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Topic: Convertible Inside/Outside Storage - Gravity Chairs Fit! (Read 635 times) previous topic - next topic

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Convertible Inside/Outside Storage - Gravity Chairs Fit!

Hi,  For those that have a full corner bed, rather than the folding couch, you probably wish for better use of the inside underbed storage space.  That mattress is heavy, especially with memory foam on top, so the access to underbed storage is for infrequent items only  (e.g. Costco sizes of toilet paper, soda, peanut butter (my vice), etc.)

At the same time, everyone complains that they can't fit gravity chairs or even some normal lawnchairs into most motorhome storage bays.   So, I decided to make the inside underbed storage accessible from the outside underbed storage bay, by converting the existing bracing wall into a hinged hatch.   The two pics are the after pictures, so here's a description, taking me less than 2 hours to do the job. 
1/ Do some pre-measuring to decide how wide to make the hatch.  I measured my  LaFuma gravity chair, as a cheapo hardware-store gravity chair was simply too wide.
2/   Take mattress and all bedding off the bed and stow up front.  Open the hinged platform and detach two hydraulic struts from hinged platform.  Use electric driver to remove piano hinge from one side, either fixed platform or hinged platform side to take the  platform out of the way. 
3/ Removed vertical center wall to completely remove it from under the bed.  This is far easier than trying to cut a hole through that wall while still in situ.  Had to detach heater ducts from grills, 2 screws each.
4/  Marked the proposed hatchway in the removed wall, leaving room at the top for some remaining support structure, per below.  I thought it important, to preserve weight capacity of the bed, to retain two to three inches at the top of the wall, for the opening to have rounded corners, and to put a doubled 1X2 header board along the top (glued and screwed)
5/  I cut the straight lines with a skilsaw  (had to plunge it in for the top cut), and a jig saw for the rounded corners.   The glued carpet on the outside side did not fray too much, so didn't need any extra attention.  I glued and screwed the header board onto the wall before reinstalling.
7/  I reinstalled the wall without the hatch installed, as I didn't want it to bind on the floor.  Re attached the wall with all the same screws, being sure to route the heater ductwork (at front of storage area) for free airflow.
11/ I set the newly cut hatch in place with slight shimming underneath and screwed two hinges to the hatch and to the center wall.  I had also screwed a piece of 1X2 on the other end (on inside side) of the hatch to act as a stop when you close it.  This is less visible than a fixed door jamb on the wall would be.  I now had a swinging hatch door.
12/  Reattached top platform, struts, mattress, etc.

The hatch when open acts as a divider for the underbed storage area.  There is still room for aforementioned Costco peanut butter in the front section.
And the new bay has loads of room left even after lawnchairs are pushed all the way into it.

08 Libero CB
Delta, BC

Re: Convertible Inside/Outside Storage - Gravity Chairs Fit!

Reply #1
Very clever!
2017 Unity CB

Re: Convertible Inside/Outside Storage - Gravity Chairs Fit!

Reply #2
Awesome idea. 

We have a corner bed as well and agree it really is quite heavy to lift.  As such we also only put items that we don't frequently use or we place "seasonal" items there, like cool weather clothes when its still summer.

Really like what you have done and will have to give ours a look to see if we can do the same.  Thanks for sharing!