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Old 07-17-2013, 09:18 PM   #41
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I have an answer to Glenn's first question. The actual topper cover is in a separate plastic bag under the foam; I'm sure it can be retrofitted to whatever size one cuts the foam. The foam itself is wrapped in thin cloth-like material and then squeezed into the plastic outer wrap. It's somewhat bigger than the foam will get when it's expanded to full size. I just bought a new Costco topper and have it on my garage floor on top of that protective covering.
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:58 PM   #42
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I don't have a topper any more. Too much hassle to store it.
We sleep with our heads next to the fridge ( so you can reach the thermostat without getting out of bed ) and leave the extension up all the time.
What ever you decide, don't put a lot of weight on the extension ( making the bed and leaning on it ) or the supports will bend ( and bend back ).
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Old 07-18-2013, 02:40 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by soultrek View Post
I just purchased the Costco topper, but I have some questions before I unwrap it and can't compress it back into its packaging. 1) It looks like there is material around the foam. Is this correct and, if so, can it be refitted to a trimmed down topper? 2) It looks like the topper will prevent the sink counter extension from being lifted into counter position. Is this so, and how do you work around this? 3) Can the topper be rolled or folded small enough to fit in the storage bin under the seat? If not, how do y'all store it? 4) Any other tips or comfort alternatives? Thanks, Glenn.


That thin cloth-like material is used by the manufacturer to protect the foam while compressing it for packaging. Just like Karen. we used it on the floor to place the foam on while it expanded overnight. The foam topper is easy to lift up when you need to open the counter extension and vice versa. I don't think the topper would fit very well into the storage area under the seats - it's expanding properties would make that it difficult. Ted leaves the small dinette set up as a bed so the topper stays there. He was able to squeeze it into the under seat storage area but it was tough to get in and out so he doesn't bother. Instead of the enclosed topper cover, I bought an inexpensive duvet cover then re-sewed it to fit the topper. I think it looks much nicer. You could store the rest of your bedding under the seats.

I have another topper I roll up and take in my car when I'm going to be meeting up with Ted. That's the only time we use the large dinette for sleeping. I guess it depends on whether you want to leave a bed set up or not. Like I do, you could always roll the foam and leave it in your tow vehicle until you want to set up your bed. I know many people sleep just on the foam seats but I find them uncomfortable. I suppose you could also cut the topper into pieces the same size as the seats - they'd be easier to store but you'd probably want to cover each piece to protect the foam.

You'll have to see what works best for you. It's trial and error. For example, if I'd known beforehand how the seat back cushions sat, I would have done them differently. The curved corners of the trailer don't allow the back cushions to sit flush against the walls. I would have made them in two pieces, one large piece for the back and one small piece for the corner. Then I would have sewn the cover like a hinge so the smaller corner piece would almost bend with the corner. If and when our cushions have to be redone, I will be looking into doing it this way.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:22 AM   #44
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On that counter extension , very handy .... but we too found it hard to put up and down with a foam topper , so we have just remedied that by taking it off removing the trim , and cutting off 2 inches putting the trim back and reattaching , perfect ! Still enough extension , now 9 inches verses the original 11 . ( have never slept in any trailer without a topper )
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:07 PM   #45
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We have the bigger cushions and a 3" topper, so no way the counter extension would go down--even with just the cushions it was a tight squeeze to go down.
We keep the bed made up at all times and do not find the counter extension gets in the way at all...But like Glenn we realized pretty quickly that you can't lean on it....LOL

We got another counter extension put on the wall of the fridge--so I have a bedside table--up high enough that I can sit in the corner and it is not in the way...Great for glasses and books..
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:40 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LBaranyai View Post

For example, if I'd known beforehand how the seat back cushions sat, I would have done them differently. The curved corners of the trailer don't allow the back cushions to sit flush against the walls. I would have made them in two pieces, one large piece for the back and one small piece for the corner.
I had the dinette back cushions made 2-3 inches narrower during the building process so they would sit flush against the side walls and now use throw pillows to fill in around the corner.
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Old 07-18-2013, 02:19 PM   #47
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We have the bigger cushions and a 3" topper, so no way the counter extension would go down--even with just the cushions it was a tight squeeze to go down.
We keep the bed made up at all times and do not find the counter extension gets in the way at all...But like Glenn we realized pretty quickly that you can't lean on it....LOL

We got another counter extension put on the wall of the fridge--so I have a bedside table--up high enough that I can sit in the corner and it is not in the way...Great for glasses and books..
That a great idea...... like that little shelf KarenH has under a small window. Kind of late for us - but that would be so handy .
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:36 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by soultrek View Post
I just purchased the Costco topper, but I have some questions before I unwrap it and can't compress it back into its packaging. 1) It looks like there is material around the foam. Is this correct and, if so, can it be refitted to a trimmed down topper? 2) It looks like the topper will prevent the sink counter extension from being lifted into counter position. Is this so, and how do you work around this? 3) Can the topper be rolled or folded small enough to fit in the storage bin under the seat? If not, how do y'all store it? 4) Any other tips or comfort alternatives? Thanks, Glenn.

Sorry for the slow response. I'm at the Oregon gathering in Bandon with my son and his 3 daughters and four other family members. The question has been covered very well. I thought the material with its zipper was a mattress cover, as it indicated on the box, which could be tailored. (However this was back 3 or so years ago.) I need to pull the corner of the mattress up to lower the counter extension, or squeench it down. As I keep the bed up, this is not an issue. My topper is too big and unwieldy to place anywhere but where it is. I also may have cut it a bit big as I gave it a trim recently (or it flattened a bit.)
The only compact solution I can come up with is an inflatable. Either that or have the cushions made with something like memory foam, but I am not sure how that would work for dining usage.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:46 AM   #49
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I found inflatable mattresses a poor substitute for the proper thing.
They are actually hard, no matter how much air you put in them, as the air is compressed when you lay on it.
They are also cold. A regular mattress warms in the areas you lay on. With an air mattress, all the air inside needs to be warmed.
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:05 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LBaranyai View Post

That thin cloth-like material is used by the manufacturer to protect the foam while compressing it for packaging. Just like Karen. we used it on the floor to place the foam on while it expanded overnight. The foam topper is easy to lift up when you need to open the counter extension and vice versa. I don't think the topper would fit very well into the storage area under the seats - it's expanding properties would make that it difficult. Ted leaves the small dinette set up as a bed so the topper stays there. He was able to squeeze it into the under seat storage area but it was tough to get in and out so he doesn't bother. Instead of the enclosed topper cover, I bought an inexpensive duvet cover then re-sewed it to fit the topper. I think it looks much nicer. You could store the rest of your bedding under the seats.

I have another topper I roll up and take in my car when I'm going to be meeting up with Ted. That's the only time we use the large dinette for sleeping. I guess it depends on whether you want to leave a bed set up or not. Like I do, you could always roll the foam and leave it in your tow vehicle until you want to set up your bed. I know many people sleep just on the foam seats but I find them uncomfortable. I suppose you could also cut the topper into pieces the same size as the seats - they'd be easier to store but you'd probably want to cover each piece to protect the foam.

You'll have to see what works best for you. It's trial and error. For example, if I'd known beforehand how the seat back cushions sat, I would have done them differently. The curved corners of the trailer don't allow the back cushions to sit flush against the walls. I would have made them in two pieces, one large piece for the back and one small piece for the corner. Then I would have sewn the cover like a hinge so the smaller corner piece would almost bend with the corner. If and when our cushions have to be redone, I will be looking into doing it this way.
Thanks to all of you for your inputs so far. I need one clarification, maybe from Lori: Is the "thin cloth-like material" just a packaging wrap, or is it meant to be permanently on the foam (and I'm not referring to the separate white cover included in the box)? The answer to this would seem to affect the trimming and finish of the foam to fit the bed.
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:34 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soultrek View Post
Is the "thin cloth-like material" just a packaging wrap, or is it meant to be permanently on the foam...
It is just a protective layer during packaging and is to be disposed.
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Old 07-19-2013, 02:13 PM   #52
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I found inflatable mattresses a poor substitute for the proper thing.
They are actually hard, no matter how much air you put in them, as the air is compressed when you lay on it.
They are also cold. A regular mattress warms in the areas you lay on. With an air mattress, all the air inside needs to be warmed.
Down Air Mattresses. Very warm, and inflated only enough to barely keep your hips and shoulders off the ground. By far the best thing I have EVER bought for backcountry use. I know a couple people who use them in trailers too.

http://www.mec.ca/product/5018-261/e...-sleeping-pad/
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Old 07-19-2013, 02:37 PM   #53
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I set the rear table in my 17B as a full time bed. I used the original cushions with a 2" topper, and while it was comfortable, it was a bit too high - blocked the 120V receptacle and, as others mentioned, the folding extension. After my first trip & made some changes:

I replaced the original cushions with a 2" folding gym mat, a tapered 5" to 2" topper that my doctor recommended to help with stomach problems, and a high quality 2" topper over that. Both were trimmed to fit with an electric carving knife. I sewed my own cover for the combined toppers so they act as a single mattress. The advantage of the gym mat is it can be folded back to get at the storage areas and provides more support than the toppers alone. because I sleep with my head at the refrigerator side, there is plenty of room for the table extension & receptacle.

I also removed the table hardware so storage under the bed is easier. I have a couple of laundry baskets for storage. Photos of the bed are on my trailer modifications page.

One last note - I found 3/4 sheets at Amazon - they fit the rear mattress (both standard & my modified version) much better than full size sheets. The ones I purchased have a fitted bottom & a top sheet with elastic in the bottom, making it easier to keep the sheet tucked in. Unfortunately, they no longer seem to be available, and the other one's at Amazon have lousy ratings. You could try CosyTown Linens, which makes many different types of 3/4 sheets, but they are expensive.
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Old 07-19-2013, 04:55 PM   #54
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They are expensive but, Escape can provide mattresses for both the front and rear dinettes on the 17b.
We removed the cushions on the rear dinette and put a full time mattress in its place. In the front, we put a full time mattress on top of the existing cushions. That way, if need be, the front bed can still be used as a dinette by moving the smaller mattress onto the rear bed and raising the smaller table.
Our Grandson then gets his own bed when both dinettes have their tables lowered.
VERY comfortable!
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Old 07-20-2013, 08:14 AM   #55
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I modified the fold down shelf so hat it detaches completely for storage under the bed. Then attaches with some shelf brackets. Currently on a cross country bike trip but will post photos when Lindy picks me up with the Lark in 3 weeks
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