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Old 01-09-2010, 09:41 PM   #1
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Building a couch/bed - what about springs?

One of the first things that will go into my bus will be a front couch that folds into a bed. I thought of just getting one of those tubular metal futons off of craigslist. They are usually selling real cheap. It wouldn't look very "RV-like" but would serve the purpose. My only concern is riding comfort. Without springs, I wonder if sitting on the seat all day would wear on the passengers. Does anyone have any experience with sitting on a hard platform seat without springs for extended travel? I should also mention that I want to put seatbelts in. So there would have to be a seperation between the seat back and the seat bottom. If I use a futon, I will probably cut the mattress in half.
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Old 01-09-2010, 10:24 PM   #2
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Re: Building a couch/bed - what about springs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
I'd avoid a metal futon frame (I've owned a few), they're pretty much disposable junk. Build yourself a couch, and make the front (the part closest to your calves when seated) flip-up. If you want springs, salvage an old futon frame & mount the springwork to your frame. Take advantage of storage space underneath one you build.Smitty
Thanks for the tip on the metal futon. I've never owned one. The problem with mounting springs is that it will need to fold out to a full size bed. I'm having trouble visualizing how I would deal with springs in that situation, other than getting a mattress with springs built in. But then it wouldn't work as a couch... I'm not sure if I could effectively cut a spring mattress in half. Just using foam pads would obviously be the way to go except for my concern about ride comfort.
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Old 01-09-2010, 10:43 PM   #3
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Re: Building a couch/bed - what about springs?

memory foam is comfortable and I'm sure it would make for a comfortable ride and bed.

I read somewhere that tempur pedic beds are assembled by using a foam base with a layer of memory foam on top. you could try to incorporate this type of set up in the couch/bed you could either shop around for a memory foam bed and cut that in half or use a memory foam topper on top of regular foam. Memory foam can be expensive so you would have to shop around. I'm sure you could find something for under a few hundred, and with the price of regular foam you would be spending close to that anyway.

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Old 01-10-2010, 01:20 AM   #4
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Re: Building a couch/bed - what about springs?

Dan,

I don't know if this helps or not, but Walmart sells the memory foam mattresses.

I plan on building a couch about 30" wide. Someone can sleep on that with out having to use any fold out part. (cos I'm not the most mechanically inclined) I will use the cushions from the bus with velcro to hold them in place.

Don't know if this was any help or not, but hey just thought I'd make it my good deed for the day.

Jackie
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Old 01-10-2010, 11:56 AM   #5
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Re: Building a couch/bed - what about springs?

foam sheets come in different thickness and densities, check with your local upholstery shops and see what they recommend, also check out the marina's, some of them have canvas/upholstery shops and might be willing to share information with you about what density and thickness of foam to use to make a comfortable couch/bed cushion.
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Old 01-10-2010, 03:11 PM   #6
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Re: Building a couch/bed - what about springs?

The Walmart "Bed In A Box" mattress are actually pretty comfortable to me, we have a twin size in a guest room. At this point I plan on using a fullsize one in our stateroom since it doesn't require a box springs (it's built in).

I layed our bus out with a futon in mind, but now having sat on them I'm having second thoughts and have been shopping cushion sets on Ebay. It turns out you can buy several different styles for well under $200 and of course pick up quite a bit of storage space.

It's still up in the air right now.

Take care,
Den
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:18 PM   #7
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Re: Building a couch/bed - what about springs?

I think I'm thinking along the same lines as you Smitty in terms of the design. Definitely no multiple cusions. But probably two cusions. One for the seat bottom and one for the seat back. We will probably be converting the bed every night or every other night in our travels and I don't want to have to thread the seatbelts through slits in a futon mattress. I had thought of that approach, but decided it would be easier day to day to just have the two halves. I don't anticipate that the two halves will be a problem, even if they do seperate a bit from each other. If I really wanted to make it more comfy I could always have a topper that is stored underneath, and essentially gets rolled up with the sheets and stowed during the day.

Thanks to everyone for your input on foam options and pjespers for the tip on the bounciness of springs during travel. I was thinking the foam might be too jarring, but the bouncing would be pretty annoying too. And yes, a futon mattress might be a little too hard, at least the ones I've sat on. I'll have to keep my eye out for deals on nice thick foam padding.
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:30 AM   #8
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Re: Building a couch/bed - what about springs?

http://www.finewoodworking.com/pages/w00147.asp
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:53 PM   #9
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Re: Building a couch/bed - what about springs?

I have a Walmart queen bed-in-a-box; it's very comfortable, but we only use it for a few weeks at a time. They are a bit heavy, but any decent foam worth it will be heavy. We're in the high desert, where it tends to be cool w/ no humidity at night. For those in more humid climates with warm nights, it may be a bit hot and sweaty at night.
Mulelover, I built a 30" hinged bunk with storage underneath. The storage space is very welcome, but we have a pair of recliners in the living area where the bunk is.....the 30" bunk interferes with use of the recliners. The bunk takes up a good bit of space, and 30" width makes it less comfortable as a seat; analyze how you'll use the remaining width of the bus before you commit. I plan on rebuilding mine into a narrower bench seat that will still fold out into a 30" bunk.
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