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Old 09-29-2013, 09:46 PM   #1
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Anybody have experience in bracing the floor for a baby grand piano

[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.
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Old 09-30-2013, 05:29 AM   #2
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I gotta say this is a unique question! reinforcing the floor can be as simple as a piece of plywood spreading the load and since weight is not a concern I would think 3/4" and cover with carpet. As for the Piano, maintaining humidity and temperature at a specific level with AC/dehumidifier and a humidifier depending on climate is important. Have you considered a keyboard?
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Old 09-30-2013, 08:29 AM   #3
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I gotta say this is a unique question! reinforcing the floor can be as simple as a piece of plywood spreading the load and since weight is not a concern I would think 3/4" and cover with carpet. As for the Piano, maintaining humidity and temperature at a specific level with AC/dehumidifier and a humidifier depending on climate is important. Have you considered a keyboard?
A keyboard would make much more sense unless one absolutely needs the baby grand for the feel of the action when rehearsing. Keyboards are lighter, take up less room when in use and can be stowed away when not in use, and they will stay in tune. A real piano hasn't a prayer for staying in tune for more than a few days, if that long, in the variable environment of most RVs, even if the RV remains stationary.
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Old 09-30-2013, 12:59 PM   #4
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>Have you considered a keyboard?

Yes. I have three.
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Old 09-30-2013, 01:20 PM   #5
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As long as the piano isn't on a slide you should be fine I suppose. You can lay down a sheet of plywood to spread the weight but in my head I keep hearing why why why would somebody do this in such a small space? You have 3 keyboards I'm sure are all capable of producing good sound.

Not getting why somebody would want a baby grand in such a confined space. Not knocking it either...
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Old 09-30-2013, 01:40 PM   #6
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Another question would be about your neighbours. Do they like piano music? RV's aint that soundproof and I'm sure every neighbour within 100yds will have to share your pleasure.

Keyboard and good headphones spring to mind...

If you do fit that babyG, make sure and share some photos! Best of luck!
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Old 09-30-2013, 01:42 PM   #7
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Another question would be about your neighbours. Do they like piano music? RV's aint that soundproof and I'm sure every neighbour within 100yds will have to share your pleasure.

Keyboard and good headphones spring to mind...

If you do fit that babyG, make sure and share some photos! Best of luck!
Plus 1, that's something I gotta see!
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Old 09-30-2013, 02:22 PM   #8
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Holy moly! A piano in a camper? Wow. Lol
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Old 09-30-2013, 02:24 PM   #9
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Holy moly! A piano in a camper? Wow. Lol
I know right? Picture this inside a 36ft Fiver, heck a 42ft Fiver even, can't imagine it unless you have a rear living room and the recliners are in the middle, remove them and... Then picture moving it if you need to take in the slide(s).

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Old 09-30-2013, 03:57 PM   #10
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Old 09-30-2013, 04:14 PM   #11
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Not getting why somebody would want a baby grand in such a confined space. Not knocking it either...
Why? Because some of us have sold off our spacious homes and are moving into RVs---and keeping the baby grand piano in climate-controlled storage simply isn't very useful or fun.

Back in the 1990's a retired School of Music university professor friend of mine had one in the rear "alcove" of his fifth-wheel as part of his living room and it looked and sounded wonderful in that environment. I'd like to do much the same arrangement. [I assume that everyone understands that there is a HUGE size and weight difference between a full-sized concert grand piano and a baby grand. But the sound and touch can be quite outstanding. I invested $3,000+ in voicing it a few years ago and it has handled uneven climate situations incredibly well.]

I always use professional piano movers but they tell me that others have done the prep-work for the RV situations they've addressed, so they had no special advice for me. I don't expect any problems but sometimes an anecdotal comment on an Internet forum can bring some factor to one's attention that otherwise wouldn't come to mind. So I always ask about such things.

(As to those who imply that electronic keyboards render traditional pianos obsolete, I suspect that they lack classical training. But to each his own! :-)
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Old 09-30-2013, 04:28 PM   #12
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You have 3 keyboards I'm sure are all capable of producing good sound.
Your statement makes me curious: Are you a musician? Do you play classical piano? (Just wondering.)


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Not getting why somebody would want a baby grand in such a confined space. Not knocking it either...
I'm certainly open to suggestions---but the patio has its own set of disadvantages and my barn has lots of room but is difficult to keep clean, especially with the animals roaming about. And I've known barn cats to confuse piano legs with scratching posts.

As to "confined space", have you ever spent time in a typical music school piano practice room? You will find entire floors at most large universities where room after room is a tiny 8' x 8' studio (and even much smaller.) I assure you, by comparison, a great many fifth-wheel living rooms are spacious by comparison.

One building engineer recommended that I consider situating the baby grand on a slide-out instead because of various advantageous in accessing and bracing the under-structure. I might to do that but for the living room layout I have planned, placement at the rear would be optimal in terms of aesthetics. But I certainly can see why a slide-out would be ideal and the safest way to stabilize/brace.

But I do appreciate the various comments/replies. This is a very active and friendly forum!
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Old 09-30-2013, 04:29 PM   #13
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Wow,

That should sound awesome.

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.

The 3 legs place weight at only 3 points and not uniformity distributed.

The last thing you want is for the floor to sag under one leg and damage the soundboard.

The heaver floor (plywood) and heaver bracing should take care of it.

The the wheel Mfg should be able to give you an idea of what is needed.
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Old 09-30-2013, 04:37 PM   #14
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Another question would be about your neighbours. Do they like piano music? RV's aint that soundproof and I'm sure every neighbour within 100yds will have to share your pleasure.
I figure that if the coyotes and the occasional feral hog don't like classical piano, they'll simply have to head for the other end of the meadow or perhaps the nearby woods. [The animal rights people would call me a "species-ist" for that viewpoint, right? OK, guilty as charged. I'll admit that I just don't care if the animals like my piano artistry or not. I figure that they should be glad enough that I'm not a Texan with a sighted-rifle and a taste for barbecue.]

The nearest human abode is probably 3/4 mile away from my RV site. Yes, the sounds from a piano can travel far on quiet summer nights but I've got a hunch that those neighbors are much more annoyed by the after-sunset motorcycle and ATV races on the track next to their ranch. But you are quite correct in that one man's aural pleasure is another man's noise!
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