Bigfoot Minor Gaucho Mod - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-15-2020, 06:05 PM   #1
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Bigfoot Minor Gaucho Mod

Been meaning to do this for a while. When you slide out the Gaucho bed, on the earlier models anyway, it doesn't slide out all the way, by design. So there's a ledge of plywood. If you sleep on the 4" thick cushions, no problem. But the cushions are way too soft for me. I like a much firmer bed.

I tolerated it the last couple years, but this spring when I started sleeping in the camper again, it just wasn't comfortable and my back had some sore spots in the morning. Guess I'm getting old. Well, I know I'm getting old. I have a thin futon I like to put over a hard surface, but I'd definitely feel that ledge if it was all I used.

So with very little planning, measuring, or thought, I jumped in.

Here's how it was, with the ledge.

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I cut enough off the slide-out so that it could lay flat. That meant I needed to add another rest, since there was one near the closet, but nothing along the main length of the bed, because the plywood rested on top of the couch (thus the ledge) and has a leg on the other side.

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So I bought, cut, drilled and stained a cheap piece of 1x2 and used it for a rest along the long length.

Because it seemed appropriate...
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Access to drill holes
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I decided to do without the guides, since I'd need to slide the bed all the way out of them, then fight to get them lined up and slid back together every morning.

Here's how it looks “closed”, and slid open. Plastic guides are still there in this photo...

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We'll see how it goes tonight. There were definitely some easily foreseeable yet unforeseen problems, like what to do with the slide/guide plastic things, and the fact that my new lengthwise support means the slide-out doesn't slide back in completely, since it hits the support. It sticks out about 1/2" farther than it used to, which is no problem. I just slide the cushion a little farther out.

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Old 05-15-2020, 06:29 PM   #2
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Really nice concept. So you can return the gaucho to it's original position after you remove the new mattress?
How easy is it to move around that section of the cabin to access the back cabinet & bath area?
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Old 05-15-2020, 08:56 PM   #3
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Oh yeah. This isn’t meant to be a way to leave the bed set up; just a way to have the bed surface be flat when it is set up. During the day, the mattress sits tri-folded on the short end of the L of the Gaucho.

This doesn’t make the bed any wider, since I cut the plywood to make it fit the same footprint. The only purpose was getting rid of that ledge so I could sleep there with a thin futon and not feel it running down my back.

Someone familiar with a Bigfoot Gaucho model might ask why I don’t just sleep on the dinette bed, and it’s a great point! It, unlike the Gaucho bed, folds down perfectly flat. And that’s where I’ve been sleeping the last two weeks.

I have two problems with it, though. I just sort of prefer the Gaucho...it’s more cozy for me. And though it’s a problem that has a solution, moisture is a problem. Wood absorbs it, but the countertop material on the dinette table surface doesn’t, so I’ve been having to dry the mattress in the sun every morning.

I really wanted to make the Gaucho bed work.
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Old 05-16-2020, 11:17 AM   #4
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I have two problems with it, though. I just sort of prefer the Gaucho...it’s more cozy for me. And though it’s a problem that has a solution, moisture is a problem. Wood absorbs it, but the countertop material on the dinette table surface doesn’t, so I’ve been having to dry the mattress in the sun every morning.
Where is the moisture coming from?
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Old 05-16-2020, 01:15 PM   #5
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The difference between hot (me) and cold (camper).

Moisture is actually a problem under camper mattresses generally. I've seen several posts about it on this site. I've never had the problem, probably because I live in such a dry climate. With the 4" thick camper cushions, they have plastic fabric on the underside and plenty of volume to soak up moisture. A thin futon, directly on wood, will feel damp on the underside in the morning. At least that's been my experience since trying it out this spring.
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Old 05-16-2020, 07:15 PM   #6
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Where is the moisture coming from?
It's mostly condensation, all surfaces in my own trailer are non porous so I know what he's talking about. Getting air under the cushions works for me, scraps of carpeting cut to fit works pretty well especially if its a higher pile.
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Old 05-17-2020, 08:20 AM   #7
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Yeah. The "correct" pairing for these thin futons is a tatami mat, which is also on my list.

It provides a bit more padding, and absorbs moisture.
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