Our plan for the dinette is as follows: on the side next to the kitchen counter, we are extending the dinette all the way to the kitchen counter. Right now there is a furnace vent on the sidewall of the kitchen counter pointing to the sidewall of the dinette and several inches of wasted space between them. The vent will have to be rerouted. On the door-side of the dinette, we are extending the sidewall of the dinette nearly to the edge of the door opening, which will also give us several more inches of dinette. Also, we are building-in storage space behind the dinette back walls, that will accommodate a couple wooden folding chairs that fold flat to a couple inches thick, and any other flat or rolled up stuff that we might carry such as stadium chairs.
I have toyed with the U-shaped concept, but practicality and the need for storage space wins. We are still tinkering with ideas, but will probably have the area above the fresh water tank accommodate our long, rolled up outdoor rug that we place outside while camping. I will be making a cover that matches the upholstery fabric I bought for the project, so that when not in use, it will blend in, below the curtains I will be making.
We bought some beautiful used Corian from Craigslist, and hope to make it work for the dinette table. We are planning to put two flush-with-floor- pedestal mounts to support the table top with pedestals, which will be longer than standard to accommodate the wider dinette. We are still trying to decide if the table top will also work as the drop-down foundation for the bed. If not, we have the challenge of where to store the table top and bed foundation respectively when they are not in use (possibly behind the dinette in one of the storage compartments). We are unsure if the weight and strength of the Corian will lend itself to these ideas when cut to the desired size, so we will be winging it as we go. We will be building lift-up hatches for under the dinette seats-- storage is ever on my mind.
We are finishing some household and yard projects before we tackle the Argosy makeover this winter. We plan on posting photos of the makeover as we go. Right now the Argosy is torn apart, patiently awaiting our attention. I sent the stove top out to be re-chromed, and we are doing miniscule things- replacing light fixtures and stereo wires and components so we have tunes when we tackle the big stuff. We have almost all of the supplies we need. Will keep you posted. Truly- the dinette was the driving force behind getting rid of our 1971 Overlander and getting the Argosy, so it will somehow be a masterpiece when we are done!