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Old 07-19-2013, 08:57 PM   #1
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A question about furniture + remodeling???

New to MH and TTs here - so please bear with me...

I will be buying used - both due to budget restraints, and because I simply haven't seen either a MH or TT or 5th W that comes close to accommodating me in what I need to being able to continue working in such a small space [although some 5th wheels positively blow me away ].

Here is the question - all MH and trailers pretty much look the same old same old - some are more spacious or have a more luxurious set up, some with that individual decorating touch that makes them a bit different from others. But all with multiple sitting arrangements [space permitting]. When I remodel - I will need an office space and possibly additional work space [thinking a toy hauler 5th wheel with a sliding door off the kitchen is ideal]. I will travel by myself and really don't need a dining room seating arrangement, a couch, a love seat and a recliner in addition to the driver seats. I don't plan to entertain - and if so - there is always outside.

Is there any reason why I cannot use traditional furniture as long as it is not too heavy instead of the build-ins they usually come with? Can I screw dressers into the side wall or floor to steady them? Do the walls have studs to attach cabinets or additional storage shelves with baskets or some such overhead, space permitting? If there are slides - where does the electric wiring run - usually through the backwall or in the floor or ceiling parts?

In some RVs I see what looks like normal couches, recliners, or office chair/recliner types - are they screwed into the flooring so they don't move or become airborn in case of collisions? How are they secured?

Would replacing built-in furniture [such as couches or love seats or dinettes] with something more comfortable or user friendly void any insurance policies?

Thanks in advance...
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:35 PM   #2
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Most newer RV's are aluminum tube framed in the walls ( studs ) trick is finding them . Mounting to the floor would probably be easier( caution with screw length ) but maybe not adequate depending on weight/height.
Some furnishings have to be secured for travel ; my last 5er the chairs had to be strapped to the dinning table ; my current MH the swivel rocker recliner is moved back to back with the passenger seat for travel . There are options no matter what you install , the more stable heaver items may stay put , wedged in a corner, smaller items have to be laid flat or otherwise secured.
Insurance would be up to the company, if they only cover original equipment items or will increase payout according to you receipts.
You may have to pay extra for a declared value policy.
No matter what you chose have the door measurement of your RV door handy before you by , some residential furniture won't go through an RV door.
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:49 AM   #3
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Outfit it like you want. A couch or recliner isn't going to move unless you have a bad wreck, then everything you have is going to move. My Euro recliner w/footstool, my dinning chairs and office chair (none of which is RV furniture) has not moved in the last 35,000 miles or 5 years. Suit yourself and be comfortable. Note: I wouldnt go extra heavy in slides. They are only designed to move so much weight.
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:02 PM   #4
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Thank you all for sharing.

Are there such things as stud finders for aluminum studs, like they make them for wooden studs?

As far as insurance I was more thinking along the line of not wanting to pay up because of changes or modifications, rather than covering the replacment value of furniture.

One more Q - in a TT or 5th - is furniture and "stuff" more likely to vibrate and move about than in a MH?

Thanks.
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Old 07-20-2013, 06:06 PM   #5
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The stud finders pick up on changes of the signal reflection.It does not matter if the material is wood,metal,thick wall joint compound ect. It will find the difference in thickness.
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Old 07-20-2013, 06:54 PM   #6
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Don't be mislead by the term "studs", cause there aren't any in the sense of the studs found in a site built home. Unless you are talking quite old, RV sides walls are bonded laminate construction. There will be metal (or even wood in some) framing in the walls, but not regularly spaced vertical struts that join headers and footers. There will generally be a frame around window and slide openings, and the occasional other piece, but only as structurally needed. They may run in any direction, including angles. The strength comes form the fact that the entire wall is built as one unit, with laminated skin bonded to the structure to form a single, solid piece.

Feel free to use any furniture you like. Anchoring dressers and such probably doesn't take much - a molly bolt would do if nothing solid to attach to. Sofas and lounge chairs probably aren't going anywhere. We had a major accident, a front end collision, and noen of our free-standing furniture moved, while a well-anchored countertop shifted regardless. There is just no figuring!
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Old 07-20-2013, 07:30 PM   #7
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Chris thanks, I didn't realize that they pick up any type of density, irregardless of the material.

Gary - how thick are the walls of RVs or trailers? I don't want to come out on the other side, LOL and damage the siding. Would it be safer to anchor a [f.e.] tall but narrow dresser or shallow shelf unit with a frame build around the bottom to enclose it in? In other words more disguised as decorative molding with screws diagonally going through the bottom part of the dresser, molding and floor?
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Old 07-21-2013, 01:01 PM   #8
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Rv sidewalls are typically about 1.5"-2.0" total. End walls in slideouts may be less - sometimes only about 1". Look at an RV window and you can readily see the wall thickness.
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