10 Brilliant RV Dinette Replacement Ideas That’ll Bring Your Rig to Life

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The dinette is always a core focus of any RV. For most people, this is where they’ll spend the majority of their time while in the travel trailer, except for maybe the bed. From mealtime to board games and simple nighttime leisure, the dinette is an area that brings the family together. 

While a frequently used area, dinettes are designed very generically. Their footprint never accounts for individual RVers’ specific needs, and many times results in completely wasted space. Fortunately, there are hundreds of RV dinette replacement ideas that’ll transform your living space. Let’s check out a few of our favorites!

Things to Consider for Your RV Dinette Replacement

How Many People Use Your RV?

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Before you go ahead and rip out your dining space, take note of how many people use your RV. Inevitably, everyone needs a spot at the table to sit down and enjoy their meals. If your dinette space comfortably fits your family of four, it may not be advisable to remove a bench seat in lieu of more storage. 

However, if it’s just you and a partner enjoying the RV, or you’re living alone, removing a portion of your RV dinette can be a great way to add a new element to your travel trailer. Most RVs are designed with a small family in mind and manufacturers will frequently add additional seating to accommodate that. This translates to wasted space if you don’t really need it, so if there’s just one or two of you an RV dinette replacement can be a fantastic idea. 

Do You Need Extra Sleeping Room?

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Along with considering how many people will need an eating space in your RV, you should also take into account the sleeping situation. Many times, the dining area of an RV doubles as a sleeping space, normally fitting one or two people. If you’re an RV owner that uses the dinette for this purpose, you’ll need to devise an alternative sleeping spot.

Many larger RVs have bunk beds in the rear corner, and this can be an excellent solution. Alternatively, your RV dinette replacement could involve replacing the dining area with more comfortable seating that also functions as a bed. There’s nothing worse than not having a comfortable place to sleep at night, so make sure you don’t sacrifice this when doing a dinette remodel.

Storage Space

Be sure to factor in your storage needs when planning your RV dinette replacement. If your RV came with a booth dinette, it likely has a large storage space underneath the seats. For those into tiny living, this extra space can be huge! If you tend to keep this area filled up with your possessions, you’re going to need to find a place to relocate it to. 

Now if you’re RV didn’t come with a booth-style dining table and you’re actually lacking that storage space, an RV dinette replacement can be the perfect way to add storage to your living area. If your RV is outfitted with a large dinette area that is simply too big for the use it gets, replacing it with a small table and seating area can free up quite a lot of space for storage. 

Weight

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All RV owners know the importance of keeping your rig’s weight low. While small additions to your RV may not seem like much, they can easily tack on a few hundred pounds to the GVWR. If your tow vehicle is already approaching its maximum tow capacity, you’ll have to think very carefully about what you add to your rig.

RV furniture is specially made to be lightweight, so if you start bringing in traditional furniture that isn’t made this way, you’ll have to know how much extra strain you’re putting on your camper. When possible, always opt for lighter materials.

Affecting Your Camper Resale Value

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This is something that many RV owners never think about when remodeling their rig, but it must be said! Despite what you might think, modifying your RV (even with better enhancements) does not increase its value. 

Most people looking to buy a used RV are seeking something that’s stock, just as it came from the manufacturer.  When you make custom modifications, you’re changing things so that they reflect your needs only. A potential buyer is likely not going to find value in an RV that’s missing a dinette but has extra floor space for yoga instead. While this shouldn’t necessarily deter you from remodeling your RV to fit your needs, keep in mind that selling your RV in the future may be more difficult if numerous alterations have been made.

10 Creative and Functional RV Dinette Replacement Ideas

1. Replace the Dinette With a Table and Chairs

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Many RVers hate the built-in dining tables found in RVs. They’re generally of cheaper quality and are awkwardly placed, and require some serious squeezing to get into! If you find yourself with a dinette area that you hate, consider stripping it out of your camper and adding a traditional table and chairs!

With regular chairs, you can easily move them around to accommodate different seating arrangements, and a typical kitchen table simply looks more visually appealing. This RV dinette replacement idea can completely transform the living space! If you add a smaller table and chairs that can easily tuck underneath the table when not in use, you’ll all gain quite a bit of extra space. A disadvantage of this, however, is that you lose out on any storage space that came with the existing dinette. 

2. Use the Dinette Space for a Kid’s Play Area

If you’re an RVer with little ones, you know that it can be a struggle to dedicate space to them! This is especially difficult for full-time RVers. If you have a big, bulky RV dinette, you may want to consider removing it to add a play area for the kids. While you will sacrifice a dedicated eating space, your children will be thrilled at having a space to enjoy all of their toys on the floor.

If you have pets instead of kids, you can also remove your dinette to create an area for them. Having a dedicated area for animal beds, litter boxes, and food bowls will help keep your RV organized. You could also enclose the space with an indoor pet fence so that you’re animals stay in one place when you don’t feel like watching them!

3. Add a Wall-Mounted Bar Table

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An RV dining table takes up way too much space. If it’s just one or two people using the RV, you really only need a table when you’re actively eating. One of the best RV dinette replacement ideas for saving space is installing a wall-mounted bar table. A table like this only sticks out from your wall one or two feet, and you can easily use bar stools that slide underneath when not in use. 

Another great option is to add a hinge to your bar table and allow it to fold down against the wall when not being used. You’ll barely even notice it’s there and it creates a much more modern look for your RV. 

4. Remove One Side of Your Dinette Booth for Extra Storage

As mentioned, the storage space underneath your dining booth is a huge advantage that you might not want to give up. In many RVs, this is actually the largest storage in the camper and where people keep larger, bulkier items like blankets, pillows, and jackets. If you use yours regularly, you might not want to give it up!

For one or two people, a full dinette is pretty unnecessary. Why not remove just one side of it so that you can gain extra space while not completely giving up all of the storage? Many people choose to remove just one seat and add more storage in its place, like a standing bookshelf or closet. 

5. Professionally Repuholster Your Dinette Cushions

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An RV dinette gets a ridiculous amount of use and over time the fabric on the cushions can wear down and fade. Furthermore, if you own an older RV, this fabric can also be hideous! Reupholstering your dinette cushions can make your RV feel brand new.  If you don’t have the sewing skills to tackle this job, bringing the cushions to a professional will ensure you receive a beautiful result.

Alternatively, you can even upholster your cushions without any sewing! Liquid stitch is a great option for people without a sewing machine, and it’s quite durable as well. Many other people also choose to make elastic band cushion coverings that go around their existing cushions, hiding unsightly patterns beneath.

6. Turn Your Dinette Into an Office Space

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In the digital age, many RVers have turned into “digital nomads”, working from their rig with just an internet connection and laptop. If this sounds like you, you’re going to need a fixed office space to do your best work and stay productive. While some people are satisfied working at a dinette, many people feel like they can’t do their best work unless they have a dedicated space.

One of the more functional RV dinette replacement ideas is completely removing it and opting for a permanent desk instead. While it may sound crazy not to have a dining room table, many people would prefer a good workspace. You can also eat at your desk or add in a little cafe table instead!

8. Compartmentalize Your Storage Cubbies

Not all RV dinette replacement ideas have to be drastic! Don’t feel like you have to go and tear down your existing dinette if you don’t want to. There’s a variety of small additions you can make to your dining area that are fairly simple but still have a huge impact. One of these is creating organized dividers in your dinette booth storage.

Oftentimes, this space below the bench is one wide open box, and if you’re like most people you simply throw everything in there in a jumbled mess. This makes pulling out that item a disaster. Consider adding dividing walls or smaller storage cubbies within the storage space to make locating items when you need them easy.

9. Add an Adjustable Table Pedestal

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Unless you have a dinette that turns into a bed, your table is likely in a fixed location. This can be quite frustrating for people that want it at different heights. A solution to this is installing an adjustable pedestal on the floor that allows you to lower and raise the table with ease. This is also great for turning your dinette into a bed if it didn’t have that capability already.

10. Or Add a Swinging Table

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Along with an adjustable table pedestal, you can even add a swinging table mount that allows you an infinite amount of table positioning possibilities. This is one of those RV dinette replacement ideas that really add functionality to your rig. If you’re prepping vegetables, you can easily swing the table over to you so that you don’t have to sit down to chop. Ready to eat? Simply swing the table right back over.

Refresh Your Living Space With These RV Dinette Replacement Ideas!

Despite what you may have thought, you don’t have to be stuck with an RV dinette you despise! If your dining area isn’t working for you, take the initiative to change it up yourself. With these RV dinette replacement ideas, you can easily transform your rig into the exact layout you want it to be.

Whether that means downsizing to a smaller dining table or adding open floor space, you’ll be thrilled with the added functionality it provides. So get to it!

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About Peter Wade

Peter Wade is a co-ordinator and writer at www.RVTalk.net. His hobbies are coffee, RV camping and photography. He now enjoys exploring the U.S. by RV with his two dogs. After obtaining a MA degree in Public Relations and Journalism, he had 8 years of experience working for the R&D Department of Outdoorsy. Peter provides a unique look and insightful knowledge about the RV lifestyle, and fills his blog with everything from RV camping guides to reviews about necessary RV accessories. If you are an RV enthusiast and want to get the most-updated trends of the RV industry, Peter’s articles are the must-visit contents.

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