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Old 08-10-2018, 02:30 PM   #1
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154BH SLX Dinette Table Solution

I love the 154BH for our family of four. Easy to tow, cheap, light, etc. But the hassle of converting the dinette first thing every morning in such a small trailer had me looking for something larger.
In this floorplan when you wake up you have two choices, start converting the dinette or go outside.


The particle board table is heavy, clumsy, the folding legs are constantly in the way, it's the biggest downside of the trailer in my opinion. Even though I've spent thousands getting this trailer perfect for our usage (solar, inverter, flipped axle, fantastic fans, etc.)
It alone had me looking at starting over with the 184BS.


After much research online and not finding anything helpful, I finally got fed up with it, pulled out Sketchup to start designing a better solution.

This is what I came up with:




Consists of:
- Two 30" piano hinges
- AP Products 013-071 Folding Table Leg (cut to length)
- 3/4" Plywood cut to 31.5" wide by 5.5", 11.5", 37.5"
(clean up the edges with a chamfer bit in the router, finish as you choose)
- While in there I did a little editing/strengthening on the table support ledges and interior dinette framing which was a little on the flimsy side to start with.

Complete game-changer. I love this trailer again. Converting from Bed to Dinette and back to Bed is a simple quick motion: Drop/lift table, swing up/down leg. No back straining, finger-pinching folding legs.

I hope others try this because it really changes how I feel about the whole trailer.

My initial worry was that the smaller dinette table would be a liability, after executing and using this new layout, the smaller table is actually an improvement. It is MUCH easier to casually get in and out of the dinette, without all the scooting. It also makes the trailer feel MUCH larger inside, the few extra inches of floorspace really help. It turns out that 31" x 37" is plenty of table for drinks, a meal, or playing cards with 4 adults.
You can see that I let the table hang an inch long in bed-mode, which doesn't get in the way of the fridge opening. I was trying to maximize the table surface as much as possible, but in hindsight, if I were to redo, I would have the table flush with the dinette. As stated earlier the smaller table is still plenty big.

I hope this helps some other 154BH or 184BH owners out there!
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Old 08-11-2018, 09:53 PM   #2
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Wonderful Solution

I also have a 154BH and I've enjoyed it immensely. I too have made modifications to fit the way I use the trailer, though my situation is quite different.


Most of the time, it's only me using the trailer. I'm retired and I use it as a mobile hotel when I'm traveling with a purpose, like volunteering with Habitat for Humanity or attending a woodworking class. In those situations, I'm not really "camping" because I'm fairly busy and really I'm only sleeping in the trailer and I don't have all my camping equipment in use.


My other use for the trailer is camping in one spot for a week or more at at time and spending as much as a month at a time volunteering as a camp host. When I'm actually camping, I do most of my cooking outdoors because, frankly, doing much more than boiling water or microwaving a meal inside the 154BH is a pain. I have a fairly extensive outdoor kitchen setup that I place under a separate canopy. I also have some good outdoor furniture.



I quickly learned two things:


1. I didn't like using the bunk for sleeping because it was too narrow, hard to get in and out of, and made me feel a bit claustrophobic. I couldn't even imagine using the upper bunk.


2. I didn't use the dinette for eating or sitting around or anything, frankly, but using it as a bed wasn't that great either because the cushions made for an uncomfortable bed.


My solution has been to remove the dinette table, take out all the cushions, cut a new plywood board for a base for the bed, and replace those cushions with a nice, memory foam twin mattress. The extra 14 inches left over now contain some nice "nightstands" I've built that give me a place for keeping and charging my iPhone and iPad and organizing things like my wallet and watch and gear I use often while camping, like a camera and binoculars and such.


I keep the lower bunk for any occasional visitors, like my wife, my adult son, and my grandson. I've removed the mattress from the upper bunk and use it for storage. I have a shelving unit that slides out when I'm stopped and camping and rolls on casters into the "tunnel" area when I'm heading down the road.


I'm heading out on a trip on Tuesday and I'll try to finally get around to taking and posting photos of my modifications. It's a work in progress, but it certainly suits my needs, at least until I win the lottery and buy a big motorhome. :-)
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Old 08-12-2018, 02:17 AM   #3
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Good idea BeatsWorkin. It would be really interesting to see the twin bed configuration you made!
I agree that the foam in the factory cushions is a joke, I could feel the boards right through it, both sleeping and sitting. I bought a firmer/denser foam online, swapped it into the factory covers and the dinette bed is actually really nice now.

For the family that needs the dinette bed for Mom & Dad AND an interior table to eat at, this modification has made the trailer workable.
I can't emphasize how big of a difference the extra two square feet of standing space is as well. Your modification would also grant that little extra space as well, so you know.
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Old 08-12-2018, 05:13 AM   #4
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what a great idea! I also have the 154bh and yes the table can be a pain. Will defenitley take a close look at this setup. thanks
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Old 08-12-2018, 04:59 PM   #5
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I put together a quick animation in Sketchup to give a more detailed view of the table:
154BH Dinette Modification
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Old 08-12-2018, 05:37 PM   #6
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Hopefully not an overload of images. Sketchup output might be easier to see than a picture.




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Old 08-12-2018, 05:53 PM   #7
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great idea, they built them in the 70's like that with a 5/16 bended iron rod hinge.
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Old 08-18-2018, 03:40 AM   #8
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Good point, I think you're talking about this bracket/hinge design.



I'd been considering buying one of those brackets online. But that design only works on a vertical wall with some structural elements inside.
I'm not sure it could be retrofit into a trailer that didn't already have the wall framing in the right places.
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Old 11-08-2018, 07:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohbugger View Post
I love the 154BH for our family of four. Easy to tow, cheap, light, etc. But the hassle of converting the dinette first thing every morning in such a small trailer had me looking for something larger.
In this floorplan when you wake up you have two choices, start converting the dinette or go outside.


The particle board table is heavy, clumsy, the folding legs are constantly in the way, it's the biggest downside of the trailer in my opinion. Even though I've spent thousands getting this trailer perfect for our usage (solar, inverter, flipped axle, fantastic fans, etc.)
It alone had me looking at starting over with the 184BS.


After much research online and not finding anything helpful, I finally got fed up with it, pulled out Sketchup to start designing a better solution.

This is what I came up with:




Consists of:
- Two 30" piano hinges
- AP Products 013-071 Folding Table Leg (cut to length)
- 3/4" Plywood cut to 31.5" wide by 5.5", 11.5", 37.5"
(clean up the edges with a chamfer bit in the router, finish as you choose)
- While in there I did a little editing/strengthening on the table support ledges and interior dinette framing which was a little on the flimsy side to start with.

Complete game-changer. I love this trailer again. Converting from Bed to Dinette and back to Bed is a simple quick motion: Drop/lift table, swing up/down leg. No back straining, finger-pinching folding legs.

I hope others try this because it really changes how I feel about the whole trailer.

My initial worry was that the smaller dinette table would be a liability, after executing and using this new layout, the smaller table is actually an improvement. It is MUCH easier to casually get in and out of the dinette, without all the scooting. It also makes the trailer feel MUCH larger inside, the few extra inches of floorspace really help. It turns out that 31" x 37" is plenty of table for drinks, a meal, or playing cards with 4 adults.
You can see that I let the table hang an inch long in bed-mode, which doesn't get in the way of the fridge opening. I was trying to maximize the table surface as much as possible, but in hindsight, if I were to redo, I would have the table flush with the dinette. As stated earlier the smaller table is still plenty big.

I hope this helps some other 154BH or 184BH owners out there!
That looks amazing. I'm going to have to talk to the wife about this for our 154BH. We have used it for a couple months now and used it 7 times. We've yet to make the table up because of the hassle.
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:30 AM   #10
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Is there anything o keep the leg from sliding when the table is used for eating? I worry it will slide and the top drop a lot while in use. Otherwise it looks like a great idea as the way the set up is originally allows you to pull the table support right out of the wall bringing the facing with it.
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Old 11-08-2018, 12:50 PM   #11
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@walter91, like I said, it's completely changed how we use the trailer, we get out of bed in the morning, toss all the bedding on the lower bunk and flip the table up for breakfast with the kids

@Kim Gass, it's very stable, the way the table and the leg hinges lean means the table wants to fall back into the front wall of the trailer, not back down into a bed. We have a 2 and 3 year old and it feels very secure with them playing around.
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Old 11-08-2018, 12:51 PM   #12
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I suppose I should be careful. I don't want to oversell it. It's not like the table raises and lowers itself... it's just a LOT easier than the factory setup.
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Old 11-15-2018, 01:20 PM   #13
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If it's ok, here's a thread where I removed the microwave and added drawers for more storage. Both have been incredibly useful in such a small trailer.

https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/f...tml#post706159



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Old 06-08-2020, 11:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohbugger View Post
If it's ok, here's a thread where I removed the microwave and added drawers for more storage. Both have been incredibly useful in such a small trailer.

https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/f...tml#post706159



Can you link me to a place to purchase those plastic storage drawers in your pantry? My wife and I have a 174BH with a similar size pantry (12" opening, 24" depth) and we cannot find anything that works in there!! Thanks in advance!!
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Old 06-08-2020, 12:28 PM   #15
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The Container Store website product link is in the post you referenced.
https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/f...tml#post706159
One of the most useful upgrades was adding plastic drawers to the pantry. We went to the container store with a tape measure and found that these fit PERFECTLY in the 154BH pantry.

https://www.containerstore.com/s/sto...uctId=10027583

We have two small and two medium. The large doesn't fit since you have to put them in sideways to get through the opening then rotate them flat.
They are very deep drawers, the full width of the pantry, and the pantry door acts like a lock that keeps the drawers from sliding open while driving.
Being a plastic drawer if something were to leak, you can remove the drawer and clean it. They are fantastic.
You get the drawer frames in then each frame can be attached to the one below it which locks them all together as a single unit.
As you can see it looks like a factory option it fits so well.
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Old 06-08-2020, 01:21 PM   #16
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I’m such an idiot. Sorry I missed that link! Thank you for the reply though.
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Old 07-30-2020, 08:26 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by User Banned View Post
Can you link me to a place to purchase those plastic storage drawers in your pantry? My wife and I have a 174BH with a similar size pantry (12" opening, 24" depth) and we cannot find anything that works in there!! Thanks in advance!!

I have the same size pantry in my 184BS.. How did the shelves fit and work out for you? Thanks!
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Old 01-10-2021, 08:19 PM   #18
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I did it!!!
Thank you for sharing this mod!!
The picture without the leaf was before I added the drop leaf...
I subsequently added a drop leaf to the front to maximize space even more when not in use!
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Old 01-11-2021, 01:16 PM   #19
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Awesome info! I am about to head down and check out a 154bh and a 174bh this week to see which one I would rather get. I like the 154bh for all the reasons you listed and this table is really the only thing I see being a pain which isn't that big of a deal. Like you I also have a wife and 2 kids so hearing that you love it is good news.

Have you looked into replacing the tanks underneath with the bigger ones that the baja model gets?
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Old 01-12-2021, 06:36 PM   #20
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We have camped in a TT for 34 years now, where the front dinette was convertible for a bed that was used by a family member. The conversion, back or forth, took maybe a freaking minute. Or, even less. While our son was switching the table and cushions, the rest of the family was standing up and stretching while putting their clothes on.

This is a non-issue. I just can't imagine why any mods would be necessary....
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