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Old 02-11-2016, 10:15 AM   #1
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1971 18' Caravel
1970 27' Overlander
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Hawthorne , Florida
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In search of the ideal mattress

I was ready to put new covers on the mattresses that came with my 1971 Caravel. In preparation, I moved them to my living room and tried them out for sleeping. Result: INTENSE PAIN. The foam is far, far too firm. Hip, back and other pain is a good way to ruin an expedition.

I guess I'm going to have to replace the foam along with the covers . . . or maybe figure out some sort of topper. Maybe I should keep the existing cushions and use my investment in ultraleather to create some sort of clever topper.

I'm and old lady. I use a pillow top at home . . . guess what works for me is the hard side of soft with minimal sag . Memory foam is a disaster. I want base support, not something that will sag where my body puts out the most heat and pressure.

Does anyone have suggestions as to how to design for back comfort? Any help greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-11-2016, 10:30 AM   #2
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Best thing to do is visit a LOT of mattress stores and lay on a lot of mattresses. You can order short queens from a number of manufacturers, you just need to do some homework and legwork.

We far prefer a traditional pocketed coil mattress design with a foam pillow-top surface vs. the glorified airbags and memory foam designs. We like a soft, plush conforming/forgiving top with medium pocketed-coil support underneath.

Much of this depends on whether you sleep on your sides, back, or stomach. Side sleepers need the mattress top to conform to your curves, rather than push against them.
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Old 02-11-2016, 07:47 PM   #3
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1990 32' Excella
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Mattress

We found a trmperpedic with the cool gel that was comfortable . we have rear twins. I opened the cover and rolledit back. We laid the old mattress on the new one marked it and cut with sharp knife. Then sewed up the cover. Sleeps like a dream. Make sure if you do this you have the right side up when you cut the new ones.
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Old 02-11-2016, 08:59 PM   #4
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Just finished this tonight

I am a fan of organic latex. I created my own mattress and customized the size too. You can select the firmness you want. Dunlop is firmer and Tallalay is more enveloping. I completed my mattress project tonight using COIR (latex infused coconut, solid dunlop latex and a memory gel foam top incased in an organic cotton cover.
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:44 PM   #5
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We put in a Sleep Number Rv Queen bed with radius lower corners, on sale from Camping world. Two separate air chambers, it is lightweight and fits the Airstream perfectly. Comes with a soft, comfy top that zips inside the mattress cover or you can put your own custom top in there. When traveling to higher altitudes, let some air out to accommodate expansion

Absolutely comfortable, but the really great thing is you will not discover you made a mistake on firmness after you get it home. And you can change firmness to what feels best on any given day or during the night, and you and your spouse can select the exact firmness setting you each prefer. She likes Number 70, I like Number 40.

A complete system, mattresses, pads, cover, air pump and lines and wireless control. Will never sag from use or age.
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:52 PM   #6
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North Vancouver , British Columbia
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When I lived in mine, I put a feather bed mattress on top and it made a world of difference.
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Old 02-12-2016, 06:34 AM   #7
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1971 18' Caravel
1970 27' Overlander
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Thanks everybody.

I guess it comes down to sacrificing the dinette (not my favorite item anyway) to gain a spot for a 'real' mattress, as opposed to a place you might be able to sleep on a collection of aligned foam pieces. At 18', the Caravel doesn't give much option for a fixed bed. I don't think the gaucho is going to work with 8" or 10" foam.

I'm going to give Tuft & Needle foam a try at home . . . they give you a 100 day money back guarantee and don't require you to ship the mattress back to get the refund. Instead they donate the mattress to charity. If this works, maybe I can find one of the mattresses they have donated to charity to experiment with. I'm a little timid about the idea of attacking a $500 piece of foam with an electric knife.
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Old 02-12-2016, 11:30 AM   #8
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The electric knife is a sweet tool on foam. The trick is marking carefully and holding it straight up and down to cut.
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Old 02-12-2016, 01:03 PM   #9
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2011 30' Flying Cloud
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We found the original mattress in our 30' Flying Cloud to be too soft and too thin. Painful!

We purchase a 10" foam mattress from Rocky Mountain Mattress and it has been terrific.
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Old 02-12-2016, 01:41 PM   #10
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Mattresses

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandgrubber View Post
I guess I'm going to have to replace the foam along with the covers... I use a pillow top at home . . . guess what works for me is the hard side of soft with minimal sag . Memory foam is a disaster. I want base support, not something that will sag where my body puts out the most heat and pressure.
When shopping for foam, sandgrubber, it's important to understand: high quality, medium firmness will last longer than medium quality, medium firmness. For my trailer (two twin beds) I had a custom mattress manufactured (quilted top, piping, etc) from high quality, medium firm foam. $200. I guess I got it right.
Michael
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Old 02-12-2016, 02:04 PM   #11
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IMHO no one can really advise you... Truly a "one man's meat is another's poison" situation. Before you throw out the old mattresses try a foam topper on them. I've got a nearly new Eddie Bauer - and I can't sleep well on the side bench or sofa or whatever you call it, but I plopped the EB down comforter on it one night folded over double and sank into complete heaven. It sounds like that wouldn't work for you, but a foam topper wouldn't be a sink in topper. Can't hurt any. The "egg crate" style is often used by hospitals because it helps prevent bedsores in non-ambulatory patients. Because they can't be reused, most local hospitals give them to patients to take home (cheaper than filling up dumpsters too!). They work well.

Paula
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Old 02-12-2016, 03:42 PM   #12
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2008 27' Safari FB SE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cameront120 View Post
When I lived in mine, I put a feather bed mattress on top and it made a world of difference.
I'll second this. I've used featherbeds at home and it was the perfect solution for the rather firm mattress. Plus, with the corner bed, I leave the mattress permanently covered in a fitted sheet and just change the cover/fitted sheet over the featherbed. Much easier.
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Old 02-14-2016, 10:23 AM   #13
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1971 18' Caravel
1970 27' Overlander
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Hawthorne , Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LBOskiBear View Post
I'll second this. I've used featherbeds at home and it was the perfect solution for the rather firm maThittress. Plus, with the corner bed, I leave the mattress permanently covered in a fitted sheet and just change the cover/fitted sheet over the featherbed. Much easier.
Good suggestion. I ordered a 5" baffled feather topper that was marked way down. It's 39" and the gaucho is 48" ....but I can stuff something in the back ...on the dogs' side of the bed. They only give me about 24" of sleeping area anyway
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