OK, so for those of you who have been using their Compacts (the ones made in the later 60's, early 70's) - how often do you actually use the dinette area? Is is worth the hassle of making and unmaking the bed? I'm thinking of putting a permanent bed in the Compact because I think I'm just too old to sleep on cushions laid out on plywood and want a real mattress. I can't imagine using the dinette area often - I would think we would mostly do that outside.
But other than a park model trailer on a permanent campsite for the last 15 years or so, I haven't camped in anything other than a pop up and that was when my kids were little and I was much, much younger.
So - dinette or no? Permanent bed?
Let me know your thoughts. And even if you don't have this model camper, how often do you use the dinette in any camper?
Thanks so much.
Last Edit: Sept 20, 2013 18:26:08 GMT -8 by lamacki1
Post by universalexports on Sept 20, 2013 21:19:12 GMT -8
well my thoughts are on those really hot days, it would be nice to have a place to sit in the AC. as for the uncomfort of the cushions, buy a 3 inch memory foam matress and it will amaze you, I have even used a 2 inch on an army cot and it makes all the difference. I'd try that before I permanently altered the living area, specially if you plan on ever re-selling it.
We have a larger model (14') and have been using our dinette all day. Been raining here at Cloudland Canyon (GA) for the last 8 hours. Sitting here watching the rain, playing games, reading books, eating, etc. Real cozy . Some trips we don't use the dinette at all, other trips we use it a lot.
I think it makes a big difference depending on how many people, kids make a difference in foul weather. one or two adults probably don't have as much need for the dinette. In our redesign I am eliminating the dinette and will have small tables that will fold out from the wall when we wish to dine in the Shasta. I am building it for max comfort for the two of us and am not overly concerned with resale. Just my thoughts.
We use the dinette quite a bit. However, ours mostly have the front dinette and permanent rear bed. A lot of people with the Compact floor plan do not like making the bed up every night and then putting it away in the morning.
I love having a dinette, even when I'm traveling alone. It's nice to have a place to sit and read or write or use a laptop, and the weather is not always conducive to eating outside.
But I also hate having to make the bed up every night.
I don't know a lot about Compacts, but from what I've seen, that looks like an awfully big bed back there. If you're modifying the interior, couldn't you fit a full-size bed crosswise in the back and still have room for a couple of little seats in front of the bed? That would at least give you something chair-like to sit on and read or tie your shoes, and with some kind of a folding table, you'd have a mini-dinette for two. No?
Of course it would be difficult for the person on the closet side to get in and out when the table was in place, but that person would just have to be waited on! Or perhaps the table could be on a single leg in a floor socket, so it could swivel out of the way and just be removed at bed time.
Just a thought. Like I said, I don't have a Compact. Wish I did! Gary
Post by shastabear on Sept 22, 2013 6:20:20 GMT -8
Gary has the right idea and there is someone on either this site or the glamping site that did exactly as Gary shows. They also did add a small 2 person table on a post mount. I'm also thinking they removed the stove and put a fridge under the counter in that spot (now just using a 2 burner electric tabletop), they kept the drawers and sink as is, and where the ice box was became part of the new closet which the door of that closet now faces the back of the camper, The short cabinet next to the closet was turned sideways so it was like the cabinet across from it (keeping as much storage as possible). I've been looking for pics of that camper so whenever I do find them, I'll post em here.
Thanks everyone for the input. I've gone back and forth about this and just don't know. I do worry about rainy days and being stuck inside and the table would be a good place for grandkids to eat and play/color, etc.
We kept the dinette in our ham-style Compact. The table is large enough to seat four, and we have done so several times. We live where it can, and frequently does, rain pretty much any time of year, so we can't just sit outside, and we don't want to have to carry extra canopies, etc. We turned our large bench area into a full size bed. The cushions are the same foam that's used for mattresses, and it's more comfortable than our bed at home. We don't mind putting up the bed at night. We enjoy sitting at the table and playing cards, reading, talking, etc. And it's better when we have grandkids with us. We have the table-to-bed conversion down to a little under 2 minutes. The bottom sheet is a standard full and lives in a basket in the upper side cabinet when the table's up. The FOUR pillows get tucked into little covers so they double as end bolsters in the daytime, and the down comforter gets squashed up into a small bag that can sit under the table without bothering anyone. We took that extra 20" to build a closet (street side) and a 2-drawer cupboard (curb side).
If we are traveling, eating breakfast on the road and don't plan on being at our next destination until late, we will leave the bed up, but otherwise, we break it down in the morning. It also looks better for the inevitable looky-loos who want the "grand tour" of Hamlet.
I've pondered the same question as prepare to restore my new old Shasta Compact, especially since it has the double twins and I'm used to sleeping on a full size in my teardrop.
BUT the reason I bought the Shasta is because I was looking for something with an inside table at my son's request. He likes to play board games and card games when it's raining or cold,especially when we are camping with friends. So if I do anything to modify from the original, it will probably be a full size bed, with the table folded down. I do like the twin Lucy & Desi look with the space between the beds. My son may end up on one of the twins although MY intention was to put him in the bunk, which is what *I* was searching for.
Sorry, I probably was no help to you with my ramblings but in short, I think the table is what makes it special for its size.
I've thought about this as well, even though the configuration of Ms Belle is different.
What about using a high-quality airbed that you can deflate and just fold out of the way (bedding and all), so you can use the dinette during the day? My old bones can't/won't sleep on thin mattresses either, but an airbed's an entirely different--and very comfortable--alternative.
Just be sure and get one that won't deflate during the night--yikes!
I think the table in the picture is the kind they use in boats. I had one in an old RV. The pipe slips into a bracket in the floor (either raised or recessed) and also into a socket on the bottom of the table. The pipe and table are just lifted out for storage. You can buy the pipe and brackets and build your own table. The advantage is that the table also rotates.
You'll see in the sketch I did above that you could mount the pipe off-center so that the table swings out of the way.