Converting rear bed to a dinette on a 19 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 03-30-2014, 10:12 AM   #1
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Converting rear bed to a dinette on a 19

On a recent post I mentioned that I had given up waiting for a used 19 and was ready to order new and join the queue.
A few owners have reached out letting me know their 19 may be up for sale but one of our options was to order the rear dinette with a 28" rear seat. Just about everything out there has the queen bed. Has anyone done this conversion? Whats under the bed that would prevent framing out the bench seats (apart from wiring which can be rerouted).
I like the pictures I've seen of a rear dinette " lounge" area, seems to open up the trailer, would rig up a small temporary table for eating if the weather was bad and no biggie to just sleep apart while camping.
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Old 03-30-2014, 10:31 AM   #2
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More and more people are opting for the u shaped dinette in the rear of the 19 so you're sure to get a lot of feedback. ETI now offer it as an option; before it was something they would do if you requested, but it was not as common. A straight bench seat shouldn't be a problem. The only thing under there is on the driver's side - hot water tank/plumbing and electrical cord storage if you don't have the removeable power cord

One thing to consider, which is the reason we decided to stay with the permanent queen bed, is that a real mattress is SOOOO much more comfortable than a topper over cushions. But each to their own - just something to keep in mind.
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Old 03-30-2014, 11:38 AM   #3
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In my opinion...two reasons not to have a rear dinette in the 19:
1) The queen bed is great. Having to make it up and down each night with cushions and not having a real mattress is a major hassle.

2) You would loose a significant portion of the storage space in the 19. Our two 67 quart wheeled Sterilite boxes hold most of our wardrobe items and fit beautifully under the bed. Using the exterior access hatch also lets us store our folding chairs, tools, hoses, etc. in the rear portion of the space...mostly things that won't fit easily in the front storage box.
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Old 03-30-2014, 01:16 PM   #4
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The second photo in my post before the construction... shows the bed area with the mattress and most of the platform removed. You can see the water heater and other water infrastructure bits on the right. There's a water pump there too, out of view.

Note that the floor is raised. That can't be changed, as it is required to provide room for the fresh water tank underneath. Getting in and out of a dinette at the rear means you need to step up/down (or trip... I guess that's always an option...)
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Old 03-30-2014, 05:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
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In my opinion...two reasons not to have a rear dinette in the 19:
1) The queen bed is great. Having to make it up and down each night with cushions and not having a real mattress is a major hassle.

2) You would loose a significant portion of the storage space in the 19. Our two 67 quart wheeled Sterilite boxes hold most of our wardrobe items and fit beautifully under the bed. Using the exterior access hatch also lets us store our folding chairs, tools, hoses, etc. in the rear portion of the space...mostly things that won't fit easily in the front storage box.
I am of the same mind. Not having to make a bed every day is one of the two 'must haves' from my wife when buying (the other being a toilet). I love all the storage afforded under the bed, and use it a lot.
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Old 03-30-2014, 06:41 PM   #6
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The more I read in these forums about how much you can customize your Escape before you even take delivery makes my head spin. I'm having a hard time deciding red, or blue graphics on the outside. It's so much like a blank canvas and with everyone's input it makes it such an adventure deciding what you want to do with yours. I have a new family providing input to help.

It's like looking for a house. You can't find the perfect on as there's some things you like in one, but it's not in the other with those things you like. So... even if you custom build one, by the time you've finished, you've changed your mind on something or other. Just get out there and enjoy yourself and tweak it along the way.
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Old 03-30-2014, 09:13 PM   #7
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any comments in favour of the rear dinette option?
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Old 03-30-2014, 09:19 PM   #8
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any comments in favour of the rear dinette option?
If I was getting the 19' that's what I'd have, but I get one anyway with the 5er
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Old 03-30-2014, 09:29 PM   #9
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General comment on rear dinette.
We have a 17B so we don't have a permanent bed. For a short while my wife decided she wanted to sit at the back, so we dismantled the bed and made it into a dinette daily.
All the bedding ended up on the front bed / two-person dinette.
The four person dinette at the rear gave us more space for playing cards, eating and a generally a better view.
But, we came to realize that that was only an advantage in inclement weather, because we spend most of our time outside.
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Old 03-30-2014, 09:30 PM   #10
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We're getting ours with the dinette in the back. That's the way the first 19 we saw was set-up so maybe that had some influence. The larger windows are around the back so why not sit where you have the most views. The front will be set-up as a permanent bed. Yes, we'll have to convert the dinette every night as we plan to sleep on each end so we won't have to crawl over each other for those early morning "nature" calls. Don't know if that will become an onerous chore?
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Old 03-30-2014, 09:49 PM   #11
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[QUOTE=pkgman51;47981Yes, we'll have to convert the dinette every night as we plan to sleep on each end so we won't have to crawl over each other for those early morning "nature" calls. [/QUOTE]

Though not having to of course would be easier, having to climb over your partner (we switch sides a lot) has never been much of an issue for us. Often we will both just get up for the nightly trip together, Lisa heads to the bathroom, while I head outside (except for the rarity of being in a campground).
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Old 03-30-2014, 09:52 PM   #12
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There are three of us travelling so we faced raising and lowering that front dinette on a pretty regular schedule, so regular that I came to dislike doing it with some intensity. I always felt working with that table was an accident waiting to happen. I have never been bothered with back issues but lifting that table onto the metal pedestals made me think "this was going to hurt".
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Old 03-30-2014, 09:53 PM   #13
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I guess another option option would be to leave the bed as is, throw another blanket over it, add a bunch of pillows and everyone can take their shoes off, sit back and enjoy a card game, chat, a drink, or the such in a comfortable relaxed fashion. Low maintenance. Any disagreements, throw a pillow at 'em.
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Old 03-30-2014, 09:57 PM   #14
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The second photo in my post before the construction... shows the bed area with the mattress and most of the platform removed...

Note that the floor is raised. That can't be changed, as it is required to provide room for the fresh water tank underneath. Getting in and out of a dinette at the rear means you need to step up/down...
Although the fresh water tank is under there, more importantly the frame steps up and the floor is on top of the frame. This is true of every Escape model, and probably every Trillium and related Surfside model (except possibly the Trillium 5500) as well.

If someone wanted a rear dinette without the step up in the floor, it would take substantial work, would require cutting out the fiberglass shell in the area to be dropped, and might require modifying a frame crossmember. I wouldn't consider it.
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Old 03-30-2014, 10:06 PM   #15
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...or you raise the floor everywhere else...

I didn't realize the frame had that step too, but it seems obvious in hindsight.
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Old 03-30-2014, 10:22 PM   #16
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When you get into modifying the floor and/or the frame, you're getting into an unknown variable. Better to be safe.
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:23 AM   #17
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The 21' Escape does not have the visible step up floor in the dinette area,the rise is hidden by the dinette area on each side, sort of like a sunken living room.
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:55 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lefttee View Post
In my opinion...two reasons not to have a

2) You would loose a significant portion of the storage space in the 19. Our two 67 quart wheeled Sterilite boxes hold most of our wardrobe items and fit beautifully under the bed. Using the exterior access hatch also lets us store our folding chairs, tools, hoses, etc. in the rear portion of the space...mostly things that won't fit easily in the front storage box.
Is the opening under the bed wide enough for the boxes to fit side by side, or do you have to angle one? I am not sure just how wide the opening under the bed is.
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:56 AM   #19
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Seems to me if you order the rear dinette you have the option to go either way, granted you don't have a nice queen mattress, but the Nova gel foam 3" topper from Costco on top of foam cushions was really comfortable. We will make the rear bench 28" then make a filler piece 12" when made up will be the same size as the front dinette bed, should be a simple matter of folding the topper and bedroll and putting it on top of the front bed when not in use - we'll see I guess.
Thanks Doug for the framing pic, at least I can see it can be done as a retro fit if buying used
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Old 03-31-2014, 10:43 AM   #20
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Do you think something like this would work to raise and lower the table so one isn't hurting their back doing it? I saw this in another post and am considering it instead of the pedestals. The only downside I see is being able to hit it with your legs. Don't know if that's a problem.
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