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Old 07-12-2014, 09:59 PM   #1
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2008 27' Safari FB SE
Akins , Oklahoma
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2007 27FB SE Remodel

Crummy pictures with iPhone. Disassembly after trial fit. Now for final fit, drawers, drawer fronts, doors, hardware, and finish.

Frames are made out of welded aluminum tubing the faced with oak and oak plywood. Tops of the bunks are 1/4 maple plywood and large horizontal spaces are faced with 1/4 oak plywood.

There will be six drawers under each bunk, a passthrough door to the front access hatch, a drawer in the small table with swing up lid and mirror for a dressing table and lift up hatches on the headboard for stuff.

The front sofa retains the slide out bed plus the door access hatches. I've also built a small hutch up front with three drawers.

The blank space up front is for a recliner and I used one of the side cabinets from the old bedroom area as a side table for the chair.

Then floor.

Still have to repair the back trunk shelf leak on the floor, repair the belly pan on back (rivets pulled through), PO smashed one side of of the water tank sheet metal and I've got to fix that as well. Something is wrong with the power supply so I've got to fix that.

By fall it should meet my on the road standards.

New counter tops eventually maybe.
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Old 07-12-2014, 11:37 PM   #2
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Nice work. I am especially interested in your bedrom remodel...
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:16 AM   #3
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In response to your query.

No more pictures for now. I used proportioned floor plan screen shots for layout and it came out pretty well. The slope outward from the floor just adds planning space. I gained about 2 inches in width at the bed platform elevation for example. Nothing is symmetrical so don't figure on it. Left and right just don't match up.

Rip up the floor and find the builder's centerline or try to get the best average centerline you can and build from that. Most of the cabinets are not either square or plumb and the bulkheads at the BR doorway are not in line. Almost but not exactly.

Maybe narrow the aisle to 20" to have standard 38" twin mattresses but that might get a little tight on the shower side especially. The 36” we have is fine. I may have made the platforms too tall but I'll use 6" mattresses and a frame for the window shades to protect them. The height is to make plenty of room for the drawers and I don’t like sleeping on the floor.

Probably overbuilt but aluminum frame is very light and could have been lighter had I used 1/16" tube wall but I thought I might have more burn through problem. Now I see that I wouldn't. I designed for almost no deflection with a uniform 300 lb load on a 24" span or something like that. My wife noted how stable the beds are with only 1/4" ply tops. That was intentional. Airstream tended to be a little bouncy even with the center queen bed support system. I suppose you could also use ¾” tube instead of 1” and ¾” like I did but the section modulus for 1” is so much better. This is my first aluminum welding project.

The frame is complicated owing to the supports for the drawers and hatch covers. Taking those out would have made it more economical. One guy used tambour doors for access to under the beds. If you don't want the drawers that is what I would do. The drawers provide a huge his and hers suitcase though. I hate clutter and this should remedy that for clothing even to the point of having a dirty clothes space. The frame is also a bit more complicated since I had to make it in modules that will fit through the door and down the hall and turn to be put in place. That meant the center section and headboard has to be separate and have join lines.

Where I made a dressing table you could make a desk and chair. Make something like a secretary desk I suppose.

Have not done any woodworking in a long time. I used to build furniture and such but laid it down for over a decade. My eyes aren't as good as they used to be and I'm out of practice. I used some wood I had so it has a little warp and wind in it. More than I expected.

I have a foot more in the BR than you do in the 25. That is what allowed me to build the bunks 80" long and still have room for the headboard storage.

Might try to use 1/2 oak plywood for tops and then a 3/4 edge to save some weight and same for drawer fronts but couldn't get it. My wife wanted to stay with the same decor instead of a total gutting and the Shaker style raised panel and pickle finish I have in mind.

I'm told the living area dimensions are the same as the 25 with the other foot being added between there and the BR.

Might have extended the storage area on the long side of the sofa but I'll live with it the same as the original. Theory is there is enough room for a recliner. I'll eventually build an aluminum TV tray type table I can fold and store away that will double as an outdoor kitchen table I'll suspend off the bumper or someplace somehow. I also do not want any protrusions on the floor to support a table. Have not quite got that one all figured out yet but I think we need a dining table of some sort.

Top access hatches are hard to get to with the large mattresses but oh well.

Wish side access hatches were not so darned expensive or I would add one to each side.

Still have to sort out the mess of wiring for the inverter and such. Horrible workmanship. In fact, the whole trailer is spattered with poor workmanship.

So far, other than a ton of man-hours, I've got
675 in aluminum including 1/8" strips to reinforce the rivet holes in the belly skin and a bit left over,
350 in plywood, oak lumber I had but there are not may board feet in the facing, 20 in screws,
75 in wire, gas and tips,
600 in edge banding, hardware and finishing supplies and I figure another
3000 for the Harrison recliner, cushions and mattresses. Nothing is cheap anymore.
Still need flooring.

5000 to 6000 or so total.

I'm getting rid of the plumbing fixtures and using some decent ones in polished nickel so that will be another 500 or so I imagine.

I’d like to do another one sometime but not right now. I need to get retired first and then I’ll think about it.
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:33 AM   #4
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More pictures

Actually, I do have a couple more pictures. I did not realize the number in a post is limited.

These are the bed frames without the decking of course.

The top back center piece is wide so I can slot it to make a vent for the heater outlet that I am moving from the shower bulkhead to the center back.

Wiring does not work out well so I'll do some moving or addition of outlets and maybe cut and rivet in some cover plates.

I believe I'm going to floor up to the beds and leave the plywood under the beds bare so I can monitor for leaks.
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:50 AM   #5
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Thanks. I am impressed with your aluminum framing, it looks great! I am aware of the differences in our lengths and know I have less maneuvering space than you. I have a friend with a 27' Queen FB, and he is thinking of converting as well. I am looking for ideas as well as potential pit falls.

Thanks for sharing your experiences so far. I am interested in following along in your progress and finished project.

Good luck in completing your project.

Drew
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:38 PM   #6
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Progress in the last month

A few pictures of progress. Slow but still progress. Since last posting I've gotten all the drawers built and set, drawer and doors done, edge banding, stain, three coats of varnish, rewired the mess that was the inverter, battery switch, solar control and such, caulked the infamous rear trunk leak etc.

I changed all the original hardware that is not cup handles to stainless steel bar handles. Like in the 2007 models. I like it better.

I'm leaving the plywood beneath the furnishings bare so I can monitor for leaks better.

Left to do is to finish the furnishings installation, wire a couple of outlets in the headboard, varnish the top decks, route the heater vent, repair the floor at the front with CPE, cut a new hole for the basement heat vent, put in flooring and I'm sure I'll find a gaggle of other stuff to do. Oh yes, install rivet strips in the rear belly skin and fix the smashed edge of the water tank then a little painting of the outside, reinforce the step and then put in the balance beads, get mattresses and cushions and then the chair, etc, etc, etc.
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Old 09-02-2014, 10:07 AM   #7
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Coming along nicely. Very impressive metal work there.
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:16 PM   #8
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Thank you. It is slow. A lot of fitting and then it still doesn't meet standards for me.
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Old 09-04-2014, 11:58 PM   #9
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Beautiful craftsmanship..First class.
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Old 09-13-2014, 10:42 PM   #10
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Beautiful


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Old 09-14-2014, 05:35 PM   #11
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Just an update to keep track of my slow progress. Rain here and cooler but humid. The AC keeps up pretty well in the trailer but flogs out the condensation. Solar shades on windows helped a lot this summer.

Floor leak at back successfully fixed and epoxied and dutifully reinforced! Now ready for flooring after having trial fit all the parts. Nearly time to order mattresses and cushions and chair.

Flooring ordered and should be here next week sometime.

Still have the dang belly pan to rivet and the water tank bash to fix. Also noticed some rivets in the door that hold the interior facing to the frame that have sheared off. Must have been some fierce vibration on the back of the trailer in past life and probably lots of miles as well. Wonder how many? Anyway, the balance beads and tire balance should help. Beads for the brake drums and balance for the wheel and tire.
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Old 09-21-2014, 10:49 PM   #12
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Looks like not much progress since the first posting of July 12 but a lot has been done since then. It just takes time. Much closer to being finished.

The Bedroom is just about finished. I need to do some touch-up on the varnish. If I had it to do over I might put just four drawers per side instead of six but it is done now and this is fine. The headboard is almost a foot deep and contains storage with a flip-up lid on top center. The little dressing table has a mirror and small drawer. There are two outlets in the top of the headboard and the bunks are 36x80. They are a bit higher than standard but it makes for a good seat without getting too high for the windows

The mattresses are ordered from Mattress Insider. I got the 5.5" Elation Cool-MAX Gel Foam figuring I can always add depth if we need it but you can't easily take it away if it is too thick. We shall see what happens.

Put the floor in this weekend. I can see why AS puts it in before all the cabinets are installed. Whew, there are lots of corners and not much room to work! Sheet vinyl would be all but impossible with the cabinets in place.

This is Shaw Traffic Master Allure from Home Despot. Vintage Maple White #77011. The stuff is heavy and tough but not very forgiving if you even make contact with the glue strips! This flooring represents about 200# I should think. The stuff it replaced was about half that weight but very crummy stuff. This is cushioned and feels a lot better than the plywood or the vinyl that was in the trailer. I still have to put the quarter-round in. It should be in on Monday.

I plan to get one of those catch-all type floor mats made for in front of the shower. It will fold up and fit in the shower when not in use. Should help out on moisture. We will get a runner rug made for the bedroom and the living area I suppose. That should work out OK.

Next for the sofa and I also need to reset the drawers in the little chest since I don't like the way they line up then on to the cushions and chair!
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Old 09-21-2014, 11:02 PM   #13
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PS

A lot of AS remodelers already know this but if you build new stuff build from the center out to the sides. Measure across the trailer and find the centerline and make that your witness mark and build left and right from there. You can get by with a 24" wide space in the center aisle of the bedroom and that provides just over 36" bunks with the flare of the sides of the trailer at the elevation I put them in. I think the floor is 94" wide as I recall.

I also made some frames the height of the stuff I installed to measure widths and offsets at those elevations. I would be easier if you have someone to hole the tape but I don't. You can do a lot of stuff by yourself but it takes longer. Dad said that two good people don't double the work output, they probably triple it. He was right on this as with most things.

Invest in a decent scribe to layout the curves.
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Old 09-23-2014, 10:22 PM   #14
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9/23/14 Update

Jury duty yesterday. I was my usual charming self and got released on the first round. I have been called many times but have never sat on a jury. I attribute it to having an opinion and what I like to think is brutal honesty.

So, I had a day that I had planned to be a non-revenue day and I took it to work on the trailer. I'll go back to the work tomorrow.

All the cabinet work is in! These are the old cushions and they will go away to be replaced by ultra leather versions. Needless to say, the chair is NOT the final unit. I still have to put in the quarter round.

Quarter sawn oak ply would have been better but this will do. I repurposed one of the former nightstands from the "queen" bed arrangement. One access hatch is a bit tight but a little filing or use will free it up.

Rotozips don't cut straight lines! The bit walks and the base is too flexible to use with a guide.

I'm thinking of some shade of blue ultraleather for the chair and cushions just to break up the beige. Same for the bedroom, plan to use blues for the linens.

Anyway, here it is so far. Next for the under work and the clean-up wood finishing.

First view is looking in the door.
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