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Old 12-06-2017, 02:41 PM   #1
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Replacement J-Steel Selection

Planning on replacing our J-Steel sofa for the coming season and seeking advice about quality replacements. Our 2011 vintage sofa is getting increasingly uncomfortable as the foam seems to be getting softer/worn. Your butt pretty much sinks down to the underlying supports. I do want a similar Jackknife type sofa to maintain the storage beneath.

Have found many options online, shop4seats.com seems to have the biggest selection. Several vendors offer Lippert's Thomas Payne units. Thing is, it's pretty tough to test sit any of these before ordering.

Any advice or experience out there with quality replacements? Good sources? We will be travelling Canada to FL in March (I-81/I-95 corridor), so I might have an opportunity to stop at a sticks and bricks retailer to try one out before ordering. Plan to order and pick it up on our trip to the ADK's for Victoria (Memorial) Day.

TIA!
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Old 01-05-2018, 05:39 PM   #2
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Changed out our jack knife sofa. Pretty much worthless POS.

We didn't need the extra sleeping capacity. Just the wife and I.

Bought a dual recliner from a local furniture store.

So much more comfortable.

See post #4.

https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/f...tml#post426915
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Old 01-07-2018, 04:03 PM   #3
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Thanks for the tip @Wireman. I am kind of set on a sofa replacement as I do occasionally have enough kids along to require it for sleeping. Also, most all of the externally accessible storage on mine is under the sofa.

I really like the selection from shop4seats, but that's a lot of money to plunk down for a mail order item sight unseen. Have no idea if the foam is any good.

I did try the Thomas Payne at an RV show, and they seemed marginally more comfortable than our current sofa, but will one of those just break down like our current one.

Has anyone sourced an RV sofa that isn't built by Lippert and lived to like it? I'd love to hear feedback, good or bad...
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Old 01-07-2018, 04:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bankr63 View Post
Thanks for the tip @Wireman. I am kind of set on a sofa replacement as I do occasionally have enough kids along to require it for sleeping. Also, most all of the externally accessible storage on mine is under the sofa.

I really like the selection from shop4seats, but that's a lot of money to plunk down for a mail order item sight unseen. Have no idea if the foam is any good.

I did try the Thomas Payne at an RV show, and they seemed marginally more comfortable than our current sofa, but will one of those just break down like our current one.

Has anyone sourced an RV sofa that isn't built by Lippert and lived to like it? I'd love to hear feedback, good or bad...
Didn't have any storage under the old one except the power cord storage which I had to change out to a detachable power cord to eliminate it.

So is the old sofa sitting on top of the storage area? Can't quite picture your setup.

I've heard the Thomas Payne is suppose to be quality stuff though I've never seen it up close.

I had to take apart the new sofa to get it through the door. Make sure there is room to get a new one in. The entrance doors on RV's isn't very wide.
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Old 01-09-2018, 04:15 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Wireman View Post
Didn't have any storage under the old one except the power cord storage which I had to change out to a detachable power cord to eliminate it.

So is the old sofa sitting on top of the storage area? Can't quite picture your setup.

I've heard the Thomas Payne is suppose to be quality stuff though I've never seen it up close.

I had to take apart the new sofa to get it through the door. Make sure there is room to get a new one in. The entrance doors on RV's isn't very wide.
Yes, the J-Steel sits on two tubular steel frames at either end, so the exterior door opens into the space below. You can also lift the kick cover on the front for inside access to the stored items. Lots of trailers do a similar thing with the space under the bed.

Access is not an issue for us. It's an HTT, so the ends zip open with bunk dropped. We store our Kayaks inside our HTT for the winter every year; it's a straight slide in.

A bit more research yesterday found a link to FlexSteel which I assume is the original idea for the J-steel (Jayco made a cheap knock-off?) Online it looks similar but better made.
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Old 01-09-2018, 04:49 PM   #6
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Yes, the J-Steel sits on two tubular steel frames at either end, so the exterior door opens into the space below. You can also lift the kick cover on the front for inside access to the stored items. Lots of trailers do a similar thing with the space under the bed.

Access is not an issue for us. It's an HTT, so the ends zip open with bunk dropped. We store our Kayaks inside our HTT for the winter every year; it's a straight slide in.

A bit more research yesterday found a link to FlexSteel which I assume is the original idea for the J-steel (Jayco made a cheap knock-off?) Online it looks similar but better made.
Flexsteel was(is) a quality furniture maker. Had some of there stuff back in the 70's & 80's and it was very good.

Don't know if it's still made in the USA. In the light weight trailers like mine, Jayco puts in pretty much junk to keep the weight down.

The jack knife sofa I took out was pathetic in it's construction.
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Old 01-10-2018, 06:49 AM   #7
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Replacement J-Steel Selection

Kind of in the same boat - looking for a replacement for the J-sofa. Our trailer is a 2005 Jay Flight 25RKS with the sofa in the slide. The bottom of the slide is about 12 inches off the floor. Because of this, a regular couch or loveseat won't work and it'd be a bit on the tall side. Besides, I haven't found any that'd fit through the door yet or that the wife likes.

I'd pulled the sofa apart and took it to some local upholsters to see what it'd cost to recover. Estimates were $400 for labor, total was between $700 - 2000. This is outside of our budget. On a side note, most upholsters can re-foam a sofa for more support, but it'd add to the overall cost.

I'm thinking of using a futon (or click clack as I've sometimes heard them called) as a replacement for the sofa. Pull up on the back to release the lock so that it folds flat. Majority seem to be narrower than 72 inches. 72 is the inside dimension of the slide. They seem to run around $150-300 and up.
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Old 01-10-2018, 12:43 PM   #8
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I like the futon idea @4silverado, thanks! Ours is a shorter 68" long, so might be a challenge to find a fit, but I have seem some futon frames that are similar to the J-Steel action. Might be able to mod something to work.

That price for reupholstery is more than replacement, and I am looking for better foam, so that would drive up the cost more.
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Old 01-10-2018, 04:38 PM   #9
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Replacement J-Steel Selection

We picked this one up at Walmart today. Need to get it installed to see how well it fits.
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Old 01-19-2018, 08:41 PM   #10
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We got the Thomas Payne ones and they are very comfortable for us. Used them a lot and not showing any wear. Dog's paws don't harm the vinyl either. Easy to wipe clean. They weren't cheap but we use them more than most.
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