
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Old 02-06-2011, 03:03 PM   #3
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Looks like you have a good plan. Some folks have made some amazing convertable dinettes. Try using the (google) search function, found on the top bar of this site, to get some ideas. Or.... go to the Gallery (top bar) and then use the Search function that comes up on that page to search for Dinette. Lots of pictures!!!

Good luck. I've often considered this but am pretty happy with my gaucho.

Laura
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:36 AM   #4
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1989 29' Excella
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Thanks for pointing me in the direction of searching for "convertible dinette". That led to a large number of posts I had not found in previous searches.


One thought. I have noticed most dinettes utilize cushions that are very thin and flat in order to have them create a flat surface to sleep on.

What do you guys think about having a storage compartment over the battery box which could hold a self inflating air mattress? This way larger and "cushier" cushions could be used so that the sofa is more comfortable to sit on/in, but then the bed surface could still be as firm as the person wanted.
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:38 PM   #5
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2005 18' Westphalia
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This may not be an issue with your family but have you considered 'standing room?"
Our first RV had no standing room and when we camped as a family of four it was a real pain. There was no passing room. We would have to sit somewhere to let anyone pass by.

A u-shaped dinette eats up all of your open standing room.

We had an L-shaped sofa in our CCD which left an open area by the door. This made entering with bags, shoes, etc. easier as you could easily get out of the way and let others pass by.

Open floor space is also nice for a lot of other things. Easy access shoe storage so you can easily slip your shoes on/off and keep the trailer floor cleaner. It leaves an out of the way place to put a garbage can during heavy meal clean-up.

In our Westy we are extremely tight on floor space but that is the compromise we have made for a rig that is conducive to overnight trips and our current camping style. Our boys are older and we only camp as a couple now. But when we get closer to retirement and are taking longer trips again, we will want open space.
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:47 PM   #6
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We have started to wonder about the "floor space" as well. We have decided to start with a sofabed and see what we think after some time. It will be a lot easier to change from a sofa to a custom dinette than vice versa.

Thanks for the advice!
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Old 02-24-2011, 05:17 PM   #7
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Old 02-24-2011, 05:30 PM   #8
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Hey guys. I've started planning this thing out. I hope to start cutting up the aluminum for the local tig welding professional to come over and join it up. I would really appreciate some opinions and comments so we can make sure it turns out perfect.

Here are some stats as I've figured so far.

2" square aluminum tube 6061, 1/8" thick wall. Aircraft spruce (locally) for $4.5 foot
Dimensions of couch are duplicating a couch we really like, that is "deep seating".
Air mattress will be a queen aero bed. It's shown accurate in size.

Brown ultra leather for $20 a yard online

6" foam from joann's (I read we should find a coupon)

Polyfill pillow cushions on the back.

Foam back for ottoman/armrest on far side (not shown)

Foam armrest on near side of couch (not shown)

One fold down leg to support the bed when extended (not shown)

Upholstered plywood faces that will hing up covering the underside of both couch and ottoman.

Seat tops for couch and ottoman will be covered with elastic webbing:
Elasbelt (Latex or rubber) Webbing - for furniture seats, Furniture Webbing, Webbing, Elasbelt (Latex or rubber) Webbing - for furniture seats, Elasbelt (Latex or rubber) Webbing - for furniture backs from Rochford Supply - Your Online Textile and Up

Bed top will be covered with:
Seat Belt Webbing, Furniture Webbing, Webbing, Seat Belt Webbing from Rochford Supply - Your Online Textile and Upholstery Superstore!

Not sure about the couch back yet.

Webbing will be fastened by these, screwed in place
Rubber Webbing Clips, Chalk, Upholstery Accessories, B.W. Clip, Coil Springs from Rochford Supply - Your Online Textile and Upholstery Superstore!

Piano hinge will make joint.

Will install a coffee table/dining table that is removable next.

-----



Any thoughts?
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Old 02-24-2011, 05:47 PM   #9
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Send a message via Skype™ to cruiser54
To construct a lot of work around this....
A lot of work, finally, has a bed to sleep....
I am, if possibly, for easy solutions!

Greetings from Switzerland
Werner
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Old 02-24-2011, 06:04 PM   #10
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Most boring video ever for those who really want to help!

YouTube - sofa
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Old 02-24-2011, 06:51 PM   #11
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I like the design. One thing you may want to add is a removable leg for the near side corner when folded open. Folks are going to sit on the edge and you don't want it to bend. I built a traditional gaucho using the plans at vintageairstream.com. It works great but I added two removable legs for under the extended slide. Another thing to consider in your design is to leave access somehow behind the couch back. A small shelf back there on top of the tank is a good linen closet. You will need some webbing there to support the back cushions so they don't go thru the back.

As far as webbing goes, you could also try jute webbing or the thin nylon webbing like they use in lawn chairs. You may have to add a cross brace to keep the webbing from bending the long side if the couch. I used zig zag spring wire but this required strong cross bracing.

Cosmos
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:50 PM   #12
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I second the folding leg idea, 6061 is great stuff but 200 lbs. or so on that corner and I bet it would bend.
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Old 02-24-2011, 08:30 PM   #13
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Leg= agreed. I just skipped over it accidentally in the drawing. It will fold up I think.

About the back angle, I just found a thing called a retractable spring plunger. I was thinking there could be a plunger on each side, which would plunge into one of many possible angles by drilling holes in a solid plate on each side. Maybe they could be connected to a simple pulley system connected to a handle on the top of the back side.
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Old 02-24-2011, 08:52 PM   #14
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Do yourself a favor and find a upholstery store for the foam. The stuff at Joanns is really low quality and VERY expensive for the same quality elsewhere. ( I think no one buys it without the 50% off coupon) The heavy density foam I bought at Joanns broke down in less than a year on a couch in my house. The stuff from the upholstery store is going strong at four years old.

I've also had three Aero beds they really aren't that sturdy, you'll have to protect it somehow from getting pinched by the webbing or rubbed on by the fasteners.

Nice modern solution and I like your creative thinking! Keep us posted
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