RV owners may be interested in RV furniture upgrades for lots of reasons. Either older furniture has worn out, they need more space for additional travelers, or a piece of furniture is uncomfortable or doesn’t work well for their lifestyle.
But there are lots of things to consider when upgrading RV furniture. There are tight spaces to consider, odd furniture and mattress sizes, the ability to get furniture in and out of the RV, and, most importantly, requirements for RV furniture to be secured in place for safety reasons.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at RV furniture upgrades – and at all the things we need to consider when looking for furniture to fit your space, your decor, and your lifestyle.
Let’s get to it!
- 1) Can You Change the Furniture in an RV?
- 2) Can I Replace My RV Furniture with Regular Furniture?
- 3) Can I Use a Regular Recliner in an RV?
- 4) Can You Replace a Couch in an RV?
- 5) How Do You Get a Couch Out of an RV?
- 6) Where Can I Buy New RV Furniture?
- 7) What Can You Do with Old RV Furniture?
- 8) Have You Made RV Furniture Upgrades in Your Rig?
Can You Change the Furniture in an RV?
Yes, you can. RV furniture replacement is absolutely possible, though there are a number of things you need to consider when planning for your new furniture.
Many RV owners have updated their RV interior for a variety of reasons. Either the RV is older and the furniture is so worn that it needs updating, or the owner is seeking a more modern look.
Some RVers want to increase the sleeping capacity of the rig, and they seek to do so by removing the uncomfortable, undersized sofa typically included by some RV manufacturers and adding a sleeper sofa instead.
Others, having used their RVs for a stretch of time, have RV furniture upgrade ideas such as the addition of comfortable RV recliners similar to what they enjoy at home. Or maybe they’re working from the road and need a dedicated desk/workspace instead of a couch.
And although not too many people replace an entire RV bed unless it’s damaged, it’s very common to find people replacing their RV mattress.
Can I Replace My RV Furniture with Regular Furniture?
That depends. If you’ve got the right furniture in mind, it’s certainly possible. But it’s imperative that you keep the weight of the RV in mind, which means that you can’t just add regular furniture to an RV without considering weight, as well as how you’re going to properly secure the furniture.
These are not decorative considerations. ALL of these issues are SAFETY considerations.
RV manufacturers use lightweight furniture for good reason, and they have to secure all of the furniture in the RV so that all safety regulations are met.
So, in some cases, you may be able to replace a piece of RV furniture with a piece of regular furniture, but you can’t just secure that furniture with a bungee cord and call it good.
We’re not saying you can’t use bungee cords for lightweight furniture if you have a safe manner of securing the bungee cords, and the bungee cords are strong enough to prevent significant movement. (The same is true of heavy-duty Velcro.) In fact, places like RecPro will actually instruct you as to how to secure your RV furniture using such methods. But as BraddAndHall, makers of RV furniture, point out, this isn’t as safe as actually bolting the furniture down.
So, it’s extremely important to see to proper securing of the furniture, and using a professional for this is a very good idea. In the event that your RV is involved in an accident or if you even have to stop your RV suddenly, flying furniture could be deadly.
You’ll also need to consider how much space you have available because RV furniture tends to be a bit smaller than regular furniture (thinner backs, more slender arms, etc).
Also, remember that some RV furniture is made to come apart in sections for easy movement through narrow RV doors. Regular furniture may not be as easy to move in.
Additionally, bear in mind that removing and replacing certain pieces of furniture in your RV could disturb its multi-use purpose. For example, if you want a different type of dinette but your current RV dinette transforms into a bed when needed, you need to keep in mind that you may be losing the extra sleeping space for guests.
More importantly, if there’s storage included in the RV furniture you seek to replace, you’ll have to ask yourself if you’ll be able to live without that storage. Remember too, that in some cases an item such as a fresh water tank may be stored in a particular location that prevents the replacement of that piece of RV furniture with a piece of regular furniture.
And finally, if your current RV furniture has seat belts, you’ll need to give serious consideration to whether you can operate without those seat belts. Remember, it’s never safe for passengers to ride in an RV unbelted, which means removing that piece of furniture will mean fewer people can safely/legally ride in the RV when underway.
Can I Use a Regular Recliner in an RV?
You certainly can use a regular recliner in an RV, but you’ll need to put some thought into this RV furniture upgrade in terms of the recliner you intend to bring into your rig.
First, you’ll need to make sure you can get the recliner into the RV. As we’ve mentioned, that can be a challenge. Remember, RV furniture pieces that are large are often made to come apart for easy entry through narrow RV doorways.
You also have to be sure you account for the smaller space available to accommodate the recliner (both when upright and when reclined), and you’ll want to consider the weight of the chair. Finally, you’ll need to figure out how you intend to secure the recliner when you’re in transit.
Among the options for new recliners for RVs are smaller recliners that fit RV spaces well and can be moved through the RV doors more easily (in some cases). Have a look at our post on small recliners for RVs for some ideas.
Can You Replace a Couch in an RV?
You certainly can replace a couch in your RV, but we’d repeat everything we just noted about regular recliners, with emphasis.
A couch is a relatively large, heavy piece of furniture. Getting it into the RV could be an issue, and securing it for safety needs strong consideration. You’ve also got a small space to work with, so be sure to take accurate measurements prior to shopping.
And as always, remember that weight is always a big deal in an RV. Bringing an excessively heavy piece of furniture into your rig requires thinking about your overall RV weight as well as the placement of that weight in the RV or travel trailer.
Loading a travel trailer properly is important to trailer sway control, so be sure to keep that in mind with any major changes you have planned.
How Do You Get a Couch Out of an RV?
The more important question to ask might actually be, “How do you get a couch into an RV?” Getting an RV couch out of an RV may be the simpler task, especially if it’s an RV-specific sofa that’s designed to come apart into two or three sections… or is simply small enough to fit through an RV door without disassembling it.
But if you need some assistance getting a large piece of furniture into or out of an RV, you may find our video on removing an RV fridge helpful!
While we certainly don’t recommend cutting appliances/furniture in half to get them out, it MAY end up being your only option. In motorhomes, removing the windshield glass (or one section of it) can be an alternative. And in non-motorized RVs, you may be able to remove a large window in order to expose an opening large enough for a big piece of furniture to come into or out of the RV.
Measure (repeatedly) and make sure you have a good plan for how to deal with it.
Where Can I Buy New RV Furniture?
There are many places to buy new RV-specific furniture. Good quality RV furniture and a fair amount of selection can be found at any one of the following retailers, and there are many others as well.
The following five retail sellers of RV furniture offer a good place to start shopping:
Bradd And Hall
Bradd and Hall is a well-known supplier of quality RV seating, RV interior products, and RV interior renovations. This has been their business for 40 years, and they do it well. They also offer professional installation at their center in Elkhart, Indiana where their showroom is located. For DIYers, they also ship nationwide and are a high-class operation with a high-class product.
RecPro is another supplier of quality RV parts, furniture, and appliances. Located in Bristol, Indiana (close to Elkhart), RecPro has been in RV furniture business for 12 years and has been accredited since 2017.
In addition to their own products, RecPro also sells other quality name-brand RV products from manufacturers such as Atwood/Dometic Suburban, and SHURflo. Because the warehouse has large quantities of products, they offer reasonable prices & fast shipping and have become a favorite supplier for many RVers who are renovating their RVs.
Most RVers are familiar with Camping World but you may not know that they sell products to help with your RV furniture upgrades. Their Kathy Ireland line of RV furniture has been popular for a long time and includes such pieces as sofas, recliners, ottomans, and jackknife sofas that provide additional sleeping space.
Lippert – Thomas Payne Collection
Lippert, also located in Elkhart, Indiana is a leading supplier of RV products of all types. Their Thomas Payne RV Furniture line is high-quality, comfortable furniture with excellent craftsmanship in a wide variety of pieces. Recliners, sofas, theatre seating, and even RV-sized mattresses can all be purchased through Lippert.
Coach Supply Direct
Coach Supply Direct is a supplier of RV and marine furniture located near – you guessed it – Elkhart, Indiana, (in case you didn’t know, it’s the heart of RV country). They also install RV flooring and offer RV renovations. Coach Supply Direct is a wholesale distributor of RV, marine, and utility vehicle seating and accessories. They sell everything from RV captain’s chairs to booth dinettes, recliners, shades, mattresses, and even RV batteries.
What Can You Do with Old RV Furniture?
If your old RV furniture is still usable, your best bet is likely to be selling it in your local area on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or other local sales forums.
These days there’s a fairly big market for used RV furniture in good condition because building out vans and schoolies (old school buses) is so popular.
Have You Made RV Furniture Upgrades in Your Rig?
If you’ve made RV furniture upgrades in your RV, we’d love to hear about it. Drop us a comment and give us some details!
Geek Out With Us Every Week
Join our newsletter to learn about all things RV-related. Every week we offer free tips, tricks, product reviews, and more to our online community of RVers. So, whether this is your first time on the road or you’re a seasoned expert, we’d love for you to geek out with us!
Monday 26th of September 2022
I have a 2017 Tiffin open Road with a L shaped couch. It is so incrediabley uncomfortable. Can I sell this? Replace it with something?
Tuesday 27th of September 2022
Hi Billie. This definitely sounds like something that could be done. You'd want to check the sizing and mounting solution that's currently being used for the L-sofa... and then find an appropriate alternative to replace it with. If you're not interested in doing the job yourself, you can always find a good company to handle it for you (like Bradd & Hall in Elkhart, IN).
Monday 11th of July 2022
After 3 years of living with a very uncomfortable sleeper sofa - we upgraded. The sofa was uncomfortable as a sofa, and pretty much unsleepable as a sleeper. We replaced it with a RV specific dual recliner that, as you mentioned, came in sections for easy installation. Judging by what we looked at, the travel trailer manufacturers adhere to pretty standard size limits in terms of length and width, so pretty easy to measure and decide what fits. We "lost" sleeping capacity but gained much more comfort for sitting down. It's one of those things were we immediately thought, why didn't we do this much earlier? It's from Payne, and I see where others didn't get any longevity out of it. All I can say is that it's definitely better than what we pulled out.
Friday 15th of July 2022
Thanks for the info, Don! There's definitely no point in having a sleeper sofa that's not comfortable as a sofa OR a bed!
Monday 11th of July 2022
We have updated our Grand Design Solitude Fifth Wheel with a LazyBoy loveseat and two swivel rockers. We love the comfort and we had many choices of fabrics. We just did not care for “pleather”.
Monday 4th of July 2022
"You get what you pay for" is probably more true for RV furniture upgrades than anything else you can do in a used RV.
In our case we had our hard-to-get-into-and-out-of oval dining table and sofa seat removed.
In its place we had Wood Design RV Interiors (Nappanee,IN) build us a whole new table & chairs.
It was the best single upgrade we have done to increase the comfort and usefulness of the RV.
Monday 4th of July 2022
In my opinion, Thomas Payne is crap. I own a Grande Design Solitude with TP furniture. The two recliners are covered in pretend leather so thin that in one year it has cracked, especially around stitching. It's not like they have had a lot of use or abuse. I would like to replace it but have little faith in any product sold by rv companies.