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Old 03-28-2016, 12:22 PM   #1
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Flexible Interiors / Aluminum Tents

Another user brought up the question of replacing his queen bed in a larger Airstream with a sofa bed... Which of course could be done.

As a result, I started thinking (always a dangerous activity)...

I've seen a few Aluminum tents and actually liked the openness and flexibility of them. My suggestion to him was to use a Castro Convertible ottoman/single or twin bed. I know they are expensive, and there may well be cheaper ones that are as comfortable, but I KNOW Castro's don't give you that penetrating metal brace that so many sofa beds do.

I must admit appliances and plumbing need to be fixed, but wow, you could do a lot with a bedroom that didn't have fixed furniture per se. An ottoman and a card table and you've got a place to do hobbies on a rainy day. It's a lot more usable floor space - and if you need an office or if you've got mother/daughter or father/son sharing an Airstream - having a living room that doubles as a bedroom and a bedroom that doubles as a lounge/second living room would be nice. I was planning on putting a recliner in my Avion... perhaps a convertible bed would be a better idea.

Has anyone here started a reno and then looked around and said - wait - why build a dinette and built in beds or benches, or whatever?

Paula
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Old 03-28-2016, 12:35 PM   #2
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a friend of ours had a 20' Airstream with a futon in it. Cooler, camp stove and folding chairs. He enjoyed it that way for quite awhile
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Old 03-28-2016, 08:57 PM   #3
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a friend of ours had a 20' Airstream with a futon in it. Cooler, camp stove and folding chairs. He enjoyed it that way for quite awhile
you mean like dude, they were camping?
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Old 03-29-2016, 06:21 AM   #4
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Ha, yes not GLAMPing for sure
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Old 03-29-2016, 06:38 AM   #5
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We camped in ours a lot the first year when it was in the aluminum tent stage. Coleman air mattress on the floor and a portapoti and nothing else inside. We had great fun as we had tent camped before and the first night in the Airstream during a huge thunderstorm we knew we had found our dream camper. A few trips later I had the bathroom, then the galley, then the gaucho then the dinette. With each addition camping became much more comfortable and easier. Also much less cluttered as my old Trade Wind has tons of storage. Camping in it in the aluminum tent stage did give me the encouragement I needed to keep working on the renovation as my trailer was in pretty bad shape with I got it and it was a long process. I am spoiled now and would not want to go back to the "good old days" and the portapoti.
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Old 03-29-2016, 02:00 PM   #6
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.

Has anyone here started a reno and then looked around and said - wait - why build a dinette and built in beds or benches, or whatever?

Paula
I am in the deepest throes of renovating an SOB while waiting for the perfect Avion/Airstream to come along. As I had to gut the whole thing to do a full floor replacement, a lot of thought has gone into the floorplan I am installing now that the new floor is in. The SOB has a cab length of 18 feet, but we wanted a nice social/hangout space inside that footprint. The solution was a wrap-around dinette with a removable table that converts easily to a queen size bed using said table and two drop in cushions which are part of the regular seat backrests. This is a setup that is not unheard of in rv's, but surprisingly rare in my experience for something that provides such a practical solution.

Our plan allows us to have a proper bathroom, a respectable kitchen and still have a little 2 person dinette in this very small footprint.

One of the surprises in my research into rv interior design is how little imagination is actually applied to address how people actually spend their time inside a travel trailer. Accordingly, I weight the space assignments by a simple formula of usage*volume*comfort. The livingroom area is hands down where we spend most of our time and therefore should get the lions share of space and attention. This is followed by the kitchen and bath areas, both mostly transient spaces, but the kitchen area requires special consideration, as the comfort and happiness of the cook translates directly into the happiness of everyone else!

The bedroom is an interesting point in that you do spend considerable time in it, but as noted it, is dead space when you are up and about, so having a way to utilize that space in other ways in a real bonus. In a small trailer like ours, the double use of the seating/bed area the way we set it up should be a bit of a given in practice, but it never ceases to amaze and disappoint that rv builders seem to driven to insist on stuffing a full time queen bed into any rv over about 12 feet!
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Old 03-29-2016, 02:11 PM   #7
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Our first 3 week trip was with an Aluminum tent, but that wasn't part of our original plans. While we enjoyed ourselves for the most part, my husband and I are no longer too comfortable sleeping on an air mattress. We've both had spinal cord injuries in our younger days.

One of the first things we did when we returned was finish our bed platform. We tend to be bargain hunters at times, so the platform was designed for a queen memory foam mattress we bought at Aldi. The mattress fills most of the bedroom anyway, so the platform is wall-to-wall. Remaining space around the walls will be filled with an upholstered foam "head board". We call it our groovy 70s love nest. Unfortunately, it doesn't rotate, but it does have plenty of storage space accessed with a hydraulic lift.

The gaucho was already gone when we bought our trailer. Initially, we discussed putting a banquette there, but ended up buying 2 gray leather recliners from Rooms to Go. We had the recliners before our trip and they came along. Made everything much more tolerable, I'm sure. They're still in the trailer, and we make a point of sitting in them for a while whenever we're working on it.

Kristal
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Old 03-29-2016, 02:54 PM   #8
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Some of the early Spartans were more of an "aluminum tent" than we have today, with many but not all furnishings being unaffixed to anything.

There are tradeoffs. The fixed interior is more compact, and more roadworthy.
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Old 03-29-2016, 07:30 PM   #9
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Went w/o a real bed in our first TT. Converted dinette at night. Hated that I couldn't take a quick nap in the middle of the day. Love the FB 23' FC.
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Old 03-30-2016, 06:38 AM   #10
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Ours is kind of in the silver tent stage. The bathroom is mostly complete and have the bed platforms are in as well as mattresses. Beds forward is bare and we have rethought the dinette since we don't need a convertible dinette and have considered the recliner idea. Hoping (watching weather) to use it this weekend end at the Alumalina rally for the very first time, which will maybe help us firm up some ideas.
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Old 03-30-2016, 03:12 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by SilverHoot View Post
Ours is kind of in the silver tent stage. The bathroom is mostly complete and have the bed platforms are in as well as mattresses. Beds forward is bare and we have rethought the dinette since we don't need a convertible dinette and have considered the recliner idea. Hoping (watching weather) to use it this weekend end at the Alumalina rally for the very first time, which will maybe help us firm up some ideas.
A supreme court justice once observed that it was hard to define pornography - but he knew it when he saw it.

The perfect Airstream layout is rather like that - and a big rally like Alumalina is a great place to find it. Happy hunting!

Say hi to everyone for me... I wish I could bring the Pewter Palace (Avion) down there and show it around... but then I left the upholstery of the sofa and the blinds for me to do - so the velvet remains for another month or so. And I wouldn't want anyone losing lunch all over my new Marmoleum! (If you do see me before the job is done and you glimpse the sofa please head for the kitchen sink before making any editorial effusion.)

I AM really thinking of getting a Castro Convertible because it IS a comfortable ottoman, and a comfortable bed. And with a tray - it's a coffee table too. My sister will basically sleep anywhere but nuthing is too good for the kid. When Mom brought her home from the hospital I leaned over the crib rail (mom was afraid sibling rivalry would break out) and after I took one look I squealed with delight and said, "It's a white puppy, You bought me a white puppy!" and then I broke into my happy dance...

Paula
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Old 04-13-2016, 07:31 AM   #12
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Perfect layout

While we saw a few almost 'perfect' layouts, none were perfect to us since they were in 30+ foot trailers. Will keep perusing the forums. Never knew about those Castro convertibles, looks like an option for our office/guest room here at home!
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