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For years, we were nervous about modifying our camper. We were worried that if we changed our rig, it would decrease the resale value. However, as our children have grown, we have realized that we will be purchasing a new camper very soon if we do not modify our camper for comfort. We are not saying that we will drill holes in all of the walls, but it is time for a few upgrades. One of our first upgrades is to replace the couch in our RV.
We never liked the factory couch. It is a 58″ jackknife sofa made to sleep a child. However, we do not have children small enough to use it. The sofa is not comfortable, and we have to place many pillows behind our backs to sit on it. It was to the point that we didn’t even want to use the sofa anymore.
We set out to replace the couch in our RV. Sean and I wanted to share our experience in case you are looking to replace your sofa as well!
We have a Grey Wolf 26DBH, so we began looking for sofas that fit within the standard 58″ space. Our goal was to find a reclining sofa and then put a swivel on the television. With this setup, we can recline the RV couch and watch TV. Everyone, no matter where they are sitting in the camper, will have a good view.
After researching RV sofas, we landed on the RecPro Charles Double RV Wall Hugger Recliner Sofa (Check it out on Amazon) or directly on the RecPro site by clicking here.) RecPro makes this couch in many lengths. They are specifically made to work well in a camper where there is limited room. The RecPro brand has fantastic reviews. In our camper, the chestnut fabric pairs well with the current furnishings.
Replacing the Sofa in Our Grey Wolf 26DBH
Within six months of purchasing the camper, the threading began unraveling off the sofa. The camper was still “new,” and it really bothered us that the sofa was not pristine. I realized that the sofa was not covered under any warranty. At this point, I began cutting the threads. I was hoping to make it look better. However, like everything in life, new doesn’t keep. After a while, we did not care anymore that the sofa was not pretty. We did care, however, that it was not comfortable.
To replace our RV couch, we first began taking the screws out of the sofa where it connects to the slide. It was easier to remove the back of the sofa from the seat before we unattached the bottom screws. Save all decorative trim and screws if you have to remove them to get the sofa out.
We had a USB charger built into the sofa, so Sean capped the wire that ran to the USB. If you have any electrical wires, make sure that the power is off on your rig before you begin. Also, ensure that someone who understands and is trained in electrical work caps your wires.
We next pried off the additional wood that the original sofa was attached to on each side.
After the slide was clean and ready to use, we measured the dimensions.
The platform on our slide was 32.5″ from front to back, and our new sofa needed 37.5″ to sit on the platform and recline. Not sure how to proceed, we finally decided to go to the hardware store and buy a piece of plywood that was 5″ wider and place it on top of the current plywood. It would raise the sofa an additional 3/4,” but this was an easy solution for us because we did not mind the extra height. We chose oak plywood for its durability.
Sean was originally worried about the extra weight that the additional piece of plywood would place on the slide. However, it worked well, and there is no sagging or distress to the slide.
We did make a cut in the wood for wires that are running along with the sofa. These wires run to the slide controller, and we did not want to interfere with those at all!
We drilled the plywood along the sides where the previous wood had been screwed in place. This helped ensure that we did not drill through a wire anywhere on the slide.
The plywood did not need to be left without a finish because the wood was untreated. We went to Home Depot to pick up a piece of carpeting. As we were looking at $100 rugs and carpet pieces, we saw a $20 indoor/outdoor rug in a bin. This rug was perfect. It was thin, yet the rug covered the area where the sofa would sit very nicely (check out a similar rug out on Amazon). First, we used a stapler (check it out on Amazon) to attach the rug to the floor. We began by stapling the front of the rug underneath the platform to wrap the carpet over the front of the plywood and then easily staple it down.
We cut the rug to size, knowing that the sofa would be sitting on it, so the cuts didn’t have to be perfect.
It was now time to place the sofa on the new platform and secure it. Our sofa came in four pieces that included two bottoms and two backs. It was essential for us to line up both bottom pieces to be aligned just right.
We opened both recliners and measured how far the frame was from the edge of the platform. Sean made several test runs to ensure that the sofa would recline comfortably without hitting the wall from this position.
It was now time to secure the sofa to the platform. Since the new plywood stuck out over the edge of the old, it created a lip for us to secure the sofa easily. The sofa frame had holes drilled in it from the factory for securing since it was designed as RV furniture.
We began by using 3/8″ bolts that were 1.5″ long. We made marks on the carpet, set the sofa back, and drilled our holes through the marks for the bolts to slide through. What we realized, though, is that the 1.5″ bolt was not long enough to slide through the plywood and the frame. Instead, we switched to 3/8″ bolts that were 2″ long, and they worked perfectly.
We decided to run the bolts from the bottom up into the frame to not interfere with any of the wirings under the platform.
The backs were placed on the recliners and we gave them a test run.
There is a gap between the bottoms of the sofas, but the frames are as close as they need to be. On our next camping trip, we will work on pushing the pieces closer and attaching them. However, the recliners themselves worked amazingly. We cleaned up our work area well, and all that was left was placing the decorative trim back on where it would fit. An extra piece of carpet was used to cover the cords that were in the original slide plywood.
We installed our new TV swivel (check it out on Amazon) and we are all set for our next adventure.
Replacing the RV couch was an easier process than we anticipated. We hope that detailing this easy process helps guide your decision to replace your sofa when you are ready. We have no regrets, and it is much more comfortable!
*Note- the drink holder arm is only available by visiting RecPro, it isn’t available on Amazon. For this option, visit RecPro by clicking here. It is a space-saving option, so although it provides the extra arm and drink holders, it does not lengthen the sofa.
Are you replacing an RV couch or making any modifications to your camper? We would love to hear from you. Drop us a line in the comment section below!