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Old 06-04-2007, 11:42 PM   #1
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building bunk beds on curved walls

HI, does anyone have any info on building bunks over the front gaucho above the window? I assume I'll need to find a rib. How do you do that? We also need to build a bunk in the road side rear over a single bed. Any ideas for how to support these? I've seen it on Ebay. thanks in advance
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Old 06-05-2007, 12:14 AM   #2
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As far as the ribs go, look for rows of rivets - these are holding the skin to the ribs.
I would suggest a search for "bunks". Also look for member "PizzaChop". I think he has done bunks and has photos.
Good luck, and welcome to the forums!
Dave
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Old 06-05-2007, 12:56 AM   #3
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I have several posts on my blog about building a side bunk for my '60 Ambassador. You can see the entries by clicking here. Then click the upper right hand link that shows more bunk entries.
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Old 06-05-2007, 07:51 AM   #4
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Hello jiffypop -- and welcome to the Forums! Once you figure out the hardware aspects, it is possible to make a very fair copy of a contoured edge. You will need to set up a temporary flat surface at the level of the proposed bunk. See: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...pes-29321.html
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Old 06-06-2007, 01:07 AM   #5
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Look for rivets, of course, why didn't I think of that? Now I'm really going to show my building ignorance here, but how do you reinforce the wall to secure the bed? Or can I just make a frame out of wood like the photos show and then screw it to the wall providing I've found a rib? I don't need mine to fold up btw. Thanks for all the great info.
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Old 06-06-2007, 04:23 AM   #6
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trace the door frame

I had to build the refrigerator cabinet in my '63 Avion which has near the same construction and shape of an Airstream. I got the proper curve by opening the entry door to the trailer, placing a long piece of carboard in the doorway, perpendicular to the wall, and level with the floorm and tracing the curve of the wall on the cardboard. I cut out cardboard and keep it as a template in case I need to build any more cabinetry.
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Old 06-06-2007, 06:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jiffypop
Look for rivets, of course, why didn't I think of that? Now I'm really going to show my building ignorance here, but how do you reinforce the wall to secure the bed? Or can I just make a frame out of wood like the photos show and then screw it to the wall providing I've found a rib? I don't need mine to fold up btw. Thanks for all the great info.
I have heard of bunks over the front gaucho but the more common placement is over a side twin. There is hardware available for the latter (Inland RV). The end cap curved area doesn't have ribs to maintain end cap shape. There are the corner ribs that go across the top of your Airstream at the junction of the straight sides and curved front sections. There is also a horizontal rib along the window top. See this pic -- it's an Argosy but the ribs are the same. There are pic of Airstreams without the inner skin on the forums -- keep your eye peeled on the portal page photo sampler.

I would think a front bunk would take more than just screwing into the horizontal rib. Let's see if somebody else has done it -- or talk to Andy at Inland -- it may be a simple as tapping into the first rib that goes over the top.
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Old 06-06-2007, 07:25 AM   #8
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I've never built a bunk in the curved portion but may be adding one in the rear as our growing family expands.

I would attach a piece of wood (1-1/2" - 2" wide strip of 3/4" or 7/8" plywood) along the horizontal cross member above the window (see Janet's Husband's photo) to act as the rear "ledge" for the aluminum channel bed supports. In the front, I would use a 5"-6" tall piece of 3/4" - 7/8" plywood to span the length of the bed (width of the trailer) 24"-27" back from the front wall. I would build a ledge on the inside of the span for the aluminum channel bed supports to land on.

This front span would need to be supported probably from the floor, which would require some sort of vertical wood support, attached to the side wall at rib points.

I'd use 1-1/2" aluminum angle to support the bed every 18" and use a 1/4" piece of luan for the mattress to rest on.

I'm not sure if this makes much sense, but it generally follows the construction technique I used in my Sovereign. It is by no means factory approved, and I sure wouldn't try putting a 225 lb adult up there, but it
should support at least 100-150 lbs.

PizzaChop Photos
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Old 06-06-2007, 08:38 AM   #9
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Airstream Bunk Hardware

Quote:
Originally Posted by CanoeStream
There is hardware available for the latter (Inland RV)
I called Inland yesterday and they told me they don't have the hardware. I would like to know where it is available, if it is.
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Old 06-06-2007, 08:40 AM   #10
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We have what I believe to be an original, factory installed, rear curved bunk in our '56 Safari.

I have no way of knowing for sure, however the wood, finish, detailing & connectors used are matches to others in the trailer. If it's not original, it sure looks like it has been there a long time and has held up well....I guess it could have been done as a dealer upgrade - but even the welting or gimp trim at the wood/shell joint matches that of the closets - which I KNOW are original. Also, I don't believe it could have been built after the other upper cabinets were in place, the fit was so tight to the curves and well done with the same radiused edges as in the rest of the trailer. Sidenote: FWIW - we have determined the bottom double bed configuration in this picture is NOT original. Birdy originally had twins based on rub marks on the walls & holes & markings under the floorcovering and along the walls we discovered during demo. Also different plywood and connectors were used.



I don't have detail pictures of the bunk installed right now as it is disassembled in my garage, however I can tell you how it is/was put together. It is suitable for a child, however I would not think it is for an adult.

Basically, the bottom is a piece of 1/2" piece of plywood which is attached to the wall with little 2" angle brackets every 9-12" on the matteress side of the bunk. There is also a front frame that is also attached to the ceiling with the same little angled brackets. The front frame attaches to the last rib before the curve starts, but I don't think the ones holding the platform plywood part do...I'm not sure, I can look at where the holes are and repost this evening. Anyway, I've posted a picture of one of the bracket attached to the bunk plywood below...

We plan on reinstalling this with our restoration...right now it's in the stripping/refinishing stage.

Hope this helps ~

Shari

P.S. Keep in mind, in '56 the end caps were the 13 panel metal ones...not plastic like in the '60s and later.
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Old 06-06-2007, 08:44 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshall
I called Inland yesterday and they told me they don't have the hardware. I would like to know where it is available, if it is.
Occasionaly I see it on ebay...

Shari
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Old 06-14-2007, 11:03 PM   #12
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Thanks to everyone for all the info! I'll let you know how it turns out.
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