Remember the days when teens tried to see how many people could fit inside a phone booth? (Gosh! Do you even remember phone booths?!) Back then, the goal was to set a world record. (I think.) “How many people can comfortably fit around your RV’s dinette table?” was the topic of a recent RVtravel.com poll. You can see the poll results below.
Key word: comfortably
Just like squeezing folks together in a phone booth, it’s certainly possible to squish a family of four into an RV dinette, but that doesn’t mean they can actually eat a meal there. Or even enjoy a hand-held snack, for that matter—at least not “comfortably” in our dinette. And I know we’re not alone. Comments from RVers who took our poll demonstrate why so many folks are removing their RV dinettes and replacing them with … well, other things that make more sense.
Poll takers’ alternatives
You may be one of the lucky few who are happy with their RV dinette. I congratulate you! For those of you, like me, who are less than thrilled with your situation, or seldom use your dinette, perhaps you’ll be inspired by some alternatives.
Sofa bed upgrade
One reader, jillie, plans to take out her dinette and replace it with a sofa bed. She’s not alone. Many folks need more sleeping space in their RVs. A sofa bed would be a nice upgrade from the convertible dinette bed. (You know, the bed you make by removing the table, repositioning the cushions, and figuring out some kind of sheet situation. All that hassle, just so that no one bigger than a four-year-old can sleep there.) Yes, a sofa bed would be a great upgrade!
Mike A. said that he “opted for two recliners instead of a dinette.” Good for you, Mike. I wish more manufacturers offered that purchase option. Several other poll responders reported replacing their dinette with recliners or chairs of some kind, too.
Tony V. admits, “I never ate at the dinette when it was there.” I’m with you, Tony. My husband and I eat at the picnic table if the weather permits. If it’s raining, we opt for TV trays in front of the television. The trays store easily out of the way behind the sofa when not in use.
Many of the poll responders replaced their dinette booth with a free-standing table and chairs. They now enjoy more space when eating or playing table games.
You can probably think of many, many additional alternatives when replacing your RV dinette. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Desk. Friends of ours removed their U-shaped dinette booth. They repurposed their dining table by turning it to fit along the RV wall as a desk. They love it!
- Pet cozy. I’ve seen pet lovers who have successfully removed their RV dinette. Now they use the space for their large dog’s big bed. Another RVer removed the table and one bench from the dinette. They left the bench that fits against the RV wall. Then they removed the drawer from the remaining bench. They tossed a comfy pillow inside, and now “Kitty” has a dark and quiet “hidey-hole.”
- Kitchen storage. If you never use your dinette, why not put shelves or cupboards in that space to store spices, kitchen appliances, or boxes of cereal and pasta? Yes, you’ll need to securely fasten the shelving to keep it from tipping over during travel. But think of everything you can store in there!
- Homeschooling space. Once you remove the dinette you can fasten a board atop two, two-drawer filing cabinets (one at each end) along a wall. Pull up chairs and you have a dedicated homeschooling station right inside your RV.
- Linen storage. Repurpose one or both built-in dinette benches for linen storage (towels, sheets, pillows, and kitchen linens). Simply move the benches against the RV walls. Bonus: You’ll get extra seating, too!
- Baby space. Little ones require lots of space. By removing your RV dinette, you’ll make room for a portable crib, playpen, highchair, or toy bins.
- Stow-away table. You can remove your dinette and replace it with a table that hinges to the wall. That way when you need a table, it’s available. When you don’t, you’ll enjoy the extra space. Check out these hinges for your project.
- Hobby nook. Replace your RV dinette with a simple card table and chair. Presto! You now have the perfect place to sew, scrapbook, or do whatever other hobby you enjoy. And you won’t need to put it all away at dinnertime!
- Java joint. Replace your current RV dinette with a shelf or table that holds your coffee and espresso machines. Add a few coffee mugs and the bean grinder, and you’ve got yourself a nice coffee station.
Downsides to replacing your RV dinette
I can only think of two, maybe three, downsides to removing and replacing your RV dinette.
- The 4 bazillion staples and screws you’ll need to take out when removing the table and benches.
- Potentially losing the hidden storage that’s currently underneath the dinette benches.
- Possibly regretting it when trying to resell your RV. (I doubt that once you’ve renovated your rig you’ll want to get rid of it, though. Am I right?)
I’m sure you may have additional ideas for replacing your RV dinette. Please leave your comments below!