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Old 08-02-2020, 06:41 PM   #1
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Possible changes to standard gaucho?

Hi everybody,
I am searching ( and brainstorming) on ways to make my Gaucho set-up a great deal lighter and easier to deal with since I can no longer “ lift” the bed “ as is” to get to my batteries and water tank! My back has been broken in several places, and am now getting degeneration as well, so I really do need help!
So far I’m thinking along the lines of replacing the current heavy plywood and heavy mattress with something a whole lot lighter. So far am leaning toward a custom ( or maybe a legless cot) support for the mattress base, then adding a 3-fold tempur-type foam mattress on top. Then I could fold the mattress out of the way ( and perhaps have a hinge at 1/3 of the cot base ) so I can just move that part up by itself.
If I needed to fit the base cot to the current base, I
planned to add an L support around 2 sides, to keep
the whole thing in place. Since the Gaucho ( for one)
is a bit narrower than a twin size mattress, the “ L” setup would allow me a bit of extra room and still stay put....at least in my head!
Any thoughts, suggestions, or possible problems with this idea would be very greatly appreciated. As would any ideas for “ improving” my potential plan.
Since I travel alone, the lifting has become a huge problem for me, and something I’d really love to solve.
Any and all help would be Huge! Thanks to all, well
in advance, and I rather desperately hope to hear from everyone.
ConnieKat
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Old 08-02-2020, 06:48 PM   #2
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Could you post some pics of what you currently have so we can make some suggestions?
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Old 08-02-2020, 07:09 PM   #3
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Hi there,
It’s a standard gaucho set up along the wall behind the driver’s seat, and with the wall of the Starcool at the other end. The bottom is a 3-sided box up against
-and attached to the outer wall. My apologies, but I can’t get pictures right now as it’s rather unreachable
and still “ packed” inside it’s winter home. With covid
i decided to leave it there until I can actually DO something! So am trying to work with my head in the
Interim.
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Old 08-02-2020, 08:16 PM   #4
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I went from a dinette (which was easy to open) in my old SMB to a gaucho in my newer one and I can’t believe how heavy and unwieldy it is to open! Taking off the back cushion makes it easier to open but still hard.

The problem with the gaucho lift mechanism IMO is that it hinges at the very back, which is awkward. I’d love to hear any suggestions to make it easier.
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Old 08-02-2020, 08:28 PM   #5
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I know what you mean about heavy.

My thought is to have the seat frame redone in aluminum tubing and webbing. Then add hydraulic cylinders for lift.
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:57 AM   #6
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Brian W
That’s exactly the problem I am trying to solve! Stay tuned, and maybe we ( all of us) can figure out a better way?
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Old 08-03-2020, 10:06 AM   #7
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1der
That is the solution I came up with too! So far I’ve found two types of “ cots” premade. One has the webbing as you mention...the other has fabric attached to all edges. I am not certain which would be better comfortwise, but either would be a whole lot lighter, especially in aluminum! Maybe we can figure this out together? I haven’t decided yet whether I will need a custom version, or can get away with removing the legs from a standard cot, or outdoor lounger. Any thoughts on that?
Thanks,
ConnieKat
Thanks,
ConnieKat
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Old 08-03-2020, 10:16 AM   #8
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Brain W
With my back, it’s nearly impossible to move! So far it
seems that my best bet is to take out the heavy mattress plus plywood seat and replace with an aluminum frame, with either woven webbing or fabric attached to the edges, then use a fold-up memory foam mattress in 3” thick version ( maybe 4” if not too heavy)! I have already remove the extra pieces that make it wider, plus the back cushions, and am just using regular pillows. But I really want the very heavy plywood and attached heavy mattress gone!
It’s not very comfortable to sleep on anyway! When I can figure out how to add them, I have made some drawings that may clarify my plan a bit better!
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Old 08-03-2020, 10:48 AM   #9
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BrainW
My thoughts on lifting the thing ( once changed out) are either to have the hydraulic lifts ( which I already have) attached to each side—which may prove problematic! Where would you attach it on an aluminum frame, and how? Plus there’s not much space to put the lower end.....OR to have the frame
custom made with 1/3 of it able to lift up on simple
hinges along the outside of the “ cot” frame. That way the folded mattress can sit on the right end of the bed while I’m left with only the cot base 1/3 that
can be easily lifted up by me. What do you think?
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Old 08-03-2020, 12:30 PM   #10
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grampswrx
My gaucho is 72” long if that helps at all. There’a marine toilet and sink area in back ( plus I’ve rigged an indoor shower). Wardrobe on opposite side, and door between that and main section. Small fridge under the A/C at that end of gaucho. Opposite side is
all kitchen counter, sink and cabs. Not exactly a standard floorplan! This van was originally owned by someone named Wilson from Tennessee. Second owner removed the entire propane system! I’m still
trying to decide (IF I can) whether to replace it, or go with solar. I am the 3rd.
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