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Old 12-29-2008, 08:39 AM   #41
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a better mattress

step one: throw out that cheesy thing A/S sells you
step two: remove that 1/64 inch luan plywood platform, replace with 3/8 inch plywood, cut large enough for a real queen size mattress
step three: install the queen mattress of your choice.
Only downside, you lose a little "walkaround space" but in my opinion your sure sleep a lot better.
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:55 AM   #42
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Wasafari, I'd love to replace the mattress, but spending more money on the Safari isn't a great idea right now.

But it does occur to me that there's no need to remove the luan platform. You could put 1/4 plywood on top of it. Since there's not that much weight at the overhang (some mattress, but it's supported by its own frame, and a part of your feet), that would probably work fine. The plywood could be screwed to the luan by several nuts and bolts in appropriate locations and/or glued.

I don't know how much weight this would add. I'm sure some mattresses would weigh a lot more, some less. Luan is lighter than the same thickness of plywood.

The luan is pretty smooth and that's good and bad. It's good when you want to move the mattress to get the sheets under it. It bad when it moves around on the platform. I'd rather have it smooth, so I'd buy finished plywood—ACX if I remember right.

I know a lot of people have had custom mattresses made to fit in the curve at the head of the bed. I'm sure that costs even more. I've wondered what would it be like if you replace (or even move down the existing mattress) with a rectangular one. It would be several inches from the wall at the head, but who sleeps with their head right against the wall? In ours, there's a Venetian blind to hit me in the head anyway. You could stuff some pillows or something in that space, maybe a block of foam cut to size. Your pillow would rest on that and could be against the wall. The existing mattress would hang over the luan, but perhaps a thin piece of plywood a foot long could be bolted and glued to the luan at the end. The foot of the mattress would be elevated slightly, but probably wouldn't be bothersome. You have to be careful to to lift the platform by the luan, not the extension, to make sure it doesn't break off the luan. I don't know whether I'm going to try this, but the thought occurred to me while my feet were hanging over the end of the bed.

Gene

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Old 12-29-2008, 11:19 AM   #43
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No need to change out plywood. Plenty of support from the frame formed by the structure of the peddestel holding the plastic bins. I have Tempurpedic and only attach a foot extention a Gene has mentioned. Attached it with many small wood screws.
I think you may have something about moving the mattress down Gene.
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:27 PM   #44
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Gene,

I did pretty much exactly what you're talking about. I filled in the space left over from the non-radiused mattress with body pillows.

A radiused king would have fit in the back of my 34' Avion, but I couldn't find anybody to make one. So I got a regular sized queen and filled the area around the perimeter with body pillows. It's worked out great.

If you can't sleep, you can't enjoy your vacation. My original mattresses were 20 year old Sealy Posturepedics that may have been OK 20 years ago, but they were still too narrow and had that curved part where your head goes. I just couldn't sleep well on them.

Now, I sleep like a baby on my house sized queen 12" thick plush top firm Simmons Beauty Rest. Vacations are fun now

Take care,
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Old 01-04-2009, 10:06 PM   #45
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This shall remain one of Airstream's most undesirable features. With what you pay for a new AS you would expect the mattress to be the top of the line but, alas, year after year they ignore their customers and continue to furnish a cheap, uncomfortable, mattress. This shouldn't be something we have to upgrade. It's like putting cheap seats in a new Mercedes.
Well said, and all those adding memory foam to the cheap Airstream mattress I invite to visit the web sites of those getting very sick indeed from these products. They are mostly tolulene and other chemicals that cause auto immune issues to joint pain and much more. You would think an airstream would justify a high end sleeping system for the price and they do not care.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:38 AM   #46
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My Class A moho has the typical old school "firmer is better" mattress, and I will add a natural latex topper. Airstream, like every other manufacturer, looks at costs of components for thier products and the return on the cost. I bet that over 90% of owners are content with the supplied mattress: the first owners of my unit said it was okay with them.
However, "latex" is not good enough because some suppliers will offer latex that is actually synthetic. I see no reason to sleep every night on a chemical soup when real (natural) latex is easily available, feels better & lasts longer. I plan to have it before my NorCal Rally in April.
We tried some "memory foam" products and found them to be very hot--did not breathe so it was close feeling and kinda damp. The mattress in our house has a 2" latex surface with microcoils under it--pure luxury, its a real "nest."
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:07 PM   #47
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[/quote]We tried some "memory foam" products and found them to be very hot--did not breathe so it was close feeling and kinda damp. The mattress in our house has a 2" latex surface with microcoils under it--pure luxury, its a real "nest."[/QUOTE]


I have to agree about the memory foam on top- it IS too hot and doesn't breathe well at all. We have a mattress cover on top of it and the bed still feels humid and hot while sleeping. While it does make the stock mattress a little more sleepable, it's certainly not the cure.

I doubt that we'll spend $1249 on a comfortnumber mattress, but we may look at throwing in a nice regular size or queen mattress in there later this
Spring.


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Old 01-10-2009, 11:24 AM   #48
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Toxic mattress

After reading the posts by Streamhead (# 40) and Safari 28 (#45) I decided to ask a friend who is an internationally renowned expert on things like this. Turns out I should have asked her before we bought the memory foam.

These products do have toluene and other petroleum products in them and that is usually what you can smell if you smell anything. But there are other components, far worse. Polybrominated biphenyls or diphenyls (PPBE or PPDE depending what country you are from), about 50% by weight. This has been connected to being an immunosuppresent, cancer, being a thyroid disrupter, and causing behavioral changes. Because the foam is highly flammable, this is the stuff they add for fire suppression. Gradually various versions of this chemical family have been banned, but the worst of them is still being used.

This is a bummer. Our friend has been researching for years chemicals that cause all sorts of nasty effects on us and so far, eventually, she has been found to be correct from the beginning. Of course, whatever industry has an economic interest opposes all the findings for so long as they can get away with it.

I'm not sure what to do next because the choices seem to be:

1. sleep on an uncomfortable Airstream mattress,

2. spend a lot of money on a new mattress with the advantage of getting one long enough for us.

3. Be slowly poisoned or maybe quickly poisoned.

I wish I had known this before I recommended memory foam as a solution to the mattress problem. Every time I go to the trailer after it's been closed up for several days it smells like a chemical soup anyway, so it would be hard to notice the memory foam.

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Old 01-10-2009, 04:24 PM   #49
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spend the $$$

Gene,

Trust me on this one: Spend the money, whatever it is, and get yourself a good mattress. Don't skimp here. Eat 99 cent whopper juniors for awhile instead of a TGI Friday's lunch. If you can't sleep, you can't enjoy your vacation. So then what good is a shiny aluminum trailer if you're too tired and achey to have fun using it?

I was there when I first got mine. It was miserable. Now, man it's great! Suck it up, spend the bucks. You'll be happier for it!

(Yes, Airstream should have given you a better one but it is what it is...no use to let it ruin your vacations)

Take care,
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Old 01-10-2009, 08:16 PM   #50
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Fire Retardant Chemicals

Gene-

I was in the mattress business for 20 years and I'm very familiar with the chemistry used. The bromine and antimony compounds are very common in the overseas business where there are strict flammability laws for foam -- especially Great Britain.

The US flammability standards test the finished mattress, not the individual components. The high cost of the bromine/antimony compounds is avoided and the consumer is much safer for it. The CPSC got one right.

We competed against the memory foam stuff and would have picked up the presence of those chemicals in the foam sold in the US. It's not there with the major manufacturers. Toluene is a key component though.

John
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:46 AM   #51
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...all you 'foamies' and 'futonions' step aside, Why not get truley original with a custom feather mattress? I made one out of good quality feather pillows tacked at their corners, and inserted cleverly into a LARGE pillow case. Some of you that are from the south might have had the grandmother that had those giant feather beds in their home way out in the 'sticks'. When I was a kid, I remember burying myself into a feather bed. Foam does generate heat pretty good. But I just wanted to throw that in for a suggestion...I am going to make another one...but this time the formula is better with these (meant for pets) large foamish pillows you get for your pet...they are BIG and you can stich them together at their corners and build as big a bed as you like, and then cover with your favorite cotton slip sheet cover (acts like a pillow case)...the pet pillows are about twenty apiece and feature great memory foam like action. Every once in a while during a burst of house cleaning, I will take my feather bed out and air it around...but thats feathers...I plan next to invest in the pet pillows. They are about two and a half feet by four feet wide. I found these at an ATWOODS hardware store.
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Old 05-26-2009, 01:34 PM   #52
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My 34 footer had the twin singles at the back. I hated them. The mattresses were miserable to start with, and if I put my head toward the front then I'd hit it on the night light cantilevering off the wall. If I put my head toward the back of the trailer, I had to tilt it sideways due to the curve of the back of the trailer. Bluck on that!

Contacted a local mattress maker but they wouldn't make me a radiused king to turn the whole back of the camper into a bed.

So, I got a queen size 12" thick pillow top firm Simmons Beauty Rest mattress. I then filled in around it with body pillows. The whole back of the RV is now a bed.

Talk about a nest! Man it's great now. This mattress is more comfortable than the one in my house. Whereas before my vacations were miserable due to poor sleep, now we wake up refreshed and ready to party. It made all the difference!

Oh yeah, I had to make a platform to bridge the aisle that used to be there between the twin singles. I did it with a piece of 3/8" plywood to match that on top of the shelves that the singles sat on, then made stiffeners that went under it every 12" or so. It works great.

The only negative to this is that the person sleeping at the rear of the trailer has to crawl over the one toward the front side. So far, it's been no problem at all. I sleep like the dead, and it'd take an atom bomb to wake me up, so wifey gets the aft position.

Best of luck whichever way you go. But getting a good night's sleep is the key to enjoying your vacations. So fix that bed up right!
So you had two twins and you converted it to a large flat space? I want to do this with body pillows and all (our bedroom is so small that our queen touches the walls anyways. Do you have to worry about the mattress being to heavy? We have a brand new Sterns and Foster queen, that we would some day like to upgrade to a king and we were thinking about putting the queen in there and buying a new mattress when he comes home from Iraq. The box spring and mattress are really tall, did you have any trouble with the height or did you just forgo the box spring?
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:40 PM   #53
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No Box Springs in my install

Hi Miniamyna,

I ditched the box springs and just used the mattress only. I did some reading on the subject and from what I gathered, the box springs don't really do a lot. Unless you're jumping on the bed (which my kids and I do do on the King in the house ), I doubt you'd ever notice it. Many of the european beds are designed with the frame sitting higher and were never intended to use with a box spring.

But anyway, I'm going with just the mattress, albeit a pretty nice one, and it's great.

On mine, I just stuffed the big body pillows down in the cracks around the mattress and that's where I put my feather pillow to support my head. So my body is totally supported on the queen mattress (a real queen, not a "trailer queen"....bad pun indeed! But they make smaller queen mattresses for RV's that are dimensionally smaller than a standard house sized queen...). It's really worked out well.

It is a little heavier than the two pancake thin twins I tore out. But not a whole lot. And I've noticed no difference at all in the way the trailer tows. If you're concerned, just make sure you load the trailer heavier toward the front when you pack it. I didn't get crazy with the "bridge"; it was just a sanded smooth sheet of 3/8" thick plywood that would overhang the frame work of the original twin beds by about 2" on each side. (I trimmed the original two 3/8" pieces that were on top of each twin bed framework so that the new piece butts into the other two; makes one smooth deck right across the entire back of the coach) I then put a 3/4" thick strip of plywood that was 2" wide on 16" centers down the length of it right over where the aisle was. It's worked great. I know my poor back is much the happier for it.

Hardest part was getting the house sized queen back there. But a good mattress will flex without breaking. I had to carry mine down the aisle edgewise, then lift it up onto the platform, rotate it 90 degrees and bend it in quite a bit to get it to drop into place. But it's there, and I sleep like a baby on it.

Best of luck with your install. I think you'd be happy with it.

take care,
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:20 PM   #54
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Under bed storage?

Thanks for responding, I have been away from the computer for a while. I was looking at my uncle's excella and I realized we may lose a lot of storage, any change we could get a picture of how yours looks. My Dad has a smaller aistream we have been testing out before we go pick p the one we are going to be borrowing and full timing in and I am worried about being able to store all our stuff. Any thoughts?
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:02 PM   #55
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New Bed pics

Sure. I'll have to take some. I'll get you some this weekend and post on here.

type ya later,
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Old 08-12-2009, 07:53 PM   #56
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King Bed Pics

Here you go. Sorry it took so long. Batteries were dead in my camera and then I had trouble with Photoshop and couldn't shrink them.

What I've got here is a "bridge" that I built to fit across the OEM supports for the original twin beds. I cut notches out of the top so that my bridge would sit flush on the frame that supported the platforms on each of the twins (the side panel stuck up about 3/8"). So the bridge sits flush with the original platforms, and is supported by the original platform frames.

I cut the original platforms about an inch shorter than they were originally, then glued and screwed a frame doubler onto the inside top of each platform for them to sit on. The bridge then sits on the original frame rail that the original platform sat on. The bridge butts right against the OEM platforms; and the rails are now 1.5" thick instead of .75" thick.

Down the length of the bridge, I glued and screwed on a doubler every 16" or so. Just to keep it from flexing, as the sheet is only 3/8" thick. It's very stiff, but not heavy. Works great.

I got a Simmons Beautyrest 12" thick Queen mattress (a house queen, not a trailer queen ) and then filled in around the perimeter with pool floaties down low and body pillows up high. The net effect is a King bed that takes the whole rear of the coach. It's supremely comfortable.

I couldn't get anybody to make me a King with radiused corners that was local, and I didn't want to pay shipping on a custom made king mattress. So this is the route I went. My head pillow sits on top of the body pillows, so I've got the whole mattress for my body and feet. It's great.

My coach had drawers built into the streetside twin bed platform. I took them out so you just reach through the hole to put stuff in there. The curb side had doors, which I just left on there. Curb side has a large external access door and I keep folding chairs and the spare in there. I never access it from inside the coach, though I can if I really needed to.

The only downside to this is that my wife has to crawl over me to get out of the bed. But I sleep like the dead, so it's not been an issue at all.

Works for us!
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Old 08-12-2009, 09:20 PM   #57
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Air beds work pretty well. Most are expensive. Select Comfort has a short queen. Bear Beds not only has the short queen but they make a curved twin.

Airstream

Here's an article regarding air beds.

RV bed not too comfy? Try sleeping on air!

Patty found an Aerobed Topper that has dual controls that we lay on top of the mattress. For less than $200 this mattress inflates to about 2 inches high. The only down side is it is a standard queen length which takes up some of the room to navigate around the end of the bed.

An interesting point is that most of the air beds are fairly light and don't carry the weight that foam mattresses carry.

Jack
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Old 08-12-2009, 09:39 PM   #58
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Gene,

I did pretty much exactly what you're talking about. I filled in the space left over from the non-radiused mattress with body pillows.

A radiused king would have fit in the back of my 34' Avion, but I couldn't find anybody to make one. So I got a regular sized queen and filled the area around the perimeter with body pillows. It's worked out great.



Take care,
While parked at the house recently, we carried out the full size queen pillow top from our bedroom and wrestled it into the trailer. There's a good 5+inches of sagging overhang with the full size queen in there. One thing I did not note before is the special radius cut at the top of the RV mattress. Without that, the overhang is even more and a large gap at the head of the mattress forms.

We priced out some full queen custom cut to 73" or so at $500-$800 at our local mattress factory. One of them was a full foam mattress. It was actually the most comfortable. No springs at all. I have some reservations when buying an all foam mattress with the trouble we have with a foam memory topper. 12 year warranty on these mattresses. We're not pleased with the gap up top though. It might have to be a compromise. We haven't gone back to the store yet to see if they could make that custom radius cut.

I'm sure the Select Comfort mattress leaves the gap at the headboard as well.

Cheers,

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Old 08-12-2009, 09:56 PM   #59
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we did what Ronstory did. We got an innerspring 10" queen futon, and it's terrific. Ours is a Serta, $350.00

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Old 08-12-2009, 10:04 PM   #60
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While parked at the house recently, we carried out the full size queen pillow top from our bedroom and wrestled it into the trailer. There's a good 5+inches of sagging overhang with the full size queen in there. One thing I did not note before is the special radius cut at the top of the RV mattress. Without that, the overhang is even more and a large gap at the head of the mattress forms.

We priced out some full queen custom cut to 73" or so at $500-$800 at our local mattress factory. One of them was a full foam mattress. It was actually the most comfortable. No springs at all. I have some reservations when buying an all foam mattress with the trouble we have with a foam memory topper. 12 year warranty on these mattresses. We're not pleased with the gap up top though. It might have to be a compromise. We haven't gone back to the store yet to see if they could make that custom radius cut.

I'm sure the Select Comfort mattress leaves the gap at the headboard as well.

Cheers,

yakman
If you need corner cuts according to their web site, Bear Bed will custom build for you at no extra cost. That would take care of those situations where the head of the bed also needs some angle on it. Their Airstream page specifically shows the twins with the proper cut.

Jack
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