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Old 07-11-2015, 03:53 PM   #1
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Dinette KILLING Our Backs!! HELP! Solutions?

Me and my partner are full time in our 2012 sport Airstream. the dinette cushions are so uncomfortable and it is killing our backs. What can we do? I know they are custom made and that Airstream does not offer a more luxurious cushion for this model (except Faux leather which is same foam, different fabric). Has anyone else had any clever solutions to this problem? Its a serious quality of life issue for us and we are full timing so its a big deal.
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Old 07-11-2015, 03:58 PM   #2
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More and more folks are tearing out the uncomfortable couches and dinettes and replacing them with ultra comfortable recliners.
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Old 07-11-2015, 04:21 PM   #3
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AWCHIEF is right - there are several threads here on this topic. We've converted one side to a converter in our 27FB but because of its configuration, we couldn't do both sides. See dkottum posts for that.

Here's a pic of ours with one:


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Old 07-11-2015, 04:24 PM   #4
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Here is mine, still a work in progress. Also only one side.
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Old 07-11-2015, 04:49 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by adamwright View Post
Me and my partner are full time in our 2012 sport Airstream. the dinette cushions are so uncomfortable and it is killing our backs.

Its a serious quality of life issue for us and we are full timing so its a big deal.

Yes, you are absolutely right... your sitting comfort (especially as full-time RVers) IS a serious quality of life issue AND a big deal! My wife and I sure get that.

Unfortunately, I don't believe that new cushions will do much at all to make sitting in the dinette significantly more comfortable, for more than just a few minutes.

And, unfortunately, the same goes for the sofas found in new Airstreams.

For a very short while (like when you "test sit" in an Airstream that is on the dealer's showroom, as when considering buying it) they aren't particularly uncomfortable. But sit on one for an hour (or more), as you would when relaxing in the coach for an evening, and then consider just how "comfortable" the experience was. For us, we would say, not truly comfortable AT ALL.

Having learned this lesson (with even high end Class A diesel pusher sofas) in previous RVs (a 5th wheel, and 41' and 44' diesel pusher Class A motorhomes) when we ordered our Airstream (a 2016 30' Serenity) we requested the "recliner" floorpan and cabinetry, minus the actual Airstream-selected recliners. We bought our own, carefully selected and tested, recliners separately, to put in the Airstream ourselves. We know from full-timing with these recliners, for a year and a half, that they will give us exceptional seated and reclining comfort for hours and hours on end.

I have a feeling that recliners may an impossible retro-fit option for you with the Sport. But, perhaps, you might consider switching to a trailer which will allow you the luxury of recliners... since you are full-timing... making this creature comfort element especially essential. This should include considering a SOB (some-other-brand) of trailer or 5th wheel, if you can't swing an Airstream that can be reasonably retrofitted with recliners.

For us, if we could not arrange to have an Airstream that could accommodate two nice recliners, then we would not buy an Airstream. Our seated comfort when inside the RV is more important to us than the brand of RV we have! Fortunately, there are some models of Airstream (the longer length models) that are not terribly difficult to retrofit for recliners in place of the padded bench they call a "sofa".

As for the dinette in our Airstream, our experience will be like pretty much every one elses' standard Airstream dinette. It will be tolerable for about as long as it takes to eat a meal or work on a small tabletop workspace project. And then... we will move to the recliners, outdoors, or the bed.

During our 1 1/2 years full-timing in the 44' Class A diesel pusher, which was a fabulous RV, we learned that if we were not outside or cooking, we were either relaxing in our recliners or in bed. Our lesson was that as long as we had an exceptionally comfortable bed and really great recliners, it almost doesn't matter what the rest of the interior space in an RV was like.

This lesson helped us realize that we could go from a luxury 44' diesel pusher with huge slides and expansive floorspace to an Airstream trailer with no slides at all.... provided the bed and the recliners were top notch... and be just as comfortable as we were in the big rig.

How comfortably you sit for extended periods of time and how comfortably you sleep trump nearly everything else about an RV, especially as full-timers.
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Old 07-11-2015, 04:54 PM   #6
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Dhart, totally agree. I visited my local dealership a couple of days ago to check out the new trailers. Absolutely beautiful trailers inside and out with terribly uncomfortable seating in the couches but especially the dinette models.
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Old 07-11-2015, 05:06 PM   #7
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We took out one of our CCD dinette benches and extended the couch. Also installed new custom cushions which are much more comfortable than the original ones.

Link to photos:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f370...al-106742.html

We don't have a "back" to one side of the dinette but that doesn't bother us in the least.

The new setup is working our great - Airstream should have adopted this design in the first place its a 25SS floor plan.
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Old 07-11-2015, 05:08 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
Dhart, totally agree. I visited my local dealership a couple of days ago to check out the new trailers. Absolutely beautiful trailers inside and out with terribly uncomfortable seating in the couches but especially the dinette models.
Right with ya, brother! And I think it's a shame that Airstream will no longer offer their Recliner Options on new units. Apparently, not enough people ordered them that way.

I believe the reason that not very many people ordered the recliner option was because they hadn't yet spent any significant period of time SITTING on the upholstered bench (aka "sofa") before deciding to buy an Airstream.

Thus, more and more Airstream owners are converting the upholstered bench to recliners AFTER living with the upholstered slab bench seating for a period of time.

When we ordered our 2016 30' Serenity it was on condition that Airstream would provide the unit with Recliner Floorpan and cabinetry, so we could use our own recliners. We did not expect, nor want, Airstream to provide recliners for us. Our dealer pressed Airstream hard to do this for us, even though they were no longer building "recliner option" models. And fortunately, Airstream agreed to accept our custom request, with a fee, of course. We were happy to pay more, for less.
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Old 07-11-2015, 05:14 PM   #9
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The original owner of our trailer had recliners put in at JC. We love them, with one exception. They are rocker/recliners, and when we sit in them to eat (off of a TV tray or a small table between them) they rock back. I'm in the process of building a fold out table and will be looking to see if I can lock them upright somehow for eating.

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Old 07-11-2015, 05:21 PM   #10
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Worth trying an OREGON AERO seat cushion on the seat top in the meantime. Posture correction. Talk to them.
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Old 07-11-2015, 05:31 PM   #11
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We hear you, too bad Airstream doesn't. Those bench dinette arrangements look and feel pretty good in the showroom, but soon enough they're murder.

See what's underneath those benches they call seats. Maybe a sofa could be fitted in there. Our 2012 RB 25 was wide open in front and sides without the dinette stuff so we put in two recliners, console, side folding table and storage cabinet instead. It's on the avatar.
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Old 07-11-2015, 05:45 PM   #12
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I have a BAMBI 16' sport, and after being rained in 4 solid days and nights, and most of the next 2 days....spent lots of time with pillows to sit up in bed. I hated that much time in the bed! I have recliners at home...need them, love the comfort they offer.

I am now seriously trying to figure out how to put a nice leather recliner in place of the dinette. As I'm not handy that way, I'll need to pony up some $$$, but, it will be worth it for me. I'll need to have access to a table for meals beside the recliner. I travel solo, so, the dinette is not that hard to let go. Now,to find someone to do it!

I, too, am open for suggestions. I don't plan to trade for larger AS, I like my 2015 BAMBI 16', and I am happy with my 2015 Pathfinder as a TV. I'm not a big truck kind of lady. Tried out the Armada....too much of a beast for me! (Senior 'lil ol' lady!) ideas?
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Old 07-11-2015, 05:59 PM   #13
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I Feel Your Pain

I have a lousy back and installed incliners from a home movie theater - perfect fit.

Cheers,
John
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Old 07-11-2015, 06:01 PM   #14
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I took the dinette cushions to an upholstery place. Replaced the rock-hard cushion foam (upholsterer referred to it as "building material") and the insides of the throw pillows with foam that felt cushy yet supportive. Soooo much better! Our couch, that pulls out to our bed, now has 3" of the new foam and 2" of gel foam. Got this idea from another thread.
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