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Old 12-10-2018, 06:01 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 22FE
State: Maine
Posts: 13
THOR #6462
22FE Dinette Conversion

Decided that my 2017 Thor 22FE "Dream Dinette" wasn't such a dream after all. The dinette wall blocked the driver's seat so that it wouldn't recline much past vertical and the rear-facing dinette seat faced away from the TV. So...I ripped it all out this summer and replaced with a custom couch/bed and two removable tables. Looking forward to trying this out on our coast-to-coast-to-coast trip over the winter. Drivers seat now reclines nicely to fit my 6' 3" frame and TV is in full view to all. Another added benefit was the extra space this opened up in kitchen. I did the complete project for under $1,000, including custom cushions and tables. I still have the original cushions and table/lift if anyone is interested?

Another Happy Camper, Larry
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Old 12-10-2018, 06:19 PM   #2
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THOR #11249
Curious, was your original dinette sitting on the slide out? I have a 24ft and have considered doing this exact same swap. Did you have a lot of components under the dinette seats that needed re-locating? Did you fab up all of your bench or did you purchase it? I'm full of questions...
Steve
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Old 12-10-2018, 07:06 PM   #3
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State: Arkansas
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THOR #12231
I like that setup. Good job.
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Old 12-10-2018, 07:11 PM   #4
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 22FE
State: Maine
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THOR #6462
Hi Steve, my dinette is NOT on a slideout, that's the main reason I needed to do something, there is just not enough space in a 22FE for long trips. But its my first motor home so I needed to start small. We'll be traveling around 8,000 miles over 100 days this winter, and I hope this conversion makes things more comfortable for wifey and me.



The only things I had to move were the power xfer box and the main cable that came up through the floor that feeds into this box. Had a dealer move the cable for around 100 bucks. The hot water tank and the power cord storage box fit OK as-is under the bench, a couple inches higher that I would have liked, but no big deal. I did the demolition and the fab myself only because I couldn't find anyone willing to do it for me, we are under-served by RV dealers here in southern Maine and everyone was too busy for little ole' me. This dealer did get me the metal table cups and pedestals. I got the cushions online, they were the most expensive component at $450 but they seem to be good quality. I had a friend make me the tabletops out of birch, I think he charged me $80. All in all it was not a difficult job, just required a little planning and patience.


Hope that helps, Larry
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Old 12-10-2018, 07:47 PM   #5
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Thanks Larry. Except for not being on the slide out it looks just like mine. My instant HW tank would end up under the right side of the bench and I was wondering about the height but it's under a bench now so it should work. I've already sourced the table hardware at a couple local places and the woodwork is in my wheelhouse so you got me thinking..just gotta get the wife onboard now. By the way the table in mine is a piece of crap, had it fixed once and I re-did the fix and it's still shaky. Also did you notice a post with somebody going the opposite way and looking for a dinette set-up? Also planning on swinging through the northeast in a couple years.. for now it's Texas, Florida & Alaska...


Steve
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Old 12-10-2018, 08:10 PM   #6
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nice.
I like how you did the fold out brackets for the bed. Nice and simple.

My sofa sits in this position in mine. Sadly its the bulkhead wall that restricts the driver's seat from reclining for me, so no practical way to get around that one
but I'm still toying with the idea of building something sorta like that to replace the sofa. It's a fold out with air mattress and the fake leather is failing. Odd size so hard to find a non-rv and therefore reasonably priced and well made replacement. I figure a fold out "futon" like that would be better for us.

I'd love to see a few pictures of how you handled the platforms that fold down into the bed. Are they just loose? What holds the back upright?
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Old 12-10-2018, 08:26 PM   #7
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THOR #6026
I think Thor should consider replacing all of the fe22 dinette with your design. Really well thought out. Removing the panel behind the driver seat and moving the driver's seat back 3 in really makes it more comfortable.
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Old 12-10-2018, 08:33 PM   #8
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Larry. I love your design. We also have a 22FE and keep the dinette in the bed position all the time. One question my husband has is how thick a plywood did you put on the bottom of the bed to be study enough with just your braces for support. We have been considering some kind of conversion but now use it as a daybed all the time. We really like this little RV
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Old 12-14-2018, 09:52 PM   #9
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THOR #6462
Thanks blw2 for the note. The back of the sofa is fixed, I cut some 2x3's at an angle and mounted them to the wall under the window. The sofa back screws into those. They are only 1 1/2" on the bottom so they don't interfere much with sleeping.


The rear of the couch seat is hinged so that you can lift it and swing out the piece that makes it into a bed. Then there are 4 support that swing out to support the bed extension (they look they little gates in the picture) - I just used hook and eye bolts to stow them when in "couch" mode.


Larry
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Old 12-14-2018, 09:55 PM   #10
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THOR #6462
rhondamyers I was thinking the same thing all the time I was doing this project! Thor if you are listening I am available for consultation! That Dream Dinette is a dream from the 1980s and they want it back-


Larry
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Old 12-14-2018, 10:00 PM   #11
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THOR #6462
Carolshutts I used 1/2" birch plywood on the bench and 2x3's for the frame. Believe me there is a ton of bracing under the bench! The first time I laid down on the original dinette in bed position the bed slipped through those tiny supports on the benches and I almost killed myself getting up. Oh I should mention I am 6' 3" 250 lbs so strong bracing is always foremost in my mind.


Larry
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Old 12-15-2018, 01:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryfreeman View Post
rhondamyers I was thinking the same thing all the time I was doing this project! Thor if you are listening I am available for consultation! That Dream Dinette is a dream from the 1980s and they want it back-


Larry
Lol. I sleep on our sofa while Cliff drives. I tried that using the dream dinette and it was very uncomfortable. Also having more floor space by making a sofa really makes it feel more livable when you are stuck inside in bad weather. My husband wouldn't tear things out until I made home a 3d printed model of what I wanted. He added the storage in the back and made it l shaped. We can both stretch out on the sofa and watch his 40 in TV. We use the center space for water and heavy item storage. I was glad to get rid of the panels behind the driver seat. We could save Thor money and make their fe22 more enjoyable. Maybe they should create an input site for those of us that keep our fe22 beyond the first trip. We almost drove ours through the showroom window after the first white knuckle trip from hell. Now after 20k in upgrades we don't want to get rid of it even if we do get a Super C.
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Old 12-15-2018, 03:07 PM   #13
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Nice work Larry.



Quote:
Originally Posted by larryfreeman View Post
rhondamyers I was thinking the same thing all the time I was doing this project! Thor if you are listening I am available for consultation! That Dream Dinette is a dream from the 1980s and they want it back-


Larry

Being an old design doesnt make it bad some prefer a dinette for forward facing during travel and to seat 4 for eating. Different needs require different tools .....

Your couch design is essentially what they called a goucho couch/bed going back at least to the 1960s. Its still very popular in vans from Sportsmobile and other brands, and also with Do-It-Yourself conversions because it works. Why mess with success!

Your swinging arms for support of bed extension is a first Ive seen. Most builders use simpler supports that go down to floor. Your gate look is cool.
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Old 12-31-2018, 07:55 PM   #14
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Great Job

Larry, Great job of improving the dinette area. Just curious if you don't mind I have a few questions What did you do with the hole left by the electric cord and the seat belts.. Did you replace the floor and did you replace the panel on left side by the floor. {mine has a hole for Romex cable} Lastly, How wide did you make the cushions. I want to do something like this and you really nailed it.
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Old 01-05-2019, 06:28 PM   #15
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Looks like a pro Craftsman did that!! Very attractive and well thought out with folding supports and all.....enjoy as I know you are, Bob
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