Dora - Raised Dinette

When we first saw an Escape 19 and sat at the front dinette it was obvious the seats were too low, or the windows too high. The dinette converts into a second bed and can be ordered with attachments for a cot above this bed. The design trade-offs for this cot causes this problem. It isn't feasible to lower the windows so raising the dinette is the only reasonable option. I knew from the start we'd need to do this.

Raising the dinette was accomplished in several steps. I didn't know how much to raise it so some experimentation was needed.

In the first step I raised the seats and table about 5 1/2". The hope was that the floor wouldn't need to be raised.

I raised the table by inserting wooden disks between the table and table legs. In the third picture you can see the original cushions. They were bright! The previous owners selected the fabric and had Escape make the cushions. Having dogs we wanted vinyl covering and found the original cushions thin. So, as seen in the fourth picture, we had a local upholstry shop add memory foam and recover them. I left the floor at it's original level hoping that would be OK. We took a short (less than a month) trip to test this out and found that 5 1/2" was a little too much. We also determined that the floor needed to be raised.

The second step was to raise the seats only 4 1/2" and to raise the floor in the area the same.

The seat structure was simply cut off 1". The floor structure and finish can be seen above. Note the cut out around the electrical panel. Rather than re-wire the electrical box I tried to leave it at the orignal floor level. It seems to work and the front cover can be removed to get to the wiring. Also note that there is only one table leg. To make the table more stable I went to a three leg design. More on that below. After another trip we found this arrangement to be about right. The only problem was the cut out around the elecrical panel collected a good deal of dust and sand.

The third and last version raised the electrical panel to the new floor level and finished off the detail work.

I first added a support across the seat to eliminate the vertical support used by Escape. This vertical got in the way when putting items under the seat. I also put in a new drawer at the end of the dinette seat. I was going to use the same structure as the original but found the 1/8" plywood glued to it. So I rebuilt it rather than fighting to get the plywood removed. You can see there are three sockets for table legs. The second version above used this scheme and proved to work very well, much more stable than two legs. Finally I did raise the electrical panel to the new floor level. So Finally:

We've taken several trips with this final configuration. It works well and is a real improvement over the original.