Question on mods. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-16-2016, 06:36 PM   #1
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: Boler 1974 13 ft
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Question on mods.

Hi, I am planning to build a permanent bed in my Boler 1300 where the bed/dinette usually fits. I want to raise the surface that holds the mattress @ 1' or even 1' 6" above the level of the current bed area. I am wondering if I could build a bed frame out of 2x4 and sit it on top of the built in fiberglass benches? Has anyone done anything like this? Would I be better off removing the benches and simply building up with a 2x4 frame?

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Old 03-16-2016, 09:56 PM   #2
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Lisa, sure it can be placed on top of the existing furniture. The built in fiberglass benches are structurally supportive to the fiberglass shell/body, so if they are removed for your custom build, they will have to be built in such a way as to duplicate the support that the originals did.
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Old 03-16-2016, 10:32 PM   #3
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you could do that and I thought about it but if you remove the fiberglass fixtures you gain a tremendous about of storage, especially for bigger items that don't fit well or at all through the top opening of the dinette. I just built our permanent bed using a 2x4 frame. I still have to put the finishing touches on it but when done it will have a hinged lid under the mattress and cabinet doors at the front. I have some pictures already posted on my thread.
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Old 03-17-2016, 08:40 AM   #4
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Don't know exactly how Bolers are set up, but my Scamp has a fresh water tank under the curbside bench and the power center in the streetside bench. How will you access these components?

Agree with David. The benches are attached to a fiberglass lip on the wall and screwed to the floor. They add rigidity to the rear of the shell. If you look underneath you may be surprised at how little framing there is. If you take the benches out, the new bed structure should be bonded to the shell.

I'd be careful of how much weight you add. RV cabinetry is not typically built of 2x4 stock. Go to an RV dealer and look inside the cabinets. You have to balance sturdiness against weight. You could end up overloading the frame, axle, and/or tires.

I've been following another remodel in which the owner completely rebuilt all the cabinetry- very sturdy. The new cabinetry added about 400-500 pounds over the original fiberglass components, and the empty weight now is the same as a fully loaded stock unit. (In this case the frame was rebuilt as well.)

Curious- what's your overall goal here? Why do you want to raise the bed? Storage is good, but the back of the trailer is not the best place. Too much weight behind the axle can result in dangerous sway.
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Old 03-17-2016, 08:58 AM   #5
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: Boler 1974 13 ft
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Thanks for your input Jon. I want to raise the bed to increase storage and to have myself sleeping at a level with the windows. Currently any breeze goes over my, ventilating the trailer but not necessarily cooling me.

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Old 03-17-2016, 09:00 AM   #6
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And all tanks were removed by the PO.

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Old 03-17-2016, 09:33 AM   #7
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A 12V Fantastic Fan or similar might be a simpler solution to the ventilation issue. It works even when there is no breeze.

Slide-out drawers in the space between the benches would allow you to fully utilize that space. You could install exterior hatches to give access to the benches without disturbing the bed, or just reserve them for rarely-used items.

Replace the table (heavy) with taped bed slats, add a sturdy edge rail between the angled front corners and a nice, thick permanent mattress. In your humid climate, I'd also look for something to put under the mattress to allow air to circulate. There are some purpose-designed RV products ($$$) but there ought to be a nice alternative hack to do the same thing. That would get you pretty high without a heavy frame.

I like the idea of minimizing added weight (leaving more capacity for your stuff) and making the changes reversible.

Just some thoughts...
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Old 03-17-2016, 11:14 AM   #8
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Name: Lisa
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There are also options on building the frame which would be lighter yet still strong. I am planning and researching, your input is part of that process. Thanks.

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Old 03-17-2016, 11:46 AM   #9
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The 2x4 frame I am constructing is not that much heavier by design and used a thinner plywood deck than some might use. I am using 2x4's for 4 main supports and 1x2 or 2x2's to brace in between. In hind site I wish now that I had weighed all the components and compared it to the weight of the fiberglass fixture and table. I am tying in the main supports to the glassed tabs that the fiberglass fixtures screwed into and also to the floor on the vertical supports so structural support of the body should not be an issue.

As Lisa spoke about, I too wanted a higher bed height for several reasons, including being closer to the window breeze but also gaining about 4" of storage height underneath, and making it easier to access the storage from the front cabinet doors below.
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Old 06-14-2017, 09:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa in FL View Post
There are also options on building the frame which would be lighter yet still strong. I am planning and researching, your input is part of that process. Thanks.

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Do you have any photos of what you ended up doing?


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