Best RV Dinette Replacement Ideas

For a long time, RVs all seemed to have a very similar floor plan. This floor plan typically consisted of a seating area, kitchen, sleeping area, and a dinette. While the dinette was a great idea for RVs of the past, today they do not fit with the needs of all RV owners. RV dinette replacement is a popular modification for RV owners who want a more useable space, without having to buy a new RV.

Mike and Susan, who own and have been considering remodeling their dinette in their Class C RV for a couple of years now. They have thought of many ways to remodel their dinette, so we thought we would share some popular dinette replacement ideas with you.

If you are considering an RV dinette replacement project, this article will give you some ideas for filling the space. We will also share some of the pros and cons that you need to consider when you are contemplating modifying the interior of your RV.

Do You Need A Dinette In An RV?

For many of us, a dinette in our RV is an unused or impractical feature. The dinette has been the standard arrangement for many RV manufacturers for years. But not everyone needs or wants a place to sit and eat.

The need for a dinette depends on your particular travel situation. Many people with kids like a dinette because it allows you to keep up with family mealtime routines. It can also be nice to have a table for things like puzzles and board games.

However, if you find that your dinette goes unused, you may want to consider modifying the space to something more practical. There are plenty of ways that you can change the space to better fit your needs.

If you are shopping for a new RV, and you are not sold on the dinette. You may want to look for newer RV models that offer alternatives to the dinette. Many new RVs replace the dinette with larger couches, entertainment centers, or comfortable chairs. There are a variety of options that you may want to consider.

Do All RVs Come With Dinettes?

RV dinettes were the standard for many RV manufacturers for many years. However, with so many people taking on RV dinette replacement projects, RV manufacturers started offering alternatives to the traditional dinette.

Many new RV models allow for a certain level of customization around the typical dinette space, at little to no extra cost. Today, you can find a variety of alternative furniture options as standard feature options instead of the dinette.

Some RV manufacturers even offer you the option to leave the dinette space empty. This allows you to have extra space for gear, pets, or even mobility equipment like scooters or wheelchairs.

Do you really need an RV dinette?

10 Best RV Dinette Replacement Ideas

Not all of us want to trade in our RV for a new model just to get rid of the dinette. For those of us with some DIY skills and the desire for something different, RV dinette replacement projects are a fun challenge and allow us to make our rig exactly what we want.

But what do you put in that space? 

1. Residential Table And Chairs

The easiest of the options is to simply remove the dinette, finish the floor and wall and fill the space with a residential dining table and chairs. This is a great idea if you like the idea of a dining table, but do not love being squished into a small space. 

Keep in mind that if you go with this option, you will want to have a way to secure the table and chairs while you travel so they don’t move around. This may include hauling the table and chairs in your truck or installing tie-down points inside your RV to easily secure the furniture in place.

2. Love Seat Or Couch

This is a pretty popular option that many people choose when purchasing a new RV. Additional seating that is not a dinette makes the living space seem more like home. It also gives you more room to spread out when you want to relax. If you are considering this option, you can use residential furniture options, or look for after-market options that are designed specifically for RVs. These will be lighter in weight and may also be convertible from a couch to a bed.

3. Office Space

Office dest with two work stations in an RV - RV dinette replacement
Having office space in your RV allows for work on the road

Many of us are calling our RV home and office. With more and more people enjoying the flexibility of a work-from-home career, a travel office can be a perfect dinette replacement. Sure, you can use the dinette as a workspace, but a more practical use of the area may be a desk and comfortable chair with plenty of plugs and USB ports. Set up your office to look out the window and you can enjoy the views while working.

4. Kids Play Area

For families with small children, removing the dinette and leaving the space open offers a great play area. This can be a lifesaver if you are traveling as a family and get stuck inside your RV due to poor weather. Little ones may not be entertained by games. Having a place where they can enjoy their toys and play as they would at home can be a sanity saver for parents and grandparents. 

5. Day Bed

Is what you need more sleeping space? Is your RV dinette always arranged as a bed instead of an eating area? You may want to remove the dinette altogether and replace it with a small day bed. These more compact beds can work as a couch but also be a perfect bedtime spot for your kids.

6. Two Recliners And A Side Table

This is a very popular option in new RVs. Instead of a dinette, add two recliners and side tables. This is a great way to relax, and the side tables offer a spot to set beverages, food, or your favorite book. When you are doing an RV dinette replacement with recliners and side tables.

7. Pet Area

If you travel with your pets, you be challenged by where to put their stuff. You don’t have a lot of floor space in your RV for food and water bowls, pet beds, and toys.

If your dinette is not being used, you can convert this space to a place for your pets. Removing the dinette, adding flooring, and closing in the wall will allow you to place all of your pet’s gear out of the way and out from under your feet.

8. Breakfast Bar

Breakfast bar with 4 metal stools in an RV slide-out - RV dinette relpacement

Still want a place to eat but not a full table and chairs? A breakfast bar is a nice option. Remove your dinette and replace it with a narrow counter and stools. This arrangement allows you a space to eat but also opens up your RV for extra floor space.

9. Extra Storage

Maybe you just need more space for your stuff. A great way to repurpose your RV dinette is to remove it and add drawers, a closet, or other storage. This open space can be a great place to hang bikes or other sporting equipment if you need it.

10. Entertainment Center

If one of the comforts of home that you miss is a good-sized television and your entertainment center, taking out your RV dinette can give you the perfect space for all your entertainment gear. This can be a big win if you travel with teenagers who enjoy video games. Or perhaps you enjoy watching movies when the sun goes down or the weather is bad.

Is It Difficult To Remove An RV Dinette?

If you have some decent DIY skills, an RV dinette replacement can be a simple task. The difficulty in the project will lie in how well your RV is built and also what you are replacing the dinette with.

In general, RV dinettes are installed using small nails and carpentry staples. The rest of the dinette is made from lightweight materials that should be easy to remove with some simple tools. The strongest connection point for your RV dinette is where the seats and table connect to the floor. 

When you remove the dinette, you may damage the floor or have holes from where the dinette was attached. Taking your time with removing the dinette will reduce the amount of damage you will need to repair before installing your replacement features. 

The difficult part of removing a dinette is relocating everything under the dinette. For example, in Mike and Susan’s Class C RV they would need to relocate their water heater, water tank, water pump, and our central vac system. Moving all of these components requires quite a bit of creativity and planning.

RV dinette removal is a DIY job for most RVers

Do RV Renovations Hurt Resale Value?

At some point in time, you will probably want a new RV. If you are making renovations to your existing rig, you do need to think about resale value. RV renovations do not necessarily hurt the resale value, but you do need to be thoughtful of the modifications you make.

One of the easiest ways to keep your resale value high after making renovations is to try to match the interior décor as closely as possible. Most RVs have neutral colors that fit the preferences of most people. Avoid clashing colors, or furniture options that do not coordinate with the existing furniture.

If you are renovating an older RV, you may have an easier time selling it than if you are renovating a newer rig. Right now, there is a big demand for renovated, classic RVs. If you are looking to sell your renovated classic RV, you may be surprised at how quickly it sells and how willing people are to pay your asking price.

The one place you may struggle to get a good return on your RV dinette replacement is if you are trading your RV in at the dealer. Most of the time, dealers want to see the RV in its original state. If you want the biggest return, maybe skip the dealer and sell the RV on your own.

Final Thoughts About RV Dinette Replacement

The RV dinette was a fixture in RVs for a long time. Today RV owners are looking for more variety and versatility in their RV floorplans.

This means that the RV dinette is an option for those who want it, but there are other options if you do not want a dinette. For those of us with an RV that we love, except for the dinette, an RV dinette replacement is a great way to update our rig.

If you are considering an RV dinette replacement, make sure you have a good plan before you start. Taking the time to do the work properly will ensure that your space is comfortable and that when you are ready to upgrade, you get a good return on your investment.

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About the Author:

Jason Gass is a full-time freelance writer and part-time RVer whose goal is to share great stories around a campfire with good friends.

When he’s not working, he spends most of his time camping, searching for the best breweries, and road-tripping in his teardrop trailer with his wife, daughter, and two dogs.