The U-shaped dinette table is a staple of the RV industry. It is a way to save space while serving a maximum number of people. The problem is that it is not the most comfortable seating option or the most practical design
If you use the same hardware, you can simply replace the table top with a design that is stronger and more practical. It is not a tough job to do, the key is to remove that center seat and make sitting at the table more comfortable.
To learn more about removing that U-shaped dinette table and area, just continue to read our article. It explores the issue so you know the pros, the cons, and what to do about the latter. Take a few minutes to see how this information can help transform your RV or trailer.
It is doubtful that the positives of this design and table will out number the cons. This dinette is in more RVs and trailers to save space not to be functional or practical.
Every owner will have their own opinion on the U-shaped dinette. Some like it and others do not. It will depend a lot on if you entertain a lot or have a large family or not and so on if you will like it or not.
Not a hard search to do. The key would be to remove the word replacement from the title and just go with the RV U-shaped dinette for sale. The reason you o that is any U-shaped dinette you buy will be a replacement.
Here are some locations where you will find this product and they will cover the new and used options as well:
1. Classified ads-- Craigslist, local newspapers, and similar media outlets. These are always good sources to find a replacement dinette. You never know when you will find a newer model at a very low price.
Some people replace the dinette with another piece of furniture and want to get rid of their dinette quickly.
2. Internet marketplaces- Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Pinterest, and similar websites- These locations are very effective at getting products out to people. Except for eBay, most of their dinettes should be new and prices will vary.
3. RV Discussion forums- doesn’t matter the brand, each one seems to have a classified ad section where members can sell all sorts of RV items including dinettes and their RVs or trailers.
The way to get one that is the same as your original dinette is to go to the discussion forum for your RV brand. For example, if you own a Forest River, go to the Forest River discussion forum.
4. RV parts & Accessory outlets- not too sure about how big the selection will be but we see lots of websites for these outlets on the internet. They are all over the country so it is not that difficult to find one near you
5. RV furniture outlets-These two advertise on the internet and have great websites to explore. They offer a myriad of different pieces of furniture for RVs and dinettes should be in that selection.
The price? Well, that is a different story and for another article.
6. Custom- by custom we are including custom furniture shops and DIY enthusiasts. You can make your own table top using the materials you prefer. Just keep the original hardware so the table will work like the original.
Or you can have someone build you a new table with new hardware. It is up to you. Getting it custom-made provides you with more construction material and design options.
7. Traditional home furnishing outlets- you can find dinettes at these locations but they will not be made for your RV. Plus, they may be a bit more expensive than other choices you have on this list.
You have a lot of options at your fingertips and those options increase if you decide to remove the dinette completely and put something else in its place.
The first thing you need to know would be that all U-shaped dinettes are not the same size. Depending on the model of your RV, etc., its size, and the brand behind it, you will find that these dinettes range in size.
Some dinettes can be as small as 35 by 27 inches just for the table top and only 36 inches between the bench seats. Plus, the dimensions are affected by the design. Your RV or trailer may come with a half moon shape dinette table top and be a good size or a very inconvenient small size.
However, the average size is roughly about 2 1/2 feet tall by about 3 1/4 feet wide and by 6 1/2 feet long. Those measurements are for the entire space including benches and leg room.
The table will be much smaller. Remember, this piece of RV furniture needs to fold down into a bed so the space given to it is more for seating and sleeping than for eating.
If you do buy an expensive large RV or trailer, you may find this piece of furniture will be a lot larger than you would expect. The smaller trailers and RVs may be lucky to seat 4 people
This aspect of the U-shaped dinette is also up to the type of RV or trailer you buy, its size, and the brand behind it. Sometimes, RV makers sacrifice this area to make more room elsewhere in the RV, etc.
The dinette bed’ average size is around 80 inches long by 40 inches wide. Or It can be 66 inches long and 50 inches wide. It all depends on what the RV maker wants to make it.
If you need a larger dinette bed, then make sure to ask about the dimensions when you are touring the different models at the dealer. If you do not need the bed, then it won’t matter what size it is as you will never use it.
The design of the bed is very simple and straight forward. It is a rectangle shape and once the table is folded down you probably won’t notice the design. When the table is acting as a table, you may think about how that shape makes a bed.
The reason we say that is because some of these dinette tables come in weird shapes. Their purpose though Is not really to make someone very comfortable or to have a fine dining experience. It is there to give you an indoor table to sit at meal times.
How the bed or table looks does not matter to the RV maker as long as the item fits in its allotted space. Its size may be barely big enough to accommodate an average size person but as long as a bed is there, the RV maker is happy.
We are not being cynical here, just realistic.
The best way to do this would be to redesign it and renovate the table and seats. You are not stuck with the original design if it is uncomfortable. You can do some redesign to make it more comfortable.
One option would be to remove the center back seat and make the side benches a bit longer. That way no one has their back to a window. Then you can change the seats and remove some of the awkward cushions that do not allow you to sit naturally.
Changes in the cushions will also help make the bed portion a bit more comfortable as well. Then, if you have the space, you can remove the original table top and move the benches further apart so you can have more leg room.
Then replace the old table top with a larger one made from the materials you prefer. Unfortunately, there are a limited number of options you can do to make this piece of furniture more comfortable.
These ideas are just generic suggestions to get you thinking on the right path. The design of the table, cushions, and decor will all be up to your personal interior decorating tastes. Let your innovation and creativity dictate the final result.
There is an easy way to do this and there is the true DIY way to handle this project. The easy way takes very little effort and basically leaves the benches where they are.
1. The easy way
Simply leave the hardware in place and remove the dinette table top. Buy some oak, maple, or pine wood from the lumber yard and make your own table top if you want but that is getting away from the easy way.
Just purchase a ready-made table top that is the right size and attach it to the old hardware. And you are done.
2. The true DIY method
This is more involved as you are creating your own dinette area and involves the removal of benches. The first step will be to remove the old dinette table top. That will give you more room to work.
The second step would be to remove the old benches and build your own replacements. If you want the same U-shaped design, you would have to make the base go around in the U-shape and then add the seats after the base was secured in place.
Then add the backs of the seats. You can design these in any way that will fit the bed aspect if you want to keep that function. You do not have to keep the bed aspect if you do not want to.
You get more design options if you don’t. Now you can buy a ready-made table top or you can make your own. Both come with a lot of design choices that should fit the area.
Making your own is slower and harder but it is more satisfying. The key to securing the table top is how you want it to stand in place. You can purchase folding hardware if you want it to fold out of the way or you can buy a pedestal and let the table top be permanently in one place.
Adding the hardware is a matter of using screws or bolts and that is not that hard to do. This is not rocket science so building your own U-shaped dinette is a matter of basic carpentry.
The hardest parts will be the table top design, fitting it in the allowable space, and securing it safely. By safely, we mean you either use the original holes or you take some time to search where all the wires, conduits, and pipes, etc. Are located in the area.
The last thing you want is to break something you can’t see. YOU have to build the dinette in pieces as your completed project most likely will not fit through the door or can be maneuvered easily into place.
This is not something that can be built outside of your RV and moved in as one piece.
The plans you pick will have to fit the type of RV or trailer you own. You will only have so much space to work with. Unfortunately, we did not find a lot of plans on the internet
One website showed how they tore the trailer contents out and started from scratch. That is one good idea. You get to design how the U-shaped dinette will look, determine its size, and then add in any other cabinets, etc., that would complement that construction.
This is basic carpentry and design work. You are building something that is already designed for you and the only choice you have is how big or small you want it.
Your best bet to see some plans would be to go to YouTube and watch those construction videos. You can see how they did it and you can copy their methods. Just see one of those videos:
Watching the video will let you see how everything is done and hopefully, it will give you some great ideas on what to do with your RV’s dinette set.
While there are people who prefer this style of dinette in their RV or trailer, there is an equal number, or more, of owners who do not. They end up removing their original dinette and replacing it with something else.
One owner simply made his into a rectangle dinette. He removed the back bench and lengthened the two opposing benches and turned the table a bit to fit the new design.
This is not hard to do and saves on construction when you do it also. Plus, the new set up looks nice and lets everyone see out the window at all times. However, not everyone does that.
Instead, they remove the dinette completely, as well as the hardware and the bed, cushions, and so on. In its place, they put different pieces of furniture. For example, owners have placed recliners, captain’s chairs, and sofas, in that space.
They do not really need the table and opted for more comfort instead. The effort is about the same as you need to bring those items inside your RV and secure them in place.
Once completed you can enjoy your RV a lot better as you have more comfort and no need to worry about who is going to sit on the inside of the dinette.
Love or hate them, the U-shaped dinette does have a purpose. It may not be as practical as other dinette options but it does give you a nice place to eat and for someone to sleep.
If you do not like this option, there are lots of ideas on what to do to make it better, more comfortable, or replace the dinette. Which one you choose is up to you but if you are not a handyman keep the replacement simple or hire a professional to help you.