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Old 09-13-2012, 10:36 PM   #15
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2000 27' Safari
Palo Alto , California
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Thanks everyone - seems this is a common issue. Your insights as always are hugely informative, helpful and appreciated.

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Old 09-13-2012, 11:14 PM   #16
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1963 16' Bambi
Yreka , California
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Some great advice here! I would certainly check out Janet's link! We had the upholstery in our little Bambi done about 5 years ago, and we bought the fabric at a discount fabric store that had lots of upholstery fabric and foam as well. We asked the clerk who worked there if she knew anyone who would make covers for our couch, as I was given a 9 month waiting period by our "local" upholstery fellow... she offered to do it, it wasn't what she normally does, but she did a nice enough job. I think the whole thing was around $500 for both fabric and her labor.
Good luck with your project!

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Old 09-14-2012, 12:08 AM   #17
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1958 22' Flying Cloud
Folsom , California
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I just got a quote for a very similar sized dinette plus bunkbed cushions, fabric etc. 1700.00 for everything and he indicated it was higher grade foam than the fabric store foam. It didn't seem un-reasonable to me.

The last thing I would want is to build out nice cabinetry then have half rate upholstery work done to play down everything else.

Just my opinion.
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:58 AM   #18
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1956 16' Bubble
Dallas , Oregon
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That's exactly what I paid Matt. Ted
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:51 AM   #19
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1979 Argosy Minuet 7.3 Metre
Topping , Virginia
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I had two gouchos redone a couple of months ago.
Reusing my foam quotes ran from 270.00 with my material up to 2400.00 plus 10 yds of material at 35.00/yd
Bought the material at Joann's 10yds at 15 per yard and had the low bid
(from a recommended upholstery shop) for 270.00. Very nice job.

Look around you'll do better for sure.
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:16 PM   #20
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1968 24' Tradewind
Canoga Park , California
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Great forum, we had our gaucho's redone and were able to use the same foam. I found an upholsterer in Canoga Park that had rooms of remnants. Chose something off his floor and paid about $600 for the material and work. I think he had to build one piece of the gaucho that was missing completely.

I would love to change our front Gaucho on our 68 Tradewinds 24' to a bigger bed area, maybe I dinette that changes into a bed, is that what your picture is?

Thanks for sharing - Susie
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:19 PM   #21
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1956 16' Bubble
Dallas , Oregon
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Woody asked me what upolstery product I used on my bubble so ill list it here for all of you. I used 10 Yards of "recycled leather III" color 7544 saddle from Charlotte fabrics. Call Dallas upolstery at 503 623 8342 If you want some ordered and delivered to you. He said he could drop ship it. Cheers Ted.
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:08 PM   #22
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
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Durango , Colorado
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I've purchased a lot of trim work over the years for cars, boats and RV's. I learned early on that it makes sense to buy the material from the trim shop. Do you take your own steaks to a restaurant? The labor cost is usually adjusted to reflect the loss of profit on the materials. The only exception was for a motorhome where I scored some American Airlines seat fabric in gray with red, crimson, yellow and red accents. Ended up trading the excess material for part of the labor bill.
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Old 09-20-2012, 06:18 PM   #23
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1972 31' Sovereign
Fort Bragg , North Carolina
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Location does play a part in the cost. Here in NC, things can get done pretty decent in areas with small Family owned shops. Once you get over in the High Point area where the furniture is made, and the price almost doubles.

Material can be purchased at lower prices, and if you do buy this at a reduced closed out price by 10% more so you have the extra material for the "just in case". We have remodeled our International probably five times over 20 years to configure it to the needs at that point, so many lessons learned and some money spent that really didn't need to be spent due to NOT having enough materials to stay with the theme.

Good Luck.

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Old 09-20-2012, 07:03 PM   #24
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1999 25' Safari
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I believe California pricing is quite a bit more than back here in Ohio, having said that, I still think that price is high.

We removed our sofa from our '99 Safari (25'), and built a banquette (u-shaped dinete). I own and operate a drapery workroom, so I have access to drapery and upholstery fabric suppliers, as well as foam, etc. However, we wanted a particular faux croc in our Safari (for decorating purchases as well as being practical, it is water safe and for camping that made sense to us) so I ordered our upholstery faux croc from, if I remember correctly, it was around $32/yd. I upholstered our banquete frame and upholstered the cushions all in the faux croc.

We are pleased with our choice. You might check them out.

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Old 09-20-2012, 09:10 PM   #25
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1975 31' Sovereign
1969 29' Ambassador
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Snellville , Georgia
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I live in Atlanta and just bought a new "old" AS. I wanted to upholster the twin beds in the middle and the gaucho double. Any suggestions? The counter tops are REALLY green (70's hippies), and I was sure I wanted leather until I read the suggestion that leather is way too cold! However, I have dogs and a son in the army, who refuses to ever go with me AS'ing if I put "girly" stuff in there. I like the idea of a military army look. Any suggestions?
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:09 AM   #26
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I'd suggest you start by, if you have a large upholstery fabric store nearby, just walking through to see if you see anything that you like. If nothing local, try going to that site I mentioned,, and looking there, they seemed to have quite a bit.

Without knowing you, it's a little difficult to make a suggestion, but for a military look, camo came to mind, or even a leopard print, leopard prints now come in many colorways. (I'm working on a leopard print comforter and shams for our Airstream.) Depending upon the size of your TT, either of those could be overwhelming. However, you could choose your window treatment and upholstery fabrics, and then pull a color from those for the colorway in a camo or leopard print for the toss pillows on your gaucho and comforters/shams on the twins. Don't forget a few rugs to coordinate too.

If it was me, for example, I'd do a print of some sort on say the window treatments and pull a color from that for a solid upholstery fabric for the cushions on the gaucho then use either the camo or leopard print for the toss pillows/comforters/shams as I already stated.

Having dogs can be a problem with upholstery -- they can puncture leather or faux leather, but if you don't keep regular upholstery fabric covered, it will get dirty quickly.

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Old 09-21-2012, 10:02 AM   #27
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This is the part that has me baffled:

How do upholsterers stay in business?

I recently decided to have an old recliner at home reupholstered. I got three estimates. Each of the estimates were within 15% of paying full retail for a good quality recliner. I simply waited for one I liked to go one sale and bought a new one.

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Old 09-21-2012, 11:38 AM   #28
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Hi Ken.

That's the question, but it kind of follows how it is in many lines of business because of how low priced items from China, etc. are. One thing which many people don't consider is that those companies who have their upholstered lines made/built overseas, such as China, those pieces are shipped here in containers, and sometimes in those containers are rodents, reptiles, and insects from that country which hitch a ride in that container. I always make certain that any upholstered furniture I purchase is made here in the US. It's difficult sometimes to determine where it's made, but fortunately for me, I have friends who own a furniture store and I purchase directly from them. I don't want to be surprised by unwanted varmints walking out of the furniture and into our home!

I agree, it is very pricey to have furniture reupholstered. We don't normally do large upholstery (sofas/chairs), but we do build and upholster "light" upholstery -- headboards/cornice boards/ottomans/etc. We also do slipcovers, but those, too, are highend items. Slipcovers can cost almost as much as some new sofas, but these are normally ordered by highend clients who spend $$$$ for their furniture and the cost of the slipcover in comparison is much less. We do reupholster small wing chairs, etc. for friends and special clients.

Around here, many mom and pop upholsterers are going out-of-business. It's a shame as soon there won't be many for people to go to. The same is true of drapery workrooms -- the young people just aren't gettting into it and drapery workrooms are thinning out; I'm told hard to find. I haven't advertised my business in years, it's all word-of-mouth for my retail, and I do have some designers which I do wholesale for. I stay busy, as busy as I want to be, but I am now calling myself semi-retired and slowing down on the workload.


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