Some interesting information surfaced in the dinette bed poll and survey results.
First, hard side truck camper owners use their dinettes as beds differently than pop-up truck camper owners. Hard side truck camper owners tend to use their dinette beds for grandchildren, guests, and pets. Pop-up truck camper owners tend to use their dinette beds when they stop for the night and don’t want to pop-up their campers.
From this response, pop-up truck camper manufacturers and customers might want to pay more attention to the length and comfort of dinettes. Before buying a pop-up camper, customers should try getting into it with the top down. Pretend you just pulled off the highway after a long drive and you want to go to bed. Can you comfortably crawl into the dinette and sleep?
Many of the hard side responses also had an issue with the length of the dinette. Readers comment that their dinettes are often too short for adults and even some growing children. Another repeated comment from both pop-up and hard side owners is about the relative comfort of the dinette beds. Specifically, the industry could do a much better job with the quality of the foam used in dinette cushions.
The poll results reveal that 64.3-percent of truck camper owners use their dinette beds ‘many times’ or ‘a few times’. That leaves 34.2-percent of owners who never use their dinette beds.
A follow-up question could be, “If you don’t use your dinette as a bed, are you still glad that you have this feature?” Having read through all the feedback, I believe the overall answer would be, “Yes”. Either way, there is sufficient evidence to support the importance of the dinette bed feature in truck campers. We just want them a bit bigger, and a lot more comfortable. We agree.
This week’s Question of the Week was, “Do you use your dinette as a bed?”
“We use the dinette as a bed all the time. Calling it a dinette is a stretch. My husband is 6’0″ and sleeps in the cabover queen bed. I sleep on the dinette with the four pugs. If our 8 year old granddaughter is with us, she and I sleep on the dinette with one pug. The other three pugs have to sleep with PawPaw. I put the back cushion down on a small piece of plywood to expand the width of the seat area. It works.” – Mary Miller, 2006 Ford F250, 1998 Shadow Cruiser 740
“Last month in Arizona, a storm with 55-60 mile per hour predicted winds convinced us not to open the top. The dinette bed seemed much smaller now than when we were young and in love.” – Patti and Mike Rahn, 2014 GMC 1500, 2008 Palomino pop-up
“We lived aboard a sailboat for many years. Our friends from up north would call and ask how many our boat would sleep. I would always answer two even though it did sleep up to six. I really couldn’t blame them for wanting to come to Florida in the winter for a stay on a sailboat.
Now that we have a truck camper it truly does sleep two comfortably, but in a pinch I will let the dinette down. I have to concede that I would let my granddaughter stay a night or two. My wife would love it.” – Rob and Dawn Zimmerman, 2016 Ram 3500, 2017 Arctic Fox 1150
“My dog, Blue, sleeps on the dinette bed. There isn’t enough room on the floor for the big galoot to sleep, so he sleeps on the roll over couch (dinette seat).” – Brian Plourde, 2007 GMC Sierra 2500, 2015 Adventurer 80RB
“Space is at a premium in our small Four Wheel Camper. Removing the table allows for the dinette area to be better utilized for sleeping, sitting, or other uses. Another example of less is more.” – Larry Hartzke, 1997 Ford F250, 2017 Four Wheel Hawk
“We very seldom have a need for a dinette bed, but it is a convenient option when it’s needed. My mother has used it a couple of times when I take her with me.” – David Stephens, 2018 Chevy 3500 HD, 2015 Lance 1050S
“We have two teen age sons. One sleeps on the flip-down bunk and one on the large dinette. They alternate weekly. We added a foam layer to the dinette since the cushions are very firm. Both beds are up and out of the way in a minute. That has worked great for 95-plus nights.” – Esther David, 2014 Ram 3500, 2017 Northstar STC
“I use the jack knife couch as a bed for myself and let the guests sleep in the cabover.” – Joe Cassidy Sr, 1989 GMC 3500, 2008 Lance 1055
“I use the dinette for a bed when my daughter goes with us. The only change I made was to get rid of the table post and install a Dream Dinette. I also replaced the foam in the cushions with a higher density foam.” – John Powell, 2004 Dodge, 2009 Eagle Cap
“The dinette bed gets used by our grandkids and fits a porta-crib great!” – Vickie Welch, 2016 Ram 2500, 2016 Lance 850
“I exclusively use the dinette bed. I am a little claustrophobic and prefer a cooler sleeping environment. We purchased an Exped air mattress for more comfort, plus I could not feel the cushion’s edges. I also wake up an hour before my husband.” – D. Erhart, Ram 2500, 2016 Northstar 950SC
“Our dinette has been used once by my mother-in-law. We have talked about having our son come meet up with us while we are on the road but, at 6’4″ tall, he would have a hard time fitting on the dinette bed without being scrunched up.
I should also note that our seat cushions, while they lasted a while, became to compressed and were ultimately replaced. The seat backs have not been replaced. The foam we purchased online is almost certainly of better quality and denser.” – Brett Binns, 2014 Ford F350, 2014 Arctic Fox 1150
“The dinette is always a bed. Both of my daughters sleep on it every night. We are looking to replace the camper for something that works better for sleeping four people.” – David LaVine, 1994 Ford F350, 2003 S&S
“My spouse and I use the dinette for reading before climbing into the cabover for the night. It’s my bed when our grandson camps with us. Our table and column reside in the closet until they’re needed because the couch feels more spacious.” – Carmen Haggerty, 2010 Toyota Tundra, 2013 Northstar 8.5 Adventurer
“Yes, we use the dinette as a bed. It’s used mostly by our grandkids.” – Scot Sepe, 2016 Dodge Ram 3500, 2015 Northstar Laredo
“We are a retired couple and really haven’t needed to use the dinette as a bed. We could easily use it if it’s ever needed. It’s easy to set up.” – William Chiles, 2015 Ram 3500, 2013 Lance 1050S
“No, the dinette bed is too short for us. Maybe we’d use it if a grandchild came along.” – David Anderson, 2015 Ford F250, 2012 Northern Lite 8-11 Sportsman
“We never had a need to use it.” – George Hughes, 2010 Ford F350, 2004 Arctic Fox 990
“My seven year old grandson used it when we took him camping. I don’t find it very comfortable for an adult.” – Lyn Ellison, 2015 Chevy Silverado 3500, 2014 Lance 992
“When our girls were young, we had a Lance 1181. My older daughter had the fold-down bunk and my young daughter had the converted dinette bed. It worked great and made for many magical family camping memories.” – J. Roth, 2006 Ford F-350, 2008 Lance 1181
“We have used our dinette a number of times when the grandkids spend the night. Two will sleep on the dinette and the third sleeps on the couch in the rear slide. When the youngest is old enough to come with us, one will have to go on the drop-down bed above the dinette. We are lucky to have lots of sleeping room for them.” – Gary Hughes, 2005 Chevrolet 3500, 2015 Lance 1172
“It’s only my wife and I in the camper. We don’t need the dinette bed.” – Larry Hottle, 2003 Dodge 2500, 2006 Lance 851
“Yes, we have used our dinette as a bed whenever we have more than one guest staying with us. The last time we used it was when our granddaughter and her girlfriend visited us during our winter stay in Florida last year. Our daughter and granddaughter are coming to visit in a few weeks and we expect to use it then.” – Lou Barbaria, 2008 Ford F450, 2008 Host Everest
“We have never slept on the dinette bed. We have set it up to make a cozy lounge on a couple of rainy days. Once we made it up for a friend on a trip.” – Paul Henderson, 2000 Chevy C3500, 2015 Arctic Fox 992
“I always use the dinette as a bed whenever I go up camping. At 6-feet tall I tend to bump my head on the cabover roof where the emergency hatch is located.” – Thomas Redfern, 2008 Ford F250, 1976 Idle Time
“At five months, we had our son sleepIng in a travel bassinet on the dinette bed. He also loves it to roll around on, so we often leave it as a bed until lunch time. I’ve also had friends sleep there and hog all the heat.” – Mike Folden, 2003 Silverado 2500, 2017 Lance 825
“Rarely. It’s too short for many adults and the dog used to bother the guests.” – Philip Tron, 2009 Chevy 3500, 2012 Lance 1050
“Yes, but it’s usually too short for guests.” – Erica Moser, 2015 Chevrolet 3500, 2001 Adventurer 810S
“We have to use ours for our very tall 14 year old son. He sleeps in it with no problem.” – Kim Boykin, 2001 Ford F-250, 2018 Adventurer 89RB
“It’s used for the kids and sometimes I use it on solo trips to BLM land when it’s extremely cold. In that case, I won’t pop the camper up.” – Bill Haynes, 2006 GMC 2500HD, 2004 Palomino Bronco 1250
“Our daughter, now 22, has used the dinette bed on our family trips for 13 years. We tried talking her into sleeping in a tent as our son always did, but she finds the dinette comfortable and prefers it to the privacy of the tent.” – Tonyia Little, 2002 Chevy 3500, 2005 Lance 981
“One of the criteria for our selection of the camper was a 6-foot plus dinette bed. My brother is 6’2″ and spends two weeks with me in Arizona in February every year helping me put on a Single Action Shooting Society national match. Our three and six year old grandchildren also join us for two to four weeks a year.” – Mark Harrison, 2005 Dodge 2500, 2017 Northern Lite 10.2 EXCD
“Yes, every time! We are a family of three and our daughter sleeps in the bunk (cabover) so that we don’t disturb her with our evening routine. Our camper has sliding doors, not a curtain, so we close them all the way until we go to bed, and then open them just a few inches for air flow. That worked great to contain an active sleeping baby! She’s 8 now.
When I was six months old, my parents didn’t close the bunk doors of their camper enough and I rolled out. My parents also slept on the dinette bed (of the 1979 Okanagan they had from nearly new until 1992 or so).” – Melissa Malejko, 2002 Chevy Silverado, 1981 Okanagan
“We have used our dinette as a bed when we have the grandchildren with us. On occasion we have also used the dinette as a bed. We have also used the bunks in our boat’s cabin. The bunks in the boat are actually more comfortable then the dinette.” – Lanny Vrooman, 2009 Ram 3500, 2017 Northern Lite 10-2 EX CDSE
“Yes, we do. When our son, daughter-in law, and our two grandkids visit, we use the following arrangement; our son sleeps on the fold-out couch, grandson on the fold-down bunk above, and our daughter-in-law and granddaughter sleep on the dinette bed. With the Okanagan’s two slides, we can sleep six relatively comfortable.” – Carl Goode, 2016 Ram 3500HD, 2008 Okanagan 117 DBL
“We convert the dinette to a bed on every trip with the kids. Also, if we stop for a day’s activity and can’t take our dog with us, the dinette gets converted to a bed (minus the cushions). The dog crate gets set up in the dinette for him.
We close the blinds and will run the Fantastic Fan if the temperature warrants it. Our four-season camper stays comfortable even in the middle of summer.” – Mark Joslin, 2006 Ram 3500, 2005 Lance 1181
“We only use dinette for quick naps on the side of the road or in a rest areas when we’re traveling. I don’t want to raise the pop-up just for that. If I had a hard-side camper, a dinette bed would be useless to me.
When I’m at RV shows, I always find the same scenario. The units can sleep a whole basketball team and two cheerleaders, but have no sufficient countertop space to prep food for the hoard. Do RV designers think no one cooks and all the food is take-out? The kitchen countertops consist of a stove top, sink and a food prep area the size of a postage stamp.” – Jan Hill, 2002 Silverado 2500, 1993 Litecraft pop-up
“When solo traveling, I use the dinette bed for napping or quick overnight sleeping because I don’t have to pop the top. My wife uses it when we travel together because she doesn’t like climbing into the overhead bunk. We both think it sleeps comfortably.” – Ron Wilson, 2017 Dodge 1500, 1984 Coachmen SL8
“No, definitely not. Our layout is more like a sofa along the right side. My limited experience shows a dinette/bed conversions make poor sofas and poor beds. We have modified ours to make a more comfortable sofa.” – Jay Knight, 2018 Chevrolet 3500, 2014 Northstar Adventurer 8.5
“Our camper has a jack knife bed and we have no one to use it.” – Matt Wiegand, 2014 Ford F150, 2017 Adventurer 80RB
“We have never used the dinette bed. Our dog sleeps under the dinette at night. He is out of the way there on our nightly trek to the bathroom.” – Erwin Greven, 2002 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD, 2002 Lance 921
“No, it is too short measuring only 5-feet long. It’s not practical.” – Marcel Burelle, 2009 Chevrolet 3500, 2013 Camplite 8.6
“We do not convert the dinette into a bed for two reasons. First, we have not found the need for another bed. Second, I have converted part of the area under the dinette table as permanent storage. I can fit four good size totes into that space. This may have to change though, as my wife has a difficult time climbing into (and out of) the bed area. Unfortunately, she has not yet learned to fly.” – Bill Mayer, 2005 Ford F350, 2007 Arctic Fox 990
“We use the dinette for a bed when we’re out hunting or fishing with our grown kids and grandkids. My boys are under 6-feet tall and sleep on it. My grandsons are 6’2’’ and have also slept on it.
When we take the younger grandkids with us camping, they sleep in the dinette. If it is just a couple grandkids and only me, I will usually let them have the cabover bed, and I will sleep on the dinette. Since I get up early, I do not have to worry about disturbing them. My hunting buddy also sleeps on it and finds it to be just fine.” – Rick Jones, 2005 Chevrolet 2500HD, 2013 Wolf Creek 850
“I have only used it once with the grandchildren. It is too short for an adult. I sure wish better and more comfortable options were available for the dining portion of my camper. We like to read in a chair! The camper makers are starting to wakeup and design better options. We also have a bunk on the slide-out but that is totally unusable for anyone. It’s too small!” – Beth Edwards, 2004 Ram 2500, 2006 Lance slide-out
“The dinette is my wife’s permanent bed since the confined space in the overhead is too tight for her. She also does a lot of night photography when we are in the mountains, which is quite often. She can get up without disturbing me too much. We purchased a good quality air mattress which fits the dinette very well and is quite comfortable. I am 6’6” tall, so that leaves me plenty of room to sprawl out in the overhead.” – Wayne Erhart, 2002 Ram 2500, 2017 Northstar 950SC
“We never use the dinette as a bed. It’s too small for an adult. So far we haven’t had the opportunity to take any of the grandkids with us. When we take them, we’ll probably add a tent outside rather than using the dinette.” – Phil Rodacy, 2012 GMC 3500, 2006 Okanagan M-90S
“I have used the dinette as a bed occasionally when having a friend along on a trip. Most of the time I camp alone in the outback and always use the cabover bed. I am over 6-foot and have found the dinette is too cramped for me, but fine for a shorter person.” – Grant Smith, 2015 Ram 3500, Four Wheel Hawk
“I would sleep in the dinette if I traveled with my mom and dad or daughter and granddaughter. They would sleep in the cabover where it is very comfortable. I have to sleep at a diagonal on the dinette, but it works well. We always sleep great in our camper. We just need to do it more often!” – Dave Miller, 2015 Ford F350, 2003 Bigfoot 10.6E
“We use the dinette as a bed to lounge while watching television.” – John Ryder, 2016 Ram 3500, 2017 Northern Lite 10-2
“Early on we used it as a dinette, but now it is almost permanently a bench/bed. Our duffles are at one end, while the center stays open for the dogs to move back and forth from the truck through the window. At night at least one dog of the three dogs is on it.” – Bill Peters, 2017 Chevy Silverado, 2013 Four Wheel Camper Hawk
“My two kids use the dinette as a bed all the time. It is a bit cramped since one of them is 6’4″, but they make it work. Most of the time we leave the dinette in the sleep position when traveling. It makes it easy to store things and it takes the stress off the table when we are on rougher roads. Once we get to where we are going, we will convert it as required for the usage.” – Leonard Pennock, 2006 Dodge 3500, 2003 Eagle Cap 950
“I use the dinette as a bed all-season. My wife and I enjoy our space and we usually don’t go to bed at the same time.” – Lawrence Ruggiero
“We have used the dinette as a bed several times, but never for my wife or me. We have only used it for my mother-in-law. The dinette bed is just under 6-feet long, so it works well for my mother-in-law who is about 5’3″.
The only problem she had with it was that the cushions shifted on her resulting in a body grabbing crack down the middle of her bed. We solved that by making a cover like bag that holds the cushions together. Now it all works out fine.” – Arn Chamberlain, 2000 Ford F250, 2004 Palomino Maverick 8801
“We use the dinette bed when our grandson is with us. When he was younger, (and smaller), he slept in the upper fold down bunk. It is now too tight for him up there. We have learned how to fit the cushions into the dinette bed.” – Barry Schoenwetter, 2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD, 2005 Lance 1030
“It is my 105 pound yellow lab’s favorite place to sleep. I put the table down, put on heavy sheets, and he sleeps soundly through the night.” – Kurt Haskell, 2002 Ford F350, 2011 Wolf Creek 850
“My wife and I sleep in the cabover east to west. When I take a fishing buddy, one of us usually sleeps in the dinette. Occasionally, we’ve had three people overnight, with two in the cabover and one in the dinette.” – David Bennett, 2014 Ford F150, 2015 Four Wheel Camper Hawk
“Our pup uses underneath the table as a bed. It’s a perfect spot for her. In about a year, our grandsons will use the dinette as a bed.” – Ken and Leona Atamaniuk, 2012 Ram 3500, 2016 Lance 855S
“Yes, most of the time. Most of my camping is one night to the local lakes by myself. Rather than using the heavy dinette table, I have two half inch planks cut to fit. Then I usually slide my cooler underneath. I put a foam sheet on the dinette’s cushions and I’m snug as a bug.
Unfortunately, the 73-inch length is slightly shorter than what I would like. My next camper might be a pop-up with at least a 75-inch long dinette, preferably even a little longer.” – Stan Johnson, 2009 GMC2500, Northstar Laredo
“With just the two of us, we have never needed to use it. It’s nice to know it’s there as an option, but we don’t plan to use that area much as a bed.” – Bill Elwell, 2016 Ram 2500, 2016 Four Wheel Camper Flatbed Hawk
“I live in my camper and no one else lives with me. The reason why I bought this particular camper is because of the extra head room of the cabover section. The other reason is that I have acid reflux and need to sleep on a slant.
I made an adjustable bed platform in the overhead which works out great. There is still more than enough room to move around up there. I removed the dinette table. That has really opened up the u-shaped dinette couch area, To sleep in that area is not an option for me.” – Mike Hennon, 1972 Ford F250, 1991 Caribou
“On times when there is more then two of us, the third person will use the dinette. On other occasions it might just be me and a buddy going on a fishing trip. I get the overhead bunk, and he gets the dinette. That is more comfortable then trying to fit two in the overhead bunk.” – Rick Bridarolli, 2006 Ford F350, 2001 Adventurer 90RDS
“There are just two of us. If we ever take a grandkid with us, we will use it.” – Charlie Schiff, 2016 Ram 2500, 2014 Northstar 850SC
“On every long trip I take (5-8 weeks) I have someone join me for a bit. After all, one of the goals traveling is to have full visits with dear people who don’t live near me. My daughter also attempts to fly in to enjoy specific aspects of my trip.
Even though it’s fast and easy to set up the dinette, we often leave it as a bed once it is made. We eat outside and use the dinette bed to lounge. It’s great for leg stretching while reading books. I also use it (covered) for the dogs in damp muddy conditions. That keeps my bed clean.
A friend joined me in the Rockies last September for a week with his dog. Somehow two adults in two beds along with three dogs were all comfortable in my small camper. When I use my Northstar TC800 I use the dinette bed. I don’t pop the top up so that I can be stealthy.” – Michele McLeod, 2013 F150 HD LB, 2000 Travel Hawk 9.5
“I use the dinette as a second bed on fishing trips with my father. I give him the big bed. I add a 2-inch memory foam on top of the cushions and I sleep well.” – John Leslie, 2017 Ram 3500, 2016 Palomino HS2911
“We have only used our dinette as a bed for one trip, but it was for a full week of traveling with two guests. That is when we took our son and daughter in-law with us to South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore, the Badlands, Crazy Horse, the Corn Palace and Wall Drug.” – Charles Coushaine, 2001 Ford F350, 2012 Chalet DS116RB
“We’ve used the dinette as a bed for our six year old grandson a few times and it’s been great. We put my grandson and his dad in the dinette bed. My grandson slept fine, but his dad did not. It was too cramped.
We also invited our granddaughter on one trip and she slept in the pull-down bunk. She loved it up there.” – Ken Mercurio, 2017 Ford F-350, 2016 Arctic Fox 811
“When we first got our Panther Sierra, we discovered that the overhead sleeping area was too claustrophobic. The ceiling was too low and even lower up in the front. The person up front felt suffocated. One night was enough with two people up there.
After that, I would sleep down on the dinette (which was only a single bed) and my wife would sleep up top. She had tons of room to spread out. It was fine with only one person up there. Nobody was trapped up in the lowest part up front. This arrangement worked pretty well until we sold it and moved on.” – Vince Kurpan
“We travel with a 90-pound German Shepard named Clyde. With the dinette made into a bed, he can stretch out, nap, and look out the windows.” – Dusty Carmello, 2000 Ram 3500, Bigfoot 30c10.11
“We have twin ten year old girls. They love the dinette as a bed. Sometimes they are together, and sometimes we also use the couch’s pull-out bed when they want to sleep alone. Either way, the coolest spot to be in is the dinette.
We often make it as a bed and fill it with pillows and blankets for movies. Our camper has a small television that rotates around. They also can lay there to read. Sometimes they look out the windows to daydream since the views are usually amazing.” – Vince Partridge, 1998, Chevy 3500, 2012 Eagle Cap 1165
“The most I’ve slept was three in the camper; me and my two kids. Since we are three small adults, we just bunked in the overcab. I never really thought of using it.” – Jacques Bonaparte, 2000 GMC K3500, 2018 CampLite 8.6
“Yes, absolutely. I often travel solo. Many times when I pull over somewhere I am usually tired and don’t want to take the time to raise the top (even though it is very quick and easy). The dinette area in my Palomino SS-550 makes for a wonderful quick nest. Plus, I can still use the the kitchen accessories. In the morning I can break camp in about 2.5 minutes and be on the road again. When my wife travels with me, that all changes.” – Shellie Barnes, 2017 Ford F250, 2017 Palomino SS-550
“Over the years with several truck and camper combinations, we have used the dinette as a bed for kids, grandkids, and dogs. Sometimes it’s both the kids and dogs at the same time. My husband and I have seen our kids or grandkids sleeping on the bunk over the dinette, on the dinette made into a bed, and on the floor all at the same time. It makes me smile.” – Linda Clark, 2017 Ram 5500, 2017 Northern Lite 10-2 EX CD
“The dinette has been used on rare occasions as a guest bed. That said, we would gladly give up the bed conversion concept for more comfortable seating.” – Bruce Colby, 2004 Dodge 2500, 2004 Lance 835
“Yes, always. I have never slept in the cabover. My wife and 11 year old daughter sleep in the cabover since they like to read in bed and go to bed early. I sleep in the dinette since it is comfortable, convenient, and close to the bathroom. Most of my time spent truck camping is outdoors, except for meals and sleeping.” – Sean Ferber, 2002 Ford F250, Lance Lite 815
“There are only two of us. Our two dogs sleep on the floor under the table, so there is no need to convert it into a bed. Once we were visiting the in-laws and I decided to take a nap in the camper. It was too darn hot in the cabover, so I tried the dinette as a bed. It worked just fine for a nap, but it wouldn’t want it to be my primary bed.” – David Ruble, 2017 Ford F350, 2017 Phoenix pop-up
“Normally we leave the dinette up with the dog’s bed under it. On occasion we camp with one or more of our five children (all adults now). If we are somewhere more than one night, they set up a tent outside. If we are enroute or it’s only for a single night, they will sleep in the dinette. I have never slept there, so I don’t know how comfortable it is, but they haven’t complained.” – Tricia Mason, 2009 Ford F350, 2008 Montana Ponderosa
“We do use the dinette as a bed from time to time. Those who use it include family and friends. Most of the time it’s just a dinette. When the occasion arises and we need an extra bed for someone, it’s nice to have since it is easy to make up and take down.
Typically those who use it are camping with us. When the outside temperatures are not conducive to tent camping, it’s just for one night. Sometimes it makes more sense to use the dinette instead of packing a tent.” – Dave Riddle, 2015 Chevrolet 3500, 2017 Host Mammoth
“Yes, many times. Since I have a small camper, my grandkids and my daughter sleep up top and I sleep in the bench bed. Foam makes all the difference. I am just short enough to fit comfortably. My dachshund shares the upper quarters and my standard poodle snuggles with me. When I’m traveling alone, I put the bed down for the poodle at night and have the whole upper bed to myself minus a small corner for the dachshund.” – Heather Rutherford, 2016 Ford F150, 2015 CampLite 5.7
“I only use the dinette for sleeping. The cabover area gets too cold and it’s a challenge for my arthritic bones and bad back to climb in and out of the area. The cabover area is now exclusively for storage and has two 1.5”-inch polyisocyanurate panels which seal off the area when it’s not in use. In this manner, I gain storage, reduce clutter, and reduce use of the heater (and thus condensation). It makes getting up in the middle of the night as easy as rolling off the bed and stepping into the bathroom. After all, isn’t a truck camper about personalization?” – Frank Jerolimov, 1999 Ford F-350, 1998 Fleetwood
“We leave the dinette down as a bed all the time. With pillows it functions as a couch. We find it more comfortable and use the space below as storage. We are able to stop and nap while traveling without needing to pop the top of the camper.” – Carol Wegner, 2011 Toyota Tundra, 2009 Northstar TC 650
“My wife and I love to take the grandkids and nephew with us on different trips. They use the dinette as a bed. We also have the bunk above the dinette. We will use that if only one can make the trip.” – Mark Newhall, 2015 Ford F350, Lance 992
“When the kids were little, we used the dinette as a bed quite a bit. Now we use it for occasional overnight guests. Our camper has two full-size beds, so we don’t often need a third. When we do, it takes no time to convert the dinette to a bed and it’s quite comfortable.” – Susan Oliveri, 1996 Ram 2500, 1971 Amerigo Truck Camper
“I have never needed an extra bed.” – John Schlobohm, 2013 Ford F-150, 2013 Lance 825
“My husband and I use the dinette as a bed for multiple reasons. We may use it when we want to sleep separately, or if one of us has the Labrador on the bed.
When we travel solo, we may not want to raise the roof, especially if it’s a quick overnight stop or there’s severe weather. We haven’t tried to both sleep in the dinette yet.” – Gail Coleman, 2011 Ford F350, 2018 Hallmark Milner
“Rarely, and only when my grandchildren are traveling with me.” – Robert Lick, 2003 Dodge 3500, 1993 Alpenlite 11-foot SK
“We don’t use the dinette as a bed often. The rock and roll bed has two crossbars in the framework that hits adults in the shoulder and hips. It’s great for young grandkids because they are smaller and lighter.” – Monte Dahlman, 2006 Ram 2500, 1995 Skyline Weekender 10
“Let’s face it. Older men may need to get up and head for the potty more than once during the night. If the Mrs. is a light sleeper, this messes up her much-needed rest. So I use the dinette on a permanent basis and she gets the pleasure of the full queen-size double upstairs.” – Bob Bridge, 1999 Dodge Ram 2500, 2002 Fleetwood Angler
“We camp with friends. They have all the equipment and we have a spare tent for guests.” – Real Charbonneau, 2008 Silverado 1500, Travel Lite 800X
“Yes. The dinette bed and the fold-down bunk above the dinette were integral to keeping the kiddos happy (read: separated) while sleeping until they flew the nest.
We would use both more except they are a bit short for adults since we have a short camper. Also, the 150-pound weight limit on the bunk is worrisome for a full-sized adult.
When we upgrade to a new unit, dinette length will be a consideration. The ability to sleep an additional body is nice considering our off-grid use. Any suggestions on units with longer dinettes?” – JT More, 2004 Ford F250, 2005 S&S Ponderosa 8.5
“We use it for our granddaughters and their friends.” – Jim Thompson, 1999 Ford, Kodiak K-99
“We don’t use our dinette as a bed because it’s not really comfortable for an adult. We altered it to give us extra space for storage (it looks like a shelf so we can put things on or under it). It also makes it easier to get in and out of the cabover by giving us more landing room. We can sit on it and it gives us a little more floor space with our downsized table.
If we don’t need it, we just lift the bench cushion and slide it underneath. If required, a child could sleep there.” – Ron Perks, 2013 Ford F150, 2014 Palomino SS-1251
“We use the dinette as a bed when the grandkids stay with us. The dog sleeps underneath and everyone is happy.” – Bill Londry, 2011 Silverado 2500HD, 2016 Adventurer 86FB
“We have used it twice for my daughter and grandson who stayed with us for a week when we were in Florida. It wasn’t bad at all.” – Mike Ricci, 2006 Chevrolet 2500HD, 2008 Bigfoot 1500
“Our camper is great for four to six people for dinner and drinks, and two for sleeping.” – James Burns, 2014 Ford F450, 2017 Lance 1172
“I converted my U-shaped dinette to a jack knife sofa and removed the table. My girls have slept on it and my granddaughter has slept on it as well. I have a small folding table if we eat inside the camper.” – Jeff Hagberg, Ford F-250, Travel Lite 800 SBX
“The grandchildren sleep in the dinette bed on a regular basis, and that includes the bunk above. On a couple of occasions my fishing buddy has slept in the dinette bed. He thought it was comfortable and had no complaints. He is under 6-feet tall.
I’ve tried it once, but I’m too tall by a couple of inches. I like to stretch out when I sleep. I wish the manufacturers would add a couple of inches because most of my buddies are over 6’3″.” – Dennis De Ville, 2018 Ford F350, 2018 Lance 1172
“I use it a couple of times per year when my daughter joins me for Search and Rescue events and fundraisers. She gets the cabover. My dog and I get the dinette.” – Michael Blomgren, 2001 Ford F150, 1997 Lance Squire light
“When traveling solo, I often use the cabover bed for all my stuff and sleep on the dinette bed. That way I don’t have to crawl up and down. My dog likes it better with me being closer to his sleep area on the floor. Being older and drinking coffee and water all day, I have to go two to three times at night. It’s much easier being on the dinette bed.” – Jimmie Pittman, 2008 Chevrolet Silverado, 2013 Capri Rodeo
“I haven’t used our dinette as bed since our trips have only been with the two of us. However, on one trip it rained the entire weekend. We turned the dinette into a lounge area where we could read, play games, and sip hot chocolate.” – Mike Cash, 2014 Ram 2500, 2015 Hallmark K2
“We use the dinette as a bed if a friend tags along or if one of our grown kids comes to visit while camping.” – Ken Vogel, 2016 Chevy Silverado 3500, 2015 Lance 995
“Our twelve year old autistic daughter uses it. We also have an optional over-the-dinette bunk for an occasional friend.” – John and Anne Williamson, 2002 Ford F350, 2010 Arctic Fox 992
“When our granddaughter travels with us, or as in your situation, when my back is bothering me, I use it. Other than those times we keep it together and sleep in the overhead.” – Mike Kolinski, 2012 GMC 2500 HD, 2012 Four Wheel Camper Hawk
“I use it as a bed when my adult daughters camp with me.” – Edward Osborn, 2007 Chevy Silverado, 2012 Four Wheel Camper Raven
“My grandchild uses the dinette as a bed.” – Greg Bryant, 2014 Ford, 2002 Starcraft TrailBlazer
“We used the dinette as a bed when we traveled with our teenagers/older kids and there was a reason they couldn’t set up their tent to sleep outside; bad weather, wind, or non-friendly site like a parking lot or rest stop. Usually our daughter is in the dinette and our son is on the floor.” – Kris and Frank Thomas, 2007 Dodge 3500, 2007 Northern Lite 10-2 CDSE
“We use the dinette as a bed all the time. It’s where the grandkids sleep.” – Howard Bisco, 2015 Ford F-250, 2014 Palomino HS-6601
“Our dinette has never been used as a bed. We use the truck camper on long trips and it’s only the two of us when traveling. In fact, for many of us, a table with two chairs would be enough and make the camper less crowded.” – Reginald Lafrance, 2004 Chevy 2500HD, 2006 Bigfoot 9.4
“I ordered our Eagle Cap with rear theater seating and the street side couch that can covert into a bed in seconds. There is room for the two of us and our dog. We use folding wood television trays when needed for eating, writing, or computer work. It works for us. We don’t miss a dinette at all.” – Craig Hayes, 2016 GMC 3500, 2017 Eagle Cap 1165
“We use the dinette as a bed when we take one of the grandkids camping.” – Randall Bunce, 2017 Ford F350, 2016 Wolf Creek 840
“We go on weekend trips and the occasional week-long road trip. Our 6 year old sleeps sleeps in the dinette bed very comfortably. He likes having his own bed and so do we, even if the nightly conversion is a bit of a chore.” – Alex Loddoch, 2012 Chevy 3500, 2017 Cirrus 820
“I would like to replace the U-shaped dinette with two lazy boys. I am unable to do so because the Northern Lite’s utilities are beneath the seats. Suggestions are welcome.” – Ron Button, 2017 Ford 350, 2017 Northern Lite 811 Special EX
“I will set the dinette up as a bed if a friend is along or when our 80-pound golden doodle goes camping with us.” – William Fisher, 2012 Ram 3500, 2003 Mountain Star
“No, there are only two of us.” – Mark Motsko, 2016 Chevy 3500, 2016 Bigfoot 1500
“We have not had any people stay with us and have been (knock on wood) not been sick during our travels.” – Eric Devolin, 2007 GMC 3500, 2006 Adventurer 106DBS
“We don’t use the dinette as a bed. We are happy with our mattress in the cabover area. Our original plan was for the area under the dinette to be the dog’s bed. However, Rugby decided that the recliner was more comfortable for his bed than the floor.” – Chuck and Jodie Ramsey, 2012 Chevy Silverado, 2014 Adventurer 116DS
“We purchased our Lance 815 brand new in 2003 (2004 model) when our two girls were very young and used the heck out of it (30-40 days a year). That included some 3,000 mile round trips to Disneyland.
We made the dinette bed up each night and the girls would sleep head to toe next to each other. I would wake them each morning and they would snuggle in with their mom in the cabover bed while I set the dinette back up and enjoyed my coffee at the table.
They are now grown and out of the house getting their college education. We still use the heck out of the camper, but the dinette isn’t used for a bed much anymore. I look at it each morning we are in it and the memories come flooding back. Good times!” – Ross Hamann, 2005 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD, 2004 Lance 815
“My wife uses our dinette as a bed because it’s more comfortable.” – David Matthews, Silverado, 2005 2500 HD, 2014 Lance 855S
“Yes, for our dog. It is seldom used as a dinette since we prefer to cook/eat outside when possible. I had my brother in-law sleep in the dinette as a bed and he said it was not comfortable. The dog has yet to complain.” – Robb Urie, 2009 GMC 2500, 2003 Palomino 1000
“When we have guests, we use the dinette as a bed. Otherwise it just stays a dinette. We take our niece and nephew with us occasionally because someone has to be the cool aunt and uncle!” – Josh and Stephanie Papp, 2007 Chevy 2500, 2016 Lance 865
“We have never used the dinette as a bed mainly due to never needing it for that purpose. We travel as a couple . When we do travel or camp with kids and grandkids they have their own RVs. I expect there will be a need for it one day. I have made it into a bed once only to see how it worked.” – Sean Lynn, 2018 Ram 3500, 2014 Lance 950S
“My 83 year old Mom sleeps on the dinette bed since she can not climb up to the overhead sleeping area. I only have used it as a dinette a few times. I went camping a lot last winter at our local state parks!” – Susan Swan-Esposito, 1993 GMC, 2017 Four Wheel Camper Fleet Shell
“I never want to have that many people in my RV at one time.” – Don Casto, 2013 Ram 3500, Lance 1191
“Yes, my grandkids love it when we come to visit. I’ve also used it when camping with son-in-law and grandson. I haven’t used the upper bunk since it doesn’t have a safety net.” – Tim Zeh, 2005 Chevrolet 3500, 2007 Arctic Fox 1150
“We have to make the bed for our fur babies. If we don’t they are sleeping on our legs!” – Chris Baird, 2014 Ford F250, 2014 Four Wheel Camper Grandby
“Yes, I use the dinette as a bed. I had back surgery and I am not supposed to bend or twist. I could not figure out how to get into the cabover bed without bending or twisting. So I will just sleep in the dinette until I am healed.” – Rag Rag, 2017 Ford F150, 2007 Lance 815
“On some trips, I have a retired buddy go with me or my niece and her friends. Extra sleeping area is always a bonus.” – Scott Ridgway, 2012 Dodge 3500, 2012 Lance 1050S
“We use it occasionally when we have kids or grandkids with us.” – Randall Gilbertson, 2013 Ford F250, 2017 Wolf Creek
“Ours is actually a couch that makes into a bed. It is too short for anyone over about 5’8”. We have had people use it a few times and they had to sleep at an angle. Mostly our two little dogs sleep on it.” – Jim Hignite, 2016 Ram 3500, 2007 Lance 1055
“My son, my son’s friends, and I have used it depending on where we go and how many people are with us. It’s the second bed that we always use.” – Jeremy Nelson, 2015 Toyota Tundra, 2002 Lance Lite 845
“We occasionally use the dinette for a bed. We also use the sofa as an additional bed on occasion. We went to see the solar eclipse and took two of our grandkids with us. One slept on the sofa the other slept on the dinette. My wife and I slept in the overhead.” – Ken Dawson, 2017 Ford F-350, 2017 Eagle Cap 1165
“Our dinette bed is too small for anyone but children. I really wish there was a comfortable seating arrangement instead. I am contemplating ways to make it happen.” – Tom Beckes, 2015 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD, Arctic Fox 811S
“No, because it’s only the two of us.” – Wade and Becky Johnson, 2004 Ford F-350, 2003 Lance 1130
“Yes, I always use the dinette as a bed because I have a fractured back.” – Margaret Smith, 2004 Dodge 3500, 2011 Lance 950
“We are a family of four. Our two daughters sleep on the dinette during our camping adventures. Both daughters have learned to set up the bed and return it to a dinette quite quickly.” – Patrick Carroll, 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 3500, 2014 Lance 855
“I used the dinette as a bed while selling our birds at the poultry farm. Selling out requires me to be there for about 24 hours. The dinette bed is a great place for short naps whenever possible. The Scamper is a pop-up truck camper, so leaving the top down in the winter makes it much warmer.” – Stephen Beal, 1999 Dodge Ram, 1985 Scamper 8.0
“My grandchildren use it when we take them camping.” – William Muller, 2011 Chevy 2500HD, 2011 Lance 855
“No, I would rather have a table and chairs. The dinette is uncomfortable to sit at, even the brand new ones.” – Ben Hansen, 2006 Ford F350, 2005 Lance 981 Max
“We have never used the dinette as a bed. There’s just the two of us, so there’s no need for an additional bed.” – Dave Erickson, 2011 Ford F350, 2006 Arctic Fox 990
“We haven’t had the need to use the dinette as a bed since there are only the two of us. Our rig is a Lance 830, a unique side-entry model. Our rig does not have the rear tent. The dinette sits at the foot of the cabover and we have modified the cushions to create a more comfortable place to sit. I angled the back of the seat and my wife added new pads. We can still set it up as a bed if we were to bring all the parts. But, to eliminate unneeded weight, we generally leave the stock pads at home.” – Jim Jensen, Ram 3500, Lance 830
“We occasionally travel with our three grandsons. Years ago our daughter was with us and she said, “It was the most comfortable table she had ever slept on”.” – Charles Phy, 2011 Dodge 5500, 2010 Eagle Cap 1160
“Yes, I use it as a bed every once in awhile. It’s mostly used as a couch. I no longer use it as a dinette. It was too uncomfortable as a dinette and the table is much too wobbly. You couldn’t slide behind the table without making a mess of everything. The slightest bump spilled any liquid or even knocked the glass over. So, it became a couch. It becomes a bed when I fall asleep watching television.” – DuWayne Hermann, 1996 Ford F150, 1993 Fleetwood Elkhorn
“Yes, we have brought our adult daughter on trips with us from Washington State through northern California. She has also been with us on beach trips. She has loved to camp since her childhood. The dinette is not quite long enough, so she sleeps diagonally, with her feet hanging off the bed.
During the day, we set the table back up and keep her bedding in a quilt bag in the truck. We all travel well together.” – Sharon Day, 2017 Dodge Ram 3500, 2017 Arctic Fox 811
“We travel with our two young sons. One sleeps on the dinette bed and the other sleeps in the drop-down bunk/overhead storage. It works great now, but they keep on growing. I would hate to think that we need to leave them at Grandma’s house.” – Burt and Vickie Strong, 1997 GMC C3500, 1997 Lance Legend 900
“The kids slept there when they were little. Even now, as young adults, they sleep there if they go us. At the drag races I’ve had a friend sleep there, too.” – Ron Williams, 1997 Ford F250, 2003 Lance 1010
“Our daughter sleeps in the dinette bed. I have also used it when hunting and didn’t want to pop up the camper for a quick night stay.” – Pat De Grand, 2011 Chevy Silverado, 2001 Palomino 1250
“We have used the dinette as a bed once a year (a week each time) for either our adult daughter or son while hunting in the north Maine woods. It’s a little tight with three adults for a week, but we make it work.” – Mike Young, 2006 Ford F350, 2003 Lance 1180
“I too caught a cold during a trip to Florida and was more comfortable with my sneezing and runny nose on the dinette bed. We have the flip-over style bench dinette in our Wolf Creek 850 which is plenty big enough to lay on comfortably without lowering the table and flipping it into the bed position. It’s also perfect for that stealthy catnap while the hubby is off collecting firewood.” – Deborah Johnson, 1989 GMC 2500, 2018 Wolf Creek 850
“I use it all the time. It is not always convenient to pop the top.” – Wendie Ross, 2004 Chevy Silverado 1500, 2004 Northstar 850SC
“My friends sleep in the dinette and I sleep up in the cabover section. It’s just how I have always done it since I started truck camping back in 1975.” – Bob Chan, 1989 Ford F250, 1988 Lance 780
“It works well in our older camper. Many new ones are too short. When I’m skiing, I get up way before my wife does. She gets to sleep and I get to play.” – Mike Bohn, 2017 Chevy 2500HD, 1974 Eldorado 8-foot
“It is the only place that a visitor and/or family can sleep as privately as possible. It just takes minutes to make the bed or to have the dinette available.” – Clifford Cizan, 2010 Ram 3500, 2013 Arctic Fox 1150
“My German Shepherds switch on and off sleeping in the dinette bed. We use a sleeping bag for a cover. They move from the dinette to the cab over. They are smart cookies. They love the air conditioner blowing on them in the cabover part when it’s hot out.” – Joe Ebert, 2001 Chevy Silverado 3500, 2003 Bigfoot 2500 10.6
“I only use the dinette bed when my mother-in-law travels with us.” – Mark Daigle, 2016 GMC 3500, 2013 Lance 1172