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Floorplan mods


bobk3d

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Hi, new member, planning/hoping to go full-time (or nearly so) in a travel trailer sometime before spring. I've looked into the other options, but my budget would limit me to older Class A or C, and it would be too risky to sink my whole budget into one older vehicle without any experience. A new trailer and used truck seems to be a more predictable combo, upkeep-wise, and gives me the most space for the price. 5th wheels don't do it for me, and most are heavier than I want to tow. I looked at Toy Haulers but they come with another set of challenges and a lot of weight that I don't need.

 

I have a list of questions, but I'll go one at a time. For starters, how safe/easy is it to remove things like internal walls, dinettes, sofas, and bunkhouses? As far as I can tell, none of those are structurally important.

 

The reason I ask is I'll need to build a workspace somewhere, and I've looked at a lot of floorplans. I've also sat through countless YouTube walkarounds to find out what's underneath, since it varies from trailer to trailer.

 

My "desk" is nothing but an 18" deep counter with a monitor mount. Dimensions are 18" deep, 52" to the back of my chair, and 44" wide, and I need a little extra table space nearby. So it should fit wherever a sofa fits, as long as there's enough clear depth for the chair.

An example of what I'm considering, these two Nash models are my current objects of desire, but these are common floorplans

 

The 22H floorplan looks like an easy mod, I'd just remove the sofa and the front half of the dinette, and build my desk where the sofa is.

 

http://northwoodmfg.com/travel-trailers/nash/nash-22h-2/

 

Getting more ambitious, bunkhouse models like the 23B would be ideal if it could be done. In a plan like that, I'd remove the beds, rear seat of the dinette, and the partition wall, then use the bunkhouse space as workspace. (the 23B has an awful u-dinette, so I'd probably replace it with the front half of a conventional dinette or something)

http://northwoodmfg.com/travel-trailers/nash/nash-23b-2/

There's also a common 30' variant that has both the sofa and bunkhouse, but I'm not sure I want something that long.

There are a few slide-out floorplans that might work for me; most of them would simply entail removing a sofa and building a desk.

So this is just a general inquiry into the feasibility of mods, especially removing partition walls. Buying a Nash from Florida is non-trivial, so I might have to go with a national brand. But those floorplans give me what I need in the size I'm willing to tow, provided I can mod them to fit my needs.

 

Glad to be here, I can't wait for the pieces to come together so I can get rolling.

 

 

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Geez, I'm sorry that was so wordy. I'm new here.

 

Short version: How hard/safe is it to remove stuff from a new trailer? Are partition walls important? Can you assume the furniture will fit through the door?

Partition walls are the biggest question, I doubt they're structural but it looks like it's a pain to remove them cleanly.

 

I shouldn't need to touch kitchen/bath/etc.

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Removing stuff like walls or partitions varies from really easy to some serious work with a Dremel tool or something similar.

 

Some things are simply held in place with a few screws and brackets, you can have them out in a few minutes. Others can require you to rip the facing (usually 1/8 luan plywood with a vinyl facing) off the framing to get to the screws holding it in. Sometimes you come on something that has screws that were put in from the outside of the rig and the heads covered by the RV's skin, grinder time to get to the screw and cut it.

 

The problem that vexes most folks is trying to cover the holes left in the remaining wall sheeting, they make color/pattern matching tape but finding the stuff you need can be very difficult to impossible on an older rig. Other options, like popping nylon covers into the holes isn't too obtrusive, folks find lots of ways to deal with the issue.

 

Just removing a sofa is usually simple, four screws through the base and into the floor is the usual method. Patching the holes can be done with any commercial vinyl floor patch kit, in a carpet just ignore them. When you put your desk in you'll want to secure it to the floor, instead of just screwing it down you might look at making a bracket or clamp so it is adjustable if you decide to change furniture again.

 

If thinking about something on a slide consider your seating, if the slide is not flush you may find there is no good place for a chair. A shim to match the slide height works as may just trimming off some of the front chair legs. On a flush slide a good thick chair pad can cover the transition but sturdy pads are not cheap.

 

Floortex pad: http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B003XR7CE4

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Thanks.... definitely a good idea to check about custom omissions, I suspected that would be out of the question. Getting rid of a sofa is a potential annoyance. I wish I could fit my sofa from home. Maybe I can.

 

Stan thanks for the tips on finishing. Yes, I'm deathly afraid of attaching anything to the walls. No matter how many tools I buy, I'm still a lousy carpenter. I've missed more studs than a... well never mind. I'm pretty sure I have contacts to find somebody competent, and I'm budgeting for a little carpentry, I'll just need things like a counter or table, and I'll probably have to improvise a guest bed.

 

KRum, the 23D doesn't have the space I need. The tunny thing about slideout floorplans is at any given length, most have more space but fewer spaces for bed/dinette/sofas, which are what I look to for potential workspace. My goal is to have certain things in the shortest trailer required, and that's not the function slideouts serve. I'm solo and skinny and overly practical, I'll likely be in a straight box 25'-30'.

 

Anyway, it sounds like the mods I envision are feasible. I spent several weeks researching and learning, so the next phase is to run my ideas by people who know what they're doing. Hopefully. ;) Serious shopping will start in a month or two.

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Hang in bobk3d! You can get'er done. I also don't like slide outs. They just seem to weak, maybe. But wha' do I know? Never had one. They're a lot of places that do RV remodeling (well, some, anyway), and I've seen some great jobs online. And some individuals who've tackled the job.

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Welcome to the Escapee forums~! We do our best to help with things here so ask questions at will and there is a good possibility that someone in the gang had had to deal with what you need. You really can't assume that any wall is not a part of the RV structure without more information than we have. It is very common for some interior walls to be built before the outside skin or roof are installed and they might be structural, while not load bearing. You cant really tell about such issues until you remove the skin from the wall in question. Remember also that the walls usually have at least some electrical wire inside and some also have plumbing so be very careful.

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Kirk, thanks for the caveat; I'll check with manufacturer before assuming it's safe to remove a wall; it's a decision I'd have to make before purchase. Mainly, if I decide on a bunkhouse plan, I'd want to remove the partition between the bunks and the dinette, usually just a 3' section. Most other ideas would only involve removing a sofa and/or dinette.

 

My workspace needs are a larger than average; aside from a double monitor setup, I need some table place to work with photo film; scanning, mounting, sorting, etc. I'm not in the target demographic for RV designers, but I know my needs pretty well.

 

The utility systems I can handle, but carpentry frightens me. Based on past results, I do okay with the basics like buying tools and wood, but advanced skills like making square cuts and installing things level continue to elude me.
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  • 2 weeks later...

Only one TT that I know of is built from the outside in - the exterior is completely built and then everything else is brought in through the door; that is an Airstream TT. There is a cornucopia of information on http://www.airforums.com/forums/ of people remodeling older Airstreams to suit their purposes, be it just customizing how they prefer to live or using it as a business premise. It is worth reading through some of this information.

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You will need to consider what may be under a dinette bench or sofa. In one trailer we owned; the water pump, accumulator tank and water heater were located under the dinette benches. Another trailer had storage that was accessible from outside. If those benches were removed, the bay doors would have provided ready direct access into the trailer if they were not covered over/permanently secured. One trailer we owned had the jack knife sofa sitting on a storage compartment accessible from outside. I have not really looked at bunkhouse models, but could see the lower bunk being over a storage compartment, holding tank, etc.

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Oh, I know. I'm the nut who watches YouTube walkaround videos, then goes slow-motion when they open the sofa so I can get a peek under. And it really varies, even in the same floorplan. Sometimes they're open underneath, sometimes there's a furnace or water heater. I had to rule out the Nash 23B because of some obstruction, I forget what.

 

Anyway, the more I look into this, the less I feel like tearing apart a brand new trailer. If I pick my floorplan well, I can simply replace a sofa with a shallow countertop and use a folding table when I need extra space.

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As others have said how easy it is to remove items will depend on how the trailer is built. The bunkhouse plan you mention does appear to have a compartment below the bunk that you will have to deal with. It might be better to look at the toy haulers because they will give you the space at the rear to create your own work space. You can build a wall across the back with a small door and use the drop tailgate as a deck. Also even though their gross load is heavier remember it is meant for ATVs or motorcycles which hopefully would weigh more than your desk and equipment and having reserve capacity is good because you get larger tires with it.

 

I also like the couch table set up in the Toyhaulers by Northwoods and should work better for one or two people than the typical dinette.

 

Hopefully you can find a plan that works for you.

Dave

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