Traded in the Twins!

My Sterling (1972 Airstream) was designed with 2 twin size beds, one on each side of the aisle leading into the bathroom at the rear of the camper (see how I did that?).  When I originally tore down some walls, I decided to keep this layout so that I could also keep the storage that was above one of the twin beds.  The storage cabinets are connected to the twin footer wall for support, so I thought it would just need to stay.

After some thought, I decided that I would tear down the wall, remove the above head storage, remove one twin bed, and make just one bed for the other side (the other twin bed) that could pull out into a full/queen size.  I could always create more storage in other ways and this would free up floor space when we were not sleeping.   It would open the floor plan up and give it a more airy feeling.

A quick search on the internet inspired me!  We were already headed to Lowes, so I would just pick up the supplies for my new little Sunday project.

Supplies:

  • 1 x 4 x 8- qty of 15- $1.98 x 15= $29.70
  • 2 x 4 x 8- qty of 2- $2.32 x 2= $4.64
  • Wood Screws- already had those!
  • Hinges- qty of 2- $2.98 x 2= $5.96

Total cost: $40.30 plus cost of screws

I drew out the design, or rather scribbled it out, to make sure that I could make it work.  After measuring my available space and getting back to the shop with the supplies, I became the manager of the project while my husband and son did most of the heavy lifting.  I had planned on doing this totally myself, but since they were the pro’s with the tools, I let them help. I told them what to cut, how long, and how many pieces.  I laid it all out and told them where to place the screws.

Everything went really smooth, until the ‘dry fit’ into the RV.  Isn’t this where it usually goes wrong?   Due to the placement of the wheel-well, you can not have a standard frame, and I knew this going into the project.  There is a small ledge that supports the bed to the wall.  We had planned to utilize this ledge, just as the original bed.  This ledge is less than an inch in-depth.  We could screw the newly constructed bed right onto the ledge, but then we would lose the storage underneath (just can’t bear the thought of that).  We had hoped to use hinges, but decided this little ledge would not support the weight because of the way we would have to connect it.  It’s not a total loss!  Just a little refactoring.  The overall design of the inter workings of the slide was perfect!  The frame is all that needs to be altered and it’s not a huge issue!

I was pretty impressed that I had figured this slide motion out!  I couldn’t find any good instructions online, so I had to just take a concept and run with it.  When you pull the slide out, you need support on the corners and middle.  I thought it would be a great idea to use spindles/table legs to add a little ‘funk’ to the design.  I mean, who would want just a 2×4 leg or block?  Not me!  Back to Lowes.  Whoa!  They are $10 each and I need 3 (one for each end and another in the middle for extra support).  $30 on this small amount of wood wasn’t going to happen for this thrifty girl!  That’s when I get an idea!  All of the time, I see tables at the thrift store for around $10.  I can purchase one of those and just recycle the legs.  Who knows, I may could even salvage the table top for a fold down table or something.  Since it’s Sunday, no thrift stores are open in my area.  I decide to make a post on Facebook to see if anyone has any legs lying around and would give them to me for free or really cheap.  A total strange responds on our local page and is giving me 4 (3 plus a spare).  I’m picking them up tomorrow!

It wasn’t a total success today, but I’ve realized that everything will not go 100% as planned. I’ll document the good and the bad and maybe it will help others along their journey as well.  Once we get everything squared away, I’ll try to post exact measurements and attempt to draw out a real pattern for others to use.  I must say, overall I am very impressed with what I designed out and that the measurements where so accurate.

I’m hoping to find a folding mattress that will work better than a futon mattress.  I want something really comfortable.  I have plenty of repairs to do before needing it, so I have time to look.

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