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Old 11-17-2018, 07:47 AM   #1
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Modification of bench storage area

The bench storage areas beneath the dinning area seats provide lots of storage space, but accessing them is a bit of a hassle. It is easy enough to remove the seat cushions, but lifting off the plywood covers is a hassle, not to mention the accasional slivers. I have thought about ways to modify them, i.e., adding a piano hinge to make them easier to open, but what like to hear what others may have done. For a few extra bucks Winnebago could have come up with a different solution and scored some extra bucks with their owners. Likewise the cushions are not very durable and will eventually need to be replaced.
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Old 11-17-2018, 08:01 AM   #2
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Yes did exactly that on my old 26HE..I cut a strip about 4" off the side of the cover and screwed it permanentely in place then installed full length piano hinges to both pieces ..Just to be sure it was strong enough I also added stiffeners to the hinges..It really does make a difference and I have yet to do this same modification to my new rig..
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Old 11-17-2018, 08:54 AM   #3
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I find it can be really worthwhile to add a drawer and door under the seat as it then can be used without tearing down the seat. Depends on the trim.layout and lots of small point but I go for ease of use as much as how much more space is gained. On this one, I may not get 100% space used but can get it easy to open a door that moves fully out of the way to access a pullout tray.
Look, learn, adapt as needed?
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Old 11-17-2018, 12:52 PM   #4
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The piano hinge is a good idea.
Maybe a small hydraulic or spring lift on it to hold the seat/lid up while you're digging around inside.
That's the way ours came from the factory, and it's very nice not to have the seat stay out of the way.
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Old 11-17-2018, 09:37 PM   #5
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I did the piano hinge thing with mine too, along with a small bungee cord to hold it open if needed. I also cut a couple finger pull slots in the plywood to make opening easier. If you want to explore the possibility of adding slideout drawers to access the dinette storage space, there's a video on YouTube by someone called RV Project who has done this and many other RV modifications. I hope to do this myself next summer.
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Old 11-24-2018, 05:57 AM   #6
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Our coach came with doors on the ends of the seats. We were looking for a good place for the cats to hide, so cut access 12" wide X 9" high holes in the faces that are under the table near the outside wall. The cats stopped using them, so we now use them as access to storage. The bottom of the holes is a couple inches above the floor and that seems to be enough to keep things in place without needing a door on them. So now we seldom need to lift the cushions and the plywood top.
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Old 11-25-2018, 08:15 PM   #7
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My coach had a large swing-down door at the end of the bench, possibly installed by a previous owner. I installed a pair of 3-foot, 100 pound, full extension slide rails, supported on blocks on the floor under the seat. A barrel latch locks it in place while traveling. It sure beats lifting the lid, especially when someone is sitting on it!
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Old 11-25-2018, 08:43 PM   #8
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I'm planning to do that in my Minnie Winnie next summer. DW has a lot of galley stuff to stow.
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Old 11-25-2018, 10:05 PM   #9
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Thanks for your response. If I understand correctly, the extension side rails work like a large drawer that you can pull out from the bench. Where did you find them:?
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Old 11-26-2018, 01:46 AM   #10
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Home Depot carries 24" full extension slides. Longer ones can probably be special ordered.
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Old 11-26-2018, 08:14 AM   #11
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THX
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Old 11-27-2018, 09:35 PM   #12
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My drawer

I bought my 3 foot rails at Rockler Woodworking. I built a plywood box and mounted the rails on the sides to give more depth, at the cost of a little width. The photos show the original door in the side of the bench seat, the front of the drawer, and the drawer pulled out. There is a little space remaining between the back of the drawer and a thin space under the drawer, for things that are seldom used and accessed from the seat top.





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Old 11-28-2018, 02:11 PM   #13
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THX. Drawers are the best solution.
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