This job had what is known in the project world as ‘scope creep’. The original idea was to modify the bottom step of the three inside steps going up to the bed area. I did not like the shortened bottom step with the angle as delivered. The ‘creep’ came later when I wanted to use the space behind the upper step for storage. This lead to new carpet and trim, then adding a light to the large area under the middle step.
As mentioned, this step is short and with trips to the bathroom in the night, I did not want an accident occuring with someone missing the step. In keeping with the curved design of other elements in the trailer’s interior, I designed a step that provided the full width, still had storage, but kept walkway space free.
Removed the original step and determined the size and shape of the new one.
The replacement step is simply constructed from 1×2 framing, a curved piece for top and bottom cut from 1×6 and some wall panel and trim.
I could not match the stock carpet, so I constructed a piece to cover the step using thin strips of oak laminated onto a piece of plywood. Routed some groves into the top, finished and secured it.
Finished bottom step.
Upper step storage
This space under the upper step was unused and quite large, so I started to reclaim it (photo below is looking up). This was not easy as everything is well glued and screwed together. To remove the plywood on the top step required significant muttering at removing all the staples holding the carpet down. At this point, I also knew I would need to find a different carpet for all three steps (more creep).
View looking up under top step.
Removing the carpet, staples and plywood.
Plywood removed, and bottom being installed.
More creep. The middle step is a hinged lid to the storage area below. The lid is plywood wrapped in carpet and it went the full width of the step, wall to wall. To match the top step, this also had to be changed.
Bottom added to the upper storage area under the top step (1×2 framing with 1/8″ paneling).
The full width hinged step would not work with the top step due interference with the drawers in the small counter, therefore, the top lid had to be narrower. This meant I had to narrow each step otherwise it would look very odd. I choose to add oak end inserts for each step and, just because I could, I curved each step to match the rest of the trailer.
New curved steps with oak end inserts. The new steps/lids required the piano hinge to be mounted higher, so the back edge of the step/lid had to be supported with additional framing.
Finish detail with new darker textured carpet.
Finished stairs, the middle storage area has a LED light in it, it makes a big difference.
One more addition. Added the handle that is used for winding the stabilizers up/down to the back of the middle step/lid. Held on with short pieces of PEX piping, snaps off/on and keeps the handle out of the way.