When we first bought our Rockwood A192HW A-frame camper, the thing that bothered us the most was the dinette table. After careful consideration, I decided to modify our table. Please note that my wife and I are retired and only the two of us use our camper. This mod may not be for everybody, as noted later.
We had 5 criteria for this project, and managed to get all 5 accomplished:
1. The table had to be easily removable.
2. We had to have enough room for either of us to get into and out of the dinette without moving or sliding the table.
3. We wanted to lower the table to a better usable height.
4. We wanted to eliminate the folding legs.
5. We wanted to shorten table length (amazing what 5-1/4 inches of added floor space does in the A-frame!)
6. We wanted table to stay set up all of the time, even while towing. No more breaking it down and setting it up.
I purchased the following parts:
Sea-Dog : Quality Marine, Industrial and Rigging Hardware
SurFit™ Table Leg & Base System - ITC Marine
I had purchased the ITC SurFit pedestal pole in 29" length and it would have actually raised our table instead of lowering it. Instead of sending it back, I bought a new plastic end cap from ITC, shortened the pole by 1-1/2" to our desired height and glued on the new cap.
I probably should have just bought the 27" pole.
I started by removing the folding legs and cutting 5-1/4" off the end of the table closest to the wall. Then I removed the underside piece of plywood nearest to the wall end. This was replaced by another longer piece of plywood using Gorilla glue and pneumatic staples.
Next on the agenda was to locate where the pedestal floor flange would be cut into the floor. This was done by careful measuring, based on where the pedestal top flange could be mounted on the underside of the table. A small hole was drilled in the floor at the desired flange center location. I made a cardboard template from the floor flange and by lying on my back under the camper, I determined that it had to be moved about 1/4" to make sure that 3 of the flange bolts would go through frame steel and 3 would just be bolted to the wood floor. A 2-1/2" diameter hole was cut throught the floor using a hole saw. The floor flange was bolted through the floor with #12-24 flat head screws, washers and nuts. #10 screws would have worked just as well and are easier to find.
Next a support board was made to mount on the wall. Note that the only place on this wall that is backed up by wood is in the center, about 12" wide. The height of the board on the wall is determined by the height of the pedestal. Note that the pedestal is mounted to plywood under the table top, and I chose to just have the underside of the tabletop sit directly on the board without plywood. I could have had the added piece of plywood go all the way to the wall side of the table to sit on the support board. (And probably should have, figuring the height of the support board would have been easier)!
Once the support board is mounted on the wall at the correct height, the table top can be set in place to mark the mounting holes for the top pedestal flange. Here I used #10 x 1-1/4" flat head sheetmetal screws. At this point I varnished the entire underside of the table top including the cut edge at the back end. Self adhesive craft felt was applied to the cut edge that will contact the wall, and the underside of the top where it sits on the support board.
With the top in place I determined the location of the marine wall brackets. The right angle pieces that mount to the table top have a small locking tab that has to flattened with a hammer or you won't be able to remove the table. I had to add 2 plywood blocks for spacing to accomodate the socket parts of the brackets that mount to the support board. #10 flat head sheetmetal screws were used to mount the brackets. At this point the dinette table mod is done! The table just sits in place under it's own weight and is extremely stable. I added a small stainless steel rope loop and a caribiner under the front of the table to hang a trash bag.
This mod yielded a couple of added bonuses:
Gave us a convenient place to hang a trash bag.
We can now store the porta-potty under the table during the day.
If you need the table to be broken down to form a bed, or if you need to have more than two people use the dinette, this mod may not work well for you.
This took a lot of work in the planning and implementing stages, but we are extremely pleased with how it turned out.