While looking for ideas on how to decorate our new fifth wheel to help make it feel more “homey” and personalized, I ran across a Youtube channel called “You, Me & the RV”. It’s about a couple who recently retired, sold their “sticks and bricks” home and bought a Class A. To help make things feel more like home, she had come up with a way to make a “sofa table”. I knew as soon as a saw the video that i wanted to make one of these for our trailer. When my husband asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday a few weeks ago, I knew exactly what I wanted: build an RV sofa table.
The inspiration table had been made from 1x4s to help keep the weight down. We had a few 1x4s left over from another project so we picked through the good ones and started to cut the boards. It didn’t take long when we took the boards into the trailer for a dry to fit to figure out that I forgot to add the extra 2 inches to the top board to account for the two side boards. When we went back through the 1x4s to make a new top board, we decided we didn’t have any boards left that were in good enough condition to make the project. We began looking through our pile of wood and found a piece of sapele that was just the right width. The board was 1″ thick instead of the 3/4″ of a 1×4, which made it a little heavier, but we decided that it was worth the little extra weight to have a piece of our favorite wood in the trailer. Sapele has these beautiful “ribbons” that run through the wood. Once you apply a polyurethane to it, the ribbons really start to show. We just love seeing the wood come to life when you start to finish it.
Since the piece of sapele we used was long enough, we were able to cut all the pieces from the one board. This allowed us to match the grain to keep a continuous line from the table top to the sides. To help keep that continuous flow, we decided we didn’t want to just glue and nail the side boards on to the table, so instead we drilled holes on the bottom side of the top and one end of each side piece and attached the pieces with dowel rods. As in the original, we did put some green foam on the bottom of the table top to protect the sofa from harm while traveling down the road. I can’t see it as much as Mark can, due to my height, but if the cushions shift any you can see the green foam. Our plan is to darken the foam to make it less noticeable. The table does rock a little due to the downgrade nature of the back of the sofa so we think we are going to fasten the table to the back wall with some Velcro.
I grabbed a poinsettia left over from our Christmas decorating to see how it would look. I can’t wait to be able to find just the right items to put on the table for decorations, held in place by museum putty.
The final dimensions of the table were 3″ wide, 66″ long, 10″ tall. The sides were made 10″ due to the difference in height from the sofa arms to the back of the sofa. We cut the foam at 3.25 inches tall which allows the foam to rest on the back of the sofa.