Mod #52: Jack Knife Sofa Replacement

Mod #52: Jack Knife Sofa Replacement

Submitted on: 07/30/08

     Category: interior
Mod Rating: 12345

(122 ratings)

Loading ... Loading ...
Viewed: 142477 times
Share your experiences and connect with others who’ve actually done what’s described in this mod. If that’s YOU, click the “I Did This Mod!” button. See the FAQ for more information on this very cool feature!
Congratulations! You've “Done the Mod”. You should see your gravatar displayed in all it's glory over in the sidebar. Don't have a gravatar? Visit and sign up for one. It's free and once you do, your new gravatar will appear in the sidebar and in the comments you make on any mod. See the FAQ for more information.

Mod Description:

The jack knife sofa replacement mod is similar to the dinette replacement mod but with a few differences. The standard dinette furniture is not all that comfortable to begin with and the sofa is not far behind. Most RVers are either looking for more sofa comfort or more sleeping capacity. Replacing the jack knife sofa with recliners or a sleeper sofa bed is just the ticket.

Mod Difficulty:

As with the dinette mod, you may have storage beneath your jackknife sofa. Consider whether you can do without this extra storage. It’s not much in most cases, just a few slideout drawers, but storage can be at a premium in some RVs. However, some replacement sofas, and even the recliners, have storage areas underneath them so this might not be much of an issue.

Have you heard of the saying: “Measure twice, cut once”? Well, we’re not cutting anything here but you need to ensure that you measure the width, depth, and height of the area you want to mount the new sofa. RV furniture is supposed to be standardized as far as sizes are concerned but you should be sure of the dimensions, otherwise your replacement sofa may not fit properly. And you may not be able to return the sofa. It might look good in your stick house living room though.

A jackknife sofa can be removed quite easily, and in most cases, it’s just a matter of removing a few bolts or screws. For those sofa’s that have drawers under them, the sofa will sit on top of some wood support framing rather than being bolted directly to the floor through the sofa frame. In this case, removing the sofa is done in three steps. First, remove the drawers, unscrew the sofa frame from the sofa support/drawer frame, then remove the drawer framing. The entire assembly is usually fastened together by wood screws so disassembly is easily done with a power screw drill.

Once you have completely removed all framing and the sofa, inspect the empty area for any electrical wiring or plumbing. Ensure that the new couch’s frame will not interfere with any components if in fact there are any. If so, reroute or relocate any components if required. If you have exposed wiring, use hold-down clamps to secure the wiring to the floor or wall so there is no chance the wiring can become entangled in the sofa mechanism.

Mounting the replacement sofa (or recliner or sleeper) is done fairly easily. Securing can be done by either bolting or screwing the frame of the sofa to the floor. If you want to go the bolting route, be sure to check clearances before drilling through the flooring, especially with a slide-out. You want to be sure the bolts don’t interfere with the slide mechanism and don’t protrude enough to cause a clearance problem with the slide floor and the main floor when closing the slide-out.

Finally, before mounting, and if you are replacing your sofa with recliners, test fit the new sofa before doing any kind of drilling. You will need at least 3 to 4 inches of clearance at the back of the sofa to ensure that when reclining the sofa, it doesn’t hit the wall. Do a test recline before proceeding but don’t fall asleep. You still need to drill, mount, and then relax!

TipBefore ripping out your current sofa, measure the entry door width and the depth of your new sofa. Chances are your current sofa will be able to fit through the door but the new one might not, and may have to be disassembled to get it in to your RV.

ModMyRV recommends these parts for this mod:

RV Sofas and Recliners
Quality Seating Products by Flexsteel, Villa, Palliser, and Lafer
RV Sofas and RV Sofa Beds by Flexsteel

Share the mod love:
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • MySpace
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
  • Pownce
  • Reddit
  • Technorati
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • E-mail this story to a friend!
Print This Mod Print This Mod

10 Comments For This Mod

Sort by:

  1. Denise in Ark

    Our jackknife sofa is the cover for the freshwater holding tank. No getting rid of that!

    When the unit was 9 years old we had the sofa and dinette reupholstered with a very nice leather looking vinyl because of the dirt issues with the pets. I am very happy with this change.

    When we replace this RV, we will have enough space to replace the jackknife sofa with a sleeper sofa and I would like to get one that has storage and the reason it has the room is because it’s designed for use with an air mattress instead of a traditional mattress.

    Does anyone know where I can find one? I have looked at sleepers everywhere on the internet and can’t find the ones that are made to use with an air mattress.

  2. ModMyRV

    This is as close as I could find:

    Please let us know when you do this mod. I’m very interested in how the storage part of the couch works out!

  3. Joe

    Has anyone replaced scissor sofa on a Keystone passport ultralite 2012 travel trailer ? I would love to hear back with some details

  4. pat gleich

    I have a 2012 cruiser rv with a jackknife sofa that is 60 inches wide and I am trying to find the weight of this sofa. i eventually want to replace it but i do not want to change the overall weight. Any suggestions about there to look for furniture weights?

  5. bob/skylie/mary

    Just use a bathroom scale and put it on the end and weigh both sides and add together and you will be close to what it weigh’s I ordered a new double recliner 60 inches wide from just for seats web site out of LA and it was wery nice, and only 175 lbs. just go on line for RV seats and it will come up. good quality and fit great, came in three pieces that locked together love it. good luck.

  6. John

    My new 2015 Surveyor came with one of these horrible sofas, and we hate it so much we just wanted to get it out of the trailer. Turns out, there is no way to finagle it through any of these narrow RV doors without breaking the damn thing! We still have it :/

  7. Eric Schrader

    I replaced 2 jack knife sofas with sleeper sofas from a California company called “” I also got a matching dinette. Their prices are very reasonable and the quality of the replacements was very good. One of the replacements was an Air Dream bed, which is 1/2 mattress and 1/2 air bed. This sleeper is probably one of the most comfortable beds available on the market. When selecting the right type of replacement, be extra careful to accurately measure the distance of the bed when fully extended. Many RV’s might have cabinetry in the way, as I found out when I replace the JN sofa in my Mountain Aire. I had to select a full airbed, which did not extend out as far as the AirDream bed.

  8. Andrew Morris

    I have a Keystone Cougar that has recliners in the back, but they are a pain to move to close the slide. Do they make a folding type recliner?

  9. Anonymous

    @John, what if the jacknife sofa is in the bed position? Will it be narrow enough to fit through the door?

    May want to install some bolts or tie the mechanism up so it can’t close while you are carrying it out.

  10. MJG

    We replaced our RV jackknife sofa with a futon we already owned. We took it apart and built a frame for it to sit on. It slides out to make a bed and has a nice 8 inch matress. Our water heater is in that space so we could not use any of the sofas we found. It is very comfortable. We secure the mattress with a tie down strap when we are on the road. The frame sits down in slots and is secure. We have detachable legs to help support it when it is a bed.

1 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. RV furnature--where to buy cheap??? - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums

    [...] Check out this article. It has a few links to resources as well: Mod #52: Jackknife Sofa Replacement | ModMyRV [...]

Let's hear your comments about this mod!

If you are not a member, please consider registering so you don't have to fill out this form each time you comment.

Subscribe to the ModMyRV Comment Feed