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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.
Are you looking to replace a worn-out or uncomfortable sleeper sofa in your RV? Or maybe remove the dining booth or jackknife sofa in order to reconfigure the space in your camper or motorhome to better suit your needs?
In this article, I'll share some ideas for each of the following options:
- Buying a replacement RV sleeper sofa
- Buying a sleeper sofa that's designed for residential use
- 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!
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In this article, you'll learn where to buy a replacement RV sleeper sofa, as well as some better-looking, more comfortable, and potentially less pricey alternatives to consider.
Option 1: Replace your sofa bed with furniture built specifically for RVs.
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 come in several different colors and can be purchased online and delivered straight to you.
RecPro specializes in replacing RV furniture, so this furniture can be installed easily and can fit through your RV door—two big concerns when thinking of bringing in new furniture.
If you're replacing a sofa in a motorhome and need a couch with seatbelts, we highly recommend purchasing furniture built specifically for RVs to comply with state and federal regulations.
RV Sofa Recommendations:
RecPro Jackknife Sleep Sofa:
Hide-a-Bed RV Sofa:
Jackknife Sofa from Thomas Payne:
Tri-fold sleeper sofa:
You can see more RV sleeper sofa options through these links:
Tip: Check the Scratch-and-Dent section of the RecPro website for some great deals on RV furniture!
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?”
Yes, residential furniture CAN be used in an RV.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Residential furniture may need to be secured so that it doesn't slide around during travel. We recommend securing furniture with ratchet straps and bungee cords. You can also buy furniture tie-down straps that hook to the floor of your RV.
- You'll need to make sure any furniture you add doesn't exceed your RV's weight limit. In many cases, residential furniture is actually lighter than the RV furniture we removed. Check furniture specs to know furniture weight and check your RV manual for its GVWR.
- 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.
- If you're renovating a motorhome, you will need to take seatbelts into consideration if any passengers will 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.
Assemble Your Own Ikea Furniture
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. 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 because of the large inventory and style options. 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.
Amazon, Wayfair, and Overstock are also popular places to shop for affordable furniture.
I personally have purchased several pieces of furniture from Wayfair and have always been pleased with the quality and the customer service.
Of course, you don't get the opportunity to try the furniture out before buying it when you purchase furniture online, but reading other customers' reviews and looking at their pictures can help you get an idea of what to expect.
Residential Couch Recommendations
Full-Length Sleeper Sofas (86″)
I love sofas with hidden storage since you can never have too much storage in an RV. This modular sleeper sofa has storage under the seats and can be configured with the chaise on either side. It also converts to a bed and comes in three neutral colors: light gray, dark gray, and beige.
The website Homary.com sells lots of really interesting, modern sofas like this one above that fold out to a bed that will easily sleep two adults and features a storage compartment as well. You can see one of their smaller (67 inches) sofas here, and browse their full collection here.
Small Sleeper Sofa Loveseats (Under 65″)
This 54″ 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.
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 57″ sleeper sofa is the same idea but in a different style.
RV Size Futons
RV owner Paula Johnson found that a futon was the perfect replacement for the jackknife sofa in her RV. Futons are a great replacement option because they tend to be much more inexpensive than couches and are often indistinguishable.
- Dimension: 77.5 (W) X 33 (D) X 28.3 (H) Inches ; 30-Day Return with 1 Year Warranty
This full-size futon comes in 9 different colors, including neutral gray linen as well as several bright velvet colors.
- ★【Comfortable & Not Easily Deformed】Our velvet couch is covered with handpicked velvet. It is soft and will not wrinkle easily, which makes it comfortable to sit. In addition, the seat has been thickened by using high density sponge, so it is more durable and not easy to deform.
If you need a futon to fit in a smaller space, this 64″ velvet futon comes in several beautiful colors.
Here's one more futon for you to consider.
This one made of wood features two drawers for storage as well as flip-up trays on the ends. There are several color options for the mattress.
You may be wondering if the weight would be too heavy for an RV. This couch weighs 211 pounds with the mattress, making it only 20 pounds heavier than most hide-a-bed RV sofas.
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.
I love how cozy this Ikea bed couch combo looks in this fifth-wheel RV. There are also daybeds with drawers available on Amazon (some of which are a little more affordable than Ikea).
Instead of a regular daybed, RV owner Laura Vossel put a regular twin bed in her RV with cute storage bins that slide underneath for added storage. A metal frame daybed would give a similar look with the added benefit of armrests 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.
This is definitely the cheapest way to makeover your RV.
Sleeper Sofa Makeover Ideas
Updating your sofa bed can be as simple as using a mattress cover on your sleeper sofa's mattress. A mattress cover can extend the life of your RV sofa by protecting the mattress from dirt, spills, and allergens such as dust mites and skin oils.
If your sofa's mattress is a non-standard size, look for one to fit it here.
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!)
I bought this stretch-to-fit slipcover to makeover our couch to better match our decor. Although I was initially skeptical that a slipcover could look good, this one hardly looked like a slipcover at all. And the set of “tuck grips” I bought to go with it actually held it in place.
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, making your old sofa look brand new.
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 above), whereas 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. She added a full-sized memory foam mattress on top of her dinette cushions and added cube storage shelves underneath for 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 nearby, 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.
Removing Your Sofa Bed
Ready to replace your old sofa bed?
You'll need to remove your old furniture first.
I recommend disassembling and removing your furniture in pieces so it can easily fit through your RV door. You can see an example of this in this tutorial on how to remove a jackknife sofa from an RV.
You may find, like Bill and Roi above, that there are wires or mechanics for the RV stored under your existing furniture. This is a major influence on what you can replace your sofa bed with. This tends to be a bigger concern with removing dinettes. There are great ideas for working around exposed wires and mechanics in this article.
Share your end result!
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