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Are you looking to replace a worn out or uncomfortable sofa in your RV? Or maybe to remove the dining booth or jackknife sofa in order to reconfigure the space in your camper or motorhome to better suit your needs? Or would you like to simply give your RV furniture a makeover?
In this article, I’ll share some ideas for each of the following options:
- Buying replacement RV furniture
- Residential furniture that can be used in RVs
- Modifying existing RV furniture
- DIY sofa beds and daybeds
Hopefully, you’ll see something to inspire you to reimagine and recreate your RV to be the perfect space for relaxing and sleeping!
Option 1: Buy replacement RV furniture.
One way to update worn out or ugly furniture is to buy furniture that’s specifically built for RVs, such as the RecPro brand jackknife sofa or sleeper sofa, both pictured below. Both of these loveseats can be purchased from Amazon and delivered straight to you, and they come in several different colors. There are also several online RV furniture and parts supply stores that sell different brands of RV furniture, so when buying new furniture for RVs it’s not necessary to make a special trip to an RV furniture store.
Option 2: Replace your RV furniture with residential furniture.
Two questions I commonly see RV owners ask in Facebook groups are “Can I put residential furniture in an RV?” and “How can I get furniture through the door of my RV?”
Here is my advice:
- Residential furniture can most definitely be used in an RV. We have residential furniture in our own RV. However, keep in mind that this furniture may need to be secured in some way so that it doesn’t slide around during travel (we secure our furniture with ratchet straps and bungee cords). You also need to make sure you don’t exceed your RV’s weight limit. In our case, the residential furniture we added was actually lighter than the RV furniture we removed.
- If you’re worried about getting the furniture through the door, you can buy your new furniture unassembled from Ikea or from a website like Wayfair, Overstock, Amazon, or Walmart.com. I have a sofa and a table from Wayfair and a chair from Ikea and I love all of them. They weren’t too difficult to put together, either. (And as for removing RV furniture, I suggest disassembling it first. You can see an example of this in my article about removing a jackknife sofa from an RV.)
One more thing to note: If you have a motorhome, you will need to take seatbelts into consideration for any passengers who need to use the furniture during travel. Some RV owners have bolted DIY sofas to the walls or floor with holes cut for seatbelts, but any modifications of this sort would be at your own discretion and potential risk. Please comply with state & federal laws and be safe!
Couches, Futons, & Sleeper Sofas
This hide-a-bed loveseat from Walmart.com would match the original decor of most newer campers and motorhomes…but at less than half the cost. Plus, it comes with a memory foam mattress instead of the typical hide-a-bed mattress that I’m sure most of us remember from our childhoods.
If you’re looking to get away from the look of RV factory style decor and create a more home-like atmosphere in your RV, this sleeper sofa is the same idea but in a different style.
In our own RV, my husband and I replaced our factory-original sleeper sofa with a love seat we bought from Ikea. Even though it’s not a sleeper sofa, we decided comfort was more important to us since we sit on our sofa every day full time RVers. On the rare occasion that we have overnight guests, we put an Intex brand self-inflating air mattress on the floor.
Ikea is a favorite furniture source for a lot of RVers, including the owners of this stationary RV (which you can see more pictures of here). Unfortunately you do have to live near an Ikea (or be willing to travel to one) in order to purchase from that company as they don’t ship and only deliver within a certain radius.
RV owner Paula Johnson found that a futon was the perfect replacement for the jackknife sofa in her RV.
One of the coolest sofa bed options I’ve seen is the CouchBed. It comes in several different colors and in twin or queen sizes, and it’s basically a memory foam mattress with a hinged cover that allows it to fold up to become a couch:
Additionally, the same company that sells the CouchBed also sells an adjustable pull-out wooden platform style base for it that seems like it would be really nice for saving space in an RV:
You can see more store-bought sofas that would be ideally suited for RVs in my article “Space-Saving Sleeper Sofas for RV’s”.
Beds & Daybeds
If someone in your household will be sleeping on your sofa regularly, a daybed might be a more comfortable choice than a convertible sofa.
Instead of a regular daybed, RV owner Laura Vossel just put a regular twin bed in her RV with cute storage bins that slide underneath for added storage. However, a metal frame daybed would give a similar look with the added benefit of arm rests and back support to help hold pillows in place.
RV owner Shannon McDonald reconfigured her space so that she still has both a dining booth and a sofa, but with more couch space. She replaced her sofa with this trundle daybed, then used the stand from her original dinette table with a new top and two smaller storage benches as seating.
Option 3: Modify your existing RV furniture.
Sleeper Sofa Makeover Ideas
If a brand new couch is out of your price range and you are just wanting an updated look, a slipcover might be a good option for you. RV Owner Brandy Tidwell found that this futon slipcover fit her jackknife sofa and she doesn’t have to remove it in order to use the couch as a bed. (It comes in lots of different colors, too!)
Before we decided to replace the hide-a-bed with inflatable air mattress that came with our RV with something more comfortable to sit on, I bought this stretch-to-fit slipcover to better match our decor. Although I was initially skeptical that a slipcover could look good, I liked how it looked once I got it on, and the set of “tuck grips” I bought to go with it actually held it in place (granted, I didn’t have kids climbing all over it!).
If you’re considering a slipcover and your sofa has removable cushions, you can even get a style with a separate piece to cover the cushions that in my opinion hardly even looks like a slipcover. One tip for buying slipcovers: pay attention to the shape of the arms. Some slipcovers are made to go over curved arms (like mine pictured below), where others are made for straight arms.
Dinette Booth Makeover Ideas
One common complaint about RV furniture is that it’s uncomfortable for adults to sleep on – particularly the beds that are made from dining booth cushions.
RV owner Janet Upton felt that a comfortable daybed was more important than a dining booth, so she added a full-sized memory foam mattress on top of her folded-down dinette cushions with cube storage shelves underneath for added support and extra storage.
Another RV owner, Christine Scott, added a memory foam mattress to her dining booth as well, and she made a cushion for back support which can move to the sofa to make it more comfortable to sleep on also.
RV owner Sue Salsburg says she almost always leaves her dinette booth made up like a daybed because it offers such comfortable seating in addition to an extra bed. Lots of comfy throw pillows purchased from Ikea and Wayfair.com make this a cozy place to spend a rainy day while camping.
RV owner Linda Tower to turned her dining booth into a daybed as well, using a comforter set with matching throw pillows for a coordinated look.
Jackknife Sofa Converted to Daybed
Motorhome owners Bill and Roi McGuire wanted a more comfortable alternative to their jackknife sofa, but since the sofa base covered some of the RV’s mechanical components, they couldn’t remove it altogether. Their solution was to reinforce the base by adding a beam across the middle and a sheet of plywood on top, then to replace the jackknife seat part with a mattress, which they had custom made in the size they needed by Engineered Sleep Mattress Co. Although the company does ship online orders, Roi and Bill decided to travel to them since they lived near by, and Roi says their mattress was made in just 30 minutes while they watched!
Option 4: Build your own DIY sofa bed.
If you’re the handy type (or willing to learn!), one way to cheaply add new furniture to your RV is to build it yourself, which is what the owners of these next RVs did.
This RV owner’s built-in daybed offers a comfy place to sit or sleep with room for storing things underneath:
This DIY sleeper sofa built by RV owners Rich and Amanda has a seat that raises for storage access:
I share photos of how the daybed above was built along with several other DIY sofa bed ideas and links to plans & tutorials in my article “DIY Sofa Inspiration for Your RV”.