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Open Roads Forum  >  Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)

 > A terrible dinette table. Opinions on modification?

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PrivatePilot

Greater Toronto Area

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Posted: 02/21/21 05:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So, we sold our big 5th wheel and the big truck a number of years ago...but realized we missed camping, so after renting one last fall and rekindling our love of RV'ing we recently bought a little ultralight unit that we can pull with our cars instead

I find the little trailer very liberating vs the big rig we used to own - no more having to worry about "Can we fit in there" or "Can we get down that road and be able to turn around" etc. We can literally go anywhere without a second thought.

Anyhow, long story short, the dinette setup is terrible. The big square table gives us lots of space, sure, but getting in and out of the dinette requires spinning the table (which really isn't super stable to begin with on the old style pole setup) and/or contortions.

Pictures tell a thousand words.

[image]

[image]

Making the table round or notching the corners isn't really viable as the table is of course needed for supporting the cushions when the table is folded to the bed.

Moving the receptacle for the pole further back on the bottom of the table will shift the table top back and probably fix the issue (and realistically it'll only ever be the two of us sitting at it anyways so there really needn't be room at the back), but then the table will be off balance and would need some sort of additional support in a place where we really can't provide it due to the design.

I could move the pole bracket on the floor back but that would leave a bunch of big ugly holes in the floor. Of course, if I'm going to remove it anyways I'm sure I could touch it up or disguise it somehow...

Is there some sort of magical solution here that I'm just missing? New leg setup that would work? Anyone got any DIY ideas? Someone thinking outside the box more than I am perhaps?


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SteveAE

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Posted: 02/21/21 06:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Would cutting the table into three sections work? The center section you guys could use when needed and the other two sections would only be used when sleeping.
Maybe you could put rails on the bottom of the center section to support the outer sections (using clips to hold it in place) if/when you want a big table?

PrivatePilot

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Posted: 02/21/21 06:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I thought about cutting it, yeah, but then I've got ugly unfinished edges to deal with.

Honestly, I could go for an entire replacement of some sort, the whole woodgrain thing is dated.

Someone else elsewhere suggested just replacing it with a round table which would be ideal (and is exactly what they did in the newer model of this same trailer) but then I've got the issue of the round table not working to fold down into the bed support, so I'm left carrying around the second table anyways which there really isn't space for.

I thought about going the new round table option and carrying slats or something to drop in for the bed option (and just drop the round table down onto the floor) but it seems like a clunky solution...and then the slats need to go somewhere through the day too.

I can't help but keep thinking there's some sort of new style legs or support or something that could replace the old fashioned pole setup (or at least complement it if I opted to shift the table-end bracket back to shift the table as a whole rearward) but I can't quite put my finger on it.

BarneyS

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Posted: 02/21/21 07:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would move the support and use some folding table legs to support the longer end.
I think this might work for you but I think you would need to move the receptacle for the existing tube FORWARD on the bottom of the table not back.[emoticon]. The folding leg then would be on the back towards the closed end of the table. You could operate it by reaching under the table.
Barney


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Passin' Through

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Posted: 02/21/21 07:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Have you thought about using a locking turntable bearing, or perhaps a flat-mount slide bearing? A slide bearing would require some sort of fabricated locking mechanism though.

A turntable bearing would allow you to rotate the table so the corners should be out of the way when you sit down. With a slide bearing the table could be just pushed toward the opposite side, the slid back after you are seated.

Wishing you good luck in overcoming this challenge.


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DrewE

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Posted: 02/21/21 07:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Could you maybe mount the tabletop on some sort of a slider mechanism, along the lines of a drawer slide, with a latch to hold it in position for use?





moebedick

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Posted: 02/21/21 07:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I hated the table that came with our teardrop camper, and like you, I was at a loss as to a workable solution. I had a sudden epiphany, I didn’t really need a “table “. Since there was only the two of us, we really didn’t need a big table. I purchased a folding aluminum table , about 2 1/2’square, that we could use in the trailer and outside the trailer. I purchased enough hardwood to cover the gap between the benches to solve the bed situation. The eight inch wide boards could stack under a bench or in a closet. Amazing how much larger the camper felt until I stood up. A 6’4” body in a trailer with about 5’6” headroom was an easily solved conundrum. I bought a motor home.

PrivatePilot

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Posted: 02/21/21 07:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The slider idea occurred to me but it seems like a kludge - when you slide the table back it’s still way bigger than is necessary.

I wonder about getting a new round table made and then finding some hollow aluminum slats (like the ones the compact “table in a bag” setups use) that could just roll out into the gap for the bed. Roll-up means they’re reasonably compact and aluminum means light and not unwieldy to deal with.

Just don’t know if they’d be strong enough in the end considering that area bears a lot of weight when someone’s climbing into and out of bed and might have ones entire body weight bearing on one knee or something.

pauldub

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Posted: 02/21/21 07:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You could offset the table and use two support posts.

Beverley&Ken

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Posted: 02/21/21 08:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What about cutting 8-12" off the length of the table. Relocate the pole mount on the bottom of the table so that the front edge is further back to allow for access. The cutoff piece would be used as the filler for the bed, and just left in the back of the 'bed track supports'. Use the original table top bed at the front for the bed.
The table appears to be solid wood, router, sand and matching finish.

Love your pillow cushions

Ken


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