For many campers, the RV dining booth is a pretty major part of the camping experience. Not only is it where you take your meals, but it’s also a place to sit down and relax, or even crank out some work if you’re busy making money on the road.
But as every motorhome or travel trailer aficionado knows, space in an RV camper is at a premium — and that traditional, booth-style RV dinette set isn’t exactly the most efficient use of space in the universe.
As usual, however, the camping community has come up with some super-clever workarounds that save space, increase storage, and make your dining area look cute as a button.
So if you’re looking for a way to have your RV dining table and eat there too, look no further — here are some of our favorite suggestions.
RV Dinette Booth Alternatives
Although the dinette booth is a tried and true RV interior mainstay, there are plenty of other ways to set aside space for taking meals without sacrificing a huge percentage of your floorplan.
Table and Chairs
Let’s face it: although booths can be comfortable, they’re often a little bit cramped. You can’t push back your chair and make more room after that delicious meal has you reaching for your belt buckle.
But if you replace your dinette with a camper table and standalone chairs, you have a lot more wiggle room — both literally and metaphorically. If you need extra space down the line, perhaps to host an event or set up a video game system, you can likely stash those tables and chairs in your under-cabin storage area. The same certainly can’t be said of a booth-style RV dinette table!
Expanding Your Storage
Another great thing about choosing the table-and-chairs model over the traditional booth: you’ve got a great opportunity to add in some more storage!
Take, for example, the clever sideboard table pictured above, which the RV owners crafted using two pre-built bookshelves. Not only does this design increase their overall floor space, but it also offers additional shelving space which they use for craft supplies and books. After gluing the shelves together, painting them, and covering the top with wood grain contact paper, they purchased a separate long table with a matching finish and set it over top of the shelves, creating a picture-perfect, space-efficient dining area.
More RV Table Alternatives and Suggestions
Here are a few more ways to rethink your RV’s dining area!
High-Top Table or Bar Area
Are you the type who, whenever you go to a restaurant, specifically requests to be seated at a high top or in the bar area?
If so, you can reinvent your ideal seating scenario in the comfort of your rig by ditching your dinette booth in favor of a slightly taller solution.
In the photograph above, the RV owners took out their dining booth and used cabinets and a separate tabletop in order to create a nice, tall dining area. Then they purchased some standalone stools, and voila: an instant bartop!
One of the coolest things about this method is that you can use just about anything to create a table or bartop. It just has to be flat, sturdy, and about the right size — which means you may be able to use reclaimed wood, or even an old barn door!
Maybe you do like your RV’s dinette booth just fine, but you’re traveling on your own or only with your significant other, and having a whole four-top just seems wasteful when it comes to space.
No problem: save yourself some square footage and elbow grease by only removing half of your RV’s dinette booth. Then, you can still be seated at your comfy cozy booth… while adding in extra storage space or floor room on the other side of the table.
In the photo above, the RV owners creatively installed a bookshelf in place of their second dining bench, which could be used to hold extra kitchen items, food, or any other necessary equipment. Plus, you can find bookshelves like that at Walmart, Target, or even on Amazon for well under $100… and they’re no big deal to build. (No, seriously!)
Maybe you’re not really the type to eat in very often… or when you do, you invariably find yourself seated on the couch anyway.
If so, does it really make sense to devote a big chunk of your living area to a dinette set?
The RV owners whose rig is pictured above did away with the booth for a small (but sufficient) table and chair set, and also added in an extra accent chair and some wall art to complete the look. Notice also how they redid their window fixings and added a throw pillow — major makeovers don’t always necessitate major expenses!
Best of all, this new set-up can easily be stored if the owners decide they need the room to do something else with, whether that means hosting a party or having an impromptu dance-off in their rig. (What, you’ve never done that? You should try it. Trust us on this one.)
More Ways to Make Your RV Kitchen Shine
Your RV dinette set is just one small part of a larger (and very important) living area: your RV kitchen. Making the food is just as important as consuming it, and when you’re in a travel trailer or motorhome, every single square inch of space counts — especially if you’re a gourmand who needs kitchen space to craft your delicacies!
That’s why we’ve written a ton of content about hacking your RV kitchen by using the right accessories and tools to ensure you’ve got the gear you need in the storage space you have at hand. For lots of ideas about how to make even a tiny RV kitchen feel luxuriously large, check out the following RVshare blog posts:
- Our Ultimate Guide to Mastering Your RV Kitchen
- Maximizing RV Kitchen Space for Your Favorite Winter Recipes
- 7 Game-Changing Kitchen Accessories Every RVer Needs
Even More RV Furniture Hacks
As you can see, there are tons of ways to rethink the tried-and-true dinette set model. Whether you opt for a pre-built bar and chair set or invent your own novel solution, one of the coolest things about purchasing a motorhome or travel trailer is making your RV your own. After all, it’s supposed to be a home away from home, right?
But it might not just be your RV dinette set that needs an update! Depending on how you use your rig, you may also want to rethink your pull-out sleeper sofa, bunkhouse beds, and more.
The sleeper sofa situation in particular is a great example. Although these set-ups are really convenient if you’re trying to sleep as many people as possible in your rig, if you’re traveling with a small party, they’re just unnecessary — and could easily be replaced with some super-luxurious reclining chairs in which to sit back and enjoy your onboard entertainment system. Or if you are traveling with more than a couple of people, especially for the long term, you might want to remove the couch and invest in an actual bed for that area. (After all, sleeper couches are convenient, but no one ever accused them of being the most comfortable bedding option on the planet.)
No matter where you are on your RVing journey, we hope you feel empowered to make your rig your own — or are brainstorming some creative ideas for renovations, remodels, and upgrades for your future travel trailer or motorhome.
Of course, it’s also just plain-old fun to look through remodeling options and see what other campers have come up with… which is why we’ve written about these kinds of makeovers a time or two here on the blog before! So if you’re looking for even more inspiration (or just to drool over some great-looking rigs), here are a few more posts to check out.
- 10 Amazing Camper Remodels
- 6 Practical RV Renovations for Older RVs (Plus Photos!)
- 5 Must-See Camper Bathroom Updates (and some Easy Tips!)
- Modern RV Upgrades
- 5 Travel Trailers that Received Major Upgrades
- 5th Wheel RV Upgrades You Don’t Want To Miss
- Converted Buses Take on New Life With Clever Renovations
Happy remodeling… and, of course, camping!
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