what's the lightest way to make my bed where the dinette is stronger? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-04-2013, 01:12 PM   #1
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what's the lightest way to make my bed where the dinette is stronger?

is there something as strong as plywood that is lighter than plywood?

i leave the bed made all the time...but dont want to do something permanent in case i have to sell. i figured i could cut 2 pieces of plywood to go under mattress...
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Old 05-04-2013, 01:31 PM   #2
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Yes, it is called stress skin technology. Unfortunately, I don't know of any pre made panels that would be a good substitute for your dinette that would save weight over a piece of plywood - you would need to engineer & build it yourself. I used the technology to build the light weight shelves I added in my trailer.

Here is an article explaining the technique, although for use on much heavier construction for theatrical platforms.
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Old 05-04-2013, 01:46 PM   #3
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You can use stress-skin or cored materials, but that is probably overkill in you application and difficult to work. There are lightweight plywoods available - usually made from poplar rather than birch or fir. Poplar plywood weighs just over 1/2 of the weight of regular plywood and comes in a variety of thicknesses. See the following link as an example, but most areas have a plywood specialty company that stock this type of thing. Lightweight plywoods (poplar plywood) :: Winwood Products
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Old 05-04-2013, 02:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lpk49 View Post
is there something as strong as plywood that is lighter than plywood?

i leave the bed made all the time...but dont want to do something permanent in case i have to sell. i figured i could cut 2 pieces of plywood to go under mattress...
Your header mentions "making the bed stronger"- are you trying to replace what you have or reinforce it? If the latter, a strategically placed brace underneath should do the trick.

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Old 05-04-2013, 02:33 PM   #5
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How about some kind of inflateable support under that section of mattress? (Depends on the measurements- but you might be able to find something.)

Another option would to be use the plywood to build a storage box to fit- at least then you'd be getting some advantage from the weight of the plywood.
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Old 05-04-2013, 03:00 PM   #6
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Google "Nomex composite panels" for a strong lightweight honeycomb core w/ fiberglass skins. Has pretty much replaced Bondolite (aluminum skins on end-grain balsa core) in aircraft interor furniture and I've seen a couple of exhibit houses that used it sparingly because of the price.

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Old 05-04-2013, 03:02 PM   #7
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How heavy could a 1/2 plywood sheet under the mattress be?
Get a piece of plywood,this is not a big deal.

I would use a single piece if possible but really I am not sure what you are asking now that I think of it?
Which Dinette and in what way is it not strong enough?
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Old 05-04-2013, 03:41 PM   #8
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A lady friend of ours only wanted a small table for the dinette and something easy to remove for the bed support. We bought some scrap T&G oak flooring strips that could be slid into place and would stay locked together by means of an elevator bolt used as a locating pin, at each end of the first and last slats.
When the 16" x 22" dinette table is in place the slats all stack on top of each other against the back wall.

Lacking this material you could look at the Sultan Lade bed slat support systems ar IKEA. Although not clear in the pics, they are chained together with fabric strips.

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/25844409/
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Old 05-04-2013, 03:51 PM   #9
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i dont need to replace-camper is relatively new(2007) with very little use.

its a 2007 casita freedom deluxe . dinette in rear makes into bed. i keep the bed made all the time.

i have the casita mattress on it and then a 4 inch foam topper...but it kinda creaks and moans when i get in and out and i feel like i should lay some reinforcement under the mattress that sets on the dinette parts

i measured -but dont have measurements exact now...but i figured if i cut a piece of ply wood to 6' and then cut that in half...i should be able to get the two pieces in and out of the door if i had to...mostly i would just keep the bed made up.

it wouldnt be a tight fit into the curved parts or anything.

maybe i dont have to worry about the weight...plywood seems heavy to me but maybe with the stronger TV i dont have to worry about it.

you guys know so much about totally renovating these campers...i thought there might be something others already used for this.

thx
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Old 05-04-2013, 04:05 PM   #10
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If you're cutting the six foot sheet of plywood in half, it seems to me like it'll still "creak" in the middle...

Is the dinette supported on a pedestal when in use? If so, a shorter removable "leg" of the same diameter as the tube may work for undersupport.

Another alternative might be to add a reinforcing board to the bottom surface of the table, perhaps an inch narrower than the tabletop so the unfinished edge isn't in view when used as a table. This would mean shortening the table leg as well by the dimension of the underlayment.

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Old 05-04-2013, 04:22 PM   #11
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We converted the normal pressboard table into a folding pine table top. Most of the ti e we use it for a table for two. When we use it for a bed we drop it down and unfold the table. It's plenty light and certainly strong enough. We use two plastic white pipes to support the leading edge.

Pictures are available under Modifications/Preparing a 1991 Scamp.
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Old 05-04-2013, 04:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post

Pictures are available under Modifications/Preparing a 1991 Scamp.
I'd like to see those, Norm- what page/post of that (really long) thread can they be found at?

Francesca
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Old 05-04-2013, 04:54 PM   #13
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i dont have a pedestal and i like the storage under the bed without it-2 totes fit under there

i will never use it as a table only a bed...but it is possible i will have to sell it someday so dont think i should do something permanent

norm did you use pine boards?-i didnt think they would be strong...but i like "no glue"!
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Old 05-04-2013, 05:00 PM   #14
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If it creaks and moans, is it possible it's something as simple as rubbing against the fiberglass cabinetry? A cheap fix would be to line the bottom edge of the board with Dollar Store no-creep shelving liner. Or, maybe purchase a package of silicone "buttons" that are used on glasstop tables. I'm cheap. I'd try to fix what I have before replacing because you don't really know where the problem is happening. It's doubtful the bed is cracking...
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