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These RV owners decided to remove their dining booths and replace them with furniture that makes better use of the space. Read on to see examples and get ideas if removing the dinette is a project you’ve been considering!
Welcome to RV Inspiration!
I’m so glad you’ve ended up here! This blog is all about making your RV feel more like a home.
Watch this video for a taste of what you’ll find here:
At RV Inspiration, you’ll find RV organization hacks, mods to make your RV more useful, decor ideas to help you personalize your camper, tips for living in an RV, and inspiration for a complete RV makeover.
In this article, you’ll see how much space you can gain in your camper by removing the dining booth and replacing it with something else!
Replacing an RV Dinette with a Table and Chairs
Replacing the dining booth with a traditional table and chairs makes a camper or motorhome feel less like a vehicle and more like a house, as seen in the following photos.
Small Table and Two Chairs
If only two people ever sit at your dining table, you can save space in your RV by replacing the 4-person dinette with a table for two. This opens up the space and also doesn’t stick out as far, creating more room for walking. Of course in this case, you would lose the storage from under the benches, so this particular type of table might not be a good idea for you if storage is something you’re short on.
Glamorous Dining Area
The owner of this RV loves Victorian decor and decided to remove the dining booth in order to create an intimate dining area better suited to his taste, complete with new full-length curtains and a chandelier. (See more window treatment inspiration in my article about RV window makeover ideas!)
He uses museum putty to secure decorative items on shelves and walls so that packing to travel only requires packing away a few things and securing the furniture.
Swapping the Dinette and Sofa
In this next example, the RV owner wanted to change the arrangement of where the sitting and dining areas were located, so they decided to remove the jackknife sofa as well as the dinette and replace them with a sleeper sofa in a lighter color as well as a small table for two.
Replacing the Dinette with Extra Seating
The owners of this RV wanted more comfortable places to sit, so they removed their dining booth and added two wall-hugging recliners which are a lot more comfortable than the original jackknife sofa! They also removed their jackknife sofa and replaced it with a more comfortable couch. They also added a 3-drawer nightstand to make up for the storage they lost with taking out their dinette, as well as a smaller table and chairs tucked into a different spot in their RV.
Removing the Dinette Benches and Keeping the Table
The people who own this RV decided to remove the dated upholstered bench seats and replace them with a set of 2 parsons chairs, keeping the original table. It’s a vast improvement and they don’t have to figure out how to secure the table during travel since it’s still attached to the wall.
Replacing the Dinette with a DIY Sofa Bed
The dining booth in this camper was removed and replaced with a custom-built sofa that adds additional seating as well as an extra bed. The drawers from the original dining booth were kept and used to create storage underneath.
(To see more examples like this, check out my blog post about DIY sofa beds!)
Removing the Dinette to Add Storage
The people who own this RV felt that the storage under the benches was an inefficient use of space, so they built this custom dining and office area out of a set of three kitchen cabinets with the center doors removed.
Replacing the Dining Booth with a Bar
One of my favorite uses of space in an RV is a bar eating area with storage underneath. Not only does this solution add extra counter space, which is often limited in an RV, it also lets you enjoy the view out your window during your meal!
Dinette Replaced with Bar and an Accent Chair
By replacing the dining booth with a pub dining set and an accent chair, the owner of this RV freed up space and added extra surface area for food preparation, and there is still a spot for two people to sit at a table to enjoy a meal.
Bar with Shelves Behind for Storage
Bar for Dining Made from Live Edge Wood
This bar dining area was constructed by attaching a slab of live edge wood to the top of two kitchen cabinets.
Removing Just One Dining Bench
Bench Seat with Chair
Professional RV renovators RVingDogsAndWine decided to leave one of the dinette benches in this stunning fifth wheel they renovated. That way you can still free up some space and make the area feel more open without losing all your storage.
(To see more incredible RV renovations, check out the “RV Decor Ideas & Inspiration” section of my RV Renovations Resource Page!)
Bench Replaced with a tall shelf
Removing just one of the booth seats made space for a bookcase to be added to this fifth wheel.
Turning the Dinette into Extra Living Space
Instead of removing the dining booth altogether, the owners of this RV simply removed the table, reupholstered the benches, and reconfigured their orientation of the benches. Now, the dining area is a place for their kids to hang out that can still be used for eating with a folding stowaway table.
Bar Added to Kitchen Island
Adding a piece of countertop and some stair railings along an existing kitchen counter created a new eating space, allowing the dining booth in this RV to be removed and the space to be used for other furniture.
Dinette Replaced with Storage Compartments and a Folding Table
Motorhome owner David Barber built the unique cabinets and folding table pictured below. You can see photos of the process here.
Dining Booth Replaced with a Fireplace, Entertainment Center, and Pull-Out Table
After removing the dining booth from their motorhome, RV owners Eric and Katie built this incredible combination entertainment center, dining table, desk, and fireplace. You can read about how they removed their dining booth and made it on their blog.
Trading the Dining Area for a Coffee Station
As part of the process of turning her RV into a Tiny Home, this RV owner removed her dining booth and replaced it with a baker’s rack to use as a coffee station. A small electric fireplace shares the space to supplement the trailer’s propane heat.
If you often eat your meals outdoors or sit on the couch to eat, why not use the space for something else?
Custom Built Murphy Bed/Bar
After removing their dining booth, this RV couple designed and built a bar that folds out to convert to a bed. The bedding and folding bar stools all fit inside during travel.
Over the years, I’ve received a lot of questions about some of the ideas seen in this article. I thought I would answer some of them here.
Q: Is weight a concern when replacing the original furniture with residential furniture?
A: You always need to be mindful of weight when modifying or adding things to your RV. Not only do you need to make sure that anything you add doesn’t put your total weight over your max weight limit, you also need to be careful to keep roughly the same weight distribution so that you don’t put too much weight on one axle.
However, you’d be surprised how heavy RV furniture is. The solid wood dining table and chairs and sleeper sofa my husband and I removed from our fifth wheel RV were both way heavier than the residential furniture we replaced them with.
Q: If you buy a residential sofa to replace the dining booth, how do you get it through the door?
If you order your sofa online (or purchase it from IKEA), it will come disassembled in a box and you can put it together inside your RV after carrying the pieces through the door.
Additionally, when shopping online you can see the exact dimensions before purchasing to make sure that it fits.
Q: How do these people keep the furniture they’ve added from moving around while the RV is in motion?
A: While some of the RV’s pictured are stationary, most of them do travel. Larger furniture items like a sofa are not likely to move around, but just to be safe you can screw D-rings to the floor to hook RV furniture straps to, just like the RV manufacturers do at the factory.
Bungee cords are also helpful. For example, you can wrap a bungee cord around your table and chairs to hold them all together.
And items like shelves can be anchored to the wall. If you’re worried about screwing into your RV walls, remove a screw from one of your window valances on the same wall and make sure to choose screws that are shorter than that one…then you don’t have to worry about it punching through your RV’s exterior wall.
Read my article about securing your belongings during travel for more ideas! 🙂
To see more questions and answers related to this project, scroll down, and then click “older comments” below the bottom comment.
If you have a question that hasn’t been answered, please feel free to post and I’ll answer as soon as I can!
If you’re still undecided on whether or not to take out your dinette, in the meantime you could give it a makeover! Find inspiration in these articles: