Tips For Repairing Or Replacing RV Furniture

rv-furniture-bullyans-rv.jpg Is the furniture in your RV looking a bit tired?

Are the sun-damaged fabrics looking faded?

Maybe the cush is gone in the cushions?

There are a number of reasons to update the furniture inside your RV.

Fortunately, there are also a number of ways to handle this situation!

 

Giving New Life To RV Furniture

A local upholstery shop could reupholster the RV furniture for you.  Be sure to get an estimate first, as the cost is likely to be well beyond the cost of buying new.

Though finding parts to repair a broken jack knife sofa frame may be hard, if not impossible, replacing the whole unit is a snap.  You can go to any RV dealership and look through catalogs,  browsing through different styles.  Designer fabrics or maybe leather this time around would be nice.  Any local RV dealer can fix you right up.  Of course, they tack on a percentage for being the middle man, but you do have the advantage of being able to arrange for installation by their maintenance shop.

Flexsteel is the brand of furniture most commonly found in RVs.  You can view their product line on the Internet, but if you want to purchase anything, you’ll have to go through your RV dealer or other authorized furniture store, as you can’t order directly from the factory.

There are some online companies, like Bradd and Hall, that are authorized Flexsteel dealers as well.  With their larger ordering base, you may be able to swing a better deal than you would find at an RV dealer.  Even Camping World carries a variety of furniture for RVs.

Most RV furniture manufacturers don’t offer replacement fabric kits to reupholster your worn or damaged sofa.  They state the cost of redoing a couch properly is as much, if not more, than buying a complete new piece of furniture.  They do offer sheet goods, if you want to tackle the job on your own.  These products are sold by the square yard, without prepared patterns or layout help.

 

RV Furniture vs Household Furniture

furniture-store-by-Kim-Scarborough.jpg For the do-it-yourselfers out there, when my wife and I remodeled the interior of our 5th wheel trailer we chose to stay away from “RV furniture”.  Compared to household furniture, you will pay a noticeable premium because it was specifically built for RVs.

RV manufacturers always have to weigh the number of beds, with the overall cost of production when they design a unit.

Sometimes what they think is the best arrangement conflicts with what you really need.  It always seems to be a trade-off in one way or another.  Sometimes, their level of comfort and quality just don’t make the grade in the long run.  After a couple years, the cushions have been beat down, or the framework may have bowed under the weight.

 

Some DIY Ideas

My wife and I replaced the jack knife sofa inside our RV with regular household furniture from a local discount furniture dealer.  Since the sofa rested in the confines of a slideout, we never bolted it down or anything.  We never had a problem with it moving, though a couple simple metal L-brackets attached to the rear feet would have been enough to guarantee it stayed put.

Our favorite RV furniture project was to get rid of the dinette.  Replacing it with a small dining table and chairs is so much nicer.  However, before you take a hammer to your dinette, look under it.  Does the carpet or flooring cover the space underneath the seats?  If you don’t want that odd ball area to be different from the rest of the flooring, you better make sure they installed the dinette after they installed the floor covering.

One thing for sure, if you want to put a twinkle in your wife’s eye all you have to say is: “Let’s go furniture shopping.”

furniture-testing-by-DCvision2006.jpg

Curtis Carper

I’ve been involved in RVing for over 40 yrs -- including camping, building, repairing, and even selling RVs. I’ve owned, used, and repaired almost every class and style of RV ever made. I do all of my own repair work. My other interests include cooking at home, living with an aging dog, and dealing with diabetic issues. If you can combine a grease monkey with a computer geek, throw in a touch of information nut and organization freak, combined with a little bit of storyteller, you've got a good idea of who I am.

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  • Linda

    I like the idea of buying regular furniture for our rv and we are looking to put in a double recliner unit. But how in the world do you get something that size through a 23.5″ door opening? Is there some secret to this?

    • Curtis

      Linda, The largest piece I’ve brought into an RV was a love seat sofa. We stood it on end and wiggled it around through the narrow door. For sure the door is your limiting factor.

  • Georgia77450

    I am new at this and bought a 1987 pull camper, the sofa has a vent running through it and what a mess to try to find one that fits. Any suggestions?

    • Curtis

      Georgia the vent is likely a furnace duct. You might be able to run the duct somewhere else such as out a close by cabinet front. That way you would have more options with a sofa replacement.

  • Cjuliec

    Where can you get new cushions for the dinett and couch

    • Curtis

      Cjuliec, Any local upholstery shop can fix you up or you can order new foam on line Example: http://amzn.to/a9KRDN and remake the cushions yourself.

  • Brenda

    We are trying to fix the day/night blinds in our Fleetwood Discovery. We cant figure out how to remove the valance first. Can you help me? I have tried to look up this info on the internet and cant seem to find out any info. We have called the Fleetwood office and they said take it to a dealer.

    My husband is a handy-guy but we are stumped.

    Thank you for all you info you put on the internet.

    Sincerely,
    Brenda

    • Curtis

      Brenda, I’m not familiar with the Discovery specifically but on the various RV’s that I’ve remodeled the valences were held in place by some sort of “L” bracket with screws securing it to the wall. In some instances it required removing the screw in the bracket that goes into the valence first because there isn’t enough room to address the screw that goes into the wall. The “L” bracket itself may be hidden behind the shade so it might require you to remove the shade first. Here again I don’t know without seeing it. Good luck.

  • Vanessa

    How did you get your furniture in side did it fit thourgh the door? It looks as if our door is to small. Thanks

    • Curtis

      Vanessa, Everything went in through the door. This included a stacked washer and dryer, and a love seat sofa. I won’t say that all RV doors are the same size though. Measure carefully.

    • http://www.facebook.com/simplyjefff Jeff Frank

      Vanessa,
      You may want to check out Simplicity Sofas. They are a manufacturer specializing in sofas for small spaces. All of their sofas will fit through any doorway wider than 15 inches. They sell to lots of RV and boat owners.
      http://www.simplicitysofas.com

  • Bethypoo

    I have a question. We own and live full time in our 1995 Layton travel trailer. The couch, which is the original jack knife, is wearing thin on the seat. Can we take the seat and the back and switch them? Or would we be better off just getting rid of the couch and going with chairs? The reserve water tank is under the couch, but we don’t use it, so not a problem to remove it if you think chunking the couch would be the better option. Thanks

    • Curtis

      Bethypoo, I doubt the two sections of the couch are the same size making it improbable that swapping them would work. From my own experience I’ve removed similar sofa’s and replaced them with normal household furniture. Specifically I bought a love seat because the space wasn’t large enough for a full sized sofa.

  • Guest

    Hi,,,I am trying to get the seats metal

  • Guest

    Hi,,,I am trying to get the metal part at the bottom where the seats were off and cant get them off,,Ive tried everything ,,,I dont want the seats in here cause I am replacing them and having a hard time getting the metal part off of the floor,,,can you tell me how to get them off,,,thanks

    • Curtis

      Guest, If they are bolted through the floor the easiest method may be to use an Angle Grinder and grind the bolt heads off. Be careful of sparks so that you don’t start something on fire.

    • Curtis

      Hi Cheri, the bolts probably require someone underneath to hold the nuts. You may not be able to get at them anyway. The easiest way would be to grind the head off with an angle grinder. Be careful though, sparks could start a fire.

  • cheri

    Hi, I want to replace the seats in my motorhome and cant get the metal parts attached to the floor off,,,is there an easy way to get the metal off,,i am having such a hard time getting them out,,i have tried unscrewing and they just keeping turning,,,

  • Jim Spalten

    How do I remove a jack knife sofa

    • Curtis

      Jim, Odds are it’s bolted through the floor. If the nuts or bolt heads are hidden you may have to use a grinder to cut them off from the top. Be careful for fire hazard.