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Old 10-18-2015, 12:57 PM   #1
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gaucho v dinette dilemma , need help !

hi all, I can't be the first to have been in the quandary, my 1972 Sovereign is in mint original condition, going to need new curtains / beds / plastics in bathroom need refurbishing etc, but apart from that it's a beautiful time warp piece from the '70's, even has the original green shag carpet that looks as new as the day it was installed (i pulled it up and cleaned thoroughly & installed a new felt under pad).

so my quandary is whether or not to keep the original gaucho design, which i really don't care for, it's great in the fact that there's so much room inside the living area, you could even do a Yoga routine in that space, but it's just a poor design for sleeping, eating and working at the fold out table. It sits far too low, the ergonomics are terrible. on the other hand, great to have a couch to chill out on. Despite the size of the 31' trailer, even when folded out the bed is barely a "full size", great for two kids up to about 12 or so but two adults? you'd be very very cozy, most people are used to King or queen's so this double is tiny!!

has anyone regretted pulling out the gaucho ? gone back to it?

pros of keeping:
keeps AS original (which i love)
nice to have a traditional couch for chilling on
offers loads of interior space when folded up as the couch and with table folded down.

cons:
uncomfortable to eat at table, poor ergonomics
too low for sitting comfortably working on a laptop at the desk, although could use a chair on other side of table.
limited dining space for guests compared to dinette
kind of a useless bed for two adults, not wide enough

we're not the kind of people to laze around all day on the couch watching TV, i think we'd probably appreciate the extra space for entertaining guests for dinner and then being able to offer them a really nice sized full sized bed to sleep on. what a dilemma! .. writing this post has helped me think through the two options though.
An option to rebuild the Gaucho would be an idea, but could it be made higher and wider for better table ergonomics and bedding ?
Any thoughts , most appreciated !
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Old 10-18-2015, 01:06 PM   #2
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Put the gaucho where the table is and build a custom dinette across from it. best of both worlds. Then the gaucho can be used as seating for the dinette table as well.
For your reference, the dinette I build is 68"x33", which would fit perfectly in that space to the right of the door in a trailer

Thats what I did in my Motorhome
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Old 10-18-2015, 02:01 PM   #3
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Just a few questions. Is it a '72 31' Sovereign twin? That is the only one I could find with a front lounge like that.

Also, the gaucho does not look right by the photo. There is like no back to it or a very very short one. It is all there or broken?

My model is very similar in setup, shorter and center bath but similar. This is personal opinion but one thing I look for is sitting position to even be able to watch TV. I like the natural straight on viewing rather than 90 degree watching. My gaucho provides 40x74 sleeping with an inflatable sleep mattress. I figured out how to fit the 54" wide full size inflatable in the same space with 6" overhang just buy using a utility table as support for the slight overhang- just in case, but chose not to. Several Airstreams have "full beds" not much bigger- around 48" wide. Space is nice. The other Sovereign of the same vintage with the full bed has an L lounge. You might consider adding a small sectional to the street side.

It really depends on how many you have to sleep and how many to entertain. I have had eight people in mine. Three on the couch, I added two chairs and then three in the back on the twins and we walked around. It was great. We even ate.

I will tell you this, if I had the room, I would load my Ekornes chair in the camper and use it regularly. If you have that much room you might consider options like that too. That is WAY more comfortable as long as your bedding requirements are met. You can also do a mattress on the floor. The good ones sleep great.

This is what my gaucho looks like (note the Ikea side chair):
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Old 10-18-2015, 02:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by rodsterinfl View Post
Just a few questions. Is it a '72 31' Sovereign twin? That is the only one I could find with a front lounge like that.

Also, the gaucho does not look right by the photo. There is like no back to it or a very very short one. It is all there or broken?

My model is very similar in setup, shorter and center bath but similar. This is personal opinion but one thing I look for is sitting position to even be able to watch TV. I like the natural straight on viewing rather than 90 degree watching. My gaucho provides 40x74 sleeping with an inflatable sleep mattress. I figured out how to fit the 54" wide full size inflatable in the same space with 6" overhang just buy using a utility table as support for the slight overhang- just in case, but chose not to. Several Airstreams have "full beds" not much bigger- around 48" wide. Space is nice. The other Sovereign of the same vintage with the full bed has an L lounge. You might consider adding a small sectional to the street side.

It really depends on how many you have to sleep and how many to entertain. I have had eight people in mine. Three on the couch, I added two chairs and then three in the back on the twins and we walked around. It was great. We even ate.

I will tell you this, if I had the room, I would load my Ekornes chair in the camper and use it regularly. If you have that much room you might consider options like that too. That is WAY more comfortable as long as your bedding requirements are met. You can also do a mattress on the floor. The good ones sleep great.
mine is a twin center bed / rear bath. So if i wanted a decent sized bed for two the front gaucho is very limited, kind of hassle to have to blow up a mattress every night then pack away the next day, no? i even thought about building a small extension of say 12" wide , a box set and extra foam , that could be stored in a closet for those trips when we would need a full sized double bed.
i agree the back looks very low in that pic, kinda strange, it's since gone and i have new foam ready to go but keep having this niggling feeling i should go with a dinette ! i've seen pics with a long couch down one side opposite the door, and 4 or 6 seat dinette that collapses to form a substantial bed too.
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Old 10-18-2015, 02:20 PM   #5
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i see newer airstreams have done away with the gaucho and go with dinette and couch set up , maybe for a reason ?
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Old 10-18-2015, 02:46 PM   #6
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Frankly I do not like the emphasis they have placed on the dinette and really like the fold up table. Since Aluminitus hit me I have become conscious of multi-purpose space and things. I prefer them and like the concept of one space many activities, etc. I believe it was cheaper to make the dinette than to have a couch and folding table too and the reason for that odd side wall lounge/bench is really for bed creation IMO. I can tell you that reading this forum for about four years MANY people have removed the dinette to gain room and better seating. It is the first furniture to go- from my reading. That actor guy Matt McConnahay, with the 28' dumped his out and got a small dining table he put along a side for more room. Your space is KING and offers you loads of opportunities. Intended use is what it is about.

As for your box, I have a small table that I use as a coffee table and foot rest. That is what I referred to as using for the overhang on a full size mattress- pushed up against the gaucho.

The air mattress thing is simple. I got a nice one with velour top and electric/battery pump. It is ready for sheets in about 2 minutes. I just plop the couch down and put it on top then blow it up and add sheets. Tear down is pop the big valve open and go off to do something for a few minutes. Come back, smash it down and fold sheets pop up couch. It all goes in a plastic bin. I tried sleeping on the bare gaucho one night- yuck. If you have that much floor space, you could skip the gaucho and go for the floor. People with the dinette or the L lounge still have to shuffle cushions and pull sheets and raise the table, etc. Any way you look at it, there is work. But, regardless of foundation, I would want the mattress, personally. Hey, if your peeps don't like the floor you can swap or tell them to sleep outside!
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Old 10-18-2015, 08:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
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...
For your reference, the dinette I build is 68"x33", which would fit perfectly in that space to the right of the door in a trailer
...
I meant to say left of your entrance door when you are inside the trailer.
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Old 10-18-2015, 10:01 PM   #8
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We removed the gaucho on our '72 Tradewind and replaced it with a dinette.

One of our trailers, a 15 foot canned ham, had a small but very comfortable front dinette. Our '67 Globetrotter had the slide out, fold open table and gaucho. As you have found the ergonomics were challenging. At least a 31 footer has more room to work with. In the GT there wasn't hardly enough room to sit across from each other while eating, and that required having a extra chair to pack. I now know why the folding Legomatic chairs were so popular with Airstreamers in that era.

A number of people we've had at our rallys have commented on how uncomfortable the dinettes are in the newer trailers. I built ours to sit 4-5 people, fit my wife's short height while also adding extra storage underneath the seats and behind the backrests. In a pinch the new table is built to drop down flat and the cushions are cut to fill the space making a double size bed.
Additionally, with the original table now removed from the wall, the street side bench is long enough to stretch out on and when sitting at the new table you're looking out the front and side windows not towards the back of the trailer.

For our needs it wasn't a dilemma on keeping the original set-up, but how quickly I could convert to space into something more comfortable and useful for our needs.

Good Luck,
Tom
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Old 10-19-2015, 12:18 AM   #9
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I just put down blue painters tape on the floor where the dinette and side couch would go, doesn't leave much room now i got used to that open space
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Old 10-19-2015, 12:37 PM   #10
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Maybe the table could be moved?

If you removed the arm rest on the door side, you could utilize that wasted space. I wonder if the table could be moved to the door side? That is the layout for my 1973 29ft. Ambassador. What I love about that layout is the table closes and slides back out of the way. Then you would have more room to increase your bed size (there was a great post about that recently) here it is.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f39/gaucho-extension-flip-down-legs-139972.html

I have a jackknife sofa arrangement in mine that is great! We recently had as many as seven adults visiting and playing card games in our trailer. It was cozy Just my thoughts.
I understand wanting to keep it original, I struggled with the same thoughts and decided that is why I bought a vintage airstream. I can always modernize, but never go back to the way it was....
Btw. I think the couch is missing the back cushion, it should reach to above the bottom curtain glides. The short cushion is connected to the bottom and has a board in it...?
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Old 10-19-2015, 01:17 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by nickclifford View Post
... my quandary is whether or not to keep the original gaucho design, which i really don't care for,... It sits far too low, the ergonomics are terrible. ...has anyone regretted pulling out the gaucho ? ...An option to rebuild the Gaucho would be an idea, but could it be made higher and wider for better table ergonomics and bedding ?
Any thoughts , most appreciated !
I've owned big trailers, much bigger than your 31' Sovereign ('56 Spartan 50';'53 Vagabond 41'), but now my aluminitis is under control, and I am down to one 15' airframe trailer, a 1955 beauty. Originally she came equipped with a side dinette over the wheel well, and on the other side of the aisle, a gaucho. I hated having to make the bed each night, and my wife hated the portion of the bed relegated to her (the back cushion flopped down.) So I pulled the dinette out -- we never used it, too cramped and uncomfortable, just piled stuff on it. I built a second bunk, matched the cabinet doors, latches, and hinges, added storage drawers on full suspension hardware, and solved two problems at once. Ready made beds under the couch covers, and tray tables for easting inside, which unless it's especially bad weather, we rarely do. Make your trailer comfortable for you!
Best,
Michael
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Old 10-19-2015, 01:25 PM   #12
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We moved the Groucho to the street side, and it runs back to front. We moved the fold out table to under the front window, so you sit on the Groucho when the table is folded out. On the other side of the table we use two folding chairs. When everything is folded shut, it leaves a lot of storage space in the front.
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Old 10-19-2015, 02:08 PM   #13
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Just removed my gaucho and installed home theatre recliners.
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Old 10-19-2015, 02:31 PM   #14
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Complete gut and rebuild here. A settee on either side, lots of storage underneath with large drawers to access it. The wife and I each have a drawer that can fit an airline-max-bin size suitcase. The curb-side settee is 6" away from the wall, so that it fits my 39" flatscreen. Wings on custom table fold in to allow easier movement, fold out for fine dining.

More on the flatscreen install here: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f450...ml#post1699023
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