Welcome to the ninth entry in February’s Medium Mod-Ster Contest. One fresh and tasty Medium Mod will be published in every Email Alert in February. At the end of the month we’ll hold a reader vote to determine February’s winner. For information about the Mod-Ster Contest, including how to enter, click here.
Les Sage, Joplin, Missouri
Dinette Seating Cushion Upgrade and Backrest Spacer
2015 GMC 3500
2015 Lance 855S
Do you ever notice how much smaller your camper looks if you have the bed area closed off? Where we spend our waking hours is physically and psychologically quite small. Because manufacturers need to offer additional sleeping, most campers are designed with the traditional dinette that converts to a bed. Are they practical? Yes. Are they comfortable? No.
In my first truck camper, I changed the dinette by adding a bench seat. This was an improvement over the uncomfortable dinette.
In 2015, I upgraded to a Lance 855S. I gained additional space with the slide, but I was back with the ubiquitous uncomfortable dinette. So, how could I improve my new camper?
I considered three options:
Install a jack-knife sofa.
Install theater seats.
Modify the existing dinette.
My wife suggested – before I ripped everything out – to try the last option first. She is often my, “voice of reason”.
Okay, how can I modify/improve the stock dinette? What makes a traditional dinette so darn uncomfortable? I came up with two answers. First, the cushions need a higher quality foam. Second, the sitting angle needs improvement.
The best foam for sitting needs to have a resiliency rating of 2+ and a density rating of 40 or better. I found one can purchase a very high-quality foam from the foam factory.
I ordered their pre-cut, high quality form. You can order exact sizes and even have them Dacron wrapped. What a difference this made!
Without changing the existing cushions, I improved the 90-degree backrest. By adding a spacer at the bottom of the backrest and piece of paneling, the angle is much more comfortable.
Above: Before the dinette modification with a 90-degree backrest
Above: After the modification with more comfortable backrest angle
It took me two hours to complete this modification and cost me $110. In my opinion, the skill level of this modification is easy.
Disclaimer: The modifications above are submitted by Truck Camper Magazine readers. It is your responsibility to make sure that any do-it-yourself modification project you undertake is safe, effective, and legal for your situation.
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If you’d like to enter a modification you’ve done on your truck camper, click here. You can enter as many mods as you want, at any time. Good luck mod makers!