Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-03-2019, 04:40 PM   #1
Member
 
Flyview's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Southern California
Posts: 84
Lightbulb Re-stuffing gaucho couch

Hi guys,

I'm looking to restore the bottom part of my gaucho couch (the backrest part is fine). The foam has pretty much flattened completely and there's not much cushioning left, especially at the front where your knees would be when sitting.

Has anyone done this? How do you open it up? I looked at the bottom and there's staples holding on the fabric and metal slats that go across and cover the bottom.

P.S. is the backrest supposed to have a leg when it's in the flipped down position to make the full bed? Mine just floats in the air...counterbalancing on the rest of the couch.

I've been living in the van full time for almost 3 years now and it'd be nice to have a comfier bed

Here's a picture of the style of my couch (not mine but identical to mine):
__________________

__________________
Full time vanlifer in my SMB.
@man.and.van on Instagram.
Flyview is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2019, 06:07 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
BrianW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 3,085
For years I thought that fold-down leg was to support the extended bed cushion (mine is a dinette), but didnít understand why it didnít touch the floor. Then I saw in a manual somewhere that itís really just a brace to hold the cushion up and open when accessing underneath.
__________________

BrianW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2019, 06:17 PM   #3
Member
 
Flyview's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Southern California
Posts: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
For years I thought that fold-down leg was to support the extended bed cushion (mine is a dinette), but didnít understand why it didnít touch the floor. Then I saw in a manual somewhere that itís really just a brace to hold the cushion up and open when accessing underneath.
Cool! Mine has a little strap that snaps onto the slide out drawer cabinet beside it to keep the extended cushion up.
__________________
Full time vanlifer in my SMB.
@man.and.van on Instagram.
Flyview is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2019, 08:19 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
mikracer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Posts: 2,186
I installed the support legs on my gaucho. I bought some on amazon and cut them to length. Made for a level bed with the backrest deployed and would recommend it.
__________________
2005 E350 Chateau - V10 - Agile Offroad 4x4
2012 CTS-V Wagon - For the baby...
mikracer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2019, 03:28 PM   #5
Member
 
Flyview's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Southern California
Posts: 84
Has anyone taken apart the couch itself to replace the foam?
__________________
Full time vanlifer in my SMB.
@man.and.van on Instagram.
Flyview is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2019, 04:26 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
TomsBeast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Brentwood, CA
Posts: 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyview View Post
Has anyone taken apart the couch itself to replace the foam?

Not specifically a SMB Sportsmobile goucho, but I've done a boat, and hundreds of car seats. These things, RV's, Boats, are unlike a complicated antique chair, are really upholstered basic, you just need a few tools to do it yourself. Staple remover, diagonal cutters, staple gun (manual is fine), the correct length staples, some hand tools, half a boatload of patience (maybe a glass of wine or two).



90% of RVs are fabric over foam. If your goucho bed has springs like this older class C I once had, like an older car back seat, then it's fabric over foam over burlap or jute pad, over springs. They may have used some hogrings, so you'll need a pound of hogrings and hogring pliers, available from Eastwood.



I taught myself upholstery when in my 20's, 80% of it is just imagining how it was assembled, and doing the inverse of that to take it apart. Carefully. RVs are mostly foam and fabric over wood, super easy to work with. If any of the frame is damaged, fix it. A rotted corner, a chipped out edge, and by repaired with thickened epoxy (West Systems from West Marine is my favorite, epoxy doesen't stick like polyester resin), at worse, a new piece of wood. It all gets covered later, so no need for fine furniture finish, it just needs to be strong and solid, capable of accepting staples again to fasten the fabric, hiding your repair.



Once you unscrew it and flip it over, get it up to working height on a work table covered with a moving blanket. Alternatively, a carpeted floor, but that's hard on the low back and knees. Remove all of the hardware, hinges, brackets, straps and knobs, etc.



You'll likely see nothing more than staples holding the fabric onto plywood.



Diagonal cutters are my favorite for digging staples out, prying and gripping each staple leg with cutters as if they were pliers, being careful cut to cut a leg, as if you were going to r-use each staple (which of course, you won't). It takes a little practice and patience, but it's worth it. If you don't dig the staples out, and there are a lot of them, you run the risk of running a new staple into an old one at reassembly, and in my view, it just looks amateurish. If dealing with hog rings, you'll need very strong and very sharp side cutters, with long handles. Once you carefully remove every staple and or hog ring, access the condition of the fabric and foam. The foam is shot, I got that, but what about the fabric? Will you be re-using the cover? If if sun-damaged, stinky, crumbling then no, but take care of it, as you can have an upholstery shop make you a new cover to match, using what you gave them as a pattern. Reinstall it yourself and save some $$


Take some of the foam with you when foam shopping, cut from the less deteriorated area, as it comes in different densities and weights, which will make all the difference in the world when it come to sitting and sleeping comfort. Choose the new stuff wisely, don't buy junk.



I used to buy my foam rubber from a mattress manufacturer, but some larger fabric stores carry it, and upholstery shops often can order it for you if they don't carry what you need. If over wavy springs, be sure to use a padding between the springs and foam. If not, the springs cut into the foam rubber over time, leaving you the feeling you're sitting/laying on fabric over springs, no bueno.



Or forego most of the above, remove the goucho yourself, break it down to just the cushions and drop it off at your friendly neighborhood upholstery shop, save a few $.
__________________
1995 E350 7.3 Diesel, 4x4 high roof camper, UJOR 4" lift
TomsBeast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2019, 05:29 PM   #7
Member
 
Flyview's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Southern California
Posts: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomsBeast View Post
Not specifically a SMB Sportsmobile goucho, but I've done a boat, and hundreds of car seats. These things, RV's, Boats, are unlike a complicated antique chair, are really upholstered basic, you just need a few tools to do it yourself. Staple remover, diagonal cutters, staple gun (manual is fine), the correct length staples, some hand tools, half a boatload of patience (maybe a glass of wine or two).



90% of RVs are fabric over foam. If your goucho bed has springs like this older class C I once had, like an older car back seat, then it's fabric over foam over burlap or jute pad, over springs. They may have used some hogrings, so you'll need a pound of hogrings and hogring pliers, available from Eastwood.



I taught myself upholstery when in my 20's, 80% of it is just imagining how it was assembled, and doing the inverse of that to take it apart. Carefully. RVs are mostly foam and fabric over wood, super easy to work with. If any of the frame is damaged, fix it. A rotted corner, a chipped out edge, and by repaired with thickened epoxy (West Systems from West Marine is my favorite, epoxy doesen't stick like polyester resin), at worse, a new piece of wood. It all gets covered later, so no need for fine furniture finish, it just needs to be strong and solid, capable of accepting staples again to fasten the fabric, hiding your repair.



Once you unscrew it and flip it over, get it up to working height on a work table covered with a moving blanket. Alternatively, a carpeted floor, but that's hard on the low back and knees. Remove all of the hardware, hinges, brackets, straps and knobs, etc.



You'll likely see nothing more than staples holding the fabric onto plywood.



Diagonal cutters are my favorite for digging staples out, prying and gripping each staple leg with cutters as if they were pliers, being careful cut to cut a leg, as if you were going to r-use each staple (which of course, you won't). It takes a little practice and patience, but it's worth it. If you don't dig the staples out, and there are a lot of them, you run the risk of running a new staple into an old one at reassembly, and in my view, it just looks amateurish. If dealing with hog rings, you'll need very strong and very sharp side cutters, with long handles. Once you carefully remove every staple and or hog ring, access the condition of the fabric and foam. The foam is shot, I got that, but what about the fabric? Will you be re-using the cover? If if sun-damaged, stinky, crumbling then no, but take care of it, as you can have an upholstery shop make you a new cover to match, using what you gave them as a pattern. Reinstall it yourself and save some $$


Take some of the foam with you when foam shopping, cut from the less deteriorated area, as it comes in different densities and weights, which will make all the difference in the world when it come to sitting and sleeping comfort. Choose the new stuff wisely, don't buy junk.



I used to buy my foam rubber from a mattress manufacturer, but some larger fabric stores carry it, and upholstery shops often can order it for you if they don't carry what you need. If over wavy springs, be sure to use a padding between the springs and foam. If not, the springs cut into the foam rubber over time, leaving you the feeling you're sitting/laying on fabric over springs, no bueno.



Or forego most of the above, remove the goucho yourself, break it down to just the cushions and drop it off at your friendly neighborhood upholstery shop, save a few $.
Awesome, thanks fo the detailed reply! It sounds like quite the project but I think I'm going to attempt it at some point this fall before I take off south again. I guess if I'm doing the bottom I might as well do the top too. How are the buttons hooked up on the inside?

The fabric is in great shape: not stained, and not worn. The original foam is a yellowish orange. I actually put a plastic sheet in behind the metal slats to cover the foam as it was just dusting everything underneath. Is there a particular type of foam you can recommend that will last longer? Is there something available that's better than what they used 25+ years ago?
__________________
Full time vanlifer in my SMB.
@man.and.van on Instagram.
Flyview is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2019, 07:19 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
TomsBeast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Brentwood, CA
Posts: 859
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyview View Post
Awesome, thanks fo the detailed reply! It sounds like quite the project but I think I'm going to attempt it at some point this fall before I take off south again. I guess if I'm doing the bottom I might as well do the top too. How are the buttons hooked up on the inside?

The fabric is in great shape: not stained, and not worn. The original foam is a yellowish orange. I actually put a plastic sheet in behind the metal slats to cover the foam as it was just dusting everything underneath. Is there a particular type of foam you can recommend that will last longer? Is there something available that's better than what they used 25+ years ago?

In that case, reuse the fabric cover for sure.



Buttons are installed in a couple different ways, you'll have to investigate by kneeling on the cushion, and compressing the cushion around the button, while gently pulling the button. Look how it's attached, usually a wire hook (simply unhook the button from its wire) or heavy duty string (that you cut, replace latter at re-assembly).


I'm no foam expert, I don't think it's changed much over the years. I'd replace the worn out stuff with exactly what I took out, or as close as I could get.
__________________
1995 E350 7.3 Diesel, 4x4 high roof camper, UJOR 4" lift
TomsBeast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2019, 07:54 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
BrianW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 3,085
I want to do this for our dinette cushions, so this is great info! Thanks.
BrianW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2019, 10:40 AM   #10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 5
I have a '93 SMB with the same lovely blue fabric...so timely.


My bench cushion was bad as well, but the fabric (unfortunately) was fine. I took the cushion itself into an auto upholstery shop and had them do stretching over new polyurethane foam. very happy with results. $300 if I recall correctly. worth it.

Oh, and while there, I had them add a piece of 1/2" thick MDF (like plywood without splinters) as the base of the frame; so much stiffer


good luck -
__________________

Geesh is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:23 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.