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PostPosted: July 4th, 2015, 4:34 am 
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You mention you took out your club chairs and table. I am look for some to change out with my dinette. Are you interested in selling them?
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Phil


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PostPosted: July 4th, 2015, 8:45 am 
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Hi Phil, and welcome to the forum!

I did see your note last night (in the Classifieds), and I considered whether I would want to sell the club chairs/table, which I have removed (although I still have parts of them in use - bases and swivel). Right now I think I want to hang onto them, but now that I know someone is looking for them I'll mull it over and will report back if I change my mind.

Finding a set would be the easiest. On the other hand I know one fellow (Bud, I believe, although I believe he is since deceased) changed from dinette to clubs and made his own (bought the chairs of course but made the bases and table unit). Basically it is two box platforms that are around 11" high and 24" x 24" width/length. Then two club chairs mounted to the top with swivels (the chairs have built in fore/aft adjustment by squeezing a lever on the arm). I guess the specific Flexsteel chairs are no longer made, but the Flexsteel 1341 barrel chair looks similar. (Not cheap though.)

http://www.braddandhall.com/productcart ... ategory=73

I realize you'd much prefer to find a set with all the bases/swivels/etc. (and many people do seem to switch around - I've seen quite a few trades/sells between dinette/club chairs/twin beds).

One thing I would do differently is the chairs. I just mention this in case you don't find a stock set and want to make it an advantage. The forward "box" has to be X height to clear the furnace (just barely!). Then the design of the chairs is very "high," with a big hollow area under the cushion (I guess this looks sumptuous, or maybe they are meant to be mounted on a bracket on the floor not a box). Because of that, I had no hope of touching the floor with my feet while sitting in them, which made them rather uncomfortable. If you are really tall/long legged, this may be a benefit vs. a problem though.

If you do end up wanting to make your own (or have someone do it), I do have quite a few photos of how they go together.

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PostPosted: August 13th, 2015, 6:58 pm 
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So I'm on Phase II of this project. Lived with the mock-ups for a month or so (which was very useful), and now moving on towards putting in "real" stuff.

Had a little fun today: Removed the upper cabinet that's over the "dining" side of the living room. This one is about five feet long (because it originally abutted the microwave cabinet - the same cabinet on the couch/sink side is eight feet long).

Stepped on the scale with it after removing it: 75+#. (Not counting all the wires, speaker, lights, carpet pieces, etc.) Pretty hefty, probably mostly thanks to the MDF construction and the thick oak doors. It was attached securely by about 8 or so screws into the wall plywood above the window, and then similar ones going up into the plywood that's inside the roof. No signs of water or weakness, so that's good. Still, I'm going to try to make the new ones lighter (or at least no heavier!). Will weigh them before putting them in just for fun.

The big thing I played around with was what shape to make the new ones. I never really cared for the steeply angled Concourse style (although the overhanging upper part was surprisingly handy compared to what I thought when I first saw them). But then what to change to? Three guesses what came next....

Yep, mockups (but just cardboard and foam this time). I tried three shape variations, and two placement variations.

1) Of course the first "option" was just to duplicate the existing shape, but in wood I like.

2) Then I tried a mockup that's the same as the "square" (non-angled) Premier cabinets. These come out from the wall around 1-3/8" further on the bottom, but then end up around 3-1/4" closer to the wall at the top (since the front is vertical). So they kind of split the difference in terms of size. I liked this better than the original steep angle, but.... I still wasn't wowed (plus the marks/holes in the ceiling carpet would be exposed from the original cabinets if I brought the tops back that far). Also, I didn't like how close this style upper cabinet came to my head when at the stove (although it's VASTLY better than the original huge microwave box that required "limbo cooking position").

3) As they say, third time is the charm! The third mockup was an angled cabinet front, but with a much shallower angle than the original Concourse one. So sort of a cross between the two. Right away I knew this was the one. It had a little "something" that the square one didn't have, but wasn't so steep as the existing ones, which I never really liked. So then I played around with how deep to make them (i.e. how far out they come into the room). For example, keep the depth the same at the bottom but bring them in at the top? Or put the top in the same place and thus have them come out more at the bottom? These were just matters of inches, but they count in such a small space.

I also decided to make the stove-side cabinet one long cabinet, like the one on the other side is. But I still wanted some delineation between the kitchen cabinets and the "living room" ones (ha ha, as if it is not just one tiny room). I settled on two longish doors in the living room part (around 30" each) and then a smaller door over the stove (will be repeated on sink/couch side). So the cabinets will be more "all doors" vs. the current look of a large piece of sheet goods with small doors scattered across it.

Sorry it's all words and no photos, but figured someone might find it interesting nonetheless.

Oh, I did find one little mystery: After I had disconnected all of the electrical that runs under the false floor of the cabinet (110 outlets, speaker wire, light switches, lighting, etc.), I found the end of a coax cable - back near the microwave outlet. Hmm?

After I got the cabinet off the wall I could get a really good look at the wire chase that's normally behind it (above the window). The coax cable ran forward into the VCR cabinet. And then.... it was coiled up and neatly P-clipped to the outside wall of the overcab with another plain end (that is, the type of end you screw into the back of a TV or etc.). I wonder what that was about? Obviously stock, and yet all the TV wires are on the couch side. And the stereo has its antenna plugged in (which comes up the pillar). Interesting.

Speaking of which, I think I'm going to try to do something different with the wires and things that are (were) on the bottom of the cabinet. Reason is the "false floor" that is there to accommodate them took at least 1.5" of height from the cabinet.

Okay, probably way too many words, but it's too "shamblesy" to take photos just now.

Hoosier: As my "distant partner in crime," how's your project coming along? My new refrigerator came a week or so ago, so I now have it to play with for real vs. just the dimensions.

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PostPosted: August 14th, 2015, 9:05 am 
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Jealous of the remodel. Really enjoy the posts.


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PostPosted: August 16th, 2015, 3:05 pm 
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1998: I'm glad you are enjoying the posts.

I decided to start a separate thread for the forward/upper cabinets, since it was starting to creep away from the refrigerator/stove area. That is here:

viewforum.php?f=7

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PostPosted: August 16th, 2015, 4:10 pm 
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Well shoot, my other thread doesn't seem to show up now, and so that is a link to nowhere. I don't know what happened as I "went" to that thread in order to get the link.... so it did exist. Manitou, can you by any chance "see" where it went? (I even had a juicy remodeling photo :) )

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PostPosted: September 13th, 2015, 9:19 am 
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Location: Indiana
Blue~Go wrote:
Hoosier: As my "distant partner in crime," how's your project coming along? My new refrigerator came a week or so ago, so I now have it to play with for real vs. just the dimensions.


New Vitrifrigo has been ordered. A new 2 burner cooktop and microwave are ready for installation. My unit is in the process of a complete suspension overhaul (including the MorRyde), new tires, shocks, alignment, etc.. A total roof "peel and seal" was done and all running lights were replaced with LEDs. The full paint job (bc/cc) will be applied next week. While the interior on the fridge side is somewhat exposed for the remodel, I thought I would try to fish a video/power cable from the rear to the overhead cab for a full time rear view mirror/camera set up. Tadi Brothers seems to have the best selection for these products. If anyone has attempted this type of mod, please advise.

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PostPosted: May 14th, 2017, 11:06 am 
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Just catching up on this thread. These are some great ideas. I am looking to remodel the rear of my 2001 Concourse because the old panels have quite a bit of water damage from the fridge vent.

Does anyone have the CAD or measurements they could post from any of your remodels? I was hoping to drop in a slightly bigger fridge and I'd like to play around in the model.


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PostPosted: May 14th, 2017, 11:21 am 
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Wow all your modifications look great. I need to do something similar after I found a bunch of water damage in the wood panels from the fridge vent. I am considering the fridge and stove swap and want to play around with different models of DC and Gas/AC fridges. I also think that we are going to to completely remove the microwave as we never really use it. I think if we add a gas range that will cover 90 percent of the cooking we could have done in the microwave.

Does anyone still have the CAD or measurements of your prototype or final versions? Also what sort of panels did you end up installing? I don't think I am going to put back in MDF.


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PostPosted: May 14th, 2017, 9:19 pm 
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Hi THrunner and welcome!

I don't have any CAD drawings - I basically started with the existing panels and then either copied them or modified the shape to fit what I wanted. A few notes though:

1) You will notice that the wall between the stove and the fridge (and also the wall between the sink and the shower) are plywood, not MDF like most of the others. These are somewhat important walls for keeping the shape of the rig (walls not bowing, overhead not sagging). They would be called "bulkheads" in a boat. Now to be sure, Chinook didn't make these as structural as they could be (they would be more securely affixed to the outer fiberglass in a boat, say), but they do something. So, as when remodeling a house, they don't necessarily need to stay the same, but their function (IMO) should be kept, whether by the original means or different means. It could even be improved upon.

2) This is probably obvious, but the reason the refrigerator is not on the floor is that beneath it is the generator box, which lives partly above the floor and partly below it. There is a little bit of extra room between the top of it and the fridge because they have thick padding and "shaggy" carpet there, but we're talking inches not feet.

3) If you are changing to a compressor refrigerator (vs. an absorption/propane one), then you won't need the sealed off chimney (since you aren't burning a fire back there any more), but you of course do need some ventilation. But there are more choices (keep the same, modify, vent internally, etc.). But be aware that there is a "differently shaped" part of the roof over the upper rear/outer refrigerator. You can see it on the roof - it's the flat spot that the upper vent sits on. So the cavity left over when you remove the fridge won't be a completely perfect "square."

4) By looking up the installation manual for the RM3663 (that's the Dometic refrigerator that came in my rig), I was able to get an idea of the size of the "hole" ahead of time. They call for a space that's 23-11/16" wide, 53-3/4 tall [however see note above about "perfect square"), and 24" deep. So that gives you an idea of the space you have to work with. Since a compressor refrigerator doesn't have a complete "pachinko machine" of tubes, burner, and etc. behind it, you will generally find that a refrigerator with the same exterior dimensions will have a larger cubic footage interior. Or, conversely, you can have the same (or smaller) interior size and add more insulation.

In my case I wanted a "going out the door set down" counter above the refrigerator plus a wider hallway, and I'm not feeding a family of four, so I purposely went with a smaller refrigerator. I went with a Vitrifrigo 130. A friend who had the same "hole" left over (not a Chinook but same old propane refrigerator) went with a Vitrifrigo 150. This is a medium sized refrigerator with a separate freezer door (mine has the plastic flap door inside) and we were able to put vast amounts of insulation around it plus make a "pan locker" in some extra height space. Don't quote me on it but I think the Vitrifrigo DP2600 would fit the hole with just a little bit of extra space for insulation and is actually larger inside than our originals (I think it's like 8 cu. feet). But of course check on the space if you are going to buy one (edit: Oh, I think member pdemarest might have installed a DP2600 so could say how it fit). I found that Sure Marine has a GREAT multi brand size comparison which you can order by Brand, height, capacity, width, etc. Here is a link to that. I bought my refrigerator (among other things) from them and they are good folks.

http://www.suremarineservice.com/Refrig ... rison.aspx

I like to look for a refrigerator with a Danfoss compressor, but there are other good options as well.

5) For replacing the MDF, I used a multiply type plywood, but there are other good options as well. A marine ply would be even more water resistant, but I wanted multiply for other reasons, and it's already much less "sponge like" than MDF (which is both heavy and prone to puffing/disintegrating when wet… whoopee). It kind of depends on if you are trying to match your interior/re-use the original doors, go for a different look, or whatever. I was "off the hook," as I didn't like the oak raised-panel doors (just not my style).

If I got off track, or missed something in your questions, feel free to re-ask.

BG

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