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Remove Your Jackknife RV Sofa—All you need is a screwdriver!


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Looking at the built-in furniture in your RV, you might feel a bit intimidated by the idea of removing what’s intended to be permanent.  But more often than not, RV furniture removal and replacement is as simple as knowing how to use a screwdriver or electric drill. Let’s take out that ugly old jackknife sofa!

Jackknife Sofa and Dining Booth Removal

If you’re in the Facebook group RV Tips, you might know Ed Hurlburt. He and his wife Debi are the hardworking admins of this helpful group with over 130,000 members.  They also run a few other RV-related Facebook pages and groups, including one about their personal travels

A few years back, they decided to get rid of the jackknife sofa in their RV, and Ed shared these photos of the process:

1. The built-in sofa and dinette set waiting to be removed

This is what the sofa originally looked like. You can see that it took up a lot of space in the slide-out, especially with that middle “hump” that was useless as a spot to sit.

Ed Hurlbert, admin of RV Tips Facebook group, #removing his #RV #jackknife #sofa |

2. Reaching inside to remove the screws which fasten the couch part to the floor of the RV

The first step to removing any RV furniture is usually to find and remove a bunch of screws. RV manufacturers seem to go really crazy with screws so this may take a while, but it’s not difficult.

Ed Hurlbert, admin of RV Tips Facebook group, #removing his #RV #jackknife #sofa |

3. Pulling the couch part away from the wall and out of the way

Finally the sofa is starting to come apart and give additional access to more screws.

Ed Hurlbert, admin of RV Tips Facebook group, #removing his #RV #jackknife #sofa |

4. Removing screws holding the dining booth part in place

More screw removal!

Ed Hurlbert, admin of RV Tips Facebook group, #removing his #RV #jackknife #sofa |

5. Benches removed and ready to go to their new home!

“So much room for activities!” 🙂

Ed Hurlbert, admin of RV Tips Facebook group, #removing his #RV #jackknife #sofa |

It’s *almost* that easy.

Now I do want to mention one issue you could potentially run into when removing your RV furniture. 

Sometimes the furniture is covering up mechanical parts of the RV, like in this motorhome owned by Roi and Bill McGuire, a couple who turned their jackknife sofa into a custom daybed (you can see more photos of their project in this article):

Jackknife RV sofa in motorhome covering mechanical components of RV
by Roi and Bill McGuire

If that’s the case in your RV, you might have to get creative with a new way to cover these parts. Keep in mind that you may need to provide ventilation or easy access for potential repairs, depending on what systems you uncover.

Professional renovators Wayland Ventures built a simple box to cover the mechanics in this RV:

Photo Credit: Wayland Ventures

It perfectly matches the RV’s interior and you would never know what’s hiding underneath!

Or this couple removed their corner bunks and converted the space into an office. They worked around this very issue by building a wood box to cover an electrical panel and a half-wall to disguise a pipe that ran across the floor:

RV Corner Bunk Room Converted to Mobile Office in Travel Trailer |

But even if you have to come up with a similar solution, it may be worth it for the additional space and new furniture options!

Now Let’s Replace Your Jackknife Sofa

Now that you’ve removed your old RV furniture, you’re ready to redecorate.

Need ideas? Read these next:

Can I use residential furniture in an RV? (Spoiler Alert: YES!)

26 Sofa Bed Replacement Ideas

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  1. We really want to remove our sofa in our Motorhome and replace it with a table, yet we come into the issue you mention. There are many electrical wires under it that we will need to be sure to cover well if we want to place a table there instead.

    1. Hi Jill. I hope you found a solution. we are having the same issue. Wanted to put a dinette where the jack knife. Just today found out we can’t do it…or need to come up with some creative solutions. If you found a solution to the problem, could you please share? Thank you! 🙂 Kathryn

  2. Jill if you figured out a solution would you please share. I have the same issue only mine is the dinette area– it has the inverter & converter and hot water heater under the benches!

  3. I have an old (1985) Class C that I would like to remove the jacknife couch and replace it with a twin size mattress. The generator sits under the couch and there are no slideouts. Does anyone have any ideas of the best way to do this?

    1. I had an 88 Allegro same thing I built a frame with cross supports for strength took 5/8th plywood and outside I burned the side with a small handheld torch by just going with the grain and hold torch about 6 to 8 inches away and go up and down if you don’t want to do that just polyurethane without the burning and put on your frame and you are ready for your mattress.l

  4. I had a 88 Allegro generator under jackknife no slides so when removed the gen was part of the inside you will need to box it in with 5/8th plywood after framing it in use cross supports for strength. If you would like take the plywood outside and use a small torch and burn the side that will show and polyurethane it for luster then after dried install on your frame and put your twin mattress on it and the side showing will look great and you have a twin bed.

    1. You’ll just need to find where it’s bolted down and remove the bolts. With many RV sofas, the seat lifts up allowing access to the bolts underneath. I don’t have experience with an electric sofa so I don’t know if it’s plugged in to the floor or not, but if so, there should be a simple way to disconnect it. If it’s hardwired in like a light fixture, you would need to cut and cap the wires (I’m not an electrician so if you do that please consult someone who knows what they’re doing with electrical stuff) but I wouldn’t think the manufacturers would make it that difficult to remove since sofas often become worn out and need to be replaced.

  5. I would like to remove an old jack knife sofa that is on top of a wood box. I am worried that the box supports the frame of the slide out. It is a old KZ trailer with a small slide just for sofa. Thank you.

    1. Hi Nancy, since every RV is different I can’t tell you for sure whether the box is necessary for support or not, but I think it’s probably more likely that the purpose of the box is to conceal some electrical components or wiring. Particularly if the box is only anchored to the floor and back wall of the slide and not to the two side walls, I doubt there would be any impact on structural integrity, but you might have to come up with a different solution for concealing whatever the box is hiding. Disclaimer: I am not an expert on the structural integrity of RV’s so if you’re worried about it you might ask for a second opinion from an RV technician.

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