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Old 03-01-2013, 06:24 PM   #1
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1971 18' Caravel
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Upper Bunk bed build

I want to build an upper bunk above my single twin. I've removed the upper cabinet. I would like to keep the lower bed that slides out if possible, (I'm open to removing the gaucho and building a new lower bunk) I'm not sure where to anchor the upper bunk though. Anyone have any plans or pictures? From what I quickly measured, the upper bunk will probably need to be placed about midway of the window. It will need to support approximately 100 pounds (kids).
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Old 04-19-2013, 02:54 PM   #2
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I've been thinking about the same thing. I'll be replacing the inside walls as part of my rehab. The original walls are Made out of .25" plywood. I'm thinking about up grading to .5" so the walls could bear the load of the bunk. I would place the bottom of the bunk just above the window. It might be tight space, but ok for kids. I've see posts were people have storage under the mattress of the bunk.
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:26 PM   #3
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You might want to touch base with PizzaChop. He's a master at bunk building and space utilization.

Kevin
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Old 04-20-2013, 12:20 AM   #4
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We have no problems supporting a bunk on 1/4" walls; the important thing is to make sure that the edging is stiff. Thin walls fail in buckling.
The 1x2 birch fastened to the birch plywood w/ stainless bolts in the picture easily supports our daughter's upper bunk.

More pictures on our blog. Note that the bunk is rigid - it has edges all around so there's no bowing loads on the walls.

- Bart
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:27 AM   #5
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I built bunk beds over my my existing gaucho frame. I did not replace the paneling walls, I used 1/2" plyboard over them (inside the lower bunk) to add support. See pics and details in another post I have and I posted pictures.
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:23 AM   #6
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Hi,

We put a custom bunk in our 1959 Tradewind. Here's the link to our blog with a ton of pics on the before and after. Happy to answer questions if you have any. Category: Bunk Bed - welcome to our airstream story
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Old 04-20-2013, 11:36 AM   #7
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Bart, when they fail by buckeling is it vertically or horizontally? Looking at you pick, do you have a bunk board that you just place on top of the stringers?
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Old 04-20-2013, 12:01 PM   #8
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I found you cannot rely on the thin walls to support any type of weight. I built a bunk box out of 1/2" and 1/4" plywood then used two square shaped 24x24" 3/4" plywood that sit vertically under each end. These 3/4" sheets take the vertical load. The thin walls simply provide lateral support. See pics. Category: Bunk Bed - welcome to our airstream story
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Old 05-05-2013, 09:00 PM   #9
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I've been kicking around this idea. The bunk is going to be for a small child, so my first idea was to build it above window, but I have seen pics of folks who have built it half way down the window. I'm thinking having it above the window would give more light and access to the window for maintainice. Half way down would lead to a larger bunk that would be functional longer down the road. Looking for ideas or feed back from others who have bunks above mid dual twins.
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverflames View Post
I've been kicking around this idea. The bunk is going to be for a small child, so my first idea was to build it above window, but I have seen pics of folks who have built it half way down the window. I'm thinking having it above the window would give more light and access to the window for maintainice. Half way down would lead to a larger bunk that would be functional longer down the road. Looking for ideas or feed back from others who have bunks above mid dual twins.
I have been thinking about how to replace the bunks in my Overlander. My dad had a total of 5 beds in the middle for all of the kids. One side had 2 beds and kept the original overhead bins and the other had 3 beds with no bins. The side with 3 beds was really tight, but workable.

The biggest downside to lower bunks is that the space becomes very rigid in it's purpose. The twins aren't really good for sitting or much of anything other than sleeping for that matter. To combat this issue, I am considering how to make convertible bunks/overhead bins. I think that some Argosy's may have had this feature, but I don't have any design details.
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:31 AM   #11
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Humm.. Leaving room on the bottom bunk so and adult can sit up is a good idea.

When you say convertible, are you thinking about something on a hinge. Or a platform that can be lifted off and removed?
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:30 PM   #12
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I would prefer to keep the support built up from the floor. I have a conceptual design using a slide to raise the platform and then a portion of the platform would hinge up to form the front of the overhead bin.

The hinged portion could be supported by a fixed ledger board in the lower position and shouldn't need additional support in the raised position. The slide mechanism could be 3/4" x 1 1/2" with overlapping rabbet cuts.

Another idea I like is having the bunks fold down against the wall to form dual center couches. This would allow the overhead storage to remain in use even when the bunks are needed which would be handy.
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