Bunk over side dinette - structural supports - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-11-2020, 04:58 PM   #1
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Name: Bob
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Bunk over side dinette - structural supports

I'm looking to add a bunk over the side dinette on a 16'. I'm fairly handy but have not forayed into Scamp mods. Some questions:

1. The options are to blend using the existing side, bathroom, and divider walls for framing and/or to put support legs down to the floor. Any general thoughts as I've never worked with the inside of an egg in this way.

2. Are the cabinets above the dinette relatively easy to remove? I'm assuming just unbolting them from the fiberglass.

Truth be told, we don't own a 16', but think we'll likely have to mod a side dinette variant as those are more prevalent than the layout 4 with pre-exisitng front bunks. We're still on the look out! We actually own a Uhaul CT13 but looking for a potty/shower. But I digress....
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Old 06-16-2020, 02:55 PM   #2
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Seeing as my original questions didn't garner any thoughts, let me modify it by asking your opinion on whether you feel the fiberglass dividers are strong enough to carry weight.

I'd frame the 2nd bunk on the divider that separates the front wet bath and the side dinette AND the one inbetween the side dinette and the larger dining area/bed.

Thoughts? Opinions? :P
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Old 06-16-2020, 03:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foofght View Post
Seeing as my original questions didn't garner any thoughts, let me modify it by asking your opinion on whether you feel the fiberglass dividers are strong enough to carry weight.

I'd frame the 2nd bunk on the divider that separates the front wet bath and the side dinette AND the one inbetween the side dinette and the larger dining area/bed.

Thoughts? Opinions? :P
I am in your exact spot- never worked on an egg, but- I'd say you're on the right path for running studs/supports to the floor. I'll be doing the same in fact, and will use another board flat on/parallel with the floor to spread the load of each support leg.

Post pics as you go!
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Old 06-18-2020, 07:06 AM   #4
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Do you REALLY want/need the larger bathroom that comes with the side dinette or is the smaller side bathroom sufficient?

For a 16ft trailer with bunks capability, either an Escape 17B or a Scamp 16 Deluxe Layout A (with a free swap of sofa/bunks instead of the usual front dinette) might be reasonable choices for you?

We had a Scamp13 and wanted a larger trailer with a bathroom but also wanted the larger 54" bed that we had in our Scamp13.

To get the 54" bed in a Scamp16, you have to choose the Deluxe package. To then get sofa bunks, you need to choose Layout A and do the "no charge" swap of sofa/bunks in place of the front dinette.

See this thread ...
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...ad.php?t=92518

If you REALLY want/need to create bunks over a side dinette, I might be inclined to try to do the fabrication in foam and fiberglass screen material.

See this YouTube video:
https://youtu.be/ucf2FVIdr1Q

Searching YouTube for "foam fiberglass cabinettes" will show other options for working with this composite construction techique.

Best of luck with your trailer search and/or project!

Ray
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Old 06-18-2020, 01:21 PM   #5
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Actually - we managed to get a Scamp 16 with side dinette since I started this thread. They're just more available then the front bunk variant, which we haven't been able to find.

The foam core with fiberglass nettting concept is interesting! It appears to be used for cabinets, but I'm wondering if it could withstand the forces when setup as a bunk with long spans. I'd guess not very well, but I have yet to ever see this type of thing. Rdickens - do you have any guesses on strength for my type of application?

I'm contemplating PVC or plywood framing (vs 2x4). I really liked what I saw in this post:

Bunk beds and sleeping 4 - Page 2 - The Casita Club Forum - The Casita Club Forums

and this one

Bunk Bed Mod For Freedom Deluxe 17' - Casita Trailer Modifications Forum - The Casita Club Forums

Both appear reliant on their legs, without wall anchoring, though how they mitigate lateral movement during transportation is not clear to me.
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Old 06-19-2020, 04:09 PM   #6
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Bob,

My intention for the video was more about the composite construction technique than the exact components that they used ... and the technique could benefit PVC construction as well. We have been using composite construction on aircraft for years. Composite construction components are even used on USAF fighter planes. As the guys in the video said "very light weight and wicked strong". .

While half inch EPS foam and fiberglass screen is plenty strong for cabinets, I might favor 1/8" plywood glued to the top and bottom of slightly thicker EPS foam (3/4" or 1" ??) for bunk beds construction? You could still paint the plywood with Glidden Gripper paint and embed fiberglass screening into the paint. If that still isnt strong enough, you could put a fender washer on a longer drywall screw and run that from the top down into a 1x2 pine/oak stiffener on the bottom side. If needed, you could coat the pine stiffener in glue/paint and fiberglass screening. That construction should still be very light weight and very strong!

Fiberglass is strong in tension (i.e. bottom of a weight-bearing part); 1/8" plywood may add strength in compression (i.e. top of a weight-bearing part) as well as strength in tension.

If supporting bunks with PVC posts and frame, coating most of the pipe with Glidden Gripper (or clear-drying glue?) and then wrapping fiberglass screen material around the pipe could keep the pipe very straight and be stronger than PVC pipe alone.

The thicker the composite sandwich the more it resists bending when used on longer lengths/spans.

In addition to being strong and lightweight, this kind of construction is relatively inexpensive. If you are unhappy with a result, throw it away and make another.

As they say ... "Your mileage may vary."

If you use the composite construction method, maybe you could send results and pictures of your finished project?

Again .... Best of luck!

Ray
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Old 06-26-2020, 01:11 PM   #7
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I haven't started yet, but find the fiberglass over foam idea so neat! Probably will end up doing 1"x4" framing and plywood construction because it's familiar. But it will end up heavy is my guess. Maybe 60 lbs in total.

Fiberglass composite probably would save me a lot of weight I bet. Project Junky, have you started or made progress yet? I'll post when I'm done.
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