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Interior Bedding, seating, storage and more
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Old 04-09-2021, 03:31 PM   #1
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Default A Bed Modification for 17 ft HiLos

This will possibly only be of interest to those of you with 17 ft trailers that have the "King -sized" sleeping platform design. But, it may also apply to some other trailers too, so read on if you wish.

In this trailer, the couch on the street side has a 2-piece floor under the cushion that slides out into the isle, meeting up with the platform made on the curbside that is formed when you lower the table between the two dinette chairs. When this is done, you end up with a platform that is the full width of the trailer and that is about 74" along the lengthwise dimension.

The first picture I'm posting shows the "flooring" under the couch cushion and the isle to the right of it. You can see two holes I drilled in it with a hole saw to make it easier to hold and manage when I extend it.

The second picture shows the top section of that flooring pulled out most of the way into the isle. I found the easiest way to pull it out was to sit on the curbside platform while pulling it, and doing the same when pushing it back into place to act as a couch again.

But, in the second picture you can see a problem I've been living with (sleeping upon?) when that section is pulled out. The part that slides out is made of a very heavy sheet of Oriented Strand manufactured wood that is 1/2" thick and is then topped with 1/4" thick particle board. This creates a "ledge" that is 3/4" high down the length of the platform and even with my upgraded (thicker and firmer cushions) it is uncomfortable. We choose to sleep "longwise" in the trailer rather than "crosswise" so that no one has to be clambered over if the other gets up at night.

I decided to replace this moveable floor and the 1/4" plywood sheet under it with 1x3 slats arranged so that half of them slide in and out of a fixed section. The actual dimensions of these slats is 3/4" thick and 2.5" wide and they are made of common pine. I got the idea from a similar design on a futon that is in my office and that can be used as an extra bed.

The third picture shows the new couch flooring pulled out and you can see how the planks alternate between the fixed and the movable parts. The 2.5" gaps that exist when the platform is extended are not even noticeable when the cushions are over them. Now, there is NO uncomfortable ledge! An additional benefit is that the new flooring is MUCH, MUCH lighter in weight than the old flooring.

The last picture shows the moveable part pushed back into place ready to be used as a couch again.

Feel free to use this design yourself if you'd like and if you have any ideas for improvement, feel free to share them!

- Jack
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Oriented Strand Wood Under Couch.jpg (143.2 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg Couch Flooring Open as a Bed.jpg (163.9 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg New Couch Flooring Open as a Bed.jpg (159.6 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg New Couch Flooring.jpg (142.5 KB, 21 views)
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Old 04-09-2021, 06:22 PM   #2
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Default Nice bed modification.

Did you just do this bed modification? I know you have had your HiLo for many years.
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Old 04-10-2021, 12:37 PM   #3
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Yes, I did this just last week. I'd disliked the way the bed platform worked all the time I've owned the trailer (since 2007), but could never think up a way to fix it that seemed reasonable.

I DID make an "insert" out of thin plywood that was reinforced with edge strips and cross strips that would fit in to the low spot of the sleeping platform and that would then just store under the cushion when that area was being used as a couch, and it smoothed out the surface very well. But, it was just an extra "big" thing to deal with anytime the space was converted to a bed and vice-versa, so I was not really happy with it. I like this approach much better, and it reduces the weight in the trailer a lot!

I'll restate too, that we replaced ALL the foam cushioning in the trailer about a year after we bought it. The OEM cushioning was thinner and less firm and it did not provide much in the way of "softness". I got the new cushioning in a foam and fabric store in Tucson - they cut it to the sizes I needed and it was not expensive at all. It was 1" thicker than the OEM and was a firmer build. I was able to fit it into the original cushion covers that came with the trailer without difficulty. It was also not terribly expensive, but I cannot remember the cost.

I don't know that the gaps between the slats would be acceptable without upgraded cushioning.

- Jack
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Old 04-11-2021, 09:29 AM   #4
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Default Thanks for the clarification.

The Towlite comes with crummy cushions. The classic comes with upgraded upholestry. Even $100.00 Airstreams come with soft upholstery that is uncomfortable. Most RVS come with cheap mattresses that most owners either replace or add a topper.
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Old 04-14-2021, 10:28 PM   #5
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In my first hi lo..a 24 with the flip couch in the front was really uncomfortable...I removed the couch, and built dinette style benches on each side of the trailer with the same type of pullout on each side...My wife and I made all new cushions for the new seating and bed...Made a world of difference for sleeping... almost a king size bed when extended...
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Old 04-15-2021, 04:16 PM   #6
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Looks great.
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Old 04-15-2021, 06:57 PM   #7
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We have a 17ft with that set up. Still working on the inside so haven't slept in it yet. I like what you did. May have to think about doing the same thing
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Old 04-15-2021, 10:41 PM   #8
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Very nice modification and a necessary upgrade, in my opinion. I reworked my sofa in my 1704T as well (it was waferboard, not even plywood). Mine is not identical to your design, but along the same idea. Mine pivots up on a piano hinge and slides out flat similar to yours. I also screwed the doors shut and access the storage only from the top. Not in the photo, but I put a false floor in also to over the wiring and plumbing to protect them from items stored under the sofa. May not be eveyone's perfect layout, but works for me. I also reworked the useless wardrobe cabinet into a 3 drawer cabinet and added another drawer under the stove (drawer fronts not shown in the photo). Other storage areas are still in the planning stage. One nice thing about a Hi-Lo, or any trailer for that matter, is that they are always customizable to one's particular needs and they don't all have to be the same. ��
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File Type: jpg 20210117_152955.jpg (33.6 KB, 8 views)
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Old 04-15-2021, 10:48 PM   #9
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PC2012 - Your work is much prettier than mine! Looks VERY professional! Nicely done!

I put drawers in my "wardrobe" too, but left the door on in front of them. My drawers open into the "hallway" between the couch and dinette. I have a thread on that mod that I posted shortly after we got the trailer, I think in the 2008 timeframe.

- Jack
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Old 04-15-2021, 11:35 PM   #10
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(not sure why my first response did not post, but ...) Thanks for the compliment Jack. Not a professional, just a tinkerer. I debated between front, or side opening drawers when I planned this out. I chose the side option for a couple of personal reasons. I wanted the drawers to be wider than deep and also wanted to be able to access items stored in the drawers when outside cooking (for spices, utensils and cookware). In my design, I removed the old wardrobe cabinet from the base up and built a new cabinet and set /secured into place. The drawers, including the one under the stove (not pictured) are full extension soft close slides. Again, all mods are personal and based on our needs at the time. The things that I have done may change in the future sometime, but for now, they are functional.
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Old 04-17-2021, 10:09 AM   #11
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Jack - this looks like a great approach to the lounge sleeper. We have a 17t that I am in the middle of working on. We are planning to sleep the same way - from front to back of the camper so we can get up in the night without crawling over each other. I love that it is a lot lighter too. I added quite a few drawers to the camper so this will offset some of that weight. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-17-2021, 10:53 AM   #12
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You're quite welcome, marps! One thing that is not clear from my pictures is how I did the "back end" of the slideout part. I screwed the 1x3 planks into a 1/2 PVC tube there. It is underneath the fixed part, so you can't see it, but since it is round, it allows the slideout part to be lifted (rotated upwards) if wanted and that made it easier to reattach the legs at the front.

- Jack
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