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Old 03-01-2019, 05:48 PM   #1
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1994 30' Excella
Franklin , Ohio
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Jack knife sofa Replace or Repair?

Has anyone replaced their jack knife sofa?
We have a 1994 excela narrow body and have been spending the winter in it in southern Florida and it is not very comfortable.
The sofa was professionally reupholstered 5 years ago but springs an foam we’re not replaced. Not sure if we can buy a new unit to replace or if repairing this one is our only option. It was not cheap to have done but the sofa has storage underneath along with batteries and inverter behind back of drawer. The fuse panel is also mounted behind back of sofa and sofa needs to be laid down to acess.
Anyone that is willing to share any knowledge or experiences with sofa upgrades would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-01-2019, 06:03 PM   #2
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1971 25' Tradewind
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I could not stand mine. Most uncomfortable bed I ever had with big ridge running down the middle. I pulled it out and replaced it with a good quality futon, also with drawers underneath.
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Old 03-01-2019, 07:42 PM   #3
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In a previous thread (??), I saw where the sofa had been replaced with two recliners and a cabinet/table between them that housed the batteries and inverter. Check under forums and interior mods.
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:27 PM   #4
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We still use our's for the grand kids. Adults sleep on them at their own peril. We have thrown a memory foam mattress pad over it for smaller adults which helps. Better than that, however, is a blow up queen mattress on the floor in front of the sofa...
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Old 03-02-2019, 09:47 AM   #5
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1976 31' Excella 500
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Replaced the sofa in our 1976 Excella 500 with a six seat U-shaped banquette table and benches (with plenty of storage under the benches).

A couple of issue:

1. The table measures approximately 36" x 36" and rests on two removable steel pillars. This arrangement made it difficult to reach the overhead lockers directly behind and above the table. A pain for only one person to remove the table. The solution was to add an under table slide mechanism which allowed the table to move 20" from side to side, providing ample room for a person to walk past the table and reach the overhead storage lockers.

2. Due to the fact that the table was supported by two in-line, removable pillars (columns), the table had a tendency to rock when leaned upon. The solution for this was to add two fold down, adjustable legs under the table at the back side. This provided four points of support which completely stabilized the table.


Should you choose to refurbish the sofa, I can provide you with the number of the commercial upholster we use. His team can replace the springs/foam and add a new covering, but $$$.
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Old 03-02-2019, 10:56 AM   #6
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1998 31' Excella 1000
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Jack Knife Sofa Replacement

We replaced the jack knife in our '98 31' Excella with a triple reclining sofa that is very comfortable. It is the "Charles 80" triple RV wall-hugger recliner sofa" (wwwRecPro.com). Took some minor modifications to move the swing-out tables 3" or 4" forward so that they would work but nothing major. Did not have to move the batteries or converter. Would be glad to provide more info if desired. See attached photo.
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Old 03-02-2019, 11:31 AM   #7
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I chose to rebuild my jackknife as the original was the most uncomfortable couch I had ever sat upon. As a twosome, we don't use it as an alternate bed though it could be if necessary. I try to stay out of trouble

My issue was primarily the lightweight design and minimal construction of the original which resulted in inadequate support. The foam starts as the least expensive (short life) and was of insufficient compression rating for its purpose - supporting adults. I do upholstery work among my other DIY abilities so tackling this task was not a big decision.

Once stripped to the frame, I started by adding additional webbing to limit the seat sag and then chose two different foams to construct the seating area as well as the upright back sections. Three foams types in all, one used as the "topper" on all sections. I also chose to add skirts to the front and remove the 'hatch' for easier access. [I found six plastic boxes at The Container Store which fit perfectly and they stay put when traveling.]

The outer layer is now Utraleather rather than the original poly cloth fabric. I also changed the seat angle a few degrees (more tilt towards the rear), added greater thigh support to the front roll, and stiffened the lumbar section for better back support. It is now as comfortable as a high end couch for the home and a delight to read for hours on rainy days without discomfort.

Others have done the similar work. Use the SEARCH function to reveal more. Here is a sample thread:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f39/...ect-61003.html

An example of the two foam lumbar and front leg builds and my couch at completion:
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Old 03-04-2019, 08:12 AM   #8
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2001 34' Limited S/O
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Jackknife sofa

I have a 2000 Limited 34' with a slide. The old sofa was well built and very useful but too many ours on the job. It also was very dated. I contacted Airstream and they told me about Villa. I contacted them and they were very knowledgeable about the AS product. Long story short I had one built and love it. When I took the old one out, 18 years old guess what it said on the back....made by Villa.
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Old 03-04-2019, 02:20 PM   #9
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1972 25' Tradewind
Castle Rock , Colorado
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I'm also replacing my dining area in my 1972 tradewind. Old bed was already out. Would you mind sharing some pictures so I can have an idea what this will look like.
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Old 03-04-2019, 03:57 PM   #10
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2002 30' Classic S/O
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueloue69 View Post
We replaced the jack knife in our '98 31' Excella with a triple reclining sofa that is very comfortable. It is the "Charles 80" triple RV wall-hugger recliner sofa" (wwwRecPro.com). Took some minor modifications to move the swing-out tables 3" or 4" forward so that they would work but nothing major. Did not have to move the batteries or converter. Would be glad to provide more info if desired. See attached photo.
I'm very interested in your modifications. I have a 30 Classic with dual battery boxes in the front of the trailer that currently go under my sofa. The sofa has a pull-out drawer. The right side is storage, the left side is just a front that covers the power distribution center. The converter is floor mounted in there somewhere; I'm sure I could find a place to mount it. We have a slideout so we only have the swing-out table on the curb side and it is pretty close to the door so I may not be able to move it. The current sofa does not provide enough shoulder, neck and head support for me; I'm 6-2. In nearly three years, no one has slept on it so that is not an issue but I suspect for a couple nights someone could sleep in the recliner.

I'd appreciate any comments or pictures you might have. If you send me an e-mail through my profile I'll return one to you so you can send any pictures. I'd be particularly interested in how far off the wall you had to mount it and how far the footrest sticks out measured from the wall.

Thanks,

Al
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Old 03-09-2019, 02:51 PM   #11
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1994 30' Excella
Franklin , Ohio
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Iím still in Florida for rest of March but 2 things have to be addressed when I get back home the sofa and the single AC unit thanks for the suggestions Iím really leaning on rebuild of sofa but will contact manufacturer about new
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Old 04-02-2019, 08:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueloue69 View Post
... Would be glad to provide more info if desired. See attached photo.
Did anyone request and get more information from blueloue69? I asked in the thread, and PM'd but have heard nothing.

Short of that, has anyone installed a recliner over front battery boxes? I really want to replace my jackknife sofa with a recliner sofa as he did but I have the front battery boxes, DC panel at the left front of the sofa and converter on the floor. According to RecPro the recliner he used has a rear frame element at floor level. The only way I can see to do it is to cut that and screw the two pieces to the floor and I don't know if I will have access to do that, plus it would void their warranty.

Thanks,

Al
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Old 04-06-2019, 04:55 PM   #13
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1999 30' Excella 1000
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Need help and pictures too.... sofa

We spent the day running around looking for a sofa recliner to replace the 99 jackknife. I agree it has to be the most uncomfortable thing ever made. Not great at DIY. Another friend spent $2,000 to have recovered.
There has to be a solution 🙏
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Old 04-12-2019, 05:58 PM   #14
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1994 30' Excella
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Al
I have a 1994 30 foot classic, My battery box has about 1" clearance between bottom of box to floor, I actuly have placed wood under at front of box to help suppot battery weight. This clearance goes from front of box to where box penatrates wall to outside, I would think you could possibly modify frame to fit under battery box. The inverter could also be elevated. Let me know how your reclines come out, Im thinking I may try to rebuild the foam as sugested and try a fabric that looks like leather but is made of PVC still reserching fabric kind of pricey.
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Old 04-12-2019, 09:16 PM   #15
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I heard back from blueloue69. He had room to move his sofa forward enough that the battery boxes weren't a problem. I don't think I do.

Thanks Ron. I'm pretty sure, but not 100%, that my battery boxes are sitting on the floor. Next time I'm in the trailer I'll check.

My slideout also complicates things. I don't think there is room to extend the road side recliner, even with the slide out. I'm thinking about a design that uses a double recliner and a built-in cabinet at the road side end that serves as an end table and the bottom holds the DC distribution panel and the converter.

If I do it I'll post a thread describing the process.

Al
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Old 04-17-2019, 03:44 PM   #16
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I finally got to the trailer today and made some measurements and discoveries.

Thanks Ditter - my battery boxes are also off the floor, supported by the thickness of a 2x4, so about 1.75". Also, they only extend about 9.5" from the wall so the frame of the recliner should easily be able to slip under for about an inch or so.

I have sufficient clearance, even with the slide in, for the RecPro Charles recliner to be extended to the first reclining position. With the slideout out, either the double or the double with cupholders could go out all the way. With the triple, the roadside end would only be able to go out to the first reclining position.

We are pretty sure we are going ahead with this. I'm going to draw it up to scale to be sure everything will fit. The concept is to pull the jackknife and relocate the fuse panel that is currently mounted on the roadside end of the sofa behind the drawer front to a custom cabinet at the roadside end of the sofa which would also serve as an end table and storage drawer. Another lift top storage cabinet on the curbside end would serve as a lamp table as well.

I'll post pictures of the process if we decide to go forward.

Al
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Old 04-18-2019, 04:57 PM   #17
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1994 30' Excella
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Love to see finshed product.

Al
Glade I could help. If you relocate fuse panel you might want to look at panels made by blue seas they are marine grade and have lots of features to help organize wire connections. Love to see finished pics.
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Old 04-22-2019, 12:20 PM   #18
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Just confirmed that the double with the 12" console will fit and the roadside recliner will extend all the way with the slideout out. It turns out the critical dimension is from the flip up table cabinet on the curbside to the edge of the dinette seat. I measure at least 66", maybe as much as 68" if the footrest doesn't line up with the dinette seat drawer. Per RecPro the sofa measures 61-1/2 from the curbside arm to the roadside footrest. May try to get this done in the next few weeks.

Al
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Old 11-16-2019, 01:29 PM   #19
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Hi Al,

Just wondering how your sofa replacement is going. We reupholstered the dinette and the valences but keep waffling on what to do about the sofa. I got the fabric samples from RecPro and the Toffee matches well with the current work we have done. I am procrastinating because I am not sure how much modification I will have to do to accommodate the slide, battery boxes and electrical panel. Photos are always helpful.
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Old 11-16-2019, 02:49 PM   #20
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Hi Ron,

I did a thread.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f38/...-a-195228.html

Iím almost complete. The last problem to solve is minor- how to make the flip up table by the door clear the recliner. The concept Iím working on is a horizontal front to back drawer slide for the hinge to let the table slide forward a couple of inches to allow it to raise up.

The biggest deal was relocating the electrical panel. My wires werenít long enough so I had to splice in several inches of appropriately sized wire. I cut about 6Ē off the terninating ends and spliced in some white wire. That way the original color would still show at the connections in the power panel, not that it would matter much. My trailerís wiring is not faithful to the diagram in my manual. I used the crimp and heat shrink butt splices available from HF.

If you could use a mahogany recliner I have an extra in the classifieds. Long story....
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