U-shaped Dinette - A Further Discussion - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 03-14-2016, 10:06 PM   #1
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U-shaped Dinette - A Further Discussion

I know some of the input I will be looking for here has been discussed in part in lots of other threads, but I wanted to start one more pertinent to my own build.

When the U-shaped dinette first came out, I was not liking the idea all that much, as I could not fathom losing table size. A large table was a bit part of how we used our 19, as it was a marshalling area more than an eating area, as to date we mostly eat outdoors. Camera gear, clothing, dishes, food, etc all was temporarily set on the table. This was handy in the 19, as the table is right by the door.

Now moving on to the 5.0TA (with the same dinette as the 21), I started to reconsider. I do like the look, and there is a good chance we will spend more time in the trailer in the future, with quite a few extended trips planned. I quite like the idea of an area where one could lounge a bit. Some loss of table size is not as big of a deal, as we would not use it for temporary storage of items going in and out of the trailer, as it is far removed from the doorway. Plus, the dinette is wider than in our 19, so the loss of size would not be that big.

I had never actually sat in a U-shaped dinette until a few weeks ago, in Chris R's when we visited him and Ida in Victoria.

As it turns out, the added rear bench is not really useful as a seat, as it is to narrow to sit on. As well, I was very turned off by the limited floor space. We do entertain other couples, often playing cards at the table, and with the pedestal there, there really would be little room for four sets of feet. Very cramped.

Why would the U-shape be any more conducive to lounging? Is it a wider place to put feet up? If this was the case, one could easily just add a board across, with an extra cushion on top.

I do realize there is storage space gained, because the batteries and converter panel both get housed under the rear bench. That is a plus. What I wonder, is could this rear bench be made even narrower, and yet still house these components? This seems like a winning situation if doable, as it would only make the unusable/unneeded seat narrower, and give more floor space. Maybe even if it house the converter and a few other electronic/electrical items, and the batteries are moved, it could definitely be made a lot narrower.

As a bit of a side note, I am considering AGM batteries. Am I right in assuming that they don't need a battery box and venting? This alone would allow a couple more inches for the back seat to narrow.

Even if I went with a U-shaped dinette, I would likely forgo the rear backrest, and instead just have two large throw pillows, that could either be used in a back corner, or against the galley or fridge cabinet for when we want to stretch out and put our feet up. Again I wonder at the need for the back bench to facilitate this.

To be honest, with the cabinet work I plan to do, I will extract hordes of usable cabinet/drawer storage, so any not gained with the U-shape, would be more than made up for.

Whichever way I go, I plan to do the single Dicor pedestal with the 4-way sliding top. I also plan to have the table to be resized, most likely by folded the outsides on top of the middle to create a table half the size. Plans can, and do change though.

This is a table top like I am describing.


This is just a wee insight to about 2% of all the considerations and planning I have done for my upcoming 5.0TA, but most I got figured out already. On this topic, I could use some thoughts and input.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:30 PM   #2
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Why would the U-shape be any more conducive to lounging? Is it a wider place to put feet up? If this was the case, one could easily just add a board across, with an extra cushion on top.
How tall are you? I'm 5'10" with a 34" inseam, so sitting on the regular bench seat was too short for me to stretch out with the feet towards the kitchen. In the evenings, I plan to do a lot of reading, so once I sat on the u-shaped dinette with one filler board, it was a no-brainer for me to get that. Lots of room for the butt, thighs and long legs to stretch out. And have room for the cat(s) next to me.

I never contemplated putting a board across the back instead of the bench seat that would be there when you get the u-shape. Just one more thing to haul in and out of the trailer when I'd need it. Or find a place to stash when you don't need it. I knew we wouldn't be using the table (in fact, it's not even going to get installed for us), so that didn't come into the equation.

If entertaining another couple for card playing on the table (inside the trailer) is a high priority for you, then you probably won't want the u-shape as it'll cut into your seating space.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:36 PM   #3
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We love the U in our 19 Jim, and have had both types. For us though the big advantage of the U as a lounge to watch TV, etc. is when the table is removed. The space is way more usable and seems much larger to stretch out. Since you are going with the permanent table I don't know that you would get the full advantage of having the U. We do sit four around the table for dinner and the rear seating is fine on the U. Just some feedback to kick around.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:41 PM   #4
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How tall are you?
I am 6'0" with a 34" inseam. I don't quite get the advantage of back bench for lounging, let alone this filler board. How do you two plan to 'lounge'?

Lots of place to stash stuff, a removable bench seat would be easy. Don't you plan to do the same with this filler board?

A table is very important to use, one of the key features for a trailer. When the grandkids are with us, they love hanging out in the trailer, and we would like lots of room for their activities. Plus as stated, for friends eating inside with us and playing games. For the most part, camping for us is a very social thing, and most of the time we have a lot of friends and family around.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:45 PM   #5
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U-shaped Dinette - A Further Discussion

Jim we had a second smaller table made up that we use when we have people in and are just sitting around. Good for drinks and nibblies. This leaves just the 2 of us lots of room to lounge with our feet up. We too have had both and much prefer the u shape dinette, but remember what works for one might not work for another.

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Old 03-14-2016, 10:47 PM   #6
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Since you are going with the permanent table....
I have plans for making it removable, though not certain yet. It would not be hard to do. I would put some kind of cleats that the base of the pedestal would slide in to.

We have never been ones to watch TV in our trailer. However, this might be something that changes once we start to do these extended trips. We might just go with a smaller TV or a laptop that is closer to us.

Part of the reason I want a way to have the table made smaller, is to give us more room, yet still have a coffee table to use. With the 4-way slide, we could move it right out of the way, and sit side by each.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:47 PM   #7
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We don't have much experience yet either way but are planning to have it both ways. We currently have the regular dinette with the marine pedestal for our full size table. We will use that table whenever we travel with others. I intend to have a separate smaller table built (along with a same sized seat cushion) that we will swap out when we travel just the two of us. The smaller table will be good for the 2 of us when we need to be indoors for a meal or whatever, and can be dropped to form a lounge with the new seat cushion when needed.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:49 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by PGDriver View Post
Jim we had a second smaller table made up that we use when we have people in and are just sitting around. Good for drinks and nibblies. This leaves just the 2 of us lots of room to lounge with our feet up. We too have had both and much prefer the u shape dinette, but remember what works for one might not work for another.

Cheers

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill View Post
We don't have much experience yet either way but are planning to have it both ways. We currently have the regular dinette with the marine pedestal for our full size table. We will use that table whenever we travel with others. I intend to have a separate smaller table built (along with a same sized seat cushion) that we will swap out when we travel just the two of us. The smaller table will be good for the 2 of us when we need to be indoors for a meal or whatever, and can be dropped to form a lounge with the new seat cushion when needed.
The potential for a smaller table, in one way or the other, whether or not we go with the U-shape, is a must.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:49 PM   #9
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Jim- having had both I can see where you are coming from. You could have a filler board, or two to span the width instead of a permanent u-shape configuration and store one or even two boards under you mattress as we do. Realizing this makes me think that could have been the way for us(currently have u-shape).

Am interested in doing what drpaddle did with his smaller table and re-introduce that into our 21. The standard table for us was too big, however their design would work very well given that we use that bed for both lounging and as another bunk.
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:06 PM   #10
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Tables

We've shown our smaller removable table that allows easier access to our U shaped dinette to a number of people. This table is slightly shorter with a narrower front than the original. Other than accounting analysis by Jim Norman which made me conclude I have $700 dollars in the table ( his calculation) everybody else has been complimentary. We've been very happy with it. Jim used the old joke sheet about installing a wood burning furnace as his accounting guide. Just kidding Jim, you can come over for Jalapeño Spam anytime.
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