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Camper Mod Contest Entries

Jackknife Sofa Replacing Dinette Benches and Table

Welcome to the sixth entry in November’s Mega Mod-Ster Contest.  One Mega Mod will be published in every Email Alert in November.  At the end of the month we’ll hold a reader vote to determine November’s winner.  For information about the Mod-Ster Contest, including how to enter, click here.

Doug Sloan, Port Charlotte, Florida
Jackknife Sofa replacing Dinette benches and table
2012 Ford F350
2006 Arctic Fox 811

Regular Camper Dinette Before Jackknife Sofa

When we bought our Arctic Fox it had the traditional dinette booth with a table. We decided we needed an area a little more comfortable to relax in the evenings.  A sofa would fit our needs.

We had seen companies offer a flip-over or jackknife sofa as an option.  We searched the internet and found a 68-inch Jackknife sofa made by Thomas Payne that fit our needs.  We ordered the sofa from eTrailer and it came within a week.

We took the existing dinette booth seats out which were held in place with many screws.  Some of the screws could not be reached, so they were cut.

Dinette Taken Out Before Jackknife Sofa

One area we did have a problem was behind the furnace where a propane pipe and wires passed through the wall of the camper to the back of the refrigerator.  I decided to cut the rear of the dinette booth around the pipes rather then disconnect the propane pipe and the wires just to re-connect them again.

two side panels from oak plywood for the sides of the sofa

We then made two side panels from oak plywood for the sides of the sofa.  Small legs or supports were made and attached to the walls and floor.  We then cut and attached aluminum angle onto the legs leaving a gap on top of the legs so the sofa could slide away from the wall to allow the sofa to open.

We then cut a piece of oak plywood for a foot board and screwed it to the floor and side panels.  The drawer that was from the booth was installed into the foot board as well as a drop down storage door.  The intake vent for the furnace and return vents were cut in.  We also installed a 110-volt outlet with USB ports in the footboard and two 12-volt outlets.

Jackknife Sofa Truck Camper Dinette.jpeg

Two table tops were made and installed next to each other instead of one large table.  Finding the right height table legs proved to be a bit of a challenge.  The table legs needed to be approximately 27-inches high.  The floor holders for the legs needed to be a minimum height to prevent tripping.

Jackknife Sofa In Arctic Fox Truck Camper

One last consideration that needs to be mentioned is the access panel in the floor for the sliding wall shear pin repair.  We cut a slot 3/4-inch by the length of the access panel in the bottom of the foot board.  This slot allowed for the floor panel to be popped up for repairs.

This mod has proven to be a back saver for us.  After a day of sightseeing, we find relaxing in the camper is easier on our backs.  With the removable tables we can still eat in comfort.  If one of us needs a table, we only have to set up one table.

It took me eight hours to complete this modification and cost me approximately $800.  In my opinion, the skill level of this modification is hard.

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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