Can I build a storage platform over rear dinette bed? - Fiberglass RV



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Old 04-10-2019, 12:07 PM   #1
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Name: Normajean
Trailer: 2000 Casita Spirit Deluxe
Washington
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Can I build a storage platform over rear dinette bed?

Hi;
Hoping to get some advice on how to evaluate whether a modification I'd like to make is feasible.
I'm planning on spending many months in my 16' Spirit Deluxe and wanting to make room to stow away my bulky (but not extremely heavy) 88 key digital keyboard while not in use.

What I'm contemplating is to build a 6" high platform to set on top of the rear dinette in the back of my Casita (which is now a permanent bed.)
I would then put my mattress on top of the platform, leaving a pretty large 6" high storage area that I could easily slide my keyboard into (as well as some tools like drills, etc.)

I know besides the plywood used to build the platform, it would add the weight of storage items.
However, I just had a heavy anti-sway hitch installed so I wonder if that would counteract the extra weight?
How would I evaluate whether or not this would be a good idea?
Would there be a way to add this extra weight in the back safely - or is there a way to mitigate doing this?

Many thanks for any input or suggestions or guidance. I'd really like to do this so I can bring my instrument without it being in the way. I'd also like to have the room to store other things. I just want to ensure I could do it safely.
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Old 04-10-2019, 06:28 PM   #2
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Since you have the rear dinette set up as a permanent bed, (as we do in our 17'SD,) and this is just a thought, but have you considered mounting a smaller shelf under the "table top," which makes up the filler for the bed support, without having to add a whole new plywood "full area" shelf structure below the bed. If you don't really need the entire void space under the bed for storage, other than what would be available in the space for the existing "leg well" area, it may be an alternative solution to provide enough storage area for your needs. Just a thought.
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Old 04-10-2019, 06:59 PM   #3
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Name: Normajean
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What a great idea! I was sold on the idea until I measured my 88 key keyboard - it is 52" - GAAK! The 16 SD bed width is only 45". If I could slip it across I'd have plenty of room.
But your idea is brilliant and maybe I'll have to weigh bringing a smaller keyboard - though I love having a full sized digital piano.
If I can't find a way that's safe to make more storage I guess that' my backup plan.
Thanks for the reply!
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:39 PM   #4
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Name: bill
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1. Run it diagonally.

2. Replace table with a longer board going out into the aisle a bit.
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Old 04-10-2019, 08:00 PM   #5
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Thrifty Bill has a good idea, with running it diagonally

but seeing that it would only stick out 7" (which ain't much), can you stand it on it's face so that the part sticking out lays flat against your kitchen counter, or your dinette??
It'd still be sticking out, but with minimal intrusion
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:10 PM   #6
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How about making a shelf that hangs under the upper cabinet over the bed for the keyboard? Plenty wide enough and the weight is spread out full length. Your heavier tools can be stored under the bed in a plastic tub....there's my 2 cents .
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:48 PM   #7
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Yes, I see what you mean...diagonal would be good and there is a variety of ways to do that. Standing on it's side and cutting across to a side wall would pretty much keep it out of the way.
I will definitely try it out as that would mean no mods to be done )
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:57 PM   #8
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I like the idea of a slim shelf hanging down from below the cabinet above the large dinette. I bet I could make it half the size (weight too) of what my original "platform" would have required.
If the total added weight was 50 lbs or less (combined cabinet, keyboard, tools, laptop) that I was adding to the rear of the Casita, do you think that would be an issue?
I have been googling to try to see how much of a margin there is for adding weight to the rear, but I can't find any guidance on that. Maybe I am being too cautious about it but I keep hearing people say not to store things in the trailer while pulling it. However, I don't want to carry electronics in the car, and it would be great to stow them in a dedicated place if that won't throw my weight distribution off too much.
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:33 AM   #9
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I wouldn't be as concerned about the added weight in the rear of the trailer as I would be about the added stress on the overhead cabinet fasteners if you plan on suspending it below the overhead cabinets. While it may sound like the perfect place due to the large open area available, the bottom line is that those overhead cabinet fasteners, and even the thin fiberglass cabinets themselves, aren't really designed to carry that much weight. And then there will be the added stresses placed on those cabinet fasteners while bouncing down the road. I would suggest against putting that much of a load up there.

As an alternative suggestion, and I don't know the height and width dimensions of your keyboard, but perhaps it could fit under the side dinette table across the bench seats. You could fashion a 2' long piece of plywood of sufficient width to bridge the gap between the dinette benches, (or use the table top if you don't mind taking it down and putting it up again,) then place the backrest cushion(s) on it and use the full length of the side dinette seating for storing it. The cushions under it would also help soften any jarring or bouncing while traveling too. Just another thought.

As an aside, I also removed the pipe pedestal and replaced it with a folding leg. First, it gets that "knee knocker" out from under the leg well, and it also opens up that floor area under the table for additional storage space while traveling. That pedestal is right in the middle of some valuable real estate. The folding leg allows me to put the table down for a bed if needed and doesn't require a separate place to store the pedestal pipe when not in use under the table. The side rail mount I added really stiffened up the wobbly table. The only thing that would possibly be a little bit of work is mounting the table rail to the trailer shell, which would require the addition of a board on the inside and drilling a few holes for mounting screws under the belly band to fasten it to the trailer shell. Now it is easy to set up and take down the side table.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

A few people complained that the spring which holds the locking handle would fall out. True, there is nothing really holding it in place. I remedied this by drilling a hole through the handle and the leg, inserting a small bolt with locking nut through the both of them, and so the spring is captivated by the bolt. Can't fall out now. Also several complained that the leg wobbled or collapsed. Well, if they were using it for it's designed purpose instead of for unsuitable applications, they wouldn't have had those problems. Some people just don't have a lot of common sense about things they do. "Nuff said..."

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 04-11-2019, 03:29 PM   #10
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Haven't heard this one before since 2015 when we joined! How cool, a musician! Best luck with stowing it!

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Old 04-11-2019, 03:42 PM   #11
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Normajean, how tall is the keyboard boxed & standing on longest edge? if its shorter than the molded fiberglass seat section, what if ya cut a window in one seat just slightly larger than the end? to stow, tuck into the window cut first, & push the rest under the table. you could add some kind of stabilizer bar from the bottom of the bed/table to the floor for the free end. that way if you stop quick while towing it won't go flying into the isle. you can still store things behind it under the bed while maintaining easy access to music.
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Old 04-11-2019, 04:40 PM   #12
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Name: Alan
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How about securing some angled shelf brackets to the rear window frame and then adding some shelving To them like those wire shelves from one of the box stores
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:00 PM   #13
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Name: K C
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if you are traveling solo you could have it for your bed buddy



As in...think outside of the box, put it in a padded case and leave it out spanning the width of the seats in the dinette.
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