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Old 04-14-2011, 06:08 AM   #1
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1979 31' Sovereign
Wabash , Indiana
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Question Memory foam gaucho?

Hey all.
I am wanting to replace the cushions on my gaucho but am not sure what foam to get. I am looking at ordering the foam in the next couple days so I can get it and the material I already have to someone to cover it for me. I have been looking at several websites and realize there are lots of possibilities out there and its individual preference.

My questions are these.
  • Has anyone taken a plain old memory foam matress from a box store and used it to make the cushions?
  • How did you like it?
  • How well did it or has it held up?
This is the matress I was looking at.
Spa Sensations 6" Memory Foam Mattress -

This is in a 79 sovereign. The measurements I took off the old foam are as follows.

back and bottom cushions--3" thick x 73" long
back cushion--24" wide
bottom cushion--22" wide
both have a 2" layer that wraps around the top and each wide end.

Thanks for the help!
(my 2 yr old daughter is sitting in my lap as I type this n said I needed to use the arms up arms down guy )

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Old 04-14-2011, 07:02 AM   #2
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1971 23' Safari
Lilburn , Georgia
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FWIW- I just went through the process and have not been pleased with my first memory foam experience. I replaced the 40 year old original gaucho foam with 6" thick 4.5lb custom cut memory foam from The Foam Factory (5.5lb is also available, which in hindsight I should have bought). The 40 year old foam I removed was MUCH MUCH MUCH firmer than the memory foam and while it wasn't the most comfortable couch/bed I've ever been on, it wasn't terrible either. My intention in replacing the foam was to have a more comfortable couch and bed. I now realize that I should have asked more questions and been more specific about my preference. We just returned from our first trip of the spring and while I did sleep about as well as I normally do when away from home, the bed is no more comfortable than before (less actually). Not having any previous experience with memory foam I assumed it would be an improvement over traditional foam and for many people it may be, but not for me. When sitting or laying down on the couch, your backside (lowest point of your body) immediately bottoms out on hard surface below. For now we'll probably take along another 2" mattress topper to help when sleeping. We're an average size couple (I'm 6'1" 200lbs, the wife is much much shorter and lighter ). The idea of having to unroll, roll up and store a mattress topper during the day really sticks in my craw as my goal has always been to take as few things as possible when traveling and to have the Airstream basically self-contained sitting behind the house ready to go at a moment's notice. Eventually I'm going to find different foam that suits my preference and replace again . Chalk another up to experience, right? It's only money...

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Old 04-14-2011, 07:45 AM   #3
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Loretto , Ontario
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Memory foam is not the best thimg for a sofa. It has little resistance to compresson and some find it hot. In a mattress application memory foam is ony used on the top 1 or 2 inches. I would sugest using a 1.5 pound or 2 pound polyurathane foam. The higher the number the stiffer the foam.
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:13 AM   #4
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Vassar , Michigan
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We replaced all the cushions in our 65 Safari and did not use memory foam. The professionals we hired to do the covers did not recommend memory foam (too soft). What we have is 6" thick firm upolstry foam. It is great to sit on and wonderful to sleep on.

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Old 04-14-2011, 08:22 AM   #5
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Ottawa , ON
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From what I've seen, the trick is to get a good mix of different foam types. I can't tell you what exactly that is, but the best beds and couches never have just one kind of foam.

Memory foam is great as a topper in a bed, but because we tend to sink in, it doesn't make a good couch (or gaucho) all alone.
If it's to be, it's up to me.
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Old 04-15-2011, 11:44 AM   #6
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1965 Caravel , Wisconsin
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We bought 5" foam that wasn't memory foam. It was just a 5" mattress. It was harder to cut it evenly than I thought it would be, so I would order from a place that will cut it to order. I'm so glad that project is OVER! Anyway, it is firm and perfect for a seat cushion, but I'm not sure how the sleeping will be. Still, I would rather have a firm cushion and top off with something softer than to have it bottom out. We bought it from this place: Foam by Mail, foam products, cushions, mattresses, pillows, seats, sound proofing, memory foams, mattress, pillow, but I had a hard time cutting it with an electric knife or a large serrated knife. I would show you pictures, but they aren't in our trailer yet (too many projects going on). Good luck with your project
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:21 PM   #7
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It might not be the best approach, but here's what we do (so that we don't have to make the bed over and over again). We have new 5" thick foam in our cushions (nothing special, just regular foam) and have a 2" memory foam topper. We make the bed (i.e. fitted sheets and such) only on the topper, and simply fold it up and leave it "made" if you will, so that at night, you simply unfold it to go to sleep.

Here's a post from our website "trying" to explain what we do with it (oh, and please disregard the ugly gaucho cover, it was our "play" material when trying to come up with the best pattern...gotta love craigslist):

Airstreaming Dreaming: Better Bedroom Business - Per Request

Visit our crazy full-timing blog (us,kids and dogs living the dream):

Join us at the TAC Walt Disney World Rally, November 4th - 10th, 2012:
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Old 04-16-2011, 08:14 AM   #8
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1979 31' Sovereign
Wabash , Indiana
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Thanks to all for your advice. I decided against the memory foam and purchased a couple 4" pieces from joanns at half price and the softer 2" from the foam factory. After I get it delivered, I'll take it to a local upholstry guy and it should be done in a week or two.
Thanks again!!
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:47 PM   #9
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I know this thread is an old one, but how did it work out? I just bought a Costco memory foam topper. Currently have the gaucho out to replace foam and reupholster. My plan is:

1) Get new 5 inch thick medium-firm upholstery foam and recover gaucho.
2) At night, throw the topper on top of gaucho and cover with sheet
3) when not needed will roll the topper up with sheet on it and store in closet or on bunk bed
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Old 09-11-2013, 06:14 PM   #10
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You could put a memory foam topper over the regular foam. 100% memory foam is like sitting in a tub of mud. It makes it hard to shift positions. It is like quick sand or trying to swim in molasses. If you never change positions, I am sure it is great. I have a mattress at home with memory foam on top and it is pretty comfortable. The springs under the foam are sagging unfortunately.

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Old 09-11-2013, 06:44 PM   #11
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We sleep on a memory foam mattress at home and at the beginnng it does feel a little weird. Once you are used to it, there's no going back to anything else, at least for me.

I can't imagine sitting on a memory foam sofa, you'd sink right in. The density is designed to support you when you're horizontal, not sitting up.

We moved our gaucho forward by ten inches, then added an upholstered support at the back. Flip the backrest to the front and we've got a full queen bed. We do top it with a memory foam topper that we roll up and store behind the backrest during the day. Often we just cover the bed with a large quilt and cushions and use it as a huge sofa for us and the kids to read and lounge on.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:56 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by andreasduess View Post
We sleep on a memory foam mattress at home and at the beginnng it does feel a little weird.
You got that right! For me, it felt like sleeping on a lump of clay when I slept on a memory foam mattress at my parents' house. I swore then that I'd never have one.

Given the climate where I live and camp, I use a "cooling foam" mattress instead.

WBCCI #1105

Engineering: Finding complex solutions to simple problems you didn't even know you had.
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