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Old 07-11-2018, 02:05 PM   #1
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1978 31' Sovereign
Elk Mound , Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 17
New Owner.

Greetings from West Central Wisconsin!

We picked up a 78 Sovereign last summer in need of some repairs. I've started the repair process, and I would like to remodel the front end to include a table and bench seats that would fold down to a queen size bed. Have any of you done this? Are there designs available? What pitfalls should I watch out for?

I am excited to start working on the camper, but I am more excited to get it out on the road and use it.
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Old 07-11-2018, 06:51 PM   #2
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
1969 21' Globetrotter
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
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And welcome from Colorado: We moved here from the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. I worked in Eau Clare for a while. Wisconsin is a great Airstream travel destination.

I have a 75 Overlander, built somewhat similar to your 78 Sovereign, although there were some major changes in 78. My wife is thinking I should build something similar to what you envision.

My son has a 69 Globetrotter. He wanted a "U" shaped dinette in the front of his trailer. So we built one. It utilizes a pedestal table that collapses and then the cushions form a big bed to crash in. Airstream makes such a "U" shaped dinette in some of their recent models. The "U" shape also creates more seating space "around" the table which was important to my son. He also made "leafs" for the table so it can fold into a "coffee table" or out as a dining table. It works for him.

Here is a photo of it up and collapsed. Maybe our project will give you some ideas.

David
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Old 07-13-2018, 11:30 AM   #3
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1978 31' Sovereign
Elk Mound , Wisconsin
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Thank You

Thank You David,

That is what I am looking to do. Did you develop the design yourself, or did you have a design to work from?

Jim G
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Old 07-13-2018, 06:37 PM   #4
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
1969 21' Globetrotter
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 8,371
Images: 1
Hello again: Design is too strong a word for what I do. You may notice the blue painter's tape on the floor. We did give some thought to cushion depth, seating height, knee room, room for your heels while sitting, and butt hopping around to the seats in front. My wife made the 9 cushions for us. Lot's of sewing. We selected a foam density and firmness we thought felt comfortable. We had to accommodate the fresh water tank under the front window and the fresh water pump next to the tank.

The pedestal was a key component in the whole thing. It had to be sturdy and had to collapse. The one we used is a marine fishing boat seat support. But Airstream uses them too.

I made the box frames out of red oak 1x2s. It's a Minnesota and Wisconsin thing. Then made the plywood "lids" over the boxes. We made the table "prototype" out of plywood. We are suppose to find some nice hardwood for the table, but haven't done that yet.

The sleeping surface is something like 85" by 55". An odd shape but useable with a sleeping bag or blankets. No fancy sheets for this rig. The doorway is in the way of making the sleeping surface bigger. We kept the original curved and padded "bed extender" that was part of the 69 Globetrotter. Keep the vintage look I guess.

So pencil out what you would like, start laying it out in the space you have, and plug in the saw and drill.

David
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Old 07-15-2018, 01:58 PM   #5
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1978 31' Sovereign
Elk Mound , Wisconsin
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Dinette Design

Thanks Again David,

That is pretty much what I am doing. Step by step, piece by piece. I want to swing into a camper retailer and look at a few set-ups. I can take some measurements for height, space for the table, leg room, etc. That will give me some basic numbers,but then I have to plug them in to our situation.

Just the same, your pictures and comments give me some good ideas to "build off of" is you'll pardon the pun.

Thanks again. Some day I hope to have some pics up of the finished project.

Jimmy G
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