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Larger Dinette Table

     Having a properly sized dinette table contributes significantly to the pleasures of life in an Ollie.  That’s how Sheila and I feel after I modified our dinette table to add 4 1/4 inches to the table’s length.  What a difference a small amount of additional space makes.  We find it more comfortable, now have room for morning computers and coffee, and indoor dinners are more gracious.  Also, I can now put both elbows on the table if I want to.

    We have had a desire for a larger dinette table ever since we picked up our Ollie (hull 217) and got some experience under our belts.  We camp as a couple, never set up the third bunk, and don’t like having a table that is too small because of the bunk design issue.

    Oliver wasn’t interested in making a larger table when I broached the subject.  Why mess with a successful product?  But hunkering down to avoid corona virus gave me some extra time, and I used it to modify my existing table to see if I was on the right track.  I worked up a design that used material from my  leftovers bin, and which would allow me to undo the mod if it didn’t pan out.

    Unless you are really looking for it, the additional table length is not readily apparent.  Aesthetically everything still looks proportional.  The added length doesn’t interfere with the refrigerator door, and there is plenty of room to move about.   

     While the pictures below show what I did, this isn’t really a how-to-do-it report.  My goal is to stimulate Oliver.  My hope is that the powers-that-be at Oliver will order a mock-up of a table like mine to be made, sit at it, and confirm for themselves how much nicer it is.  It is my hope Oliver will then authorize a supplemental mold for laying up the larger table, offer it as an option to new buyers, and make it available for purchase by existing owners.  I would be one.

     If you think you might like a larger dinette table too, please tell me in a comment to this string.  I would like to ascertain if there is actually any demand for this, and if so, report same to Oliver.   And if you are so inclined, please contact Oliver directly as well.

    Best regards,
    John Shkor
    SailorAshore

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I think this is a great idea. I will tell prospective buyers about this idea, and suggest they ask the Oliver sales rep about it. 

Edited by DavidS

David Stillman, Salt Lake City, Utah

2016 Oliver Elite II  Hull 164    |    2017 Audi Q7 tow vehicle. 

Travel and Photography Blog: http://davidstravels.net

 

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Or another already existing option is just contact Foy Sperring and have him craft a larger custom wood dinette table. He does amazing work and still ships directly to Oliver or to existing owners. Our sales rep told us about Foy.
 

 

Edited by Patriot
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2020 Ford F-250 6.7 liter Powerstroke Lariat Ultimate “Tremor” High Cap tow pkg  - 2020 OLEII - Hull #634 

 

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I have been working on a Drop-Leaf design for another customer that would increase the size of the pantry countertop for serving and fold down for storage when not in use.  Something similar could be done for the front edge of the dinette.  I will post pictures once I have a prototype of the pantry drop-leaf.   

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Onward,


Foy and Mirna 


Roamy Mc Roadhouse


2017 Legacy Elite II, twin bed


Hull #227


2007 Dodge Durango 5.7L Hemi


 

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1 hour ago, Foy_Mirna said:

I have been working on a Drop-Leaf design for another customer that would increase the size of the pantry countertop for serving and fold down for storage when not in use.  Something similar could be done for the front edge of the dinette.  I will post pictures once I have a prototype of the pantry drop-leaf.   

Looking forward to seeing the pics! Thank you! 

2020 Ford F-250 6.7 liter Powerstroke Lariat Ultimate “Tremor” High Cap tow pkg  - 2020 OLEII - Hull #634 

 

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I'm interested.  I've thought about possibilities, but not having our Oliver yet makes it hard to come up with ideas.  My initial thoughts were so sort of drop leaf.  However, I would still like the table to function as a base for the dinette "bed" as we hope to use this space as a sofa, but still with the option for the table.

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin Hull# 699 - delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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16 hours ago, Susan Huff said:

I'm interested.  I've thought about possibilities, but not having our Oliver yet makes it hard to come up with ideas.  My initial thoughts were so sort of drop leaf.  However, I would still like the table to function as a base for the dinette "bed" as we hope to use this space as a sofa, but still with the option for the table.

I've thought about this, too. I'd love to have a larger work area, as the small dinette table is "multipurpose " in our trailer. It's the office. It's my prep area for cooking. And of course, it's occasionally even a dining table...

Drop leaves couldn't be very large, without messing with leg room. Foldunder leaves, like restaurants use taking a square table to a round, would have to be smaller because of the post.

I'm thinking a full size foldover top, like some marine tables, could double the workspace for the kitchen. (Like a sewing machine cabinet, where the lid folds out and becomes workspace.) Folding out over the aft dinette seat would double my workspace during the day. Clean it off, fold it back, and back to dining or laptop office. 

The lip on my table is about 1 3/4 inches, so a base tabletop of 1"thick wood, possibly x-braced inset to avoid warping,  plus a 3/4 inch foldout top panel could work. Extender supports could slide out for strength. 

And, still allow you to have a sofa. 

With hidden hinges (maybe Hafele?) And slideout support for the 3/4" thick top. 

Morticing in the hinges, and x brace, would be the toughest part. 

 

 

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Screenshot_20201115-154203_Chrome.jpg

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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6 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

I've thought about this, too. I'd love to have a larger work area, as the small dinette table is "multipurpose " in our trailer. It's the office. It's my prep area for cooking. And of course, it's occasionally even a dining table...

Drop leaves couldn't be very large, without messing with leg room. Foldunder leaves, like restaurants use taking a square table to a round, would have to be smaller because of the post.

I'm thinking a full size foldover top, like some marine tables, could double the workspace for the kitchen. (Like a sewing machine cabinet, where the lid folds out and becomes workspace.) Folding out over the aft dinette seat would double my workspace during the day. Clean it off, fold it back, and back to dining or laptop office. 

The lip on my table is about 1 3/4 inches, so a base tabletop of 1"thick wood, possibly x-braced inset to avoid warping,  plus a 3/4 inch foldout top panel could work. Extender supports could slide out for strength. 

And, still allow you to have a sofa. 

With hidden hinges (maybe Hafele?) And slideout support for the 3/4" thick top. 

Morticing in the hinges, and x brace, would be the toughest part. 

 

 

Screenshot_20201115-154301_Chrome.jpg

Screenshot_20201115-154203_Chrome.jpg

Our Leisure Travel Van had the "folding wing" type dinette table with slide out supports.   I would want to have a bit larger dining table, but with a leaf only on the aisle side.  Not sure how this would work.

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin Hull# 699 - delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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Just a thought; have never thought the table was too small. Some of the mentioned modifications might have some limited use. We also wonder how they might add weight when trying to make into a bed? Could you even make into a bed? The aisle is only 24" wide, would an extension mean every thing has to be picked up for someone to pass? Back and forth to the head (bathroom) or outdoors? Do we use it as a bed? Not very often, but an occasional grandchild travels along. It is worth the trade off?

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Question for those with experience:  While dining, does it work to use either the pantry or microwave counters as "side boards" for items that might otherwise occupy the dining table?

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Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin Hull# 699 - delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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If your question is, "can you reach the microwave counter without getting out of your seat?", the answer is probably.  Depending on your wingspan. 

I  use that little bit of counter extensively.  All day. And, yes, it's a good spot for condiments. Etc, during dinner, on the rare occasions that we have to sit inside to eat at the small dinette. 

We don't have the pantry in the smaller Elite,  so I  can't comment,  except to say that since it's behind you, it would be more difficult to use.

 

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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During this pandemic my husband has turned into a real minimalist. He started with the basement followed by the bedrooms and into the rest of the living areas. Now he has turned to downsizing our Oliver to an Elite. Since he will be doing most of the driving the final decision is up to him. We checked out a beautiful Elite to compare models and now I am in love with both. Having studied the Elite II I have to now familiarize myself with the slightly smaller size Elite. So how would adding 4" to the table affect an Elite? Enlarging the dinette table may make it look just too big in such a small area. Plus, like Mainiac stated," the aisle is only 24inches wide."  I just notice SeaDawg has an Elite and may help with some information on the aisle size with the Elite dinette. How do you manage the aisle with a 4" add on or an added fold?

Our build date is in December. Glad to have all this information to help us out.

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The small dinette table is only about 21 or 22 inches deep,  (east/west) because of the grooves in the seats to support the 3rd bed, or sofa. Roughly 24" wide 

The table size is fine for meals for two. It holds two plates, two glasses, and a bit of condiments. Not a lot more.

The table leg isn't centered, east west, so a  dropdown "leaf"  could only be 4 or 5 inches on the aisle side. Which might be fine, but won't add a lot of room. But, it's something,  and would not interfere terribly with knee room entering and exiting the table, if you're not really big people. 

I'd just live with it awhile. We have,  I  guess, 13 years in.  😀

 

 

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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1 hour ago, Starshine said:

Plus, like Mainiac stated," the aisle is only 24inches wide

I think that's true, in both trailers. Not sure. 

It's still possible to pass, sideways, if you're normal sized, if your husband has his knees/feet in the aisle. Been doing that a long time 

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Vincent is 5'6" and I am 5'2".  So the Elite should fit us fine.  I found this table in my basement that has a 24" x 20" table top with an 8" leaf. Underneath is an extender that pulls out for support. We love this versatile table because we don't have to be careful using. We are looking for something similar but cute enough for an Oliver. The wood look is beautiful but we have a lot of brown natural wood in our home so we are going with black or grey colors. I love Corian but realize it is not very practical in that spot. Again, thanks for all the advice. We will keep perusing this forum for much needed information.

I've posted some pictures of our basement table. It is a hand me down standard leaf table.

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Starshine, that will give you a good idea of the Oliver small dinette table.

An undeployed 8" leaf might make it tough to slide into the booth, though you could always lift it up a bit.  I'm thinking 5 , maybe 6" max. I'd go out and measure, but we're working on the trailer, several projects,  and it's so close to the garage that I can't open the door. Sorry

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Starshine, we've had the original table for 13 years, and we manage just fine.

Though I'd love to add a slightly bigger table, but we already have several projects for this winter. 

 

 

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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More on a Larger Dinette Table
A number of interesting ideas came up in the responses to my proposal that Oliver should offer a larger dinette table as an option, and for after-market sale to current owners.  I wanted to provide some additional information for some of them.

1.  As can be seen in the picture of my "new" table below, even after adding almost five inches to the table length there is actually still more than 26" of space in the walkway between the table and the refrigerator.  Plenty of room for two people to maneuver.  If I were to do it again, I would add a full 5" to the table, making the new table dimensions 27 3/4"W and 29" long.  Then the walkway would be exactly 26"
2.  I like the idea of a drop leaf and other expanding table designs when space permits, but in exploring design options for myself I was concerned that unless raised the drop leaf would block one from sitting down at the dinette.   Also, I was concerned about sharp square corners being a safety hazard when the leaf was down, and wanted to preserve the rounded corners for safety.
3.  For those who might to want to use their third bunk, if Oliver were to follow the same pattern used for its current table, the larger table could still be used as the filler for establishing the bunk.  Probably with a couple of barrel bolts underneath and near the sidewall to lock the table in place when it was in the "down" position.
4.  Finally, and just to gild the lily, I led the charging cables for our computers & smartphones up through the table edge under the window.  When not in use they drop back down into the holes and are out of the way.   Much neater than having them flop all over the place.  Oliver ought to do a similar thing with its table(s).

Thanks to all who chose to comment.
John Shkor
SailorAshore
 

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