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Old 07-11-2015, 05:40 PM   #15
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2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
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John, that looks very comfortable. Is there a frig in the center arm rest?


Do you know what a learning experience is? A learning experience is one of those things that says "You know that thing that you just did? Don't do that."
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Old 07-11-2015, 05:40 PM   #16
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Grand Junction , Colorado
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Airstream makes the cushions in house with cheap materials and bad seamstresses. No liner, poorly fitting cloth, cheap! We had the cloth replaced with good quality vinyl, but by now the foam is deteriorating. I want to buy new foam soon because the foam has become hard as a board, but a board would be more comfortable.

If you replace the dinette, you lose some storage and a big table. Horizontal space for all the stuff we have (computers, books, magazines, eating stuff, etc.) is at a premium plus if we have friends in, not much space for them to sit. So we stick with the dinette.



The Airstream is sold; a 2016 Nash 24M replaced it.
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Old 07-11-2015, 06:14 PM   #17
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Has anybody found an aftermarket fold out couch that is comfortable? I just got a 93 a few months ago. While it looks good sitting comfort is marginal. Getting comfortable on it for sleeping is worse.
Sail on silver girl. Sail on by. Your time has come to shine.
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Old 07-11-2015, 07:00 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
John, that looks very comfortable. Is there a frig in the center arm rest?

No, those are drawers. It's still a work in progress. I just kind of blundered into the setup. My wife and I were downsizing and moving out of a home with a movie thrater. Our new small house doesn't have room for those kind of extravagances so I grabbed two of the theater chairs and the center console. Perfect fit! It's changed my life in the trailer.

The work remaining is that I want to build a low shelf behind the chairs and install a new floor.

Anyway it was a great modification as our trailer is set up for just the two of us.

John & Vicki
WBCCI #4291

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Old 07-11-2015, 07:55 PM   #19
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another idea

The OP has a 16' sport, which is a narrow body. The streetside dinette seat has the freshwater tank below it, so that's not moving. The power converter is probably under the other seat. Fitting more than one recliner is not really an option.
Another idea is to remove the dinette table and make a U shaped coach out of the existing seating. This opens the floorplan up. A small removable table from Ikea goes into place when needed, outside or into the TV when not. When I recovered the seats, I used the original cushions. Adding about an inch of additional batting on top of the foam firmed up and improved the cushions dramatically.
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Old 07-11-2015, 09:52 PM   #20
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Pickles took mine, see if you can find a place around you that may be able to replace the foam inside the cushion with something more supportive yet soft. Some memory foam on top of a former base.
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Old 07-11-2015, 11:17 PM   #21
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Main problem I have with the dinette is the 90degree seat/back angle.

Rolled a blanket and ran it along and behind the seat back. Much better.

We spend so much time off road I fear recliners would be falling over or moving into other parts and damaging them.
I'd rather be boon docking in the desert.

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Old 07-11-2015, 11:33 PM   #22
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I think we will have to go with the custom cushions. I love the idea of the recliners, but we rely on the dinette heavily for working and use as a second bed. I don't think there is much room in the 16' for recliners anyways, at least it doesn't seem so. I also have a concern what that would do for resale value. With limited space in the 16' it seems like the market of folks who would buy it would really shrink when you take away the second bed option. PICKLES - Any idea to the type of foam your's was replaced with? I researched foam a little and there seems to be a lot of different options.
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Old 07-11-2015, 11:33 PM   #23
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Perhaps a chiropractor should come with our trailers as standard equipment.
easily distracted by shiny objects
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Old 07-12-2015, 02:14 AM   #24
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I have a 16', and although I do not full time, I do spend weeks at a time in the trailer. I also found the dinette to be uncomfortable for long sitting. For me, the back cushions are too close the the table and I didn't feel like I could stretch out.

This winter a friend helped me reduce the size of the curved cushion that goes up against the wall of the trailer. We pulled the covers off, cut down the foam with a very sharp knife, and then took in the cushion to fit the new foam size. It gave me about 3" of additional seat space and I don't feel like I'm pressed up against the table. I like this modification because it leaves all the other cushions the same size so that I can still fold down the table for a bed if I like.

I'm thinking next year I might replace the foam in the seats with something more comfortable also.

Anyway, happy to send some pictures if you think it might help. Just PM me.

Salt Lake City
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Old 07-12-2015, 06:23 AM   #25
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John, Thanks. It looks like it was designed to be there. Our roughing it days are over and no reason to be uncomfortable.

Do you know what a learning experience is? A learning experience is one of those things that says "You know that thing that you just did? Don't do that."
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Old 07-12-2015, 06:56 AM   #26
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Dinettes are make to dine and not to hang for hours at a time, IMHO.
When I build the custom dinette in my 310, I realized that the discomfort was partially due to my heels hitting the box and making me sit at 90 degrees.
After creating this 3" recess, the improvement was noteworthy.
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Old 07-12-2015, 07:12 AM   #27
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Dinettes, the seat

I have found I am sensitive to the angle of the seat cushion. Even on my new Serenity, the recliners need revision so as to have the front higher than it is as delivered. In a dinette seat, having the angle of the cushion, individualized for a specific person, may be far more comfortable than a standard horizontal cushion.

And, one can do this by using different seat cushion thickness and angles, then ultimately having a custom cushion made, or as a DIY project...The density of the foam used is critical as well. Sometimes a small upholstery shop can be helpful in providing different foam for trial.
Happy trails and Good Luck
Ms Tommie Fantine Lauer, Greensboro, NC
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Old 07-12-2015, 11:22 AM   #28
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SW , Colorado
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We travel about half-time in our Airstream and both work from the dinette. If your comfort issues are related to working, the suggestions of getting a recliner seem way off... That arrangement might be comfortable for sitting but not comfortable for working at a computer all day where ergonomic issues are much more important. If your comfort issues are related to working, here are some things that have helped for us or that we are going to try. If the issues are not related to working at the dinette, a recliner might be the solution.

Our 2011 25FB had recliners installed when bought it and we had the dealer return it to the dinette. At least for our needs, the dinette is better than recliners. My husband is a software engineer and I do most of my work through writing and photography, so we are both heavy computer users and agree that the dinette is not a great work set-up.

We have been considering some modifications, like getting better foam (more firm, with a memory foam or gel topper) and having an upholsterer modify the back of the cushion on one side (not high enough and too thick to sit comfortably). I sometimes bring along an ergonomic back support cushion, which helps a lot. You could also consider getting a small cushion for your feet to help angle your hips and knees to a more comfortable position.

I have also been seriously considering the installation of a keyboard tray on the bottom of the dinette table because the height of the table is one of the things that bothers my hands/wrists the most. I also use a wireless mouse sitting on a pillow on the seat cushion instead of the table to ease the strain on my wrist. Finally, when doing heavy computer work, I set up a real monitor (better height than looking down at my laptop screen all day) and a wireless keyboard (easier on my hands).

We wrote a long ebook last year and it left me with some significant issues from working at a computer for too long (repetitive stress injury in one of my hands, severe eye strain, and neck strain). I am still dealing with the affects of not listening to my body sooner. The small changes mentioned above made a big difference, as did holding myself accountable to taking a break every thirty minutes to actually get up and stretch. Since I am an intense work kind of person, these breaks were difficult at first but made a big difference. Finally, if you find yourself tensing up at your computer, the resulting muscle tension can make all these issues worse. For me, things like deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation exercises have been helpful.

Sarah Marino
Full-Timers - Working from the road and photographing along the way
Our travel blog:
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