Voilà, it's a dinette! And, voilà, it's a bed! - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 06-06-2012, 12:18 AM   #1
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Voilà, it's a dinette! And, voilà, it's a bed!

We were frequently frustrated by the task of converting the dinette to the bed and back. It seemed like such a chore. Wiggling the table off the two posts, storing the two posts, lowering the heavy table-top, etc. just seem too cumbersome. We wanted to preserve our ability to sit at the stern dinette for the wonderful view, especially at lakeside outings. There had to be a better way, we thought. And there it is!

Using some equipment we've seen in boat shops, for converting a dinette into a berth, I modified the table/bed setup to use a pneumatic two-stage pedestal lift. Now, with the flick of two levers, the pedestal lifts the tabletop to the table position and, later, with a push on the top, back to the bed position.

We didn't want to lose Reace's great concept of the table sliding back and forth to allow easy access to the dinette seating. The pedestal, however, allows completely rotating the tabletop, when not in the locked position, accomplishing the same result. Reace cautioned me that there wasn't much plywood depth below the linoleum, only 1/2 inch. So, even though I added shallow threaded inserts to accommodate short bolts, the major load of holding the pedestal to the linoleum floor is done by none other than VHB tape, the same product used to attach our solar panels. Heck, I thought, if it can hold the panels in all kinds of weather and wind, it would certainly have enough holding power for the table pedestal.

Of course, both old table post mounting sockets were removed. A little bit of colored silicone in the rear-most holes and they're almost invisible. The forward holes are covered up by the pedestal. In order for the table to move up and down without interference with the rear wall, it needs to be mounted about 3 inches from the rear wall. That doesn't seem to be a drawback, however. We don't usually have things slipping off that end of the table anyway.

The pedestal comes with a tabletop mounting plate, making attachment to the table quite simple. I used threaded inserts to mount the table to the mounting plate too. I wanted to be able to remove the tabletop easily and quickly, in case I needed more access to either of the side bench storage boxes, especially the utility side.

The pedestal wasn't cheap, unfortunately. But, after a trial run on the first outing of the season, we were very, very pleased with the ease of use. We thought the expense was well worth it. Now, we don't need to move to the other end for breakfast, especially when the view from the dinette end is best. The two-stage marine-grade pedestal comes from Arrigoni Design.

There are six pictures showing the result on the Flickr site below. That seemed easier than attaching photos here.

Some of you may even come up with other ideas but we are very pleased with this one.

Klaus

http://www.flickr.com/photos/5557153...697912/detail/




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Old 06-06-2012, 08:08 AM   #2
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Re: Voilà, it's a dinette! And, voilà, it's a bed!

We have the same problem but for a different reason. There are three of us travelling in an Escape 19; as a result both beds are used every night. If we want to sit inside it is necessary to take up or down the table. We found the table very cumbersome to handle during this process, leaning over while aligning the tubes was asking for back issues. Almost a two person job.

I like your solution for ease of use, like you stated however it is an expensive solution. I came up with $400+ US for the gas operated pedestal. It looks like a relatively easy install and certainly simplifies things.

I have tried two other solutions with mixed results. I replaced the two Escape pedestals with three folding legs made for RV’s. The legs are heavy duty and require removal of the slider that Escape provides for ease of entry and exit. Draw backs include: the table is a bit shaky with only three legs and you are still faced with lifting the table top to extend the legs. It is lighter however.

Our current solution is to cut the table in half. We were fortunate to have two tables, caused by a fitting problem. We took one to the local counter top shop and they solved the fitting issue and cut it in half, actually an offset of in half. For the $40 they also replaced the edge molding all around the table. We now have two tables, each with its own pedestal. The tables are much easier to handle and align. We find it easy to use one half to sit at; even three people can find room. Perhaps we are “fast feeders” and not inclined to sit around after a meal. With both sections of the table in place it is identical to the original without the slider. One drawback is; with two sections of table it is necessary to support the interior table section while in the down position. Because it is in two sections, someone kneeling on the edge would cause the table to flip up. I solved this with a short piece of PVC sewer pipe, 5” diameter to act as pedestal while in the down position.

I have seen a fabricated table with multiple hinges on another forum; it appeared to be an easy to use system for raising and lowering. It was however beyond my skills and further compounded by the curved shape in the front of the Escape.

I like your solution. I have filed it away as future upgrade. One question would be is; how easy is it to get at the gas lift locking mechanisms? I assume you only need to access them when the table is in the upright position?
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:22 PM   #3
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Re: Voilà, it's a dinette! And, voilà, it's a bed!

Thanks for sharing Klaus. Can i ask if you like your front bunk option. Does it fold pretty flat at you sit at the dinette, wondered if it was intrusive as you sit there?

Have you been happy with your pilot/escape17 in the Mountains. Wondered if if the pilot had enough get up and go for you. It looks like a real good match. Thanks.
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:17 PM   #4
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Re: Voilà, it's a dinette! And, voilà, it's a bed!

That is some big deal, Klaus. Whew. It even spins.

The VHB tape must be tough stuff. I would suppose that you have a hole with cord coming inside from the solar panel. So if the tape should somehow some way loosen, the cord would be a little bit of a back-up maybe. I had seen where someone put their panel on their box. I guess that could be done with tape.
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Old 06-06-2012, 02:22 PM   #5
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Re: Voilà, it's a dinette! And, voilà, it's a bed!

Responding to the comments so far:

Paul, there are two levers on the pedestal post. Actually, you need to be able to get to them on both on any up and down movement: when it's up, to stabilize and stop the table from rotating, both levers need to be in the locked position. That's pretty simple and easy accessed when sitting at the table. Both Karen and I can reach the levers. To move the table to the bed position, the levers are unlocked while seated at the table, the table is rotated slightly to allow the seated person to get up. Then, the table is pushed to its lowest point and then the levers are moved to the locked position. While I can push the table down and reach the levers at the same time, Karen's arms aren't long enough. So, if she pushes the table down, I can reach under and lock the pedestal. Make sense?

Gocamp,the front bunk does reduce seating space by a small amount, perhaps 3 to 4 inches, no big deal for us. We added the bunk option for our granddaughters who, as of yet, have not stayed in SittEscape. Karen and I tried using the front bunks ourselves but found them too confining. When our granddaughters are too old to use them, I may remove the gaucho backrest. And yes, we've been very happy with the Pilot/Escape 17 in the mountains. It has plenty of power to spare; The setup produces a nice, stable ride.

Cathy, I can't say enough good things about VHB tape! I now have two of the Umbra Folding Hooks that Jon Vermilye introduced on the Forum in March mounted with VHB tape. I've mounted a mirror, some LED lights, a baggage door catch, hooks, storage additions, inside and outside SittEscape and our Pilot. This stuff works great! Just watch a couple of the YouTube videos on 3M VHB tape and you'll be convinced as well. For the pneumatic table pedestal, I purchased a 2 1/2 inch wide roll from eBay.
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Old 06-06-2012, 04:41 PM   #6
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Re: Voilà, it's a dinette! And, voilà, it's a bed!

Well, I have been trying to figure out Klaus what your orange suction cup window handle is for on your escape door. So far I can't think of any ideas. Anyone have any guesses before klaus reveals the answer?
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Old 06-06-2012, 05:52 PM   #7
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Re: Voilà, it's a dinette! And, voilà, it's a bed!

You have lost me on the orange suction cup. Is there an image with the cup?
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:35 PM   #8
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Re: Voilà, it's a dinette! And, voilà, it's a bed!

Paul, gocamp is perusing my other pictures on my Flickr page. There are a couple of shots where I mounted a four-suction cup panel hauler on SittEscape's door. We had originally purchased the suction cup device to aid in sliding our tandem kayak on top of our Subaru Outback. It doesn't help with the Pilot. But since it sticks so well to SittEscape's fiberglass surfaces, I figured I could use it for something while camping in Glacier National Park last summer. Alas, other than for hanging a wet rag or two, I found no imaginative use for it. At least not on that trip.
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:02 PM   #9
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Bed/Dinette Follow-up

We went to a mid-winter RV show with some friends a month ago and stopped by the Airstream display. Airstream always seem to have some great accessories or decor ideas. As we're perusing a 20' Flying Cloud, Karen remarked, "Look at that: Airstream has the same pedestal as SittEscape!" Upon closer examination, sure enough, it was the same two-stage marine pedestal we installed last year. It's sometimes good to know that others, even outside the Escape community, know a good idea when they see it.

I noticed the link in my first posting last year doesn't work anymore. So I've added a couple of pictures.

K&K Sitte
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 100_0466.jpg (156.1 KB, 104 views)
File Type: jpg 100_0462.jpg (168.9 KB, 78 views)
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:07 PM   #10
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Klaus,
That is still on my bucket list as a mod. It is so simple to install and operate.
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