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Author Topic: Adding Navy Berthing Racks as Bunks  (Read 338 times)

Jacoblag

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Adding Navy Berthing Racks as Bunks
« on: June 03, 2018, 12:48:56 PM »
Hi everyone, I am brand new to RVing and am contemplating getting a fifth wheel / toy hauler to live in with my family of 7 for a few months.  With a family of this size, I'm concerned about sleeping space. I would rather avoid having any kids sharing beds (this revelation came last night while putting two of my daughters down who share a bunk bed; the youngest couldn't sleep because her sister was "breathing too loud", which caused her to scream and thus drown out any actual sound her sister was making...).

In trying to think of creative ways of solving this problem, I fell back on my experience in the Navy and wondered whether it was feasible to install berthing from a Navy ship. Obviously weight is a large concern. How much do Bunks usually weigh? What would be the upper limit on weight that you would consider?

If you're fortunate enough to be unfamiliar with Navy Berthing, you can see what I'm talking about here: http://ussnewjersey.com/images/rect62-22.jpg

Thanks!

Jacoblag

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Re: Adding Navy Berthing Racks as Bunks
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2018, 01:01:19 PM »
As a point of reference, the "shipping weight" of a triple bunk is 455 lbs.

HappyWanderer

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Re: Adding Navy Berthing Racks as Bunks
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2018, 01:21:55 PM »
The kids will get used to sharing beds. We traveled all over the country with eight people in a pop-up.

Everyone slept just fine.
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Pugapooh

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Re: Adding Navy Berthing Racks as Bunks
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2018, 02:36:41 PM »
Are you planning on traveling?  Or staying in one place?  All seven of you riding in one vehicle?  I'm just wondering if two RVs makes sense.  Besides sleeping space,is one bathroom enough?  Grew up in a family of seven,we really would have been happier with a second toilet,at least.  And that was in a sticks and bricks.

Any thoughts on privacy needs?  Rainy days?  Not saying it can't work for you,just some things to consider.
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Jacoblag

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Re: Adding Navy Berthing Racks as Bunks
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2018, 03:54:32 PM »
The kids will get used to sharing beds. We traveled all over the country with eight people in a pop-up.

Everyone slept just fine.

Thanks for the reply, you're probably right. We aren't used to such a small space, but I'm sure, like everything, we'll get used to it. My wife has since found someone who made a partition to separate some of the larger beds into "two", that might work. That being said, I'm still interested in the feasibility of my idea. I've seen pictures of other people building bunk beds, I'll have to compare the weight of doing so. Also, a toy hauler is built to haul ATVs and what not, which probably weigh close to what the bunk weighs anyway.

Arch Hoagland

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Re: Adding Navy Berthing Racks as Bunks
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2018, 03:54:53 PM »
We raised three girls and they always slept in the back of the pickup truck that had a shell on it or in a tent. 

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Jacoblag

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Re: Adding Navy Berthing Racks as Bunks
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2018, 03:56:49 PM »
Are you planning on traveling?  Or staying in one place?  All seven of you riding in one vehicle?  I'm just wondering if two RVs makes sense.  Besides sleeping space,is one bathroom enough?  Grew up in a family of seven,we really would have been happier with a second toilet,at least.  And that was in a sticks and bricks.

Any thoughts on privacy needs?  Rainy days?  Not saying it can't work for you,just some things to consider.

We are planning on some of both. We will travel with two vehicles (a van for most of the people and a truck to pull the 5th wheel), but we're only going to have one RV.

The kids are all 10 and under, so privacy isn't a huge concern... Yet...

blw2

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Re: Adding Navy Berthing Racks as Bunks
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2018, 05:05:26 PM »
I remember looking at several different bumper pull TT designs that were bunkhouse arrangements that had sleeping capacity nearly to fit you.  I'm thinking of one that had a bunk room in the rear with 4 bunks and plenty of floor space for an air mattress + the queen or king in the front 'master bedroom' + the usual living room sofa and dinette beds...

The problem I found was in the tow vehicle.... nothing even for my 3 kid family of 5 that's comfortable on a long haul.  5th wheel complicates that even more, forcing to a crew cab truck that seat at most 5.  With a big bumper pull at least  a 350 1 ton passenger van might handle it with plenty of seats...but even that's probably close.

They should start making heavy duty suburbans again.
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

Jacoblag

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Re: Adding Navy Berthing Racks as Bunks
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2018, 05:28:14 PM »
I remember looking at several different bumper pull TT designs that were bunkhouse arrangements that had sleeping capacity nearly to fit you.  I'm thinking of one that had a bunk room in the rear with 4 bunks and plenty of floor space for an air mattress + the queen or king in the front 'master bedroom' + the usual living room sofa and dinette beds...

The problem I found was in the tow vehicle.... nothing even for my 3 kid family of 5 that's comfortable on a long haul.  5th wheel complicates that even more, forcing to a crew cab truck that seat at most 5.  With a big bumper pull at least  a 350 1 ton passenger van might handle it with plenty of seats...but even that's probably close.

They should start making heavy duty suburbans again.

That would be nice! We've considered this problem and settled on driving two vehicles, one to pull and one to carry passengers.

Molaker

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Re: Adding Navy Berthing Racks as Bunks
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2018, 06:04:27 PM »
Bunks don't have to be so heavy. The WWII style bunks would be easy to construct, be much lighter, and can be made to fold up easily for more living space when not in use.  The Navy had this style bunk before the more current style like your link showed.  They were designed to fold up against the wall (bulkhead) or posts (stanchions).  They were a simple aluminum frame with heavy cord stretched across to serve as slats.  Add a mattress and voilà, bunks.  And they might weigh 100 lbs.
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blw2

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Re: Adding Navy Berthing Racks as Bunks
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2018, 06:13:50 PM »
just had a thought... could go really old school navy.... hamocks!
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

Isaac-1

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Re: Adding Navy Berthing Racks as Bunks
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2018, 09:12:41 PM »
As I see it this is going to mostly be finding the right 5th wheel floor plan for your situation.  Perhaps something like this 2 bathroom bunkhouse unit listed at PPL in Texas https://www.pplmotorhomes.com/used-rvs-for-sale/fifth-wheel/2017-jayco-north-point_rv-38487 or this https://www.pplmotorhomes.com/used-rvs-for-sale/fifth-wheel/2018-heartland-bighorn-traveler_rv-39278 which appears to have more private spaces with a bunk room with 2 bunks,and then a large loft open bed above it, plus sofa sleepers in the living room, though only one bathroom.
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Pugapooh

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Re: Adding Navy Berthing Racks as Bunks
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2018, 05:18:00 PM »
Thanks for the reply.  With all the kids under ten,sounds like you have some time before they want more privacy.

Happy trails!
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2006 Dodge 2500 Big Horn
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