Master Bed in Tuscany - Stage One Rebuild
Fun times with repairing Thor's construction once again. The bed platform in the Tuscany is basically a sandwich consisting of 1x4's between two 1/8th plywood pieces. OK, I can buy that. There are two gas struts attached to the underside so that you can raise the platform to get at the storage underneath. Still buying it. And the struts are attached through the plywood to the 1x4's. Still good. But mine was seriously coming apart after just a couple years, so this last weekend I took the time to take it apart and see what was going on. The plywood is just stapled on to the boards, and about a fourth of the staples were already popped, so removing the bottom layer wasn't hard. But what I found inside really had me shaking my head. The 1x4s were just butt-ended and stapled, and they were pulling apart badly. That's because the gas struts, where all the resistance comes from, were attached to the two shortest pieces side-to-side, where they were bound to rip out from the other boards. And the boards at the bottom end - where you would naturally put your hands to raise and lower the bed - where again very short pieces not directly connected to the two pieces where the struts attached. So, needless to say, its days were numbered from the day it was put together.
I added angle brackets and mending plates everywhere where the stress of the struts would be transferred to another board, and rebuilt the sandwich with screws in place of staples. I'm guessing that will hold for another couple of years before I have to start all over again with 'stage 2' - rebuilding the whole framework with better designed joints and different board layouts that handle and transfer the stress points better.
Two reasons for this post: 1) If you have a Tuscany with under bed storage, you might want to be a little proactive on this. The boards on mine were pretty torn up before I realized what was going on. 2) Frustration. it would not have cost more than a couple dollars to do this right from the very beginning. Anyone even looking at this design would realize that the boards would twist and separate based on the strut placement. The designer knew it was weak, the builder knew it wouldn't last, and the person with the staple gun probably just didn't care.
Niel & Carol Powers
Tiffin Allegro RED 33aa