29 year old mattresses - need advice

Discussion in 'Camper Restoration Projects' started by LizzyHawk, Apr 7, 2021.

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  1. LizzyHawk

    LizzyHawk New Member

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    Ok, I'm stuck on this decision. We just got a 92 Coleman Royale. The original mattresses and covers are still in. The covers are a thick vinyl on one side and rough thick upolstry fabric on top. Definitely have a musty old smell but in decent condition I suppose for the age.

    This newbie needs advice regarding what to do.....we are on a budget, I see our options as cleaning the covers, cleaning foam mattress (is that possible?), getting covers back on if we remove them, cleaning whole thing with cover still on mattress, tossing them and replacing them (what's an affordable replacement option?).

    I know this comes down to our ick factor and comfort level but curious what more experienced folks have done with success.
     
  2. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    we removed our non-icky cushion mattress system and bought a couple of mattress toppers, on account of it was more comfortable. Judy made up some simple covers (she has a sewing machine)
     
  3. firepit

    firepit Well-Known Member

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    I had a 87 Coleman Columbia and I put memory foam on top of mine that I cut to size.
    They were smashed to half the thickness and uncomfortable.
    Just remember...Whatever you replace them with or add over the top of what you have
    that you make sure you don't go too thick preventing your roof from closing.
    Trust me rolling them up and storing toppers is a pain so its better if you can just leave them on all the time
    and still close your roof.
     
  4. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah Gold Supporting Member

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    I use mattress covers on my cushions. That way your not sleeping on someone else’s ick. If they have a musty smell allow the cushions to air out in full sun. Helps immensely. I used mattress covers that can easily be washed myself as the corners stretched enough to stay on.
     
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  5. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I think mine were all vinyl, i put them outside for a few days and scrubbed them, mayby with bleach or pine sol.
     
  6. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    Some have washed the foam, in a child's wading pool, for example. If you use soap, getting it rinsed would be important. Getting it well dried may be an issue if you live somewhere humid.
    I did wash the cushion & bed covers in our first popup, on gentle, line drying them. It worked, but it does depend on the shape they're in.
    To get any foam, old or new, into the covers, use lightweight plastic, like a drop cloth. Wrap the foam, slide it in, pull the plastic away.

    If you want new, good foam is not cheap. To determine how much space you have for that, or adding memory foam, etc. do the tissue box test. Place an empty tissue box, or something of similar weight on the bed platform. Shut the camper completely, latching the roof down. When you re-open the roof, the new height of the box is what you have to work with.
    We bought really good foam for that first popup, and it was $3-400 back then, 10+ years ago. We ended up adding thin memory foam to the bed - firm enough to not hit the platform was a bit too hard on the hips.
    With the second popup, we added 2" memory foam, and just covered the whole thing with a mattress pad, since we used real bedding, not sleeping bags. The plan if we had kept that popup was to either use the Thermarest sleeping pads we had, or buy new, with memory foam over the top. The nice thing with that type of sleeping pad is that there is some adjustable in hardness depending on how much air is added; they have foam inside too.
     
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  7. LaramieLovers

    LaramieLovers New Member

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    Our mattresses are circa 1986....we actually know all 4 previous owners, but still...ick. I took the foam out and liberally coated it with baking soda and left in the sun for days. Hosed and soaped the covers, hosed again, let them dry, shook everything out and reassembled. THEN I added mattress toppers, and cheap (but new) comforters that go on top and tuck around the edges. We sleep on top of those in sleeping bags. Works for us, and much cheaper than replacing the mattresses.
     
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  8. LizzyHawk

    LizzyHawk New Member

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    Do you just use the mattress toppers as your mattress?
     
  9. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Actually, its one layer of a Walmart mattress topper and one layer of memory foam (a cheapo brand).

    At the moment, we also put two camping air pass (Thermarest brand, 3/4 length ) under it - one for each of us - I'm not sure that it helps at all.
     
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  10. brettstoner

    brettstoner Member

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    After the first campout on my 20 year old worn out mattresses I replaced mine completely. They were terrible. Hardly slept. I used 1 inch of Lux-R foam base, 2 inch middle layer of HD36-R foam, and a 2 inch top layer of latex foam. I ordered them in king and queen sizes, along with custom size covers, and I trimmed them to fit. Very comfortable. I would adjust density and thickness to suit your weight and sleeping style. I use regular bedding that we keep in the camper. The price was worth it for good nights sleep.
     
  11. GlamperGal

    GlamperGal New Member

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    I have a 94 Coleman Royale that I just did a full reno on so I know exactly what you’re dealing with. I debated cleaning the stinky beds but at the end of the day because I have a “ick” factor with sleeping on old mattresses, I got the measurements and got new foam beds cut. There are places online that do it but I was lucky and a local fabric store also sells bedding grade foam (for futons) - so I got 4 inch thick foam for each bunk. For reference my original mats were 3 inches and I did the kleenex box test when popping it down to make sure I could go to 4 inches.

    Then bought mattress covers with water proof tops. I found it hard to try find PUP bed replacement covers, so I just went a size up on the covers for each due to the odd sizes (king cover for the queen and and full cover for the twin).

    yes it was a bit of a splurge at about $215 for both, but it will hold up, be comfy and no stinkiness!
     
  12. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    I have underwear that is older than 29 years.
     
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  13. gardenheather

    gardenheather Member Silver Supporting Member

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    We took ours out thinking we could just clean them. There was mold on the cover of one, so we took it off intending to just recover it. That mattress was so disgusting it still makes me sick to think about it. Both immediately were disposed of. We bought mattress toppers off Amazon and I ordered material. They're comfortable, but I need another 2" topper on top of the one we bought, I think.
     
  14. southern gal

    southern gal Member

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    I washed our mattress covers. I sprinkled baking soda on the mattresses and sprayed vinegar on them and left them out in the sun for a few days (I am in South Georgia so we get plenty of sun). I washed all of the cushions for the camper and replaced the covers with the staple method. It was a pain to get all of the soap and water out of the cushions but I did it. I have a lot of cushions, too. Not a job I ever want to do again but our camper smells so much better and I feel better knowing things are cleaner. We also bought a padded mattress cover at Walmart, put the cushion tiles under the mattress and covered everything with a fitted sheet. I bought cheap comforters to go on top of the beds. I have tried to make it where it's more like our bed at home. You can only do so much and still close the camper, though. As someone else mentioned, use the kleenex box test.
     
  15. VLN

    VLN New Member

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    In our Aliner we replaced the cushions for the bed/sofa with a 6” Queen size bed in a box. So comfortable. We wanted to leave the bed set up permanently. So much more comfortable and can use a waterproof mattress cover. This option may not work for you if 6” is too thick
     

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  16. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

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    I still have the original mattresses in our 99. I added a topper to them, and a waterproof mattress cover to keep it all together. I sleep better in my pup than I do at home. My topper is not memory foam though - I hate the stuff. I got lucky and found regular foam toppers on clearance at Walmart, trimmed them to size and that was that.

    I did thoroughly clean the mattress after I got the pup, but it had a vinyl type covering as I recall.
     
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  17. QuarantineImpulseQueen

    QuarantineImpulseQueen New Member

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    We bought some mattress “sealers” for bedbugs and water and put them on over the original mattresses. Just sized up and tucked the excess underneath. Keeps anything on the mattress off of us and anything outside off the mattress.
     
  18. Slow&Steady

    Slow&Steady New Member

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    It’s a pain to take the cover off, but I felt better taking ours off and washing them. I set the foam outside in the sun and sprayed it with Lysol, and left them out there for days. My hope is that between the hot sun and the Lysol all the cooties are dead and gone. I threw the covers in the washing machine and let them dry in the sun. I’m sure my HOA loved seeing all that in my yard. It takes 2 people to put the cover back on the foam insert, with ALOT of patience.
     
  19. Elaine L

    Elaine L New Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Me too. As long as the elastic is still good, right?
     
  20. Elaine L

    Elaine L New Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I once worked in a van conversion upholstery shop. The way to get covers on is to spray the inside of the cover and the outside of the foam with silicon spray. Makes it go from near impossible to not bad at all.
     

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