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View Full Version : A home made change that makes a lot of sense!!!



Tsys100718
07-16-2018, 06:41 PM
I was camping recently with my little sister. She has a Forest River TT and it had something that I thought was absolutely worthy of adding to my Trail Runner 302SLE.

The storage space under the sides of the U-shaped dinette WAS only accessible from above in the Trail Runner. The Forest River TT to put dr had a drawer on one side. Why only one side, I have no clue.

So I altered my dinette to add drawers to both sides. I have not finished the actual doors yet since I am waiting for information from Heartland regarding the upholstery fabric I want to use to upholster the drawer fronts. Removal of the plywood insert on the dinette was replaced with drawers approx. 17 inches wide and 40 inches deep.

Here is a couple of pics showing what I did.

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jbeletti
07-17-2018, 12:26 PM
A worthy mod indeed. Nice work too. Thanks for sharing and be sure to add the completed pictures once you get the fronts upholstered. Heartland should be able to sell you the fabric.

Bogie
07-17-2018, 01:07 PM
Nice work! Had this same idea in mind for my old Sundance. Unfortunately, didn't get around to it before buying our new rig.

Tsys100718
07-19-2018, 09:54 AM
A worthy mod indeed. Nice work too. Thanks for sharing and be sure to add the completed pictures once you get the fronts upholstered. Heartland should be able to sell you the fabric.
Well Sir, you were wrong about Heartland selling the fabric. They wouldn't even give me the manufacturer or even the style/pattern number. Worthless is too kind a word for the assistance I recieved when I contacted Heartland. I guess I'll have to find a place where I can cut a swatch and go to an upholstery shop to try and match it as close as possible.
This would be much easier than trying to match what is probably a proprietary stain color for the woodwork.

JohnDar
07-19-2018, 11:58 AM
As far as the stain, take a piece of trim to a paint store and they should be able to mix you a small can to match.
If you canít match the fabric, find an accenting color/pattern.


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jbeletti
07-19-2018, 03:32 PM
Well Sir, you were wrong about Heartland selling the fabric. They wouldn't even give me the manufacturer or even the style/pattern number. Worthless is too kind a word for the assistance I recieved when I contacted Heartland. I guess I'll have to find a place where I can cut a swatch and go to an upholstery shop to try and match it as close as possible.
This would be much easier than trying to match what is probably a proprietary stain color for the woodwork.

So sorry about this. Expect a call.

Tsys100718
07-27-2018, 06:38 PM
Well, I finally got the drawer fronts done.
58774587755878358784

Thought the button would be fitting and I really like the somewhat hidden look of the dark bronze clam shell drawer pull.

Any comments?

JohnDar
07-27-2018, 08:17 PM
Well, I finally got one of the drawer fronts done.
5877458775

Thought the button would be fitting and I really like the somewhat hidden look of the dark bronze clam shell drawer pull.

Any comments?

Looks fine!


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jbeletti
07-27-2018, 08:25 PM
Rich - nice finishing touch.

BrannonB
07-30-2018, 01:54 PM
That looks GREAT!!!! I have been wanting to do this as well, but my carpentry skills are below par so I havenít tackled it yet. But that looks good.

Tsys100718
07-30-2018, 03:54 PM
That looks GREAT!!!! I have been wanting to do this as well, but my carpentry skills are below par so I haven’t tackled it yet. But that looks good.

No big deal. Step by step, it's easy. My apologies for the rather lengthy reply.

Step 1: Remove everything from the dinette, including cushions, seat OSB and anything else you find in the way.
Step 2: Using a hammer and a piece of wood small enough to fit the plywood insert. Knock out the insert. and either remove the staples that remain, or hammer them flush. If you do not have an insert like I did, then a hole will need to be cut. Be sure to cover the wood with painters tape to avoid inevitable scratches while cutting the opening. Be sure to keep the opening roughly 2 1/4 in. from the floor.
Step 3: Measure the opening. Mine measured 9 inches high, 17 1/4 inches wide and 44 inches deep.
Step 4: Cut 16 pieces of 1x4 to the depth of your dinette bench. Cut them so they lay flat on the floor. I did not find it necessary to remove the carpet, but to each his own.
Step 5: Screw and glue two 1x4 s together into a 90 degree angle. One for each side of the bench seat. so four total for this step. Set aside to let the glue dry, 1 hour should be plenty of time.
Step 6: Lay your joined angled pieces on the floor and place 2 - 1x4s on top of each one. The upright angled piece should line up with the edge of thee opening, creating a guide rail for the drawer.
Step 7: I chose 3 inch glue coated deck screws for this step, if you removed the carpet you might get 2-3/4 inch screws . The 3 inch length fastened the boards down and did not cause any issues with my slide. Drive one screw in the front middle of the top 1x4 driving it through all 3 boards. If you use a light weight wood like pine predrilling should not be necessary. If you choose to use a hardwood for the top rail then you may need to predrill to prevent splitting. One screw in the front, keeping the upright rail lined up with the edges of the opening and one screw in the back. The thickness of the 3 boards will stop and need for a center screw. Be sure all screw heads are sunk just below the surface.
Repeat Step 7 until you have rails and guides on both sides of both openings.

So far, no special skill required. That part will all be hidden anyway, right!

Step 8: Measure distance between rails inside the opening. Mine was 17 1/4 inches. So I made my drawers 17 inches wide.
Step 9: Measure the depth of the opening. Mine was 44 inches, so I made my drawers 40 inches deep.
Step 10: Cut 1x6 lumber to size. Cut the side pieces to length. Mine was 40 inches.
Step 11: Cut 1x6 lumber to size MINUS 1-1/2 inches. This will allow the sides to fit inside the side 1x6s. This is the best easy drawer construction, without special corner joints. I personally used locking dado joints.
Step 12: Glue and screw the sides (40 in) and the ends(15 1/2) into a rudimentary box shape. Check square as necessary. This is best done by measuring diagonals from corner to corner and racking the box until both measurements are equal. Set aside to let the glue dry. 1 hour should be plenty.
Step 13: Obtain 1/4 plywood for the bottoms. You can have it cut to size at your local Home Depot or Lowes or you can cut it your self.
Step 14: Nail the bottoms to the premade boxes. I used 5/8 in. coated staples and an air stapler.
Step 15: Test fit the drawers.
Step 16: Measure the distance inside the rails you screwed to the floor nearest the opening. Mine was a bit over 12 inches.
Step 17: Cut a piece of any left over lumber at least 1/2 think. Left over 1x4 works great for this. Glue and screw/nail it centered to the bottom of the drawer about 1 inch in from the end. This will act as a stop to keep the drawer from sliding out while travelling.

Now the hardest part.

Step 18: Obtain 3/4 plywood to cover the openings. I made mine 2 inches taller and 2 inches wider than the opening in the dinette benches.
Step 19: TRY to get Heartland to sell you ONE yard of the fabric your cushions are covered in. I had no luck with this step, so I improvised. I Took one of the covers off a small cushion and went to JoAnn Fabrics and matched it as closely as possible. If you are uncomfortable with upholstery, I am sure there are local shops available that will handle it material and all for a small fee.
Step 20: Attach drawer fronts to drawer boxes. I used 8 coated 1 1/4 deck screws for this. I drilled six holes about 1/4 deep on the ends and the middle of the drawer box front. Then 2 through holes that made an X pattern or the pattern of a five on a set of dice. These holes were just a bit smaller than the diameter of the screws being used.
Step 21: Space upholstered drawer front centered against the front to the drawer box, using another piece if whatever was used for the stop blocks to make the boxes somewhat level. This will also give you roughly 3/4 in below the opening for the upholstered front. Which is just about perfect, IMHO. Start with the two through holes and attach the upholstered front with 8 screw total. Overkill maybe, but the front will not come off accidently.


That's it, your done and you have the pride of saying 'I did it myself'

BrannonB
07-31-2018, 08:01 AM
Thanks for the very detailed write up. That gives me more reason to do it, now I have all instructions. I have done a couple mods to mine, but hurried through it and didnít match the stain perfectly and have never went back and corrected it. But thatís just my lack of patience in wanting to get a job done. I will be trying this soon. Maybe even this weekend.

Here is a link to my thread about my mods.

https://heartlandowners.org/showthread.php/70109-Brannonís-Pioneer-DS310-mods