Murphy bed or futon? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 12-05-2017, 03:28 PM   #1
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Murphy bed or futon?

Hi All! This probably has been discussed before, but for some reason my searches are not producing anything fruitful.

Has anyone ever ordered or modified their trailer to have a Murphy bed or some sort of folding bed/futon instead of a permanent bed?
Just wondering if ETI even offers trailers without installed permanent beds, or with some sort of couch/futon set up instead. Of course, I'll contact them. But I was just wondering if anybody has done this and if so, could you post photos?

Replacement of a permanent bed with something like this just might add enough floor space for me to wheel around in a 21'.
Thanks!
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Old 12-05-2017, 03:52 PM   #2
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I think the bed in the 21 model is a structural component, perhaps ETI may have better information?
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Old 12-05-2017, 03:56 PM   #3
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I assume that the idea would be to change only the permanent bed (not the dinette) of a 21'. To get useful space, the bed would need to retract toward the driver's side wall. This would be similar to the side gaucho plans of classic fiberglass travel trailers such as the Boler B1700SG. In the Boler (whether the side gaucho or rear gaucho like mine), a bed-length sofa/couch pulls out to grow to bed width. Normally this provides seating along the full length of the furniture in sofa mode; however, in an Escape 21' the end at the front of the trailer would have the black tank in the way of sitting at the very front, so perhaps a box over the tank could serve as a side table.

The Boler and Bigfoot gauchos pulled out the base and flipped the backrest cushion down, so a futon-style cushion would work. The much more common modern equivalent is called a "jackknife" sofa/bed, and does essentially work like a typical futon.

A similar sofa/bed design could be used at the back (with consideration for the location of services such as the water heater) but there would still be a step up in the floor, so I don't know if this would be useful. The forward and central part of the floor step could be eliminated by a dropped section of floor (like the original 21' and 5.0TA floor), but that would be substantial customization.

I don't think there is the side-to-side room to get a Murphy bed (hinged along the length so folding to one side) deployed in the Escape 21' bed space. Some RVs use a Murphy bed hinged across the head, with the head at one side of the coach so that the sleeping position is across the room; however, that is only done with a widebody coach or with the head of the bed in a slide-out, as it is too long for the width of a narrow RV such as any Escape.

I'm not aware of anyone putting a pull-out gaucho or jackknife style sofa-bed in any location in any Escape. You get to be the first.
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I think the bed in the 21 model is a structural component, perhaps ETI may have better information?
I think the bed framing is light wood like the other cabinets, and does not support a vertical cabinet extending to the roof. It would brace the wall in that area, stiffening the lower part of the shell, as do all of the cabinets. It seems unlikely to have any meaningful structure role other than to support the bed, but a similar concern has been raised with rear dinette base cabinets, and I agree that asking ETI is appropriate.

The bed cabinet does enclose the black waste tank. That's not an issue structurally (the bed framing doesn't hold up the tank), but anything else in that space must still cover the black tank and the first part of the black waste discharge plumbing.
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:04 PM   #5
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If customizing the front of the 21' floorplan for access, I suggest looking into reducing the bed width from full/double (54 inches) to something like twin, to allow sideways expansion of the bathroom (which is already the widest of any Escape floorplan). Yes, it's a two-piece moulded bathroom shell which would require substantial custom work; it would be difficult to incorporate this into the production process, but perhaps the trailer could be built with front interior unfinished and the bathroom shell and plumbing fixtures supplied not installed, for completion after leaving the factory.
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:10 PM   #6
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I had a Lance 1880 trailer that had a front futon bed/sofa, very useful.
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:35 PM   #7
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I appreciate such in-depth and thoughtful responses! Thank you both.

Brian, you gave such a thorough and logical explanation of how it would and wouldn't work depending on the configuration and what would need to be moved. I'll take a close look at the Boler for comparison to see exactly what you mean.
At first glance in reading your comments, it sounds like considerable changes would have to be made to accommodate certain configurations of such a bed...shape, size, the type of mechanism, etc. And of course, I should have realized that Reace and Tammy had a reason for arranging the layout the way they did.
But you've pointed me in the right direction, so I'll have a look at everything further.

Again, you guys are great! Thanks for your time and helpful comments!
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Old 12-05-2017, 04:36 PM   #8
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CPA - what a great set up! That's similar to what I had envisioned. Thanks for posting the photo!
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Old 12-05-2017, 05:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artlady View Post
I'll take a close look at the Boler for comparison to see exactly what you mean.
It can be tough to find information for old RVs... so this is a link to a 1978 brochure showing the floorplans, with photos so you can see the gaucho in sofa mode.
Fiberglass RV > Downloads > Trailer Brand Manufacturer > Boler > Boler_Brochure_1978
The pulled-out width of the gaucho as bed is the width of the base plus the backrest cushion.
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Old 12-05-2017, 06:04 PM   #10
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This is the floor plan of my Chalet Aframe with gaucho in the back. It works great and is only used as a bed if the grands are along. The front is kept as my bed and hasn't been used as a dinette except for the first night I got it.
A-Frame | Chalet, Inc.
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