Hey all! so I'm starting to plan out how my RV interior layout will be on my 97 rialta (twin beds). Because I am looking at living in it full time in August of next year, I decided to change anything that I need to in order to minimize compromise from a small apartment. Some things I really wanted are a full size couch where I can fit 3 people comfortably, a full size desk with minimal compromises compared to a desk found in a regular home and lastly a full size queen bed, roughly 60" by 78". Of course, the Rialta doesn't have enough space for half of those things so I am hoping to take advantage of my mechanical engineering degree and design transformational furniture that does all those 3 things. Also I am hoping most things are spring aided so transforming the bed to desk or couch takes minimal effort.
it is in queen size bed configuration - the inside width of the rialta is about 82.5" the CAD model I have right now only uses a 78" foam mattress allosing for a bit over 2" on each side for all the arms/mechanisms. the bed would actually be raised to about where the back counter is (next to the window) so the space under it can fit your legs when you are in desk mode. I was thinking about convenience of making the bed/keeping order and I think all my sheets and blankets will have strong neodymium magnets sown into them to get them to stick to the sides when it is made or stick to a different surface during transition.
so in this picture the front side of the bed, roughly 20" can be easily lifted up with the aid of some springs on the arms.
The front part of the bed tilts to that position and is stopped by either something in the back of the RV or something mounted on the frame. next there is a mechanism to release the front portion of the top mattress allowing it to swivel somewhere in the rear portion like so.
so here we have a full size couch that can comfortably fit 3 people. the backrest is 20"which is about what couches are. The exposed bottom is 22" long which is pretty close to a couch once again.
I want to put a swivel and hiding TV screen next to the bathroom door so that people siting on this couch could watch tv/play videogames.
next to go into desk mode, the backrest of the couch goes back up and then the longer mattress part of the bed is lifted up and it swivels on the rear.
this exposes 2 monitors and some storage space for mouse/keyboard/books...
on the top portion there are some LED lights to illuminate some pictures on the back board
below the desk there is a keyboard tray / extensions that slide out on the sides for extra desk space.
I am currently in the process of tearing everything out of my RV so I can get a better idea of the usable volume of things I can move - heater/ water heater... vs things that I don't want to move or area that isn't usable (water tank - wheel cutouts)...
Wish me luck!
This looks awesome and insane. It reminds me of another project that I really want to do that you might be interesting. I want to remove the front two chairs (driver and passenger) and replace them with a couch that can switch directions from going forward to backwards. So in forwards mode it would be like a bench seat for the car, but in reverse mode it would be an awesome couch for the RV. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to make something like that.
I think that's a pretty clever idea. I'd start by just looking around near the seat mounts underneath the seats you have up front and start drawing out ideas for the concept. The idea will slowly become closer to reality as you start to figure out the mechanics of it and how it'd work. Are there dimensions for the RV online anywhere?
I put a good 14 hours into the project this weekend and am just exhausted. BTW Great Stuff - the spray can that shoots out foam is super sticky and will be a pain to get off your hands.
So after many iterations of the design I was going to attempt to make, I decided on only making a couch/bed conversion. I left out the desk because in the configuration I had it, the bed would have to be to elevated and couldn't be raised to change its configuration (it would hit the walls). So what I am looking at now is just like the model in the images except the bed rests about the height the original beds do and it doesnt flip up to become a desk.
I tore out all the carpet and wood planks below it just to find many rusty places. So I bought a circular stainless steel brush that attaches to a drill and attacked it. all the spots I later covered with Eastwood Rust encapsulator, a couple of places like near the wheel covers actually went all the way through. I had to decide on whether to cut it out and weld a new piece of steel on top or figure out another way to stop it from spreading. I ended up scraping it all as much I could then applying the encapsulator everywhere (and tons of it) and then filling it with the Great Stuff foam. I will see how well this does with some time.
I decided to change the layout of the internals of the RV so I could maximize space, I moved the water tank about 5 inches to the rear (I dont know why the original model left so much space behind it), and moved the water heater and heat exchanger to the rear as well. I have them bolted down now but will have to get hose extensions to attache all of them again sometime in the future. This layout allows me to make the RV wider on the inside and hide the heater and heat pump under the bed.
Next I added insulation, and lots of it. I was pretty disappointed when I tore out the carpet and found out that there was basically no insulation between the carpet and the steel floor. since there is a possibility that I will live in it in Colorado I decided to take the extra step of adding the 0.5" foam insulation on the floor and many other places. I first started by taking out the rear panel (the one below the rear counter). it turns out there is a small frame there that holds the counter up and behind it is the plastic bay for the "trunk section" I took the frame out and filled the empty corners with fiberglass. then I put the frame back on and added some solid insulation on the empty spaces (the pictures should be pretty clear). I later added that same insulation on the ground where the water tank will be. hopefully the pictures can help you understand what I did from there.
So before I lay down any new floor the more challenging part arises, making some new frames to cover up the sides of the RV as well as to hold the new bed up. It wouldnt be so complicated except I'd like to build them close to the way winnebago did to save weight so I will have to do some measuring and designing there. So far I have decided to keep the furnace just because it works pretty good and I like dry heat.
man I hope this stuff comes off my hands soon!!
Lots of work done today! I ended up removing many of the wooden parts that make up the beds as well as tore out most of the carpet from the rear of the coach. After making many measurements of the actual interior of the coach, it looks like the design will have many more constraints than what I though.
The coach decreases in width from the bottom to the top starting at around 18" above the surface. This decrease in width is pretty significant leaving only 72 ish inches of space at the ceiling level. below is my attempt at modeling the inside correctly.
so now with this model I will be able to modify my design into something that actually does fit in there...
one concern I have is all those wires... I'd like to move them to wherever they are more convenient but I don't want to loose track of which one goes to what...
The couch/bench seat idea seems pretty interesting. I think the best way to get something like that done would be to have it rotate on a hinge on the rear corner of the bench so when it is facing the back of the RV the backrest is what you sit on when its facing the other way. The only drawbacks I see with that is it would interfere with the gear selector and it would mean removing the super comfy captain chair that lets you drive for a while without much fatigue.
So I had a little bit of free time and tried to add some of the small details of just how this setup would look inside the Rialta.
So here I added an outside casing representing the rough height and width of the Rialta. As you can see, it is a pretty tight fit right now with the bed taking up the 60"X78" section. I still have about 1 inch on both sides to work with the transition arms/mechanisms. Thinking about material selection, I think I will take advantage of the carbon lab I have available here and use as much carbon fiber for arms or pieces so I can save some weight.
Here it is with the front part of the mattress lifted up- as the design stands it looks like it will be a very tight fit at the top with the mattress. Currently, the surface of desk is lifted above the ground 29" which is the same my current desk is. I can lower this a bit to create more space at the top and find a good lower chair that makes it still comfortable.
here it is in couch configuration. the way it is right now, it looks like I will need some more space up top so someones head wouldn't be bumping the roof. Lowering the whole thing a couple of inches could fix it, if not, I have allotted 5" height that separates the desk surface and the backboard that I can play with a bit.
And here it is in desk configuration. the great thing about this setup is raising the bed to that height creates a bunch of unused space below it.
One post that people request occasionally is a post about how I go about finding the best of something to buy. It's a bit of an obsession for me, as you may know.
I'll write that post some day, but right now I'm on an airplane so I don't have the necessary internet to get all of the links and such.
Today will be a sneak preview of the steps I took to decide which RV to buy and how I will get the best price on it.
That was me circa 1990 right after I graduated from the University of Colorado. My focus was to get "On the Road to Find Out" and decide if not what I wanted to do with my life when I grow up, where I wanted to settle down at least. Purchased a 1976 VW Westfalia pop-up with the idea that the window in my life I was currently in was a fleeting one and if I was ever to go on this wild adventure this was my one opportunity to do so. I had no immediate need to work, a few thousand in savings, two empty credit cards to get in serious financial trouble with, and plenty of time yet until I entered "the real world"... saddled by the monthly mortgage payment, meager paychecks that would leave me with more month than money, and all that comes along with a wife, children and raising a family.
My original plan was to leave Boulder and take a figure eight journey around the country, traveling as far North as Quebec, the French Gaspé, Turtle Island and Vancouver, and as far South as Key West, Pony Island and Baja California. I planned on following every inch of the US coastlines that I could, seeking out as many new adventures and experiences as possible. The estimated time table the trip would require was approximately 2 months to complete from start to finish, with many different family members and friends to stop in and visit along the way.
As one of my favorite quotes from John Lennon goes - "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."