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Old 01-01-2007, 09:12 AM   #1
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Red face Infoamed Decision

Ok, I have been a good little boy and read all the posts having to do with replacing cushion foam, and the information here is all good and all over the board.

I have a 65 Safari, and when I got it the orginal cusions were missing. So I really have two questions. First, does anyone know how the original cushions were cut and how they folded up ? I need to be able to tell the people who are going to make the new cusions. and Second, I have done a lot of research on the different types of foam, and what is the best foam to use? I know this may be a subjective question, but it sounds like the ones who have used the stiffer foam all wind up using toppers, because by the time the foam is stuffed in the fabric, it's hard as a rock. This will be mostly used for camping so sleep comfort is my primary concern.

OK, one more quick question. As a newbie here do any of the members ever get together for group buys or are there some "preferred" vendors for these sorts of things ?
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Old 01-01-2007, 12:04 PM   #2
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From personal experience, what feels like nice soft foam may feel like concrete once the covers are zippered up tight and the foam becomes compressed.
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Old 01-01-2007, 12:12 PM   #3
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Foam--you'd think someone would know the technical name for the usual stuff, like rubber, or memory foam, closed cell, open cell, etc. No clue here, but when you go to the "foam store" the general purpose stuff is the original foam. You're right about firmness--"firm" foam feels fine if you push on it with your hand, but when you sit or lie down on it, it's too firm. I don't know how long your local store will let you lie down on their products, but give several of their firmnesses a try if they allow it.

Cushion Cut--you only got two options. First, you can sew the two covers together right at the seam where they would normally fold to either make the couch or bed. When flat, this seam is at the top surface of the bed and helps hold the two pieces of foam together so you don't have a gap to slowly fall into during the night. The down side of this design is that when it's in the couch configuration, when you sit down and compress the seat foam it drags down the back. It's also a little bit of a design juggling act to apportion the width of the bottom and back foam widths properly to get a nice sitting comfort, yet still have the right total width for the bed.

The other option is to have a separate back piece that is unconnected to the seat. This allows the back to be wider (it has to fill the 6" or so of gap behind the seat foam) and solves the problem of the back being pulled down as you sit. But the gap between the two pieces is a problem when in bed mode. If your seamstress is skilled, you could zipper the two pieces together to solve this, but the zipper would have to be very flat or you'd be unhappy with it, considering you'd only have a sheet between you and the zipper.

Airstrmgypsy has long experience with this issue. Perhaps she'll chime in here.

Zep
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Old 01-01-2007, 12:30 PM   #4
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Could a mid-60s Safari owner post detailed pics?

peegreen and Zep -- Thank you for jumping in and posting to this thread.

Kevo -- I believe this is the 2nd time you've asked about this and I was determined to find a few nuggets. You'll get all sorts responses to the search function but I saw a lot of positive ideas by searching on 'foam mattress'. I found the thread I remembered, http://www.airforums.com/forums/f39/bedding-cushion-advice-offered-20010.htm, after searching on 'foam density'. I don't really think you'd want memory foam for what you're seeking. Also see http://www.airforums.com/forum...pad-24178.html

I don't know if you can get enough detail at Vintage Airstream's photo archives for the 65Safari

Are you going to make the cushions yourself? Then you should know about the vacuum cleaner trick to deflate the foam some before pulling your cover over it.

Buyers club? I haven't seen anything like this develop because so many materials are general supply available locally. Subsystems like water pumps, furnaces, water heaters and refrigerators tend to have similar capacities and dimension over the decades -- new ones fit into the same space with minor replumbing or vent adaptation. These are industry-standard and not unique to Airstreams. Have you pressurized the pipes to check for leaks? You'll probably find that the Univolt is a pain and there are good replacements mentioned here too. There are so many jobs that I only have 2 suggestions -- read all you can here (follow actively + research topics) and then come back with issues that still seem a mystery. We'll also be thrilled if you share your solutions too.

Glad you're aboard!
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Old 01-01-2007, 01:31 PM   #5
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okay I'll chime in

Welcome to the forums and airstreaming!

This has been a sore subject for me for quite awhile. (Pun intended)

This statement by Pick says it all. "We still have the OEM foam in our A/S on both bed and gaucho. Myself and the wife have no problems at all sleeping on either."

I am sorry that your original cushions were missing. I foolishly threw mine out years ago. What everyone says about firm foam is very true. I wanted a nice firm bed. Worried that my hips and shoulders would press into the wood below if I didn't support myself properly. Ouch! Foam is costly, I have not replaced mine yet.

Somewhere on these forums is information regarding the original foam density I hope. Get the same type of foam that was used in the 60's thru mid 70's. You will be pleased. As far as the construction of the cushions I hope someone will chime in with your precise configuration. But I see from one of your posts that you found your config. If you are using cushions as a bed and not just the sofa firmness or lack thereof is very important. The act of pushing all the pieces together between two walls will ensure that you do not "sink" into the gaps.

okay, I've just spent an hour on a wild goose chase looking for an old file. A really old file. The configuration drawings of my goucho. I never printed them and lost them a few years back. Thought maybe they were on a backup disk but alas, no.

Have fun!
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Old 01-01-2007, 01:47 PM   #6
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I had great foam put in my "new" 78 Argosy, but I must tell you that the split in the cushion that makes it fold to the couch position and then that little cushion that makes it into a full bed are not comfortable. If you want comfort you really have to get a memory foam topper, probably 3 or 4 inches. We did this and were still not really satisfied until we put a piece of plywood down over the cushions and put the memory foam down on that. We just leave our back full bed down all the time now. Perhaps someone on here has had better luck with their re-do; however, we have tried several methods and getting a flat surface with the plywood was the only really comfortable fix we found. Of course we use to tent camp and now that we are older we are really into comfort.
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Old 01-01-2007, 02:09 PM   #7
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ok I have a question about the the repair forum. I can read all the post and reply to one but I cant seem to post a new thread on here. does any one have an answer for me ...

thanks
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Old 01-01-2007, 02:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe1261
ok I have a question about the the repair forum. I can read all the post and reply to one but I cant seem to post a new thread on here. does any one have an answer for me.
Threads cannot be started on the portal page. Click 'forums' at the top left corner, then click into the subforum of relevance. You should see a rectangular button, "New Thread", at the top left just below the Google ads.
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Old 01-01-2007, 09:18 PM   #9
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Thanks to all.

I really appreciate all your replies. I think I will get the medium grade foam, and hope it does not sleep like a brick when it's all zipped up.

Gypsy I really appreciate you looking for your original configs. So now I am just on a quest to find someone who can send me pics of how the originals folded up and if I am lucky, maybe even some measurments. Guess I will be ordering the foam tomorrow. Have a trip in February I am trying to get ready for.

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Old 01-02-2007, 05:50 PM   #10
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Update:

Just in an effort to give a litle something back to the Forums and thank everyone for their help, I wanted to share what I found in my quest for foam. I think I found a deal.

I measured my two front couch / beds (folded out) at roughly 32x75 and the master bed at 42x75. Most of the standard precut foam comes in 24x72x whatever you want.

Upholstery Supply & Marine Fabric Superstore has a 30LB HR (high resiliancy) Foam with a 36ILR rating for $34.88 for a 4"x24"x72" or $29.88 if you buy 3 sheets or more. So 6 sheets plus S&H I am looking at about $230.00

He assured me that my big rear end would not come close to hitting the wood and that it would hold up for years. I say this is a deal because its the best I have found after shopping about 12 places and considering the Upholstry guy was going to charge $600 for just the foam, I think I am coming out way ahead.

$150.00 for the Fabric (17yds)
$230.00 for Foam
$500.00 Labor
$880.00 Total for brand new cushions.

Does that sound about right ?
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Old 01-02-2007, 05:59 PM   #11
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Lightbulb Need to cut it?

I found that using an electric knife to cut foam works really well. I have two, an old GE one which does much better than the new Black & Decker one. Must be the difference in the old serated blades vs the new "safety" blades. Check out your local thrift store for an old one. I think mine was about $3...

Shari
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Old 01-02-2007, 10:16 PM   #12
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make your cushions softer

I make slipcovers for a living and always try to make my cushions as soft as original to the chair or sofa. For those of you who found the foam comfy before the fabric covering was put on and hard as a rock after, Just get out that old electric knife and cut 1/2" off the sides and front of your foam and reinsert it into the cover. This should let the foam expand enough to get soft again. When you do this be aware you could get seat wrinkles when you get up, but a good night sleep. I had my bed cushions made with a firm foam in the center and soft foam on the top and bottom (so I can turn the Mattress) This was perfect, summer in the airstream, and no back ache.
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Old 01-04-2007, 07:52 AM   #13
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Question One More Question.......

Can anyone send me any pictures or maybe a detailed explination of how the front cushions in my 65 Safari work? Not sure if it even has to be a 65 Safari, but my original cushions are missing and I am not sure how they fold up. Are the top or back rest cushions attached to bottom piece or does it stand free? When it folds down does that piece stay next to the wall or does it go on the outside edge of the bed?

I am convinced that upholstry people like to work with square things.

Kevo
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Old 01-12-2007, 09:44 AM   #14
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Hoping for the best....

Well, I felt it prudent to post the next chapter in the cushion project. Maybe it will help someone else somewhere down the road.

I received the foam and dropped my airstream off at the upholstry shop. Being unable to obtain an accurate picture or demensions on the original cushions I had to come up with a best guess on how I thought they should be.

For the master bed (across from the sink and stove) I decided on the three cushion approach. I decided to make the bottom cushion 32" wide and the two back pieces 7". In the stowed position this made back cushions 11" coming in just a couple inches under the shelf that is attached to the wall. With the back cushions folded out this added 14" for a total bed width of 46" The upholstry guy wanted to attach the fabric to the plywood on the 7" cushions. I decided against this option, just leaving the plywood to lay under the bottom cushion in the stowed position

On the front beds (which only slide out about 6 inches) I opted to have the bottom cushion made to cover the whole section and had a 12" cushion made to sit on the top for the backrest. Instead of dealing with the complicated issue of the curve, I will just put some throw pillows there made from the leftover fabric. And if someone really needs the other 4 inches to sleep then they can slide it out, and drop the pillow down in the groove.

I will post some pics when I get it back from the upholstry shop.
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