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Old 12-11-2018, 08:21 AM   #1
Winnie-Wise
 
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How to remove a manual StudioLoft from a Sunstar

Our preowned Sunstar came with a StudioLoft over the front seats, making the coach sleep a total of 7 . We've never needed to sleep more than 4, so the StudioLoft was superfluous for us. Plus, it took up headroom over the seats, hindered access to the front cabinets, and added dead weight. And, unlike the cab-over bunk in a Class C, it was useless for storage.

So, I removed it.

On our trip to Pinnacles NP last week, I spent some time studying it and figuring out the best way for one person working alone to take it down. Here's what I did.

CAUTION! The supporting mechanisms are mechanical spring and gas spring counterbalanced. I'm quite sure that there are many interesting and painful ways to get hurt doing this if one is not careful!

This is for this particular model of manual StudioLoft. Other versions may vary.

You will need a Phillips screw driver, and a couple of 3/8" sockets and impact driver or drill. A Phillips bit in a driver or drill really speeds things up.

1) If there is a slideout behind the driver seat, slide it out now to gain working space.

2) Unstow the bed, and remove the mattress and the faux curtain. Restow the bed.

3) While the bunk is stowed, remove all but 2 of the screws along the sides that hold 3/4" plywood upholstered bottom/back to the mechanism. Leave in the screw on each side closest to the living area. Don't remove the screws along the front edge. They just hold a piece of angle trim.

4) Unlatch the mechanisms, drop the assembly, and remove the upholstered vertical fascia, and set it aside.

5) Remove the last 2 screws, and slide the plywood out and set it aside. It's probably best to remove it from the coach to get it out of the way. At this point, some weight has been removed from the mechanisms, so there will be some spring tension to pay attention to.

6) CAUTION! This step removes the rest of the counterbalanced mass from the mechanisms! Use care! Fold the mattress support down, remove all of the side screws holding it on, and remove it. The support is a little kike a hollow-core door, I think, and not as heavy as it looks.

7) CAUTION! The mechanisms are made of steel and are fairly heavy. I took them out by myself, but it would really help to have an assistant at this point. One person to hold and manipulate the mechanism while the other removes the screws.

Now you should just have the 2 mechanisms folded up against the ceiling. I needed a 3/8" socket, and impact driver bit to remove the 16 self-drilling screws. (8 on each side). You will have to pull the mechanisms open somewhat to get at some of the screws.

That's it.

Now we have lots of headroom, better access to the front cabinets, and 100 lbs or so less weight to carry around. I need to fluff up the crushed ceiling nap, and maybe figure out how to hide the 16 screw holes.

Any ideas?
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Old 12-11-2018, 09:08 AM   #2
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Photos would be great. Got any?
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Old 07-01-2019, 04:58 PM   #3
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Our loft bed broke this weekend. It is an electric one that has a nylon strap that lowers and raises the bed. It appears that the strap (on drivers side) came out of the bracket that is attached to the bed. I considered removing the bed for the same reasons that you mentioned. However, the driver and passenger reading lights are located on the underside of the bunk. Has anyone done this?
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Old 07-01-2019, 05:07 PM   #4
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The light wires would probably come out of the ceiling, or the front cabinets. While ours did not have the lights, I made 2 wood boxes to hide the screw holes and added light wiring up through the left A pillar into the cabinets, and thence into the light boxes.


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Old 07-02-2019, 06:07 AM   #5
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We have never used our loft for sleeping but do use it for storage when in winter camp. We love it for that reason. We bring it down about 18" and just use the additional space for storage of jackets and other clutter that comes about when parked for a while.



The access to the front top cabinets is somewhat blocked but all tht we keep in there are our electronics collection and our back up camping books which we rarely use but might need one day. Rarely go into those cabinets.
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Old 07-02-2019, 05:21 PM   #6
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Ours was all the way down or nothing, and when it was down the front seats were not usable. So it had to go.
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Old 07-02-2019, 06:05 PM   #7
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Ours is the electric version. I wasn't enthused about the loft but it came with the MH. Have learned to love it. Good storage place for flat things(I am a quilter) when up except things would fall out so we bought some large size swim noodles and that solved that problem.



The electric one is fully adjustable.
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