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Old 06-18-2011, 01:11 PM   #1
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2007 20' Safari
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Replacing Dinette Seats?

I just purchased a 2007 20í Airstream with the standard side dinette. The seats are very hard and because of the 90-degree angle, of the back of the seat, it is very uncomfortable. After 30 minutes of sitting I have to get up.

I have an Alaskan truck camper that has a dinette with seats that are great. They are well padded and have springs in them. I can work on my laptop for two or three hours at a stretch without any problems.

My number one priority is now to create a comfortable workspace. I donít need the dinette to convert into a bed but I do have the hot water heater to get to under one of the seats.

Any ideas of where to start would be greatly appreciated.

Gary
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Old 06-18-2011, 02:27 PM   #2
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I would leave the water heater and maybe put a printer drawer in front of it, run a desk over that along the wall and then build a file cabinet on the other side. a lot of the new smaller LCD LED TVs can also double as a computer monitor. Airstream used to have some nice little upholstered barrel type chairs on a Aluminum 5 finger base.
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Old 06-18-2011, 05:00 PM   #3
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Wsmith – Thank you for your input. These are the type of ideas I have been looking for. I have been searching the forums and the web but haven’t really found much. When people add (or remodel) a dinette in their camper they seem to do the standard design. I was somewhat surprised. I am apparently in the minority finding the factory seats rather uncomfortable. Thanks again for taking the time to answer my post.
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Old 06-18-2011, 05:12 PM   #4
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With the plumbing and openings for water heater vents, refrigerator vents and all that it makes it hard to get too far from stock unless you are willing or need to do a shell off restoration. You have got some flexibility working on the living area and in your case part of the kitchen.
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Old 06-18-2011, 10:01 PM   #5
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The Safari 20 is a great traveling trailer, not so great park model. Has one of Airstreams smallest beds and its largest kitchen. Can't have it all in a trailer this size, although everything up through 27 has the same situation. But you can be comfortable in it.

Stow the back cushions, and use pillows or a TV-type floor backrest to get a slanted back. You can set up against the window wall or the dinette back for different positions.

Or make it into a bed and use the pillows or backrest for lounging.

Or put the pillows or backrest in the corners of the bed. Quite comfortable.

The problem is the factory back cushions are designed well for the bed conversion, and poorly for sitting.

doug k
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Old 06-19-2011, 04:24 PM   #6
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Doug -

Thank you for those suggestions. You correct that the cushions are designed for the bed and not for sitting. This week I am going to try to find a business that makes custom furniture and see if they can make me some custom seats.

Gary
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:12 PM   #7
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I don't know what kind of depth your dinette was but we have a 27 FB Classic and after struggling with too soft and too slippery seats we yanked table and bench seats out entirely. Our set up IS different as we have the rear dinette but something similar could work. We installed two Ekornes chairs in place (they can be easily toted back into our home LR where they came from. My chair has a swivel table that my computer sits on (and doubles as a dinner table). My wife's doesn't have the attached table but she has the built-in cabinet w/ small counter top that remained in place. Pix avail
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Old 06-20-2011, 08:01 AM   #8
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Ag Sag, kindly post or send the pix. There is not space for the Ekornes in the 20' because of the water heater and wheel well under the dinette seats. But this is precisely the modification we have been considering, starting by trading to a 23'. Or an Eddie Bauer 25', which has the dinette gear removable.

We get along just fine with the 20' as is (fabulous kitchen) for a few months, but are now spending six months a year in it.

doug k
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:05 AM   #9
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I 2nd dkottum, Ag Sag will you please post pictures. I would like to see that set up.
Thanks,
Meredith
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:21 AM   #10
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Ag Sag,

Thank you for your post. I would love to see some photos. Every piece of information helps.

I never imagined that changing out the seats was going to be so difficult. I thought that more than a few people would have felt, as I do, that the stock seats are atrocious and would have replaced them as soon as possible.

As I already mentioned in my first post, I have an Alaskan truck camper that has excellent dinette seats. They have springs in both the seat and the back. This is very similar to a car seat. As a result they are very comfortable. They also fold out to make a bed. The point being that this is not like trying to invent some thing that nobody has seen before. In fact people have been building chairs and trying to make them comfortable for hundreds of years. Why a quality company like Airsteam can’t make respectable dinette seating is beyond me. If you went to a coffee shop and had to sit in my dinette you would not be back, in fact you may be tempted to sue for pain and suffering.

Gary
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Old 06-21-2011, 04:19 PM   #11
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Replacing the Dinette w/ Chairs

Ok, some simple phone cam should work. The chairs are fastened with bungees at the side (they don't seem to move around in transit). Under the chairs go shoes, etc. When unstowed, the chairbacks are able to move freely enough to suit both of us and still can swivel if needed.

I use a seldom used sink cover (we have a double basin with two covers) as a "desk" and my wife has use of the side cupboard top. When ready to be home for a while the chairs fit comfortably thru the door.

Our next project is to remove the big black box (a woofer, for crying out loud) and put a small triangular cabinet/coffee table. We've had this set up now for over a year and it works out well for us

Fire away, if you have any questions. I think I put the pix in the right spot, under my handle

Bill
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Old 10-09-2011, 02:54 PM   #12
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This dinnette as others have expressed is not well designed. The ecornes chairs we have at the house won't fit in a 19' Bambi because of the utilties. Has anyone found a company that will build a quality "round" couch to replace those awful cushions. We don't need a table that size or a conversion to a bed, so a lot of options are available. What have the people on this forum found that works?
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