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You replaced your RV dinette with what?!

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.

A reader poll asks "How many people can comfortably dine at your RV's dinette?"

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!

Recliner option

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.

Portable trays

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.

Free-standing option

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.

Other options

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.

  1. The 4 bazillion staples and screws you’ll need to take out when removing the table and benches.
  2. Potentially losing the hidden storage that’s currently underneath the dinette benches.
  3. 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!

##RVT1051

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Pat Brown
17 days ago

Remodeled our 2003 Allegro Bus, taking out the free standing table and chairs that were installed by the previous owners that took out the dinette. Replaced with a slideout wooden countertop for computer use for hubby and me. The slideout revealed additional storage for various office supplies and computer exccessories, etc. Cabinetry was added underneath for a printer, filing cabinet, and many extra storage compartments Where did we eat? In the two “sit back and relax” lounge chairs that replaced the sleeper sofa that was uncomfortable and never used for sleeping since it was just us two. Best thing we did. We recently sold that rig to another couple from our same town that are using to work away from home. They couldn’t believe they found an RV that was perfect for them.

Tim
17 days ago

Removed the dinette booths but kept the wall-hinged table w/ 1 lockable fold-down leg + 2 dining chairs from Target. Found other places for much of the stuff stored in under-booth drawers + gave some away. Also removed couch & replaced w/ 2 euro-style swivel recliners. Relocated or re-homed THAT stored stuff too. Now LR slideout is more comfortable, clean & lean, and easier to vacuum as well.

Alex
17 days ago

If asked, my reply is always “drinks six, feeds four and sleeps two.”

Mindy
16 days ago
Reply to  Alex

LOL, good one!

Charles Booth
17 days ago

We replaced the dinette in our 2007 30 ft Sun Chaser class C with a pop-up TV cabinet that has a fold out table installed on the side facing the jackknife couch. We moved the TV from the cabover entertainment center to the pop-up TV cabinet and now we have more storage where the TV used to be and we don’t have to crane our necks to watch the V. The table folds out from the TV cabinet and will seat 3 – one on each of its open sides. We store the fold-up chairs under the couch.

Ray
17 days ago

Our 2007 Holiday Rambler Endeavor has an approximately 12″ deep cabinet along the wall the slideout behind the driver’s seat. Our dining table, a slab of Corian was mounted to a rail system that allowed the table to be pulled out 4-6″. The rail was lag screwed to the exterior slide wall. We removed the Corian top on the cabinet, removed the rail and Corian table, replaced the Corian top, covered the slot in the cabinet with a drawer blank and purchased a 42″ drop leaf table and 4 chairs, which allowed us to pull table out so 4 people can sit diagonally and comfortably. While traveling we drop both leafs, push the table toward the cabinet and place two chairs upside down on the other two chairs. The table does not need securing as the base keeps it from tipping over. We have been using our new drop lead table for 3 years now. FYI, we kept the factory table in event the new owner might want to reinstall it when sell. It can be reinstalled in less than an hour.

Bill Kl
16 days ago
Reply to  Ray

Ray, I’d love to see pics of your table mod in the stowed and in-use positions. bklaes(at)gmail.com

Steve
17 days ago

How do you remove and replace the dinette in a trailer that has the furnace, water heater, basement storage, etc., beneath the benches? Many smaller travel trailers and short Class C motorhomes, even those with a slide, seem to need those under-bench spaces for those important functions.

Bob M
17 days ago

My Jayflight 29RKS has a dinette with a dangerous fold down table. I always worry about pinching or hurting my self when folding it down. I should have walked away when the salesman and RV technician couldn’t figure out how to fold it down. I’ve been looking at the Cougar Half-Ton 25RDS and it has the same table, just a different configuration. If I should decide to buy, they would have to change the table. The fold down table has a little yellow knob on the black upper leg. Table comes in many configurations.

Don
17 days ago

The small round table with the foldout flaps are NOT very usable. After eating on trays instead of at the table we removed it. Went to a big box store and bought 2 unfinished cabinets and installed that along with a long piece of oak wood for a top and now we have a LOT of extra storage space. Half for the dog food, treats, etc and the other half for canned goods. It is finished with stain that matches the trim and is bolted to the floor with “feet” that are 90 degrees and finish matches the door handles. Saved the table and 4 chairs for the new owner should we ever decide to sell.

John Irvine
17 days ago

What is a good source for replacement recliners?

Tom Hosack
17 days ago
Reply to  John Irvine

Replaced ours with Lazy Boys. The backs are removable so it makes them easier to move in and much more comfortable than the original.

tom
17 days ago

Save the removed “stuff.” The next owner may want it.

David
15 days ago
Reply to  tom

Very good point. We once looked at a TT that was ideal – except the owner had replaced the dinette with tacky, bulky office swivel chairs. The removed furnishings had been tossed.

Bud
17 days ago

We removed the freestanding chairs and stored them at home. We have two small dogs but we have two rather large collapsible dog crates that slide under the dinette table. We still have the option to use our folding chairs at the dinette if we chose by removing the crates. Generally we are so outside or eating in the recliners! Works for us very well!

Glenn A
17 days ago

When we sold our dinette deleted Class C the buyer was delighted with two recliners. It saved him the aggravation of conversion.

I gave him the entire dinette that I removed. Including the hardware. At least it didn’t go directly to the landfill.