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Mod #52: Jack Knife Sofa Replacement

Posted By Mark Corgan On July 30, 2008 @ 4:50 pm In interior | 11 Comments

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


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