Twins to double
We've had the same thoughts over here in London, England. Our Tradewind had centre twins. After a year of designing and redesigning, we thought that when touring it would be better to have a double bed that is out permanently so we don't have to fold down the front couch every night.
Our solution on the couch was to take out all the metal sheeting and elaborate shutters and bins and make simple aluminum legs so we can slide clear plastic storage boxed underneath that can be taken home in the car, stacked up at home, etc. The weight saving was good. We had new matress-type foam cut and recovered in plain fabric. It was a professional job done by a company who specialise in boat upholstery. It was expensive at around $1,200 in your money but it looks fantastic and is great to sit on and lie on.
We took the same approach on the twins. We are in the middle of this part of the conversion.
How do we avoid obstructing the route to the bathroom?
How do we keep underbed storage?
How do we keep weight down with a DIY solution?
How do we get back to twins if we find an unforseen problem or want to travel with family or friends?
What do we do with the space over the wheel arch on the other side?
We cannibalized the aluminum strips and sections from the twins and designed a double that has a removeable section that can be unscrewed to go back to a twin. The rectangular hollow aluminum sections are strong and I can stand on the new structure even though I can pick the whole bedframe up with one finger! New plywood is cut in two pieces to the new shape. If we need a single, we just need to lay the original ply single back on. The legs are made of one inch square hollow section aluminum screwed to the floor with little brackets. We can slide 6 boxes underneath. As with the couch, we positioned the legs to suit the size of the plastic storage boxes we wanted to buy.
We made the double bed width 4ft6 but put a nice curve on the two outer corners so you can easily get past from the kitchen and the bathroom. When we sleep we don't use the corner of the bed anyway. Its a good compromise and is going to look curvy to match the Airstream.
We're going to buy a foam matress cut to shape from a paper template we will give them. We are looking for a nice American patchwork quilt to finish the job.
The opposite wheel arch is going to be boxed in as storage with doors on the front and a 1ft9 wide shelf at desk height for all those little things - the laptop computer, TV, camera, alarm clock, books, drinks, etc. which never seem to have enough horizontal surface in a trailer. There's enough space to put a small chair or two between the bed and the desk.
We work it all out on the computer so we don't have surprises but creating a 3D computer model of an Airstream is a bit of a challenge! It's good for testing shapes, dimensions and colours.
We are booked on to the England to France car ferry on July 27th so that's our deadline. We are behind schedule!!