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Old 05-28-2019, 01:56 PM   #1
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Post Adding A Rear Shelf

In the hopes that John does the same when he builds the one for his new AI. Mine was made out of aluminum ( http://8020.net/ ) since my woodworking skills suck...



What the final product looks like:












I shared the install of the plastic laminate in FB and got a few questions on it... figured I would create a thread to point them to the material and build steps... Here we go:


Part list (everything purchased from http://8020.net/ except where it is called out):

  • 2 - 1517-LS - 1.5" x 1.5" x 58" - These are the long supports
  • 4 - 1502-LS - 1.5" x 1.5" x 9" – These are the downward supports
  • 2 – 1575 - 1.5" x .75" x 16" - This support is bolted under the cabinet. I placed it in the location in the photo because I wanted to minimize the holes under the cabinet. I was trying to use the holes, if possible, left by the flimsy coat hangers. Thinking about it now, I would have prefer to leave those flimsy coat hangers in there and install the support at the ends of the shelf. Leaving all the space clear of the downward supports. The span is not that long that would cause an issue with the shelf bending…so that would have not been a problem. I might still do this later on. As to the length of this support… I ordered it this long to allow me to slide the shelf back or forward. As I was doing this, I wanted some level of flexibility to position the shelf. This is why you see a difference between the width of the shelf and this support by one inch. You could order it an inch shorter if you want it all to match or you can order the 1502-LS an inch longer and have a wider shelf by an inch… your call really… just make sure to account for the change when cutting the shelf insert.
  • 2 - 1502-LS - 1.5" x .75" x 12" – These are for the width of the shelf
  • 4 - 2035GRA - These are plastic end caps for the 1517-LS
  • 4 - 3274GRA - These are the plastic plugs to secure the end caps 2035GRA to the 1517-LS
  • 4 – 2036 – These are the plastic end caps for the 1575. For some reason they only come in black… I spray-painted them silver to match. Later I lost two and ended up printing a set with silver PLA using my 3D printer.
  • 12 - 3360 - These are the Anchor Fastener Assembly
  • 1 - 6060 - Drill bit for the Anchor Fastener Counterbore... l was able to do the holes/bores at home, just needed the correct bit. This way I avoided having to pay 8020 to do it. If you do not want to even do this, the guys at 80/20 can do these for you...
  • In addition, on the shelf insert, to be able to clear the anchors, you will need to cut a notch off each corner…and it needs to be wide and long enough so that you can insert the Allen wrench to get to the anchor. Here, look:
  • Location of the counterbores. 12 in total. Notice that on the downward support you have one on top toward the width of the shelf and then another one on the side towards the length of the shelf… hummm I just noticed that I forgot to clean that downward support to get rid of that marker line, lol. In the photo you can also see the plastic trim in place, covering the slot.
  • Thickness of shelf insert material – The one I used? It is 1/8”. But from the get-go I knew I was going to sandwiched it in between two plastic laminates. You want to get as close as a inch as you can so that the rubber inserts do their job… or those will be loose… When I was thinking about using perforated aluminum insert I was looking at a ” sheet in aluminum or some solid and frosted Lexan (polycarbonate resin thermoplastic, lighter and just as strong for the task). At the end, I like that that insert matches the laminate. It gives it a more luxury look…even if nobody sees it… lol
These I got at the local ACE Hardware Store
  • 8 – 10/32” T-Nuts - I wanted the structure to be solid and attached well with the top cabinet. This was the best approach to getting that done.
  • 8 – 10/32” x 1” Flat head angled Stainless Steel Bolts – These go into the top support that bolts into the cabinet. I can’t remember the length… I think these were 1” long, but I could be mistaken… Since they are sunken, into the support, all they have to go through is the thickness of the cabinet panel. These need to be flat and countersunk into the support so that I could still slide the downward support anchors into position…
  • 24’ of 2178 – this is the 15 Series Economy Panel Gasket… the rubber trim to avoid vibration noise.



The size and dimensions I used are well thought out... It had to work with the bed fillers on the side coming down... Also, I could not do it wider nor lower to avoid someone hitting their head when seating on the bench... So several limiting factors taken into consideration for how we wanted to use it...


The shelf sits behind the rear bench/seat... does not block the reading lights... you will have to purposely tilt your head back to hit the shelf (if you are that tall to begin with)... and even them, the material is curved on purpose minimize injuries from doing that neck move...


These dimension would change if you do not care about those side cushions or whatever else is important or not in your situation...

Another option is this one. If you have woodworking skills, this can be done for less and still looking great. John did it and he will be doing it again in his new AI. Will let him share those photos, but I will share his finished shelf in his previous AI...

















I hope this helps the next person wanting to add a shelf to their AI...
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:06 PM   #2
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2018 shelf

We miss the shelf I put in the 2014.5. The delay in putting one in the 2018 is because I could not find matching laminate. I have some on order that matches well enough. In the mean time, I am building the guts of the shelf, using left-over 3/4" plywood from my twin bed conversion.

3/4" is heavier than needed, but I have it on hand. I guarantee, you will be able to chin on my shelf when it is installed.

While waiting for the laminate, I built the "guts" of the shelf. It will be covered with laminate with black edging. The "working" surfaces (inside) will be covered with black marine bunker padding. I love that stuff wherever I need a padded surface. It is absolutely indestructible! I used it in the rear end after my twin conversion to cover any raw surfaces.

The shelf is ready for laminate and will be mounted with Kreg pocket screws. Screws are cheap and I use plenty of them. There will be 6 Kregs on each side into the bottom of the upper cabinet. The ends are sloped slightly inward to match the slope of the AI interior.

I realized after I mounted the ends that I will need to provide relief for the rear screen ends. When I am out for lunch, I'll stop by storage and make a template. Just a quickie with the saw. If that eliminates screws, I'll just drill more.
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Old 06-13-2019, 11:46 AM   #3
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Cool morning for June in Texas, so I installed the marine bunker padding with lots of power-driven staples. The padding was just 1/4" wider than the area while turned up at the sides. I used a razor knife to trim that last 1/4" off in one pass.

I'll tape plastic sheet over the padding while I edge trim the laminate so that it stays clean.
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Old 07-02-2019, 09:39 PM   #4
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Two week delay on the shelf project. Airstream would not reveal the manufacturer or pattern of the laminate in the coach. They wanted to sell me a 4x8 sheet of pre-laminated plywood. I pale to think what that would have cost with shipping to Austin.

I found a "close-enough" pattern and ordered a sheet of laminate. Called back in a couple of weeks and they couldn't find my order.

I finally decided rather than match the rest of the coach, I would pick a non-wood pattern that matched the general colors. I found a laminate, made just up I-35 from here, that looks like burned metal and has some rich brown tones. The laminate came today and looks great. I have most of the shelf laminated, but ran out of contact cement.

I'll finish up laminating tomorrow and bring the AI home to install the shelf. By tomorrow afternoon, all should be done.

I'll post photos tomorrow.
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Old 07-03-2019, 04:05 PM   #5
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Shelf about finished

I finished laminating and adding the edge binding on the shelf today.

I installed it in the coach by myself. That is difficult because the shelf, itself, is constantly in the way when it comes time to screw it in place. I ended up using a floor jack and odd boards to hold it in place while I put in the Kreg screws that fasten it to the bottom of the rear cabinet.

The laminate I used is Wilsonart "Fired Steel." It nicely echoes the rich brown colors in the cabinet laminates.Since I could not find matching laminate, I think this looks even better.

I still have to put the black marine bunker padding covers on the end boards.

The tissue box is made to clip on a visor. I applied a little "southern engineering" to the spring clip and it now slips between the mouse fur wall and the upper cabinet. Handy, but out of the way.

The shelf snugly holds 4 of my large tubs plus my first aid kit. Each of us has 2 tubs for the things we most access when on the road, such as pajamas.

I have plenty of laminate left over for future ideas.
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Old 07-03-2019, 04:29 PM   #6
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Another modification nicely executed. Came out great John! Wished I had 1/2 of your woodworking skills.
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Old 07-04-2019, 12:17 AM   #7
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WACHUKO, JOHN - them's nice shelves, you two!
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Old 07-05-2019, 10:02 PM   #8
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Putting the black marine bunker padding on the end boards used up just enough space that my first aid kit no longer fits along with 4 tubs. No great loss. I think I will make a dedicated place for the kit in the space under the shelf where the, now removed, CS bed extension retracted.

I have the tubs on the shelf labelled ...two for my wife and two for me. I have to mark my territory or she fills everything up with her stuff.

On the RS, I will make a little cabinet in that bed extension space for the Blue Sky solar controller that has been sitting here on my desk waiting to be installed.

I will laminate these additions to match the shelf.
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Old 07-05-2019, 10:13 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Pahaska View Post
I have to mark my territory or she fills everything up with her stuff.
JOHN - I thought it was just me & my wife that do these things. But it seems that would be typical husband & wife behavior. Or is it engineer & non-engineer behavior? Either way, that's funny right there
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Old 08-06-2019, 04:13 PM   #10
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Solar controller box

Here is my solar controller all ready to hang on the end of my shelf and extend into the void where the bed extensions once lived. The box is laminated to match the shelf that I installed

The extra space at the left is for a trolling-motor outlet where I can plug in my VIAIR compressor. The outlet will share 12 ga. battery leads with the solar controller. I'll drill that hole when I have the outlet on hand.
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:40 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Pahaska View Post
Here is my solar controller all ready to hang on the end of my shelf and extend into the void where the bed extensions once lived. The box is laminated to match the shelf that I installed

The extra space at the left is for a trolling-motor outlet where I can plug in my VIAIR compressor. The outlet will share 12 ga. battery leads with the solar controller. I'll drill that hole when I have the outlet on hand.
JOHN - why is solar controller have its own box? Is it by choice, so you can see it or access faster or a necessity because no more space to fit, is it really big? I guess the best place for solar controller is as close possible to where the wires come in from roof, was that a factor? Only curious, I know nothing about wiring up solar efficiently, other than what I have on mine which is still OEM. And since I not an off-gridder and 99% full hookups, I rarely use solar charging intentionally, only when I am driving does it get exercised. .
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:51 PM   #12
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JOHN - why is solar controller have its own box? Is it by choice, so you can see it.
Both. It is too big to fit with the rest of the electronics under the bed. Also, I like to see the display without opening anything. I'm putting it the same place I did in my 2014.5, except this time it will be on the driver's side. Wires to it are fairly short and will be at least #12 or maybe #8.

I could have picked a different solar charger and used the already-installed cat 5 cable to connect it to the display behind the driver's seat, but I like this Blue Sky controller.
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:03 PM   #13
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Both. It is too big to fit with the rest of the electronics under the bed. Also, I like to see the display without opening anything. I'm putting it the same place I did in my 2014.5,d except this time it will be on the driver's side. Wires to it are fairly short and will be at least #12 or maybe #8.

I could have picked a different solar charger and used the already-installed cat 5 cable to connect it to the display behind the driver's seat, but I like this Blue Sky controller.
JOHN - Ahhh, ok, now I get it. BTW - the power sofa & jacknifes you removed, are you selling?
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