Oliver | Luxury Fiberglass Travel Trailers, Campers & RVs › Forums › OLIVER CAMPERS › Ollie Modifications › Ideas for upgraded dinette seating?
- March 30, 2010 at 6:29 pm #12368
After almost two years of living and working in our Oliver – we’re seeing a need for upgraded seating options in the 2-person dinette. The cushions are giving out from frequent use, and honestly.. they’re not all the comfortable for extended sitting. Which we do a lot of when working on our computers.
Has anyone done anything to upgrade their dinette seating? Any creative ideas for improvements – such as somehow attaching an office chair seat & back into one of the molded wells?
– CherieMarch 30, 2010 at 6:46 pm #17740
Most office chairs seem to sit on a single post. It seems like it would be relatively straight forward to design a bracket to hold one on the bench. I haven’t done it, but I can imagine it. You would likely even be able to do some pivoting in the seat, depending on mounting options.
The only issue I see is having access to the tools to make the bracket, it might take a machine shop to build the post.March 30, 2010 at 11:18 pm #17741
I think to support weight properly you may have to go deeper than the bench top…. I am not exactly sure how Casita does the chairs in their version ( I think it’s the Freedom, but I could be wrong… they have several versions of the same 17 ft. trailer), but it would be worth a look at one to see how it was accomplished.
The 90 degree seating angle of the existing small dinette seats (to afford the 3rd "twin" bed" ) may not be super comfortable for those who spend a lot of time working at the bench seats. Fortunately, we don’t, but I keep little pillows around for lumbar support on the rare occasion when we do need them. We usually eat and work on the computers outside, but weather sometimes gets in the way.
I can see why you’d want to change them out for office type chairs, since you use them every day. You don’t (as far as I know) have any overnight guests,requiring you to break down the dinette to a bed. That is, beyond Kiki the cat…. and I suspect she’s comfortable anywhere, and will find a new place to go .
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2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12March 30, 2010 at 11:19 pm #17742
Fishermen have the same issues. There are lots of boat seats out there that might just attach to the storage bin’s cover. They swivel, are cushioned and some have arm rests.
I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth 08' Oliver Legacy Elite HULL NUMBER 0003(sold)March 31, 2010 at 12:01 am #17743
Somebody on the Casita forum posted the mods to the captains’chairs. Go to casitaclub.com and on the top right there is a topic called DIY mods. After you click on this go to medium mods, and you will see how the seats were modified. Another person made a triangular wooden back rest to put under the cushion.
I have two square very soft pillows I use instead of the cushions.
Good luck on your quest to find comfort for the side dining seats.
I have a question for you so I will start another thread. JMarch 31, 2010 at 12:38 am #17744
I also don’t care for the square seating of the dinette and found an upholsterer on the Central Coast of CA who custom made a seat (only 45 degree turnable) easy to get in and out of in an angled heat activated foam that as I remembered slid on a "rail" a few inches side to side. It was a bit $$ at about $400 a pair but was real comfy. I believe his shell was a fiberglass boat seat that he modified. This was a few….years ago and his primary business was hot rod seating and he has retired, but hope this gives you some ideas!!!
Hope to see ya’ll soon, Chuck n Geri n Scottie n Doogie n MotherShipMarch 31, 2010 at 3:42 pm #17746
Thanks for all the great ideas, guys.. we will definitely be looking further into this, and report back what we decide on. (And keep the ideas coming if you have them ).
I believe the Casita’s captain chair option forgo any under storage bins, and are directly mounted to the floor. Originally it was that design that got us intrigued by the floorplan, and for sure we thought that was the plan for us. But the loss of storage led us to preferring the Spirit Deluxe layout (and thus, led us to Oliver.).
Whatever we do.. we do want to keep the option of having a twin bed – as we have occasionally housed guests, and even taken on ride-along passengers. But that may mean keeping the cushions in the back of the truck for those rare cases.
– CherieMarch 31, 2010 at 11:04 pm #17748
I had to go look at the photos again to see how the modification was done. When I was trying to make a decision about the Casita, storage and captain chairs were two issues I also thought a lot about. I still love the Casitas but the Oliver just allowed me to choose the options I wanted, as yall know. It looks like that couple has the best of both worlds – storage, swivel, and returning to bench if wanted. Yall will have to post photos when you find the solution that works best for KikiAugust 4, 2014 at 5:49 pm #18841
I don’t have an Oliver yet but am seriously considering it for full-timing including the need to work at my computer pretty much all every every day.
Here is what I imagine doing, and I wondering if anyone can give me feedback.
I would buy the king size model.
Take the table away.
Build a support structure for one side of the dinette to hold a standard twin size bed.
Put another twin bed against the wall.
Use bed wedges at desired thickness to make more comfortable seating angle.
Use another bed wedge as an arm rest / leaning post.
I’ve actually tried this at home and it’s quite comfortable. At night I’d set up that second twin bed next to mine for my husband. Hopefully two standard twins would fit, maybe with some custom cornering.
I hope this would solve the problem of both the need for comfortable seating and comfortable sleeping for a full timer.
Any thoughts?August 5, 2014 at 3:17 am #18842
I’m not exactly sure what you’re trying to achieve with the bed situation. Have you looked at the twin bed model? You could actually have one permanant bed at the rear (on either side) and make down the front dinette daily for the second bed with a work space in the rear. Or have both beds in the rear and use the front dinette as your work space. I still don’t understand what you need.
Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4August 5, 2014 at 2:04 pm #18843
Hi, Chamaigne, and welcome to the forum.
I’m a little confused, too. Are you talking creating an L-shaped daytime arrangement, with one mattress north/south, and one east/west along the back wall? Folding table to work from? Or, two normal sized twins, side by side, north/south? Two standard twins, at 39" wide, would fill the whole back dinette/bed area, I think, and would be wider than a standard 72" king.
I’ve seen two LegacyII twin bed models. The beautiful custom job made for Steve and Tali (ScubaRx), and a lovely standard twin that Larry and Betty took on the road a few months back for demos. The width of the twin beds on both these are "RV twin", my guess, is around 30-32 inches, like a deep sofa seat.Put together, they’d be at least the size of a queen. I don’t know if the aisle between is wide enough for a table for a folding worktop table/desk… Probably a narrow one. Looked to me like there was 16-18 inches between the two beds. Is that about right, Steve?
I will say the new twin mattresses that Oliver is using in the new trailer seem super comfortable. I almost fell asleep testing one out in Larry and Betty’s demo trailer…
We have a 17, and leave the back dinette made up as a bed all the time when we travel. We use the small front dinette for a desk or table when we need one, but do most of our dining and computer work outdoors. We’re retired, though, and don’t carry as much paperwork as you would if you’re working full-time. The small dinette table is only about 2′ x 2′.
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2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12August 5, 2014 at 2:57 pm #18846
That’s encouraging that the new beds are more comfortable. I read a couple of posts elsewhere that full-timers were looking for ways to make them comfortable enough.
The things I’m trying to accomplish are 1. optimally comfortable bed and 2. optimally comfortable seating for working all day.
As I understand it, one of the main reasons the Technomadia couple who started this thread ended up trading in their Oliver for a bus conversion was because they wanted real office chairs for working long hours at dedicated desks. The small dinette wasn’t big or comfortable enough for them. After a couple years in the Oliver they wanted something bigger.
I’ve got energy problems – I’m actually on disability for chronic fatigue syndrome – so I’m used to lounging on a bed or couch with my laptop all day, trying to start on-line businesses (or just get through the day!). I don’t really have the energy to sit in an upright seat for a long time. I’m also very protective of my sleep quality!
On the other hand, I don’t want a bigger trailer if I can help it because our purpose in traveling is to share our music (at whatever rate I can with my energy). So we need it to be as light and cheap to tow as possible, given that we will be full-timing. So I’m just trying to figure out how I can make an Oliver work.
If it’s true that the new beds are more comfortable, it’s possible I could lounge in the big dinette to work, and sleep there at night. I would still tend to want the King bed configuration instead of the twins because it looks like the twin arrangement has the center dresser which would prevent me from putting a regular width mattress down just in case the cushions aren’t comfortable enough for me. Does that make sense?
You’re right about what I was visualizing – making a "couch" out of two twin beds, either oriented along the side of the trailer or along with width of it. The "desk" part isn’t as important. I just use a folding bed-side table or lap-desk, and a brief case full of papers. Good point about the sizes of beds advertized being "rv" sized.August 5, 2014 at 3:24 pm #18847
The center nightstand is not molded-in. If you didn’t want to have it, they can leave it out. The U-shaped "bench" in the rear is molded in as part of the inner hull. It covers and provides space for a lot of the mechanical accessories such as the rear jacks, furnace, water heater and pump, wheel wells, plumbing, electrical, etc. As such, it is not removable. It is the support for the rear bed and when the rear table is set up it is the seating surface for your cushions.
If you can envision what you want, it can be done. They can provide you with outlets (12v or 110v) wherever you might need them. As Sherry mentioned, they did a lot of custom work on ours, just to my specifications.
Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4August 11, 2014 at 4:10 pm #18861
Oh, that’s very good to know that the center night stand is not molded in. Thanks!
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