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Author Topic: Why is it so difficult to find decent plans or photos of dinettes?  (Read 2052 times)
Barn Owl
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« on: February 08, 2009, 09:37:25 PM »

I have spent some time on the net and even have an old BCM article on building a dinette (no plans though) but it seems to be one of those by the seat of your pants projects. Anyone have good plans for one? Or knows where to locate some salvaged units near VA. I see dinettes on some sites but I cannot spend the $700 plus shipping to get one. It needs to be the type that can be converted to a bed. Also, foam seems to be expensive; any leads on a good foam or cushion source.


What I am up to:

I took the wreaking bar to the inside of my bus. I removed the full size oven/range and am in the process of moving the counter to make room for a dinette. I also took the rear bed out because I want to make a U shaped lounge that I can convert back into a bed. The PO did a good job and I was reluctant to replace good craftsmanship with my work. I am in a bit of a hurry because I have this trip coming up in a few months. There is hardly a better motivator than a fast approaching deadline. There where so many things I wanted to do before my trip, but having it moved up a year has forced me to only do the projects that are the most critical. I am having a difficult time finding a competent mechanic to do a tune-up. I have a few leads but nothing solid yet; most of the mechanics I talk to haven’t touched tools in many years and cannot do the work any more. I called the Detroit Diesel shop and asked what they would charge to “run the rack” (I have jakes) and they quoted $700 to $800. They charge $97 hour and plan on up to eight hours. Holy Crap! Does it take that long?  I wouldn’t mind trying to do it myself but not before a trip when I am pushed for time. With no one to work on one I would be in big trouble if I got things out of whack.
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« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2009, 11:20:30 PM »

Barn Owl,

No plan for a dinette, but I noticed that pictures of the Madden Cruiser showed a high back dinette version.

Our objection to dinettes have always been that they were short, even for me at 5'10".  So I guess that the high back won't only give headrests, but they'll give enough room to sleep with a pillow above the head.  I also think that the backs on a dinette should slightly slope and that makes it more comfortable for sitting.  If a dinette makes a 7' long bed and you can lean back while sitting there, it may be a better place.

But most of our experience that is relevant is about foam!  For both a bed mattress and a gaucho in past vehicles, we've picked a foam that was just TOO RIDGID.  It seemed that one would be comfortable on that, but when you try to sleep on it, it is like sleeping on a board.  Take some foam and sit on it for an hour.  If it never feels too soft, it is probably too hard to sleep on.  When you're sitting, you can wiggle.  When you're sleeping, you don't want to have to wiggle.

Study dinettes at large RV dealers and shows. 

TomNPat
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jjrbus
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2009, 01:46:52 AM »

I do not recall ever seeing dinette plans!! Seems the route to go would be off to an RV place with a camera, ruler and notepad!!
 Another though if you could find cushions that you like, you could build your dinette to fit the cusions.

                                                                                                      HTH Jim
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Old4103
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2009, 02:59:14 AM »

http://globetrotter64.home.att.net/project2.htm

http://mothermaybelle.blogspot.com/

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JackConrad
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2009, 05:24:48 AM »

Laryn,
    When we built our dinette, we built it to fit the new dinette cushions we had purchased in Elkhart. Space between the 2 dinette sections equals the height of the 2 backrest cushions This is also the width of the table top. Depth is equal to the length of the cushions.  Measure a table  in you house, that should be the height of the table top. Measure a table chair in your house, that is the finish height you want for the seat of your dinette.  Jack
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« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2009, 05:26:10 AM »

Not sure what kind of dinette your looking for but for a standard booth dinette the length is pretty much determined by your seat back height and the table width, the table is lowered to form the center part of the bed and the seat backs are spread out for a mattress, I have a couple of pictures of mine here on the board someplace I think I also have a couple of pictures of the booth platform that might be helpfull.
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buddydawg
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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2009, 05:40:30 AM »

Here is a useful chart to determine seat heights and locations.  Just remember if you are going to use seat cushions to take their thickness into consideration when determining seat height.   I used these guidlines to build mine but I made the seat backs low.
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Brandon Stewart - Martinez, GA
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« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2009, 05:51:37 AM »

Here are two pics of mine before i built the table top.  I will see if I can find one with the top in it.
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Brandon Stewart - Martinez, GA
Airbag
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« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2009, 06:45:23 AM »

Try this link

http://globetrotter64.home.att.net/project2.htm

Or this link they make dinettes free standing already built.

http://www.newhouserv.com/dinettes.asp

And this is my favorite, already built will save you boat load of time and they have a good selection:

http://www.discountvantruck.com/rvdinettes/rvfurnituredinettes.htm
« Last Edit: February 09, 2009, 06:59:24 AM by Airbag » Logged
BG6
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« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2009, 08:28:47 AM »

I have spent some time on the net and even have an old BCM article on building a dinette (no plans though) but it seems to be one of those by the seat of your pants projects. Anyone have good plans for one? Or knows where to locate some salvaged units near VA.

If salvage will work for you, check Craiglist and local impound yards for RVs with bad engines or transmissions.  I've seen 34-footers for less than $500, and they have a wealth of parts to take out (interiors, appliances, windows, aux lighting, tanks, gauges, vents, water pumps, electrical, propane systems).  Once you have stripped out what you want, you may be able to find someone to buy the rest for a couple of hundred bucks to get running gear, etc.

One advantage of using salvage parts is that you can break them down small enough to make it easy to get it through narrow doors.
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John316
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« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2009, 06:53:37 PM »

BarnOwl,

I don't know about how many hours, but 97 is a decent price. Our local DD dealer charges 130 an hour.

God bless,

John
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chris4905
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« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2009, 07:33:49 PM »

Another option.....

Find a church that's removing their used pews.  Get one pew, cut it in half, cut each one again to length, mount then on each side of your hinged table, and it's done.

They're not real comfortable for long sitting (like I'd know-LOL), but they are usually built sturdy, built with a proper angle to the back, well......you get the idea.

And if you say Grace at the beginning of your meals, your right at home !!!!!

Just a thought.

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Chris & Cheryl Christensen
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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2009, 04:58:50 AM »

Laryn, We have a variation on the dinette in our bus. Once we started spending a lot of time on board, we discovered we spend the greatest majority of time in one place: the two high backed swivel chairs. So, we have modified the front cabin to reflect that reality. We use a standard fold down table (available from CW for about $100) between the two chairs. We eat on it, it has two leaves so we can extend it if we have company, & best of all, it folds down out of the way if we need more space. My wife like that feature when cleaning! LOL

The rest of the cabin is slowly being modified so that everything we use/enjoy is usable/viewable from the two seats. I am now working on a custom swivel/rocking base for the chairs. I keep wearing out the standard rocking mechanisms.

Just how we did it.

TOM
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« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2009, 09:17:09 AM »

We love the Bar and chairs that Art has done in his Prevost. We may be in time change ours out for a simular set up.

John
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