So after thinking on it for awhile, I came up with the idea of installing a futon to replace the bottom bunk in the bunkhouse! This way the kids would have a larger sleeping area that could be stowed easily when we put in the slides.
I'm not sure how I come up with these great ideas? They just seem to come to me somehow.
|Original bunk with the mattress removed.|
I went to our local Walmart which had a Mainstays Metal Arm Futon on display that I could get measurements from. After I measured the frame length, width, and height, I decided to buy it.
|Futon I purchased at Walmart to install in the RV bunkhouse.|
After buying the futon I went to Lowe's and bought some drawer slides to mount it with. The ones I purchased were the 16 inch ones that are rated to hold up to 100 pounds. (The results are not in yet, but I am considering upgrading to a larger slide like a 22 inch that can hold 200+ pounds now. The kids are being a lot rougher on the current slides than I anticipated.)
Since the bed was really only for the kids, I figured the slides would support them fine. Misty and I would probably never be sleeping on it anyway and even if we did, I think it would support Misty if she slept on the extended side.
|Drawer slide I bought at Lowe's.|
After buying the futon I put the seat and back panels together and made sure they fit in the bunk area.
|Fitting the right side of the futon panels to make sure they fit.|
|Fitting the left side of the futon panels to make sure they fit.|
I laid out both panels as if the futon was folded out to get my marks for the slides. The main thing here was to ensure that the back panel had room to lay down flat.
I then marked the panel along with the bunkhouse where the slides would go. I also figured out how thick of a spacer I would need to make up the difference from the length of the seat panel.
|Figuring out where to mount the right side slide.|
|Figuring out where to mount the left side slide.|
Next I had to attach the slides to the seat panel. To do that I used a level to make sure the slides were level and marked my holes. I then drilled them out using an 1/8 bit and attached with metal screws.
|Using level to make sure the slide attachment is level.|
|Slide attached to right side of seat panel.|
|Attaching slide to left side of the bunkhouse wall.|
I used the same piece of oak sub-board to put the slide up above the bunk base on the right side too approximately 1/4 inch. That left enough clearance for the futon seat and back panels to slide in and out.
|Attaching slide to the right side of the bunkhouse wall.|
My next solution was to buy some slimmer hinges, but they too were hitting the slides, so I had to do something else. If I could have found some flip hinges that had the hinge on the back rather than on the side, I could have made that work and one day will, but for now I improvised.
|Seat panel and slides fully connected so that it will slide in and out.|
As you can see the bed lays out perfectly and gives the kids almost twice the sleeping room.
|Using zip ties to hold the back and seat panels together.|
|Right side view of zip ties used to keep the panels together.|
|Left side view of zip ties used to keep the panels together.|
We are very happy with the modification and think it has really helped improve the kids sleeping arrangements. We have the queen sized sleeper sofa that we use, but it is a little bit harder to set up than our new futon.
Right now since the kids are not that big, four of them can sleep easily on the futon if they put their heads toward the window, which leaves the top bunk open and then the sofa, which does not need pulled out now.
|Futon fully extended with mattress.|
One down side is that it covers up the window when pushed in, but that is really not that big of a deal. Another down side is that it is harder to get into their cabinet or shelves since only the left side door can be opened when the futon is in the couch position. But that is a small price to pay for more sleeping area.
|Futon pushed back in.|
Also you do not use any of the frame for the futon, so be prepared to either give it to someone or a local recycling center, which is what we did. The left over piece of 1x2 wood I will keep though, since you never know what I may need it for in the future.
|Left over parts from futon that we did not use.|
So if you want a quick and easy way to increase your sleeping area in a bunkhouse on a Fleetwood Discovery 40G, you can do what we did and install a futon.
I may also have to add legs to fold out on the extended part of the futon, so that it can support more weight. Even though I tell the kids not to roughhouse on it, kids will be kids and I am afraid that two or three of them jumping on it will exceed the 100 pound limit and make the slides fail. As I mentioned earlier in this blog, I may also go with a bigger slide that can hold more weight, but will see what happens with the current ones over time.
I also realize that my instructions are not very detailed, so if you need more details, leave me a comment and I will tell you all that I know. (Which is not that much!)
All of my plans were in my head and the end product was completely different from my original concept of how I was going to do it.
My original design include a slide out drawer that the futon would have been mounted on, but after fitting the futon panels, I determined there was not enough room for a drawer and the final solution was much easier.
We are so blessed in our fulltime RV lifestyle and pray that God keeps his blessings upon us and all of you too. We accomplish something everyday and overcome any and all obstacles.
For with God nothing will be impossible. (Luke 1:37)
If you like our blog we ask that you please follow it and also like our LivelyRV Facebook page. Also comments are always welcome.
Don, Misty, and Kids...