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R-179 Couch to Futon Upgrade

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kouka View Drop Down

Joined: 28 Apr 2017
Location: Baltimore, MD
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Points: 5
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    Posted: 15 May 2017 at 1:06pm
I tried my best to give a step-by-step of how I did the mod, but I was winging it so hopefully this makes sense! First off, I opted to go with a futon I found on walmart.com because it was a little wider and deeper than the IKEA one.

What I chose: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Quilted-Memory-Foam-Futon-Teal/45005247?variantFieldId=actual_color

IKEA Balkarp model: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00376932/

What I found after I already started the mod that would fill the space better (but might not work with drawer slides): http://www.valuecityfurniture.com/product/item/bedroom/beds/futons/phyllo-futon-sofa-bed-black/1585188?utm_medium=cpc&gclid=CIDvyLOl8tMCFRNXDQod-Q8G9g&gclsrc=aw.ds

Step 1: I measured the space and it was 75-1/2" x 23ish", so I cut a piece of 3/16" board to that size to lay in the space for 2 reasons: 1. Attach everything to that to avoid screwing into the walls/seat portion of the RPod, 2. There's a seal strip that runs across the front and I want the futon to slide over that to avoid prematurely wearing it out. [HINDSIGHT EDIT: I should've used 1/4 for a little better clearance]

Step 2: Since my futon is 70" wide and the space is 75-1/2", I had space to fill on the sides that would also be used to attach the drawer slides. After some measuring/trial & error, I found that 2 1x4"s with scrap 3/16" sandwiched between worked. [HINDSIGHT EDIT: I would've put the 3/16" piece on the inside so I wouldn't have to notch out the 1x4"s to fit over the trim. You could cut the trim out, but I was trying to alter the RPod as little as possible]

Step 2.5: With my side pieces cut, I drew a line where each one sits on the 75-1/2" x  23ish" piece, took it outside, and then screwed the 2 side pieces to it from underneath.

Step 3: If you do nothing to the futon, chances are it's going to sit about 3" away from the wall in couch mode. I almost left mine that way, but I was feeling adventurous and wanted that 3" extra floor space, so I trimmed the back piece 2-3/4" (just to be safe).
I flipped the futon, back side up, and removed some of the staples from the black back fabric to peel it down so I could see the frame. Then, using a jigsaw, I cut the back 1x1" piece off first (see the image), then cut my 2-3/4" off, reattached that 1x1", and put back the black fabric. This took some time since my jigsaw had to cut through some of the fasteners the factory used, but I'm glad I did it.

Step 4: I wanted my futon to work like a drawer, and instead of trying to screw the drawer slides directly into it, I thought it would be sturdier/work better to put it on a sleigh. With the futon face down, I used the extra piece of 3/16" board (It was originally 4ft x 8ft, so there was a strip 25ish x 8 ft long leftover) and layed it on the futon. I bought some 3/4"x2" oak board for just this, so i cut my pieces and attached the first one by screwing from the bottom of the 3/16" board.

With that attached and snug against the futon, I went to the other side and put my other strip snug against it too. Then I marked it with a pen directly onto the 3/16" board so i could cut that to length (without measuring) and attach the 2nd side strip.

Step 5: Before attaching the sleigh to the futon, I took it inside to give it a test run..

Step 6: Attach sleigh to the bottom of the futon. I added a handle on the front to help with pulling it out (and since my futon came as 2 pieces, it would also connect them)

(2) 1x4" 6ft long
(1) sheet of 3/16 fiber board. It wasn't called that, but it was at Home Depot. I got them to cut the 75-1/2"x23" piece to get into my car
(1) handle
Drawer slides - If you trim the back like I did, get 16". If you leave it, 12"
Screws - I had 1-1/2" drywall screws already, so I used them for everything - to sandwich the side pieces, attach them to the bottom 3/16" sheet, and attach the oak strips to the sleigh.

Out of step with Jah world.
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gnawbone View Drop Down

Joined: 17 Nov 2012
Location: Sterling PA
Status: Offline
Points: 19
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gnawbone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2017 at 7:33am
I'd like to replace the dinette in my 180 with a futon. Your photos and description are nicely done. Have to see what will work in the 180, but I enjoyed seeing your work.
thank you for posting and sharingSmile
Buck Gilpin
Always be sincere, even if you don't mean it!
2016 R-180
2017 Toyota Tacoma
2004 Dodge 3500

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