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Old 06-17-2021, 10:05 PM   #1
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1972 31' Sovereign
Navarre , Florida
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72 sovereign bed supports over wheel wells.

I just recently bought a 72 sovereign that had the twin beds removed from over the wheel wells. I would like to install a custom bed setup on one side and a desk/shelving unit over the ducting side. I am at a loss on the best way to support the structures over the wheel well that will take the weight without falling onto the wheel well itself. I have seen several renovations that did something similar but I am unable to identify what method was used for support. I was thinking of using an aluminum L channel along the length of the wall, attaching it to the studs with some decent rivets. Anyone have any pictures and or insight?
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Old 06-18-2021, 06:49 AM   #2
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1970 23' Safari
Marion , New York
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Your idea of using a channel attached to the sidewall is how my bed is supported. In my Safari, the channel was attached directly to the sidewalls with screws. Then the bed slides were attached to the channel. The front of the slides are supported by the wood face frame of the bed.
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Old 06-19-2021, 05:11 PM   #3
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1972 31' Sovereign
Navarre , Florida
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L Channel

Looks good. It does not look like it has an excessive amount of support. I guess I am concerned with missing the aluminum studs and it coming crashing down on the wheel well. I was going to use the L channel the entire length over the wheel well area with vertical supports directly under the L channel for additional reinforcement. What are your dimensions?
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Old 06-20-2021, 05:09 AM   #4
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1976 25' Tradewind
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Flushing , Michigan
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I built twin bed frames, with below drawers and drop down doors, in the renovation of my ‘76 TradeWind. I used 2x2s for the framing and fastened each end to the wall between the bath and galley areas, screwed it into the floor, and put about 4 construction screws into ribs to secure against the aluminum walls. It is very strong/sturdy and it is what worked for me. Here are a few photos. Good luck with yours.
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Old 06-20-2021, 11:37 AM   #5
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1970 23' Safari
Marion , New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mvswann View Post
Looks good. It does not look like it has an excessive amount of support. I guess I am concerned with missing the aluminum studs and it coming crashing down on the wheel well. I was going to use the L channel the entire length over the wheel well area with vertical supports directly under the L channel for additional reinforcement. What are your dimensions?
I know it doesn't look like much support but it was sturdy. The rest of the bed extended into the curved wall at the rear of the trailer. This part was supported on on a 1/4" plywood platform resting on wooden cleats screwed to the sidewalls. I guess the factory was saving weight where ever they could. Sorry I can't give you some dimensions because the interior is gutted at the moment.
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Old 06-20-2021, 07:19 PM   #6
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Building a bed frame to your design is likely straight forward. I think Airstream in the 70s built lightweight and kinda flimsy in my view. I built new twin bed frames for my 75 Overlander keeping the original tambour under bad access doors. I raised the beds about 6" to a more normal bed height. I used red oak 1x2 for framing. I reused the aluminum extrusions for the plywood supports. We also went with a wider twin mattress which cut into the aisle width quite a bit. But I can shuffle down the aisle for a more comfortable sleeping surface. We also used good 1/2" plywood for the mattress supports.

My Overlander sleeps very comfortably for us.

David
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Old 07-06-2021, 10:33 AM   #7
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1972 31' Sovereign
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Thanks for the input. The pic with the aluminum rail above the wheel well is what I was thinking. I am wondering if riveting it to the ribs alone with a few spots on the inner skin would be enough over the wheel well. It looks like there is a ledge that the rail is resting on in your picture. Unfortunately I don’t have that. To the aft of the whee well, I plan on creating vertical supports under the rail.
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Old 07-06-2021, 07:07 PM   #8
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Greetings: Yep, I used 1/8" thick 1 1/2 aluminum angle for the bed frame supports at the interior skins. I riveted it to the interior skins with 5/32" dia pop rivets about every 12" or so. It seemed quite solid to me. The support wasn't on any ledge, but it formed a ledge for my wood frame.

Hope I explained myself adequately. I live in the mountains you know.

David
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