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Old 05-27-2015, 09:50 AM   #1
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Escape 19' as an office?

Hi All...

we're replacing our 17B with a 19 next year and I have a question. We'll be using the 19 for a few months during the early spring to escape Maine mud seasons. I'm not retired, but I CAN work from anywhere as long as I have internet (I'm a web application developer). So I'll be spending many many hours at the dinette working on my computer. My concern is the ergonomics of this set-up. Do any of you have any suggestions, thoughts, ideas, opinions, etc. about this?

I might have the height of the table lowered to make typing more comfortable. Thinking about not having a "fixed" table at the dinette so I could push it away if I need more space.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts.
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:07 AM   #2
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I see no reason why you could not make the 19 work for your needs. The dinette is plenty big.

Table and desk height are usually the same, but I know it is nice to have the keyboard a bit lower for comfort. Maybe you could mount a keyboard tray to pull out with the table top pushed to the other side side. This would not likely work for a laptop though.
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:43 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by sallemann View Post
Hi All...

we're replacing our 17B with a 19 next year and I have a question. We'll be using the 19 for a few months during the early spring to escape Maine mud seasons. I'm not retired, but I CAN work from anywhere as long as I have internet (I'm a web application developer). So I'll be spending many many hours at the dinette working on my computer. My concern is the ergonomics of this set-up. Do any of you have any suggestions, thoughts, ideas, opinions, etc. about this?

I might have the height of the table lowered to make typing more comfortable. Thinking about not having a "fixed" table at the dinette so I could push it away if I need more space.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts.
I'm wondering if you could benefit from a more adjustable worksurface.If you could move your work surface up or down, you may be able to minimize any potential Repetitive Strain Injury [RSI] and improve your ergonomic set up. You've already seen, no doubt, the adjustable pneumatic table lift many 17 and 19 owners have used to replace the standard 2-tube table.

Here's a picture of the one we had in our 17, fully adjustable and it even rotates.

Klaus
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:45 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ksitte View Post
I'm wondering if you could benefit from a more adjustable worksurface.If you could move your work surface up or down, you may be able to minimize any potential Repetitive Strain Injury [RSI] and improve your ergonomic set up. You've already seen, no doubt, the adjustable pneumatic table lift many 17 and 19 owners have used to replace the standard 2-tube table.

Here's a picture of the one we had in our 17, fully adjustable and it even rotates.

Klaus
Wow! That's nice! No, I hadn't seen the table lift... Thanks so much for the info! THAT'S what I'm looking for.
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:46 AM   #5
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How about adding a keyboard tray instead of dropping the table. If you go with a U dinette you can get the side to side slider. If you go standard dinette you can get aftermarket legs, just get ETI to supply the table top and you add the legs later (Google RV dinette folding legs). You'll probably have to make adjustments to the seat back but only you can figure that out once you try it. FYI, some of the folks get the dinette floor raised a couple inches on the 19 as it sits pretty low to the windows.
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:48 AM   #6
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Klaus, is the table top removable? I like the idea but in our U dinette I need access to the rear seat on occasion.
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:52 AM   #7
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The dinette table in my Escape 21 slides back and forth when not locked down. I bought a Fellows keyboard tray to mount under the table but I haven't tried to install it yet. I'm wondering if the tray's mount might interfere with the table's sliding mechanism.

You might also benefit from a boating chair "insert" that fits on top of the dinette seat. There is a thread about such a chair from West Marine on this forum.
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:59 AM   #8
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My concerns would focus on seating rather than the placement of a computer. Know that the dinette seats are flat bottoms and backs set at 45 degree angles. We never use our dinette for traditional seating because it's so uncomfortable. We do however, set it up as a platform bed and use a number of pillows for lounging. This is no fault of ETI, just the nature of the beast.
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Old 05-27-2015, 11:03 AM   #9
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Another option could be to not have the table there at all and use a folding table or TV tray (with legs) style table. I have a wood folding TV tray that I used for my laptop when I was on my month long motor home rental. It was great for when I sat outside, admiring the view of Mt Shasta while doing email on my laptop (signal didn't reach to my campsite, but it worked great in front of their office).

If you have access to someone's 19', I'd suggest taking your computer/laptop with you to see how it would fit for you. That's what I did in someone's trailer that had a larger sink - I needed to know if I'd be able to clean my waffle iron in it, as I use it for cooking many of my meals. Yay, it worked!

And, as suggested, some sort of chair/cushions behind your back as you could be too far away from the keyboard otherwise.
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Old 05-27-2015, 11:07 AM   #10
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If you're going for the office motif, why not get one of these:
The Briefcase Barbecue - Hammacher Schlemmer
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Old 05-27-2015, 11:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
I see no reason why you could not make the 19 work for your needs. The dinette is plenty big.

Table and desk height are usually the same, but I know it is nice to have the keyboard a bit lower for comfort. Maybe you could mount a keyboard tray to pull out with the table top pushed to the other side side. This would not likely work for a laptop though.
We just installed the pedestal however table slides side to side in the regular dinette which we still have after installing new pedestal . Pat
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Old 05-27-2015, 11:52 AM   #12
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Klaus, is the table top removable? I like the idea but in our U dinette I need access to the rear seat on occasion.

I did make the table removable, although it's not something you would do daily. I wanted to have clear and unimpeded access to the inside of the storage benches, just in case. So, underneath, I mounted 4 knobs using threaded inserts. Does that make sense?

Here's the pic.

Klaus
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Old 05-27-2015, 12:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sallemann View Post
Hi All...

we're replacing our 17B with a 19 next year and I have a question. We'll be using the 19 for a few months during the early spring to escape Maine mud seasons. I'm not retired, but I CAN work from anywhere as long as I have internet (I'm a web application developer). So I'll be spending many many hours at the dinette working on my computer. My concern is the ergonomics of this set-up. Do any of you have any suggestions, thoughts, ideas, opinions, etc. about this?

I might have the height of the table lowered to make typing more comfortable. Thinking about not having a "fixed" table at the dinette so I could push it away if I need more space.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts.
We do use our 19' as a traveling office as we are on the road for up to three months at a time. The only change I made was to raise the dinette seats about 3 1/2". With that change, the table top is at a good height for both of us to be working on our laptops. Also, we both use firm pillows for additional back support while working at the table. At some point I'm sure we'll need to replace the seat cushions but what we have has been working OK for the six months that we've spent on the road.
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Old 05-27-2015, 01:09 PM   #14
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And here's the same pedestal in a U-shaped dinette. The ability to adjust to any height up to 28" and to rotate it might work well for you. I also use our 19 as an office (on occasion) because I'm an IT consultant, and like you, unless I'm at a customer site, I can work anywhere.
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Old 05-27-2015, 01:21 PM   #15
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Like Zardoz, I can not sit at dinette for periods of time. I will try again.

For now I at a camping chair at end of table. The adjustable table idea would help a ton.
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Old 05-27-2015, 01:24 PM   #16
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Like Zardoz, I can not sit at dinette for periods of time. I will try again.

For now I at a camping chair at end of table. The adjustable table idea would help a ton.
Yep. My 2nd photo above shows the table slid to one side. If you rotated it toward the front, you'd have plenty of overhang to tuck under with a chair.
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Old 05-27-2015, 01:35 PM   #17
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I agree that the standard cushions (both firmness & back angle) leave a lot to be desired for long term sitting in the Escape (as well as most trailers that use combined dinette/beds).

I work for hours at a time on a 17" MacBookPro at the front dinette in my 17B, but I got rid of the cushions and replaced them with West Marine High Backed Chairs. Very comfortable, removable (so you can use them outside) and adjustable.
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Old 05-27-2015, 01:53 PM   #18
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I find my desk at home ends up cluttered with "stuff". If I was using my table as a work desk I'd do a different version of the shelf unit that I did for my solar panel controller etc.

A small shelf unit to suit the misc. "stuff" that would otherwise clutter the table top can be made that attaches to the table base. No drilling of holes to attach to the wall and the shelf unit stays in a fixed position while the table is still free to slide back and forth. The shelf makes use of otherwise dead space.

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Old 05-27-2015, 01:58 PM   #19
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I find my desk at home ends up cluttered with "stuff". If I was using my table as a work desk I'd do a different version of the shelf unit that I did for my solar panel controller etc.

A small shelf unit to suit the misc. "stuff" that would otherwise clutter the table top can be made that attaches to the table base. No drilling of holes to attach to the wall and the shelf unit stays in a fixed position while the table is still free to slide back and forth. The shelf makes use of otherwise dead space.

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Old 05-27-2015, 08:19 PM   #20
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My concerns would focus on seating rather than the placement of a computer. Know that the dinette seats are flat bottoms and backs set at 45 degree angles. We never use our dinette for traditional seating because it's so uncomfortable. We do however, set it up as a platform bed and use a number of pillows for lounging. This is no fault of ETI, just the nature of the beast.
Hi: Zardoz... We put some cut to fit sections of pool noodles down behind the dinette seat back cushions... Instant good angle for your back!!! Alf
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