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Old 09-15-2010, 09:56 PM   #1
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1976 31' Sovereign
Greenwood , South Carolina
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Converting Rear Bath To Side Bath

I am making a new frame for my 76 soveriegn and would prefer to convert it from a rear bath to a rear bedroom. Being as I'm 6'4" I would pefer a larger bed. In the process I could move the waste tanks over the axle and enlarge them. This all seems feesable or am I missing something?
Shower on one side and potty on the other, like the newer Airstreams.
Has anyone done this or have any reasons why it shouldn't be done?
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:03 PM   #2
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This project sounds way too complicated and expensive.
There has been discussion on the forums before about this topic.

It can be done, but I feel it would detract from the future resale value of the unit.
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:25 PM   #3
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buy a newer unit with the features more to your liking. A rear bedroom with longer beds should be pretty easy if you start with an island queen because the bedroom is already long enough to provide walk around area at the foot of the bed, which you might lose a little without much work other than new mattresses.
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:52 PM   #4
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Hi musicmaster in my 31' the waste tanks are just aft of the axles. the black tank is first and the gray tank is behind that. The only problem I can see is the vent pipes for the tanks. They go up through the roof of the trailer. Moving the tanks would require relocating these vent pipes and patching the holes in the roof from the original location. you would also have to plan your interior cabinets and walls to conceal these pipes inside the trailer. It can be done but will require a lot of planning and forethought.
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Old 09-16-2010, 09:22 AM   #5
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Go for it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by musicmaster View Post
I am making a new frame for my 76 soveriegn and would prefer to convert it from a rear bath to a rear bedroom. ....Shower on one side and potty on the other, like the newer Airstreams. Has anyone done this or have any reasons why it shouldn't be done?
Since you are building a new frame (and all the other work a "frame off" implies) I would say go for it...as long as you realize the time, effort, and costs that are associated with such an endeavor. Check out all of the 70's "rebuild" threads you can find - note the time periods and dollar outlay related to the rebuilds.

Check out the 345 MoHo interiors for a possible "go by" for your interior....I really like the layout of our 345, and prefer it over the layout of the '78 Sovereign. The separate shower across from the toilet/lav certainly has advantages. The 345 does not have quite as much closet space and definitely has less space for storage in the kitchen, but you do gain a dinette....depends on what you want. Since the outlay of your personal time will be so extensive I would suggest you spend some time in both arrangements prior to committing to one or the other.

Since you are rebuilding the frame, I would also suggest you make it substantially more robust than the original - especially since you want to rearrange the interior. Along with a heavier frame I would also add more black, grey, and fresh water tank storage - go to two tanks on both the fresh and grey water - one large black water tank will do for a week (or two).

Take lots of pictures and keep the Forums posted.
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Old 09-16-2010, 08:59 PM   #6
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Hey, I am in the midst of a frame off doing just what you describe. Actually saw this post while trying to figure out how to plumb my tanks. I second Dennis advice. Beef up the frame. I used 5" Chanel and custom built angle and round bar cross members.
If you arent going to weld it yourself, working out some of the details can be tough. I in the end had to have someone do my welding, and am building out my tank holds with aluminum. There are pros and cons but I think in the end it's going to work well. I bought a bunch of scrap alum at the junk yard, so it was very affordable. If you haven't figured it out, this will not be cheap.
My numbers so far: $1500 new Dexter axles w/o delivery
New frame steel $450 welding $1200, but my welder claimed to have logged 40 hrs and and cut me a break. His rate was $45 an hour, the big fab shop in town was $89
New out riggers a out $200 if I recall

POR 15 paint $250 with all the steps
New subfloor $200
New blackwater tank $150 ish
And, my biggest shocker....new wheels and rubber due to the pilot boor change on the Dexter #11 axles ...$800
It's a lot of work and money but really exciting as it comes together.
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Old 09-16-2010, 09:30 PM   #7
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Hi musicmaster,

You and I are about the same size. I bought a side bath trailer, so I cheated:-) I have one advantage. I can sleep standing up . . . like a cow, so my wife can bungee me to the outside closet wall and we both are happy.
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Splitrock View Post
Hi musicmaster,

You and I are about the same size. I bought a side bath trailer, so I cheated:-) I have one advantage. I can sleep standing up . . . like a cow, so my wife can bungee me to the outside closet wall and we both are happy.
Splitrock, that's very space efficient, but also being of the 6'4 variety I am looking forward to a queen sized mattress (let's face it double beds suck even solo), and with my new frame, and 4500lb axles, I might even go with a nice fat pillow top. I had considered a king memory foam trimmed to fit the curves, but don't think it would really work.

As for the bath, I think I will stack the toilet and shower on the same side. I have my tanks in place, and I could go either way. One issue to keep in mind with moving the tanks to the center is that you have to negotiate there location in an area where the axles sit. This was a bit of a problem for me because of the way my frame was welded up
It was based on my old frame, and so there is an axle and crossmember about 1/2" apart and I need my tank in that bay. It's tight, but it fits
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Old 09-17-2010, 08:04 AM   #9
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All new frame . . . wow! Big job! I already know this trailer better than I wanted to:-)
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Old 09-17-2010, 08:29 AM   #10
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Mbattin
Do you happen to have any pictures of your tank and drain placement?
And to everyone responding to my question,Thank You for your help. Keep the ideas and insights coming.
Thanks Again
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Old 09-17-2010, 08:44 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbattin View Post
....I am looking forward to a queen sized mattress (let's face it double beds suck even solo), and with my new frame, and 4500lb axles, I might even go with a nice fat pillow top. I had considered a king memory foam trimmed to fit the curves, but don't think it would really work.
First hand experience here - the biggest problem you will have with a trimmed King Memory Foam bed is making it up every morning - especially trying to get the sheets around the far side.

The picture below is of the '78 Sovereign with a "wall to wall" bed. I first placed a Queen sized "Sleep Number" mattress as far rearward as it would go, and then filled in all of the "holes" (all of the way around) with foam, then covered the whole thing with memory foam...sheets from a "California King" had a decent fit to cover everything.

As time progressed I found that removing the front two bolsters (the one between the Queen mattress and the bath bulkhead, and the one between the mattress and the closet bulkhead) made a lot of sense - used the open areas for storage - books, glasses, flashlight, clock, dirty clothes, etc.
Shot of the "Storage" between the mattress and the closet bulkhead below:


Finally, Mary took out the base foam and Memory foam to the far rear as indicated in the diagram below...which now just leaves making up an extra long (East to West) Queen sized bed. (Note that the measurements on the "front" bolsters are incorrect as far as length goes.) The area toward the far rear where the foam was removed is filled in during sleeping with the "look pretty" pillows that are just decorations on the bed. The pups usually end up sleeping on this section of the bed. This leaves us with a "sleeping area" that is a full 60" wide by 92" long...


Note the "cut out" area opening to the hallway just in front of the bed (marked "24" Opening To Hall") in the above diagram. This makes a perfect alcove for the ingress/egress to the bed itself. This little recess is absolutely necessary given the confines of the bath and closet defined hallway.


Below is a layout that may be a starting point for designing a custom interior.
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:09 AM   #12
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I am taking pics. My situation is a bit unique due to the way the new frame was built (carefull what you emphasize to a welder)
My tanks sit between and aft of the axles. Might be able to post images this week, and would run you through my issues over the phone even if you get in a pinch.
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Old 10-06-2010, 10:01 PM   #13
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I have almost given up on moving the bath, too many variables. Rear hatch door, rear water heater, current bedroom window location. I also couldn't come up with a shower design with more headroom and I would loose a lot of storage space. Also would have to reskin entire bathroom interior, as the inner shell was not complete behind existing shower.
However the new frame is finally started and I do have a plan to lenghten the existing bed. BTW That is box tubing front to rear as well as box crossmembers.
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Old 12-01-2010, 04:37 PM   #14
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1975 31' Sovereign
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Nice frame!!
What size tube is that?
Are you putting new outriggers also?
You going to keep the a frame?
Would love to see more pictures
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