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Old 10-17-2015, 09:15 AM   #1
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2251 dinette transformation to "lounge"

This was our plan from the beginning.
Since only my wife and I will be traveling most of the time, we decided to remove the dinette and replace with 2 recliner chairs and tables.
We call it the "Lounge/theater/sports bar" as TV watching is now very nice and feels almost like home watching a movie or game.

First removed the dinette, electrical (12 volt and 110 in the lower rear wall) and seat belt anchor structure (most difficult part)

Decided to keep one seat belt anchor in case my wife wants to lounge in the back while traveling. The anchors closest to the wall bolted through the floor directly above the propane tank. I would have had to remove the tank (or lower it ) to get them out anyway.

Next I worked on the holes from the other anchor bolts. Removed the staples, heated up the vinyl to get rid iof the deformations. Unfortunately I heated it too much on that area and I ended up peeling some vinyl off. I remedied that problem by filling the holes with Lap sealant and covering the area with a round black wall switch plate cover.

Next up was the electrical. I moved it half way up the pantry wall- easy access from inside with the drawers removed.

Trimmed out the new lower base mouldings with black vinyl covered MDF moulding to match the others as close as possible.
Ready to install chairs and tables

Installed the newly purchased and delivered recliners from Camping World. ($1100) delivered to the door. I even did some modifications to the bases on these to give them a little lift and less recline when straight up for dining. Table is a 24" round precut laminated pine (I think) piece I bought from the local hardware store. Time to stain. I off centered the table base unit so we can articulate the table into any position for the best access.

Next up- the folding cocktail table attached to the wall.
Set it up so this can be used with the main table or without.
Made from an 18" round laminated wood piece cut down to 12" and stained cherry.

Total cost- $1225
Sold the once used dinette (without table hardware) for $300.
Total net cost- $925....and a bunch of labor.
The chairs are loose and swivel (but don't move in normal driving). They can be anchored with the seat belt and a second tie for the forward chair but that is pushed up against the forward wall anyways. They also can be pulled out and 2 folding chairs put in the corners against the wall for room for 4 at the main table.
One can sit in the rearward chair pushed up against the wall (seat back against the pantry wall) whole driving. (sorry no photo of that) and it leaves a lot of floor space.
One, two or no tables can be utilized for whatever the occasion.
My wife loves it and it came out just about how I imagined.

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Old 10-17-2015, 09:28 AM   #2
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Nice job! Looks great!!!


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Old 10-17-2015, 01:37 PM   #3
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That looks really nice and functional. The photos really helped to see what you did along the way. Nice job!
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Old 10-17-2015, 04:08 PM   #4
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Nice job! Are those the Eurochairs from Camping World?
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Old 10-17-2015, 06:36 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by swuebbels View Post
Nice job! Are those the Eurochairs from Camping World?
Yes. They are narrow (27") and just barely fit through the door.
If you are bigger than me (5'10" and 200 lbs) they would be a tight fit.
Thanks for the replies

Here are some more photos:

For theatre viewing:

Travel stowing:

Lots of room when stowed:

And "loungable" when driving with the attached seatbelt:

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Old 10-17-2015, 06:47 PM   #6
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Nice touch. Later RJD
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Old 10-17-2015, 07:03 PM   #7
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Looks great, nice thread ! The DW and I are camping right now as we preparing to watch our Buckeyes . I know some of your grief doing the install,having done the recliner install in our old fifthwheel. The DW and are missing the recliners as I type. She is laying on the broke down dinette fashioned into a bed while set on a lawn chair .We will be taking a three trip next year,so I will very busy in the spring . During this winter we will be collecting the recliners and other needed items to keep up w/ your 2251 forester.
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Old 10-17-2015, 07:44 PM   #8
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Great looking job! We have been playing with the idea of removing the sofa/sleeper with two recliners which would also save us about 200 lbs. I'll probably get the chance to do it this winter, but first need to find the "right recliners" to make both of us happy. I like leather, she likes fabric.
I hope my job turns out as nice as yours.
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Old 10-18-2015, 12:27 PM   #9
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Nice job! I'd like to modify my dinette someday and posts like this make me think it can be done!
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Old 10-18-2015, 01:09 PM   #10
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We are in the process of this conversion but we're well into senior years so it's work-rest-work, etc. the. Seat belt assembly had to be cut out, a real hard job. We used an interior door for a wall behind the rear chair (cut to fit). Will use executive desk chairs and foldable table. Our unit had one of the automatic fold down tables. Have kept all that was removed. Not done yet.

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