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Old 05-16-2014, 09:24 PM   #1
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1973 31' Sovereign
Boerne , Texas
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Building a Banquette

Has anyone built a custom banquette before? Our 1973 Sovereign doesn't have any living room furniture in it and we really want a wrap around banquette that turns into sleeping space for our teens.
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Old 05-17-2014, 05:12 AM   #2
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I had to google banquette to make sure I knew what you were referring to. Correct me if I'm wrong but you are looking to build something like a U or L shaped dinette that can convert into a bed.

I've seen several posts by folks that have done just that, it's a popular mod. I had considered it, but will probably end up putting in a couple of recliners since its only the two of us with no kids to travel with.
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Old 05-17-2014, 07:10 AM   #3
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With a wraparound dinette the table becomes very small. With just seating on each side, the table usually attaches to the front wall, so it can be as long as the benches. With wraparound or U shaped seating, the table can only attach to the floor and has to be MUCH smaller due to the seating across the front. I found this out after I finished mine.
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Old 05-17-2014, 01:54 PM   #4
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1973 31' Sovereign
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Yes! A wrap around that is either U or L shaped. We have 2 teenagers and a huge family of aunts, uncles, and cousins that we would like to accommodate seating for. If anyone sees plans for a 73 Sovereign, please pass them on.
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Old 05-17-2014, 03:04 PM   #5
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1969 31' Sovereign
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I am about to build one in a 69 Sovereign. I am doing it for a client. Would like to see some photos of past mods. Has to be finished in 3 weeks.....
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Old 05-17-2014, 08:14 PM   #6
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1973 31' Sovereign
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I found plans on a fluke (searching Pinterest for cabinet ideas) and ran across a link to a dinette in the photos here.

I'm super new to this so I hope I'm linking that right.
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Old 06-08-2014, 04:03 PM   #7
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geepster....... I would love to see pictures of the couch you are building.

Thanks
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Old 06-13-2014, 01:56 PM   #8
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1971 31' Sovereign
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When I re-did the interior on my 71 Sovereign I looked at the dinette you Linked to but being lazy & cheap went for a much simpler layout. It's a U-shaped dinette in the front with room for 6 people around the table. Table has folding legs and drops in to make a bed that is the width of the trailer for sleeping. I framed the whole thing with some 5/8" plywood I had lying around and then put some wall panelling on to cover things up. My upholstery is not great but it's functional and was very inexpensive to build.

The table is a little less than 4' square and there are no backs on to the seats but again it's functional. I also made the tops of the seats removable so I have a lot of storage under them. A couple of things I found:

- I supported the back edge with plywood screwed to the walls. The corners were a little tough as I laminated several thin sheets to handle the radius.
- There is low headroom on the bench across the front of the trailer due to the console above. The kids don't have an issue with it but for an adult it can be low.
- I made the table completely removable. Which is nice to move it outside if needed. When towing it's not very stable so I put it in the "bed" position.

I only have one photo right now but can add others and dimensions if anybody wants.
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Old 06-14-2014, 09:41 AM   #9
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Oh, Sandman, that's just what I want to do in our 72 Overlander. I had also thought about a removable table for outside dining. Would love more photos/plans etc!

I had thought about a table with a drop down leaf, so you could add more seating across the front in case of company, using a couple of small folding chairs. I have my eye on a couple chairs at Target, just waiting for their summer stuff to go on sale :-)
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Old 06-14-2014, 09:57 AM   #10
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Aaaaaand.....Target stuff is on sale, just like that. What are the dimensions of your table?

here's the set I'm looking at:
http://img2.targetimg2.com/wcsstore/...1405051329.jpg
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Old 06-15-2014, 06:45 PM   #11
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Plans

Here are a few more pictures, I'll get a plan up tomorrow. Also a few notes:

- I used 3/4" X 3/4" aluminium angle to support the table in bed mode. recommend adding one across the front as well.
- I would make the seat a bit lower next time. By the time you add the cushions they are a little high and there isn't a lot of room between the seats and table.
- The seats don't need to be as deep. I would look at maybe 20" next time to give a slightly larger table.
- You will need to make a "filler" cushion to complete the bed.
- The table itself is quite heavy. Next time I will use an aluminium frame and lighter plywood. It does have to be strong enough to fill the gap for the bed.

Feel free to ask questions. I can take more pictures or measurements if needed.


Overall shot of the framing


Shot of the supports along the wall


All cushions in place but no table. Note the "filler" cushion on the leaning on the wall.


Underside of the cushion in the front of the unit. Pieces of 2x2 stiffen the seat as well as help location it in the frame.


Backside of the frame. All 5/8" plywood.


With table in place. The laminate is buckling because I tried to join two pieces of plywood. Buy decent wood and it shouldn't be a problem.


In bed mode. Plenty of room for the wife and I. I put in a bunkbed for the girls.
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Old 06-16-2014, 12:06 AM   #12
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Nice work, thanks for the detailed photos! They will really help my handyman--I mean husband-- when it comes time for building.
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Old 06-16-2014, 09:19 AM   #13
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1971 31' Sovereign
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One more picture. This is a basic plan of the layout in my 31' trailer. I made the table itself about 3/16" smaller than the opening.

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Old 06-17-2014, 12:50 AM   #14
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Benches

Here are some photos of the seating in its beginning stages.
I can take more tomorrow of the finished product. Notice how we angled the benches back to create more floor area....
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:11 PM   #15
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Very clever!
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Old 06-18-2014, 01:13 PM   #16
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Sandman - This is exactly what I would like for our 1980 International. We had to pull out the original gaucho as it was a mess, replaced sub floor and installed the finish flooring. Right now we just have two vintage lawn chairs for something to use.

This would be great also in that it would hide our battery and inverter at the front of our 'living room' AND gives us more space for storage than just the gaucho. Thank you so much for the many photos and the drawing - it helps tremendously!

We have the original fold out table directly across from our entrance door, but if we cut that section of the 'entertainment center' out, we could easily make the majority of your plans work.

Do you use the table to support the middle section when dropped to a bed? What thickness of foam did you use for the cushions?

Thanks again!!
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Old 06-18-2014, 01:17 PM   #17
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Sandman - if you have a chance, could you also post pics of your bunkbeds? We had to trash our original double bed due to leaks/water damage. Replaced subfloor, installed finish flooring, but now have no furniture at all...sounding like a broken record.
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Old 06-18-2014, 03:12 PM   #18
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1971 31' Sovereign
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The table does support the middle section when we have the dinette in bed mode. It's hard to see but there are two 3/4 x 3/4 aluminium angles along the sides that the table sits on so it is flush with the benches. The table itself is 3/4" plywood with some re-reinforcing pieces underneath. See below for a picture of it. My best advice is use a single piece of plywood for the table, I may have saved a few $$ joining two pieces but it was not worth the hassles. Also get it sanded on one side to make sure the laminate sticks well. I steamed and bent some 1/4 x 3/4 Oak to wrap the edge of the table but that is strictly optional. I will probably add another angle on the front bench so the table is supported on 3 sides.

I used 4" foam which is fine for sitting but a little thin for sleeping. I would go with 6" next time and maybe lower the bench by a couple of inches to accommodate. The foam was actually the most expensive part of the whole thing. The plywood for the frame and cushions was maybe $75 and the foam was over $400. I got the fabric on sale for around $50. Table cost about $100 with the legs and laminate for the top. I wanted something that is practical, comfortable, easy to build and inexpensive. My trailer will never be a show-piece but the family will have a lot of fun in it.

I can take pictures or measurements of anything else you need too.



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Old 06-18-2014, 03:41 PM   #19
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The bunkbeds are a little hard to get a picture of but I tried. I used the Gaucho that was already installed for the lower bunk and supported the upper bunk so it doesn't hang off the walls. The supports along the outside wall are 5/16" plywood laminated in 2 pieces to make it 5/8" thick. The 5/16" ply will bend to conform to the curved walls so I cut the pieces and dry fitted them and then spread glue between the two pieces and screwed them to the wall to take shape. If you unscrew them you get a nice curved support piece, there are 4 of them and they land on the Aluminium frame of the gaucho below. The front is supported by two pieces of 5/8" plywood that go all the way to the floor. I got a great deal on some sheets of 5/8" ply so you will see it in most of my projects :-)

Had to notch the bed frame a little so we can still open the window. The frame is made with, you guessed it, 5/8" plywood and is sheeted with some 3/16" wall panelling. The frame is glued and screwed together and then installed onto the support strips. It's also screwed to the wall to keep everything stable. There are some pictures below, I can put measurements up when I get home tonight if anyone wants them. It's a bit of a tight squeeze on the top bunk, I would lower it a bit next time but my daughter doesn't seem to mind sleeping up there.

Oh yeah, I took the oven out to make space and used the old piece as a template to make a solid wall between the kitchen and the beds. The wall is just a thin piece of wall panelling in the original frame. One of the things I love about the AS is that everything is modular and can be taken apart without destroying it. I managed to sell the oven and front gaucho so some other Airstreamer can enjoy them!







Bed frame before installation or staining.


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Old 07-11-2019, 12:05 AM   #20
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Has anyone done banquette seats strung with straps like in a sofa? It seems it would be more comfortable
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