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Old 06-23-2013, 01:26 AM   #1
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Trying to figure out sleeping set up in my new trailer....

I'm working on my...um...new 1977 travel trailer and I'm not sure how the sleeping area is supposed to work. There is a dinette area across from the kitchen and then there is a U shaped seating area towards the front of the trailer. I was told the last person that had the trailer just slept in one part of the "U"....it looks like the size of a single bed. But that's not going to cut it for me. I'm assuming that most people put down a board of some sort to close the U up and then push cushions together? When you're not sleeping where do you keep the board?

Thanks!
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Old 06-23-2013, 01:55 AM   #2
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Sounds like you have two dinette areas, the table for a dinette will drop down and set on cleats around seat edge than cushions are spread on top.
The table top may store behind couch or next to wall and arm.
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Old 06-23-2013, 02:30 AM   #3
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Thanks Bond...James Bond! : )

My dinette table is fixed on a pole....it ain't coming off but I bet you're right about the top (from the other area) being stored somewhere. All the seating areas are built in so no room behind anything but I'll figure it out.

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Sounds like you have two dinette areas, the table for a dinette will drop down and set on cleats around seat edge than cushions are spread on top.
The table top may store behind couch or next to wall and arm.
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:44 PM   #4
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If your dinette top is mounted on a single pole, it is made to be removed. Lift up and twist. It will pop right off.
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:56 PM   #5
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If your dinette top is mounted on a single pole, it is made to be removed. Lift up and twist. It will pop right off.
Thank you miljet! I had no idea....duh! I feel sometimes like I'm the blind leading the blind...myself! Because I haven't "RV'd" in years...yet I'm attempting to overhaul one. I'll do the twist and lift tomorrow...
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:19 PM   #6
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Yeah, almost all dinettes with the table top supported by a center pole convert to a sleeping area by removing the tabletop from the pole, then remove the pole from the floor bracket, then place the table top in the "U" of the seating area. The pole should be just stuck in the brackets on the floor and under the table top, so a bit of twisting while pulling up should separate them. The back cushions should fit almost exactly on the table top to result in a lousy foam "mattress" that's good enough for kids to sleep on. Hey, it's better than sleeping on a tent floor in a bedroll. Or even young adults can probably "make do" with those foam pads as their "mattress". Of course us old folks get dubs on the real Serta EuroTop mattress in the bedroom.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:42 PM   #7
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So let's talk about the other U shaped seating area....towards the front of the trailer. (the non dinette area) There is no board that I can see (hell, there ain't no cushions!) and it's been a couple of days since I've been inside but that span between the U seems pretty wide....does a simple piece of plywood hold up? Does there need to be a support underneath it?

I need to get some pics of this up....
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Old 06-24-2013, 05:45 AM   #8
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If you are going to use this trailer after you refurbish it, then you need to decide if you want a permanent bed in the front or something you have to make down every night. Me, I'd go with a permanent bed oriented in a manner that best uses the space.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:18 AM   #9
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If that front seating area was not designed as a convert-a-bed, then it's not hard to fabricate the parts to make it a convert-a-bed. Notice how the dinette is designed to convert to a bed, and then do the same thing to that front seating area. Make a frame for the table-top so it will be flush with the rest of the seating area, then use 5/8th or 3/4" plywood as the base. Then make cushions to fit using foam rubber and upholstery material from a fabric store. Foam comes in various densities.

Way back when my two kids were still teeny boppers (1977), I built a new custom travel van using 2" thick high-density foam from a fabric store covered by thick plush carpet on all the floor behind the four Captain's Chair seats. The kids loved it for long trips. They either played back there, or often slept while Daddy drove. Although not designed as a camper, that floor made a good bed for mommy and daddy and both kids when the weather was neither too hot nor too cold to sleep in the "car".

Where to store the "table top" and extra cushions when you want to convert it back to seats? Good question. Does it really need to be converted back to seats?

If it were mine, I'd probably take bradnailer's suggestion and install a real queen-size or maybe even king-size mattress. Tear out all the seat frames and build a new bed frame with storage under the bed. Look at new RVs that have a lift-up bed in the master for one idea of how to use the area under the bed for storage. Here's the floorplan of my 2012 TT with a lift-up queen bed:


About 2/3rds of the bed base lifts up to reveal a nice storage area, where we keep the extra bed linens and other stuff.

Buy a real mattress for the bed, instead of a cheap foam mattress or air mattress. You can buy a good Serta queen-size EuroTop interspring mattresses with 2" of memory foam in the top layer of the mattress from Sam's club or Costco for $400 to $600, depending on your exact choice of mattress. They would cost about twice that much from a regular mattress store. Mine cost $500 at Sam's Club. They will be regular queen size 60"x80". Most RV trailers have shorter "RV queen size" mattress of 60x74" or 60x76". If you don't have room for a full-size 60"x80", then surf the web for short queen or RV queen size mattresses, or custom-size mattresses. Camping World.com has a couple. Or maybe short king size? Yes, they make those too. RVs don't usually have a foundation or box spring. They just put the mattress on a plywood base. So you need just the mattress, not including the foundation or box spring.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:28 AM   #10
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They will be regular queen size 60"x80". Most RV trailers have shorter "RV queen size" mattress of 74"x80" or 76"x80". If you don't have room for a full-size 60"x80", then surf the web for short queen or RV queen size mattresses, or custom-size mattresses. Camping World.com has a couple. Or maybe short king size? Yes, they make those too. RVs don't usually have a foundation or box spring. They just put the mattress on a plywood base. So you need just the mattress, not including the foundation or box spring.

I think you mean short queen of about 60 inches wide X 74-76 inches long.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:48 AM   #11
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I think you mean short queen of about 60 inches wide X 74-76 inches long.
Yep. You caught it before I edited that post.

Sometime the ole brain takes a nap while the fingers are still typing.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:55 AM   #12
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For the dinette bed you can also buy some egg crate foam to go over the seat cushions. It rolls up and stows away easily assuming you have room for it. I did this for a jack knife bed in a B Van. It was worth the loss of space and was a nice "barrier" between sheets and upholstery.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:56 AM   #13
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Yep. You caught it before I edited that post.

Sometime the ole brain takes a nap while the fingers are still typing.
Yes indeed .... but I sure would like a Cal-King at 72w X 84L !!
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Old 06-24-2013, 01:53 PM   #14
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Thanks guys! I'll respond more tonight and take some pics or maybe even video.
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