Wednesday, September 27, 2023


Ask Dave: I want to swap my sofa sleeper for recliners. How do I get the couch out?

Dear Dave,
We own a 2017 Winnebago Cambria 30J. Is it possible to change out the couch with a two-recliner-type couch? The current couch makes into a bed. We have never had any guests to use the couch feature and would like recliners instead. Is it possible to even get the current couch out of the living area? We would appreciate any information and knowledge you can supply. —Robert

Dear Robert,
How ironic. One of my first jobs at Winnebago in 1983 was doing automotive items like aligning headlights, installing batteries, and putting on bumpers. One day the kid that was in charge of installing the sofa sleeper did not show up and I inherited that job as well! I have been back to Winnebago several times and see they are still installed at the end of the line after the walls and roof are installed.

Here is a sample of what the 2017 Cambria 30J looks like and the entrance door width.

Sofa sleeper

Typically the sofa sleeper is a jackknife-type bed. We would open it up almost flat and take it in sideways. If the frame was wider than the door opening, we would need to angle the sofa parallel with the side of the unit to get the front frame in, then straighten it out pushing the sofa into the back frame and angle it again.

Here is a sample of what your sofa sleeper looks like from the brochure in Winnebago’s archives.

Taking the sofa sleeper out

The unit is secured to the floor with large lag screws with a hex head. It should be easy to loosen by pulling out the foot rests like this photo and removing them. I would then retract the foot rests and bring the back of the couch flat. Measure the armrests to see if they will fit through the door sideways. If not, you can do the angle trick. If not, I believe they can be removed. Also, there should be a wire that needs to be unplugged.

One last thing. Make sure the new furniture you are getting will fit through the door as well!

Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club.

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Dave Solberg
Dave Solberg
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club. He has been in the RV Industry since 1983 and conducts over 15 seminars at RV shows throughout the country.


  1. We replaced the theater chairs in our 2006 Tiffin Phaeton thru the egress window behind them. Brought the sleeper sofa thru the same window.

  2. I replaced the cheap, not at all comfortable sofa sleeper with 2 lazy boy recliner rockers. We tore apart the piece of junk and put in the dumpster. I can sleep very well in a lazy boy, just ask my wife.
    For eaze of installation, the back of lazy boys lift right off.

  3. 1 make sure you have the lowest deductible insurance for windshield replacement
    2 retrieve an anvil from your work shop
    3 throw said anvil thru windshield
    4 buy new furniture, and new refrigerator too
    5 while windshield is being replaced, swap out furniture and appliances thru opening
    (this is obviously a tongue in cheek comment, couldn’t resist)

  4. Do not buyfurniture from Bob’s Discount furniture. Bob no longer owns the company and the furniture will not last long as it is totally inferior in materials as well as workmanship. The insurance that one pays for is a joke as they do not honor their own policy. Read the contract carefully.

  5. I replaced mine in a different branded RV. My back section lifted off the couch, then I remover the mattress, unscrewed the sleeper mechanism and removed that as it was the heaviest portion. The wooden framed remaining portion was light and simple to handle. Hope this helps others. BTW replaced it with a dual recliner from Bob’s Discount Furniture. Finding furniture with a shallow seat depth will be a chore

  6. I’d save the original couch. It’s very possible any subsequent owner won’t have the same opinion of your new choice of furniture. BTW, I like the original one. Believe it or not there are some good reasons rv manufacturers include certain features most buyers prefer.

  7. One of the ‘demands’ we made on the dealer when we bought our TT was to get rid of the couch and replace it with swivel chairs. They did it. But they were pretty much low quality and we not long afterward stopped at La-Z-Boy store and got REAL recliner chairs.

  8. I removed the jack knife sofa in our Mountain Aire and replaced with love seat recliners. I purchased new chairs from Rec Pro, you can not find furniture from home furnishings that will fit or they won’t go through the door, even down that road twice. Just replaced the very unusable jack knife sofa/bed in our new TT with the same chairs. They come in 3 boxes with the backs removed and center console separate, easily fitting through doorways and down narrow hallways. They are very comfortable.

  9. The windshields on the motor homes tend to be bigger than the door, and no corners to squeeze around. Could you remove the windshield, and slide the furniture though ?

  10. We did easily remove the couch in our 2010 KZ Spree travel trailer as suggested by Dave. Got a theater seating unit from Living Spaces for about $700 that fit space perfectly. Unit was electrically operated, had cup holders and a/c outlet with USB port to charge those devices we all seem to have now. A great upgrade for us.

  11. We did the opposite. Took the recliners out and put a queen bed in. Had to take it in the emergency window. Then took out the office cadenza and racked up the dog crates in it’s place. Jack Russell’s, my wife is also a judge besides a breeder and when we show up on the trial site it’s to a chorus of “Here comes de judge”. Also know as the “Judge mobile”. Yes, terrier people are nuts, but we can “party hardy”.


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