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Old 06-24-2003, 06:41 PM   #1
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replacing front couch with futon

Hi. We are new at this whole thing. We purchased 1983 31" sovereign on our 33 anniversary!!! Needs much work. We have stripped carpet out, front seating, draperies and all upholstery. Now we are cleaning, cleaning, cleaning!! Has anyone relaced the front seating area with a futon that fits in that space? Know we would have to bracket it down, but sleeping would be more comfortable for quests?? Seems it would also be more cost effective. Any suggestions?? Have been reading forum to help with problems we are encountering. Thanks for all the tips!!
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Old 07-30-2003, 10:47 AM   #2
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Sorry I missed your post..........

We did exactly that with our 1986 31' Sovereign. The previous owners were an elderly couple that had removed the orginal couch/sofa and had a couple of small cushioned rocking chairs in the space previously occupied by the couch. They hadn't moved the trailer in several years, having had it parked permanently in the big Airstream park in Melbourne, Florida. We tossed the rockers as soon as we got it home and cleaned up. We had a devil of a time trying to find a sofa bed small enough to fit through the front door, but big enough to be functional. We finally settled for a good quality futon. The only thing that was required was moving the small door-side folding table a little further towards the door in order to allow room for the futon to fully lay out. With a thick futon pad, we find it is very comfortable as a couch and reasonably so as a bed. We have a 15 year-old son who could sleep anywhere as a rule, and is getting to the age where hanging with us isn't cool. My wife likes the futon because she can change covers to reflect her current decorating mood. Right now, the "Parrot Inn" has a jungle theme going and she had several options for covers. I know of other people who have gone the futon route, with mixed opinions. We like the idea and were able to find a frame that well-accompanied the interior decor. Good luck if you haven't already made the purchase.
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Old 07-30-2003, 12:08 PM   #3
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I have several friends with Futons and they are quite comfortable. The cushions on our Goucho are shot and I am concidering replacing them with a Futon. My idea is to modify the Goucho frame so I can retain the storage under it. Make a slide out arrangment that was common on some of the A/S with the side couch. Anybody done this?
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Old 07-30-2003, 03:24 PM   #4
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I too aim to replace my couch with a futon. I have been meaning to for a while but all the componets are now in place...the trailer is in my driveway and the futon is upstairs.... I measured and all seems well.
As the futon is fairly a substantial unit, does one really need to secure it to the floor? My easy chairs that came with the trailer as an A/S option do not get secured and stay put just fine.
-Matthew
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Old 07-30-2003, 03:27 PM   #5
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I forgot to mention my futon is VERY comfortable, like any bed it is the quality of the mattress. We purchased the best we could afford and are quite pleased. The cheaper versions were horrible so you get what you pay for -as usuall.
-Matthew
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Old 07-30-2003, 03:33 PM   #6
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If you decide to go the upholstery route, I can affirm that new, better quality foam does make a world of difference. However, there are limits to comfort in the basic design when folded down for a bed - the gap between the back and the seat is not going to disappear. One solution there is to use an airmattress for sleeping. It will just fold up and can be put behind the sofa during the day.

Mark
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Old 07-30-2003, 08:37 PM   #7
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We have had an extra foam mattress we have been putting over the couch when used as a bed. Still very uncomfortable. We have considered the air mattress as well but I would like to tote less and have a clean quick set up/tear down . I do not think new foam on the couch as is will make much difference, the design is just plain uncomfortable. So for me the futon with a top quality mattress seems the best route.
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Old 07-30-2003, 08:46 PM   #8
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Replacement bed/ couch

I replaced the front couch in my 66 Overlander with a hand built bed/ couch. I did not like the way the original bed forced one person to have to crawl over the other. I made a frame that pulls out to 74 inches by 48 inches wide. There is a couple of feet on each side so it is very easily accessable. The frame and plywood tops slide back in and part of the top is hinged to fold up and form the back for the sofa. I purchased a solid foam pad at Academy that is 4 inches thick, very firm and comfortable. My intyerior had already been mostly taken out before I got the trailer, so I am making it suitable for my use.(Stll in work!)
I tried a futon mattress on the original bed and it was hard as a rock! Must have been one of the cheap ones! Best of luck.
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Old 07-31-2003, 05:17 AM   #9
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Matthew, you asked a question....

about whether your futon needed to be secured. I don't think so. The nature of the way they sit, plus their weight, seems to make ours very secure. I am sure the configuration of our trailer is much like your own; at least in the livingroom/diningroom area. The drop-down dining table and the other small drop-down on the door side provide a stop should the thing ever move towards the rear of the trailer. As it is hard to accelerate those big units fast enough to get anything to shift towards the rear, that doesn't appear to be a problem. And, when stopping, the natural inclination is for items to move towards the front of the trailer. The battery box sits behind our futon at the very front of the trailer and provides a natural brace.
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Old 07-31-2003, 05:58 AM   #10
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Joe,
Thanks for answering my question. I agree that there does not appear a need to secure the futon down.

Calvin,
I too dislike climbing over one another to get into the bed. Can you post some photos of the bed you designed?
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Old 07-31-2003, 06:38 AM   #11
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Smile Futon

We replaced our gauchos with a futon and were pleased. We didn't bolt it down as it is extremely stable. Also, we were able to put the storage bins under it and it was perfect! Good luck however you decide to go.

Gloria Pace
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Old 08-02-2003, 07:23 AM   #12
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Hi Matthew,
I do not have a digital camera to get fast pictures, but I will see how my regular film develops. I made 3 rough drawings and saved them using windows imaging, then zipped each. I'll attach one to each of three messages since the photo link seems to be down. They would not copy to message. This is still a work in progress, but is functional. Hope this helps. Also, for anyone wanting to restore the original gaucho, see the drawings at : www.vintageairstream.com/Images/sofa1.gif
Calvin
PS If anyone looks at this, please let me know if the attachment worked. When I checked it, it opened on my harddrive with access to all files.
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File Type: zip frontsofa_1.zip (8.3 KB, 291 views)
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Old 08-02-2003, 07:46 AM   #13
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Front sofa drawing

This is drawing #2
Calvin
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File Type: zip frontsofa_2.zip (8.1 KB, 211 views)
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Old 08-02-2003, 07:52 AM   #14
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Front sofa drawing

This is drawing #3
The base section is 36" long by 54" wide. The slideout section is 39" by 54". The overall opened length is 74". I am contemplating shortening the width to 48", but am still undecided.
Calvin
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