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Old 09-30-2013, 04:59 PM   #15
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I would start by calling the mfg of the 5th wheeler and getting specs in ref to weight loads and
ask about construction.
Then I obtain the total piano weight.
Frankly, I would be surprised if any manufacturer would touch such a question. (Or at least, if their insurance company and/or legal department knew anything about it they would certainly avoid the liability exposure which would come with any sort of answer!) Of course, the "official" weight load specs per se would be less informative than a inspection of the construction method and a few basic calculations based upon the joist sizes, etc. And as several have rightly pointed out, the issue is weight distribution, not total weight. This will be a semi-permanent site and the RV won't be heading down the road.

Because most of the engineering would have to be external to the RV structure, I doubt that the manufacturer could provide much meaningful input even if they were allowed to address the question. I expect I'll approach it much like I've done for conventional structures but I just like to hear the experiences of those who have undertaken similar projects. For example, I've seen people add Jacuzzis to decks and sun porches and that can be a far more daunting weight load (@ 8.33lbs/gal.) In comparison, my baby grand is a minor paperweight. ;-)

Yes, I'll post a photo if I pull all of this together. (Actually, I've considered adding a second RV for an exercise room, expanded library, and piano studio. If so, I may put off the piano and that second unit until I've lived at that location a bit longer.)
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:13 AM   #16
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LOL! Baby Grand Piano Epilogue

Tonight I got a private message which said in reference to a baby grand piano in a fifth-wheel exactly what I'd been thinking all along but was hesitant to say outloud:

>"I don't know why so many people think a baby grand piano is somehow too big or too heavy for an RV. Many of those same people probably have huge couches or a couple of big recliner chairs in about the same location that you are planning to put a piano. If my sister and brother-in-law ever visit them and share the same couch, the gross weight will EASILY exceed the 475lbs or so of a typical baby grand piano! Does anybody actually doubt that there's lots of Americans weighing between 240lbs and 300lbs? Seriously.
>

People carefully plan for the extra weight of a baby grand piano and typically add a panel to help better distribute the weight. Extra joist support is also common. Yet people rarely call in a building engineer or get an environmental impact statement before getting visited by an XXXL friend or couple. (My late cousin exceeded 330lbs for much of her life and because her legs were always in pain, she tended to execute a "dead drop" into a chair or couch. I used to place 4x6 cedar post segments under the pinion block of my largest chair when I knew that she was coming for a visit. Her husband was only a little bit smaller so I made sure that they never shared my living room couch. Together they would easily have outweighed my baby grand piano and if one disregarded the piano bench, they would also have taken up more space.

I guess the novelty of a baby grand piano in an RV somehow crowds out the stark realities of other large "objects" to be found in many RVs.
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:22 AM   #17
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I think its a fantastic idea and I can't wait to see the result!!
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Old 07-05-2015, 01:00 PM   #18
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[Keep in mind that my fifth-wheeler RV will be on a permanent site and won't be moving from that location with the piano in place.]

Obviously, getting a baby grand piano through the RV door is not a problem but bracing the final floor position depends upon how the floor joists are situated. So many variables. I'm curious if anyone here has has tackled such projects.
Did you actually put a baby grand piano in your 5th wheel? If so, are you enjoying it?
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Old 07-05-2015, 01:43 PM   #19
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Personally, I think your nuts! Is the wood seasoned, you might have dry conditions, humid conditions, it might effect the soundboard and overall structure of a baby grand.
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Old 07-05-2015, 02:27 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by PaulAllen View Post
Tonight I got a private message which said in reference to a baby grand piano in a fifth-wheel exactly what I'd been thinking all along but was hesitant to say outloud:



>"I don't know why so many people think a baby grand piano is somehow too big or too heavy for an RV. Many of those same people probably have huge couches or a couple of big recliner chairs in about the same location that you are planning to put a piano. If my sister and brother-in-law ever visit them and share the same couch, the gross weight will EASILY exceed the 475lbs or so of a typical baby grand piano! Does anybody actually doubt that there's lots of Americans weighing between 240lbs and 300lbs? Seriously.

>



People carefully plan for the extra weight of a baby grand piano and typically add a panel to help better distribute the weight. Extra joist support is also common. Yet people rarely call in a building engineer or get an environmental impact statement before getting visited by an XXXL friend or couple. (My late cousin exceeded 330lbs for much of her life and because her legs were always in pain, she tended to execute a "dead drop" into a chair or couch. I used to place 4x6 cedar post segments under the pinion block of my largest chair when I knew that she was coming for a visit. Her husband was only a little bit smaller so I made sure that they never shared my living room couch. Together they would easily have outweighed my baby grand piano and if one disregarded the piano bench, they would also have taken up more space.



I guess the novelty of a baby grand piano in an RV somehow crowds out the stark realities of other large "objects" to be found in many RVs.

Love this. My thoughts exactly.

Side note, assuming a talented individual is playing, how could anyone be bothered by some classical music tastefully being played in the background of their campsite? Behind the walls of a camper (congrats on going full-time, by the way) it can't possibly be that loud; it's not like you're blaring music through the outdoor speakers. And even if the playing can slightly be heard outside, sure it might not be "your thing" but the noise created by a musician behind a piano isn't something that could be offensive (or maybe not in this day of everyone being offended by every little thing) or extremely annoying. One could always ask the offending party to play at a different time if needed.

My personal take-I consider the coyotes to be rather fortunate in this scenario.

What manufacturer are you considering for your camper?


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Old 07-05-2015, 03:10 PM   #21
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[Keep in mind that my fifth-wheeler RV will be on a permanent site and won't be moving from that location with the piano in place.]



Obviously, getting a baby grand piano through the RV door is not a problem but bracing the final floor position depends upon how the floor joists are situated. So many variables. I'm curious if anyone here has has tackled such projects.

This will be an interesting undertaking! Someone mentioned a toy hauler configuration which might make a lot of sense. Not in terms of isolating the piano but it would be simple to add acoustical wall coverings. I assume a standard RV would give pretty "bright" sound & some lessening of reflections and harmonics might be a good thing. Also easier for getting it in and set up.

As you mentioned, it's not the weight as much as the need to spread the load. You could build a simple platform from 2"x2" framing with a 3/4" plywood decking covered with carpet which would do what you need. You might think about centering a beam of some sort directly under the frame of the RV where the piano will be placed and support that with jacks of some sort. That will take any bending load off the frame and existing levelers.

Good luck and congratulations on thinking outside of the box.

Be sure to post pics & advise us what you do & how it works out.


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Old 07-05-2015, 05:08 PM   #22
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I think a piece of 3/4 ply toped with snap lock engineered flooring to dress it up, and band in 1" 1/4 round would look great. Good luck with your project.
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Old 07-05-2015, 06:02 PM   #23
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Can't wait to see the results!
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Old 07-06-2015, 09:43 AM   #24
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Mr. Allen,
What a unique problem! How much does the BG weigh? If you can get it into the trailer ok, then setting it up in the rear living area doesn't seem to me to be problematic.
Our Suites has maybe 11' from one side to the outside of the large slide--I really don't think the weight, when placed on a solid board under all legs, will cause any breaks/sags.
Do you already have the fifth wheel? If not, the toyhauler suggestion seems to be a good solution.
Wish you luck, send us all a pic when you get it done.
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Old 07-06-2015, 10:00 AM   #25
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The OP hasn't been back since 2013, the origins of the thread. I doubt we'll ever know.

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Old 07-06-2015, 01:35 PM   #26
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My sis has one...

I don't think this is a weight issue...it is a climate issue..sounds boards don't like humidity not changes in temp...

Would love to see this anyway..

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Old 09-16-2015, 08:47 AM   #27
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I did it.

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[Keep in mind that my fifth-wheeler RV will be on a permanent site and won't be moving from that location with the piano in place.]

Obviously, getting a baby grand piano through the RV door is not a problem but bracing the final floor position depends upon how the floor joists are situated. So many variables. I'm curious if anyone here has has tackled such projects.
I put an 1889 Bush and Gertz baby grand in my 1998 38 ft Bounder. It has the tag Axel. I took out the booth and put it there. It was an sob to get in.
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