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High Tech Bed Mod


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#1 Dave and Ruth

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 05:16 PM

To start with, we want to keep our 2007 LD as light as possible, and I dont like to drill holes in the fiberglass unless I really have to.

I had been reading about how some people have glued solar panels to the top of their rigs to avoid drilling holes, and in those discussions the subject of 3M VHB (very high bond) tape came up. They have been using this stuff to assemble ambulances since the 80s, and also use it to hold flap material on airplanes, among other uses. Some trailer companies use it in place of rivets to assemble their trailers (Trails West, Pace American, Southland). This was news to me! It is an industrial product, specifically sold to replace rivets, nuts and bolts, and glue, in joining dissimilar materials. I read a couple of University studies on how it holds up, and I think that this is not your ordinary foam tape.

For our first big mod, 30 wide twin beds, I had been thinking of a shelf approach for making the 8 extension necessary for 30 wide mattresses, but I saw a lot of drilling ahead and a structural problem, so I had just about given up on a shelf, and was going to use the heavy platform approach (an extra 90 pounds). Then Ruth suggested I should consider the tape.

I havent seen VHB tape in retail settings, but a search found a few places that sell it by the roll (36 and 72 yards). I also found out there are several varieties, for better bonding of different materials, and in different thicknesses and conformabilities. I narrowed it down to 3M 4941, the one that works best with painted metals and plastics. I chose the .45 mil thickness, and half inch width, at 85 lbs per square inch tensile strength. I figured I could get a very strong shelf, with great flex, and no holes. But my confidence level was not high. After all, were talking about tape!

My materials included a 1x8x82 best pine board and 3 reinforced steel brackets on each side, a ScotchBrite pad to roughen up the shiny surfaces, and a few isopropyl alcohol pads to clean the area to be taped. And about three yards of tape for each side (54 sq inches). The tape cost about $1.68/yd including shipping, in a 36 yd roll.

Heres some pictures:



I used 5 of half-inch tape on each side of the brackets, and 2 12 strips on the fiberglass.



Half done. Laying down the boards after removing all the protective paper takes some care. The tape needs 15 lbs. pressure for a few seconds after application, and achieves 50% strength after 20 minutes. One of the brackets had a little curve to it, so I clamped it for an hour, which worked well. The sanded wood seemed to develop plenty of strength, without sealing. We shall see.



The boards in place without the mattresses. They were plenty strong after a few hours, and just get stronger.

Dave
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Dave & Ruth
Santa Fe, New Mexico

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
2007 LD "El Gecko" * 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
High Tech Twin Bed Mod * Rooftop Solar install with VHB tape
Sliding sink cover for the Liberty * Custom Casita Cover

#2 ronsmith100

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 05:35 PM

VHB tape is great stuff. In my former life I ordered it often for tooling applications.

If readers are interested in an online site that has every industrial product imaginable try McMaster Carr
McMaster
You can order online and have it UPSed in no time.

Here is the link for the tape

Ron
RVwest
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'01 Ranger 4.0 v6 off road 4x4
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#3 Dave and Ruth

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 06:32 PM

I should give the link for where I got my VHB tape: http://www.uline.com...p?pricode=wi849

I have plenty left over for the solar panel mount, and many other projects. It is intended to be permanent but can be removed if necessary.



Dave
Dave & Ruth
Santa Fe, New Mexico

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
2007 LD "El Gecko" * 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
High Tech Twin Bed Mod * Rooftop Solar install with VHB tape
Sliding sink cover for the Liberty * Custom Casita Cover

#4 briggsey

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 06:42 AM

what a great idea, are you going to make custom pads for the bed? how will they support your weight when you sit on the edge of the bed to remove shoes and such? am very interested in your solar mount idea as i too have to deal with that.

#5 Dave and Ruth

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 03:16 PM

QUOTE (briggsey @ Feb 25 2007, 07:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
what a great idea, are you going to make custom pads for the bed? how will they support your weight when you sit on the edge of the bed to remove shoes and such? am very interested in your solar mount idea as i too have to deal with that.


Heres what weve done so far, with custom pads.



The weight support was the big question, but with over 4000 lbs. tensile strength holding each board and the fact that you never get as close to the edge as you might think, the boards hold really well. You can feel a tiny amount of flex on the very edge without the mattress in place. With the mattress in place, there is virtually no flex in the board. It feels very integrated with the benches.

The mattress is 4 of custom cut 2.3 lb. high density foam with a 2 topper of 4 lb. memory foam, mattress padding and a denim cover and is really comfortable for us. Ruth made the mattresses.

Dave
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Dave & Ruth
Santa Fe, New Mexico

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
2007 LD "El Gecko" * 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
High Tech Twin Bed Mod * Rooftop Solar install with VHB tape
Sliding sink cover for the Liberty * Custom Casita Cover

#6 stlek

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 04:16 PM

hi dave and ruth,
you really did a nice job and the round table opens things up.do you have a larger table also?

steve and kathy wszolek
05 liberty"The White House"

#7 evelou2

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 04:45 PM

Dave,

You did a great job extending the beds and that round table looks great. Those beds look so comfy. Bet it makes your camping really comfy.

Yvette

#8 DesertHawk

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 05:12 PM

dancinsmilie.gif They look GREAT! Nice and roomy. How long are the beds?

Neat tape.

Thanks for sharing.

DH

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DesertHawk* Las Cruces, New Mexico USA

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#9 Dave and Ruth

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 10:15 PM

stiek,

I used a wide angle lens so the table is bigger than it looks, 24” diameter. It can be moved to any of the three floor positions, and I made another 18” one if we need it. The round table opens up lots of space, which is needed after narrowing the isle to 16”. We never planned a round table, just sort of happened on the idea. They sell these unfinished at Lowe’s. I finished it, added a 3/4” lift and the pedestal that came with the trailer.

DH,

The beds are the full 82” by 30” deep. We’re both 6-footers, and we need the space. The three picture windows with this set-up make this feel like a big space, and out of the way of the kitchen.

Dave

Edited by Dave and Ruth, 27 February 2007 - 11:38 PM.

Dave & Ruth
Santa Fe, New Mexico

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
2007 LD "El Gecko" * 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
High Tech Twin Bed Mod * Rooftop Solar install with VHB tape
Sliding sink cover for the Liberty * Custom Casita Cover

#10 cathy

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 01:22 PM

Hi Dave, Great Job! I also have the twin bed set up in my Liberty..(i wish we had the mattress's you have)!

Edited by cathy, 26 February 2007 - 01:22 PM.

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#11 redwards

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 03:30 PM

As an admitted Casita wannabe (hoping to buy one this summer or so), I find your mod and bed arrangement very interesting. However, there is something I don't understand, and I hope that you or others can help.

You might notice that I posted a message today saying that Casita should provide to-scale drawings of the three layouts. Maybe their drawings are what has me confused.

I was planning to purchase a 17 FD, because the swivel chairs looked interesting, and there being just myself and my wife, we would make the rear dinette into a permanent bed. Casita calls it a "full-size" bed. A standard "full-size" bed is 53" x 75" (maybe +/1 an inch, depending on if you measure the frame or the top). A twin bed is 39" x 75".

You say your mod results in two beds that are 30" x 80", with a 16" space between them. Thus, if the entire area were to be covered with a mattress, it would be 76" x 80". That is exactly "king-size dimensions.

Thus my question is: Is there a difference in the size of that area (where the bed/dinette is in the rear) between the SD and FD. Is the area in the 17SD really 76" x 80", and if so, Casita is really missing the boat by not advertising it as having the equivalent of a KING bed in the rear.

Like I said in my other quote today, Casita is only hurting itself by not giving dimensions and by not monitoring the forum.

Hopefully, you or others can answer my question.

#12 Dave and Ruth

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 05:11 PM

redwards,

The 80"+ length is a feature of the Liberty model. Casita gets that length in the Liberty by positioning the sink and stove top across from the refrigerator unit. It adds the side dinette space on the end of the bed space. So the bed configurations in the Liberty, without any mods, include a "double" and "queen", sleeping crosswise. The king format takes up the entire sleeping and dining area, sleeping lengthwise.

Those of us who want the permanent set up twin bed configuration choose the Liberty. We really like the space in the Liberty. Some, in the Spirit, have set up a "twin" bed on the dinette bench, and across the rear, leaving a sitting area. But they are shorter than we are.

Ruth
Dave & Ruth
Santa Fe, New Mexico

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
2007 LD "El Gecko" * 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
High Tech Twin Bed Mod * Rooftop Solar install with VHB tape
Sliding sink cover for the Liberty * Custom Casita Cover

#13 Don in OKC

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 06:38 PM

QUOTE (redwards @ Feb 26 2007, 03:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Casita calls it a "full-size" bed. A standard "full-size" bed is 53" x 75" (maybe +/1 an inch, depending on if you measure the frame or the top). A twin bed is 39" x 75".


Casita doesn't mis-state their dimensions but what's a bit misleading is the space lost on the back side of the bed due to the curve of the rear of the trailer. The 'length and width' are taken at the widest section.

It does have a real 'king' size which sounded great to us for such a small trailer. But in the world of trade offs, you give up dinette/sitting space when the bed is down. This can wear thin after a time.

2. Having walls on three sides is a more confined sleeping space than a comparable size bed with 'walk around' space.

3. RVs have their own 'bunk, tiwn, queen, and king' sizes. Most RV sizes 'shrink'. Not to be compared to home bedding. I've forgotten the exact differences but if shopping for RVs it's better to get bed sizes in inches, wall considerations, overhanging cabinets, etc.

4. I've never seen accurate scale floor plans from any RV manufacturer. They get close, but all seem to fudge a bit to make it look more desireable.

5. Casita stays 'independant' from the forum for good reason. They are readily available by phone to any owner or buyer.
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#14 stlek

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 07:40 PM

thie is the layout with dimensions for the liberty.im not sure who posted it.

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#15 Ben Idle

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 06:26 AM

...AND here is Don Cyr's schematic drawing for the bed platform which does weigh 90# (45 x 2) and possibly could be made of lighter material along with the link to his post on the mod: http://www.casitafor.......

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