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Ashley Mann spent three years living full time in a 38-foot, 5th-wheel RV with her husband Josiah and their cat, Kitty. Her favorite thing about RV life is the challenge of finding the perfect way to organize a space, and she loves seeing all the creative and clever ways people come up with to customize their RVs.
Dining booths take up valuable real estate in an RV. These RV owners decided to remove their dining booths and replace them with furniture that makes better use of the space.
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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!
How To Remove an RV Dinette: The Booth Removal Process
Before we dive into the “after” photos of RVs without a dining booth, you may be wondering exactly how to remove an RV dining booth.
Well, it turns out it's fairly simple: you look for screws and remove them. If you can't easily lift away the pieces after unscrewing them, you may need the assistance of a pry bar.
Below is a photo of an RV dining booth being removed. You can see how it's just a wooden frame screwed to the wall and floor.
You'll probably also need to fill some holes in your wall, which you can do with some spackling.
But before you completely remove your old dinette, consider if you want to leave one side and replace the other with chairs. This is a popular way to open up your RV floorplan and you can add chairs to match your design style!
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.
1. 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. In this case, you may 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.
Plus, swapping out your dinette for a table and chairs is a great way to add your own design aesthetic to your RV.
2. 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.
Related: Easy RV Window Makeover Ideas
He used museum putty to secure decorative items on shelves and walls so that traveling requires packing away only a few things and securing the furniture.
4. Swapping the Dinette and Sofa
Want to shake up your RV floorplan?
This 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.
5. 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.
They also removed their jackknife sofa and replaced it with a more comfortable couch. They then 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
Related: Looking to replace your RV couch? Try these DIY RV Sofa Bed Ideas!
8. 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, but it also lets you enjoy the view out your window during your meal!
9. 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.
10. Bar with Shelves Behind for Storage
11. 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
12. Bench Seat with Chair
Professional RV renovators RVingDogsAndWine decided to leave one of the dinette benches in this stunning fifth wheel they renovated. This is a great way to free up some space and make the area feel more open without losing all your storage.
Related: 99 Ideas for a Budget RV Makeover
13. Single 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.
14. Remove just the backs of the dinette booth.
Open up your RV by removing the backs of your dining booth but keeping the bench seats!
15. 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.
16. 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.
18. Dinette Replaced with Storage Compartments and a Folding Table
If you are good at woodworking, you can create a custom dining and office area like the unique cabinets and folding table motorhome owner David Barber built.
19. 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.
20. 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?
21. 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.
22. Small Square Table with Stools
If you want to save space, opt for stools instead of chairs! They can store easily under your table and give you more open floor space.
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, but 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 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. 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: 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. 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!
More questions? Drop a comment below and we'll be happy to answer!
If you're still undecided on whether or not to remove your dinette, give it a makeover! Find inspiration in these articles:
Cover photo credit: Wayland Ventures