Tuesday, November 28, 2023


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 an 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 4-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!


Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh is an avid RVer and occasional work camper. Retired from 30+ years in the field of education as an author and educator, she now enjoys sharing tips and tricks that make RVing easier and more enjoyable.



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1 of 5 (@guest_244871)
4 months ago

Yes the 40 bazillion screws and staples, what a job that was to remove. Took out the dinette and replaced it with four oak cabinets for extra storage space. Then 3 years later, we decided we needed a more comfortable couch so that’s what we did, removed the four cabinets and put a comfy couch on that slide out where the dinette used to be. Don’t plan on selling the RV.
Yes, we did it our way and now we have much more room to move around.
If you decide to do the same, save the items that you removed just in case you want to sell it later. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try different things.

Neal Davis (@guest_244507)
4 months ago

Thank you, Gail! No, we haven’t any plans to replace our dinette in our RV. However, we did opt to avoid a booth and have an extendable table (once extended, then can one or two leaves, each about 10 inches in width) with two fixed chairs. We usually also travel with two folding chairs in case we care to have more than two for a meal. Three people is eminently superior to four, given how small our RV is now (after trading a 43′ DP for a 36′ DP last summer). Thus, the RV interior is more of a constraint than the dinette as to the number of people to “comfortably” seat for a meal.

Al H. (@guest_243326)
4 months ago

Our Sportsmen 14RB uses the convertible dinette as the only bed. We just leave it down as a permanent bed. We added a Lagun table mount to the front of the settee. The table I made for it will seat 3, with one sitting on the edge of the bed, and it swings back and locks in place against the settee back when not using the table, opening up floor space. We remove the top and lay it on the bed when traveling, to prevent the extra stress on the mount. This works quite well and is more stable than a folding table, as it will lock in position wherever you set it.

Melanie Cole (@guest_262065)
8 days ago
Reply to  Al H.

I’d love to see a picture if you have one?

Dan M (@guest_243264)
4 months ago

My camper came with a small couch (the middle section is tiny like a truck middle seat) and a shockingly heavy folding table instead of a dinette. I almost never pull the table out from under the bed, I just use a TV tray table. I’m glad for all the extra space I have because of it.

Debra Williams (@guest_243088)
4 months ago

We took ours out and put a twin bed in there. My grown son moved in with me in a 24 ft. 5th wheel . I gave him the loft. And now i sleep there.

Jay (@guest_243086)
4 months ago

Glad I bought the right camper to start with. We love our factory dinette and use it comfortably all the time.

Hilton Dan (@guest_243083)
4 months ago

Just picked up a new / ordered truck camper a couple weeks ago. Told dealer we didn’t want the factory dinette table. I took out the existing cushions and replaced them with jackknife sofa. So much more comfortable and more space. We eat inside on trays, works for us. This is rig #6, three MH and 2 TT and only two rigs had comfortable dinettes. 55 years married, 14 years as RV owners and still on the road.

Eddie (@guest_242978)
4 months ago

We replaced the dining table with a 8 cubbie storage unit from Walmart and the fabric boxes that fit in each opening and took the table and replaced the small round table between the driver and passenger seat so we have a large table to eat on while we watch tv and enjoy our dinner
It just the 2 of us and 4 small dogs so the extra walking space is great!!!!!

Stacey (@guest_242969)
4 months ago

I am LOVING these dinette replacement ideas!! Currently when we travel the dinette is in bed mode, and the dogs and bird cage ride there. Our friends have a 5th wheel with 2 of the most comfortable recliners looking out the back window. I can see our RV with the dinette removed and two super comfy recliners in it’s place looking out that window =)

Phill Brown (@guest_242911)
4 months ago

Me and my wife have been full-time for 4 years. We pretty much never use our dinette table, and thinking of replacing it with a stool table set from Ashley furniture. Something more to our liking. My only issue is, our TT is a 2019, and the dinette set is in excellent condition, and I don’t know what to do with it.
On another hand, our Thomas Payne recliners started falling apart, so we pulled them out and replaced them with a Lovesac. Best decision ever.

Paula Thomason (@guest_243051)
4 months ago
Reply to  Phill Brown

What is a lovesac plz?

Diane McGovern
4 months ago
Reply to  Paula Thomason

Hi, Paula. Here’s a link to the Lovesac furniture website: https://www.lovesac.com/ Have a great day. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com

Scott (@guest_242901)
4 months ago

We took out our dinette table and four chairs in our 2005 Newmar Dutch Star and kept 2 of the original chairs. We used the space to put the crate for our Pit Bull so he could have his own safe space which he used way more than we could have imagined. He passed away a couple of months ago at 7yo from thyroid cancer and since we have gotten a small 5.5cu ft chest freezer that still leaves us enough room to put in a small pub table if we desire. We have been in this 40’ MH for almost 5 years full time. We still use TV trays and have never had the need to pull out the other chairs even if the grandkids are visiting. On another note we also took out the folding couch and put in a residential couch with power recliners on each end. Also removed the desk behind the passenger seat and installed a wall cabinet with an electric fireplace and a 55” TV on a power lift so we can use the window at the beach and retract the TV while traveling.

Steve H (@guest_242878)
4 months ago

We have had 3 RVs, none with a dinette. Our TT had a sofa and table, the fifth wheel had a table and 4 chairs, and the MH has theater seats and a table. We stored all 3 very heavy tables (and the 4 chairs) in the basement at home and used “TV trays” or a lightweight folding table in each. In the fiver, we used a folding table and 2 folding chairs. Most dinettes we sat in at dealers had vertical back cushions, so were very uncomfortable for sitting. And they were also uncomfortable for sleeping when using the back cushions as part of the bed. Our grandkids would rather sleep in a tent than on a relative’s dinette “bed” or a jackknife sofa.

Thomas D (@guest_242875)
4 months ago

When we purchased our fiver we wanted the dinett but the unit had table and chairs. . Talking to our salesman he said that a previous customer wanted chairs but his had a booth. He contacted the other owner and he was happier than xxxx to change dinetts with me. When he got home from Florida we made the switch. Both happy campers. Grandchildren slept on booth made into bed

Ray (@guest_242862)
4 months ago

We replaced our pull-out dining table in our class “A” motorhome with a 42″ drop-leaf table and matching chairs. We often have guests for dinner and the free-standing table allows us to place the table where 4 adults can comfortably sit around it. By dropping the leafs it takes up less space than our factory table for traveling. Also, the chairs are more comfortable and are less bulky than original chairs. We have done this in two RV’s.

Bob P (@guest_242855)
4 months ago

After buying a Bounder motor home w/built in dinette just prior to getting remarried, DW buys a table and chairs at a yard sale in the FL RV park we were honey mooning in. Out comes the dinette to install the table and chairs, then we traded the motor home in on another one 4 months later. That one all ready had the table and chairs. Then we started making that one “ours”. 9 months later we had that one suited to her wants and a year later we sold it. Biggest mistake we’ve made in the 7years we’ve been married, oh well.

Mark & Bobbie Grider (@guest_242844)
4 months ago

We removed our dining area table years ago and built in a cabinet and a custom sized sturdy table top with two legs to almost fill the complete space. My wife needed a space to do her quilting and run her new 10,000 dollar embroidery machine.
We eat and watch TV in our double recliners.

Tom H. (@guest_242835)
4 months ago

Our 5er came with a table and chairs but the table took up too much space and was more than needed for just two of us. Additionally those chairs are heavy! So out with the table and chairs. In with a 36′ round drop leaf table, two black metal chairs from Ikea, and a bench with storage. So much more room and our rig is a little lighter for it.

Lamb (@guest_242831)
4 months ago

Our rv came with table and chairs. We use trays to eat so didn’t need table. Turned table around and against windows to make a desk which I used for a couple years but still had to store printer and “stuff” each time we moved. Removed table and replaced with a desk that has shelves/door and a matching file cabinet. Repurposed table top into custom book shelves that fit where dryer was and replaced washer and dryer with an combo unit.

Gail (@guest_242832)
4 months ago
Reply to  Lamb

You’ve obviously refashioned your RV to meet your needs! Good for you! I love your ideas, Lamb.

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