Filed under: Comfort at Camp, RV Modifications, Uncategorized
Trailer Mod — Dinette Becomes Couch — Shazam!
Some folks asked me to describe a modification that I made to our trailer. After a few trips, it became clear (to me) that our floorplan wasn’t optimal for our use. The pictures below, from another Fun Finder 189 FBR, with the “endless red” color plan, illustrate the standard setup. Although DW accused me of wanting to “tear our new trailer apart,” my goal was more constructive. The floorplan for the 189 FBR included a dinette with benches facing each other across a foldable table that can be dropped into a lower position to create a 30″ wide bed. When set up as a dinette, very little space was left between the edge of the table and the front of the kitchen sink; our “hallway.” It was a squeeze for the two of us to pass by.
The other problem with the factory setup is that there is nowhere to relax and watch the TV that is mounted above the rear end closet. You have to either lie on the bed or sit upright at the rear dinette bench. I got an idea after seeing some other floorplans on the web. Some trailers, like the 189 WBS, which has a slideout, have a couch where the dinette is.
I began planning by taking the cushions and removable seat boards off the dinette. I noticed that everything was screwed to the floor and walls; easily disassembled. I realized that I could place both dinette benches side-by-side against the wall under the dinette window. With a few minor modifications, I could convert what was there into a couch and greatly increase the “hallway” between the kitchen and the new couch. The only problem was that we would lose our table.
I found a solution on the internet. At a marine supply site I found a small plastic table top with a molded cup holders and a bottom fitting for a stainless steel column leg. By carefully placing two of these side by side in front of the new couch, we could have one, two, or no tables by simply mounting or removing the tables from their metal posts. They could also be rotated as needed. It seemed like a great solution.
It also provided a solution to another problem. Because of a cervical spinal cord injury, I am forced to sleep in a La-Z-Boy recliner while at home and in a cushioned portable recliner while traveling. The chair that I usually travel with did not fit well in the old “hallway.” In addition, any late night trips to the toilet by my wife would require climbing over me or the dinette table.
Well, the conversion is done now and we’ve gotten used to our new floorplan. It isn’t perfect, but there isn’t much more we can do with the limited space offered by the trailer. But it is much easier to relax in the evening while reading, surfing the web, or watching TV. Sleeping is still a challenge; even with the new, wider hallway, Maureen still has to climb over/squeeze by me during the night, usually waking me in the process. I’ll keep noodling a better answer, but, for now, we’ll get by.
Till Next Time,