A lot of time in an RV is spent in the dining area where you can eat snacks, work on your laptop, and relax with your family members and friends. Choosing between either a dinette or table and chairs can be tricky. To help you make this decision, we researched this topic to give you the pros and cons of both types of seating arrangements.
Dinette seating is the better choice for owners with significant room inside their RV’s. For smaller RV’s, a table and chairs can be used to replace a dinette to free up more living space and storage space.
Being an RV owner is all about maximizing the space you have available. Read further for an in-depth look at what to consider when picking between either a dinette or table and chairs.
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RV Table And Chairs VS Dinette
The space inside an RV is limited. If bulky dinette bench seats take up a lot of room in your RV, it is time to find alternative seating arrangements. One of the most common alternatives to a standard RV dinette is using a table and chairs. Each of these seating arrangements has pros and cons to consider when ultimately deciding what to incorporate into your RV's layout.
The dinette has been a mainstay inside every RV for decades. After a long day on the road, comfortable booth-style bench seats are the most popular seating option among RV owners.
The RV's dinette is typically installed in the manufacturing process, so the dimensions are perfectly sized for your RV's interior layout. The dinette and bench seats are securely fastened to the RV's floor and do not move while driving.
One major disadvantage of dinette booth-style seating is the amount of space the arrangement takes up inside the RV. Storage space is at a premium in an RV, so many owners remove the dinette to install either shelves or bins as the replacement. That said, there are pros and cons to dinette seating:
- Can convert into a bed
- Secured to the floor and will not move
- Takes up more room
- Older seats don't provide sufficient support
- Legroom is limited
Table And Chairs
To make the most out of living and storage space, more RV owners are removing their standard dinette and replacing it with a table and chairs. This arrangement is similar to a standard dining room inside a home, and allows the seats to be pushed back for more legroom.
Unused chairs can either be pushed in under the table for more room, or removed entirely and placed into a storage box while driving. Here are some pros and cons of the table and chair setup:
- Frees up more space
- More legroom
- Not as comfortable
- Chairs can move if not secured properly
How Many People Can You Sit In An RV Dining Area?
The dining area of an RV is the perfect place to enjoy the company of your family members and friends. Each dining area is different, with some large dinette benches able to fit as many as six or eight people.
In most cases, you can fit four people in the standard RV bench seats. Additionally, one or two people can be seated around the dinette by using chairs positioned at the end of the table.
If you are an RV owner planning to entertain larger groups of people inside during visits, consider modifying your RV by installing a large bench seat like the one pictured below.
How Do You Make A Dinette Bed?
To get the most out of your space, creating a dinette bed setup provides an extra sleeping area for you or guests. A dinette bed works best with RV’s that already have bench seats in the dining area.
To create a dinette bed:
- Remove the dinette table from the table supports, and remove supports.
- Remove the back cushions of your dinette's seats.
- Flip-up the bottom cushion of the seat.
- Place the table atop, in-between the dinette's bench seats, to create a flat surface.
- Place the seat cushions back down and an additional cushion over the top of the dinette table.
What Size Table Can You Have In An RV Dining Area?
To purchase a table for your RV's dining area, consider the amount of space available as the most critical factor. Length is the most important measurement used to purchase a dining table. Measure both the length of your current dinette table and the length from the RV’s inside wall to the walkway.
Make the most out of limited space by choosing a smaller sized table to fit within your measurements. Smaller tables also leave ample space for storage. A table that is too long potentially blocks the walkway throughout the RV. Some smaller RVs can only fit a small-sized table in the corner. Other larger-sized RVs can fit a big dining room table inside the dining area.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to choosing a dining table. Most owners must either shop for RV furniture, or build a table to create an arrangement that best fits the RV.
What Size Chairs Can You Have In An RV?
The furniture in your RV does not have to be strictly made for RV's. Standard household furniture will fit in any RV if the dimensions are compatible with each other.
A standard dining room chair is around 18 inches tall, measured from the floor to the seat of the chair. For enough room to fit your legs under the table, the ideal height for a dinette table is between 28 and 30 inches tall.
These are the dimensions for most dining room table setups. If your RV has enough space inside, you can incorporate any dining room chair you want. Be mindful of your RV's dimensions before purchasing a dining room chair set.
East West Furniture Dining Room Chairs
The dining room chairs below are a perfect choice to include in your RV's dinette if you want more space compared to a dinette bench seat.
Where Can You Store Chairs In An RV While On The Move?
Securing your chairs while on the move is an important step to prevent any damage inside your RV. Unsecured chairs can easily slide out while taking sharp turns, becoming dangerous to you and your passengers.
Store folding chairs in the storage underneath the cabin or secure your chairs underneath the table.
To secure chairs underneath a standard dining table, use bungee cords on the back of the chairs to affix chairs to the legs of the table. If you have an RV table with only one post supporting it, link two or more bungee cords that can fit around all the chairs in your dinette.
To pick what's best for you, weigh the importance of seated comfort and storage space for your RV. If you want a comfortable seat to sit back and relax after a long day, the dinette is the better option. If you need more storage space for additional shelves and bins, a table and chairs is another option.