RV owners often spend weeks, if not months away from home. And some live in them full-time. But sometimes the furniture in an RV is small and less comfortable than what we have at home. So can you put a regular couch in an RV?
As a general rule, it is possible to put a regular couch in an RV as long as it is able to fit through the door or can easily be dissassembled. RV doors are most often 26″ wide. Once inside, ensure the couch is fastened to the ground.
A standard three-seater sofa is typically 90 inches long, 38 inches deep from front to back, and 34 inches high. So you will need to look for a love seat or a smaller couch.
It can also be a good idea to look for one that is modular such as a small sectional.
Regular couches are larger and more comfortable than RV couches, but that much weight added could affect gas mileage.
Even though it’s possible to use a regular couch in an RV, it might not be the best idea. RV couches have some distinct features that make them perfect for the RV life.
Let’s have a closer look at the difference between regular couches and RV couches.
RV couch….perfect pattern. pic.twitter.com/SdXQSGwuGh
— Paul Pabst (@PaulPabst) June 27, 2016
Are RV couches different from regular couches?
RV couches are smaller than regular couches, and they often double up as other items of furniture, such as a bed, table, or storage unit.
RV couches can be expensive.
That’s because even though they are smaller than regular couches, there is only a small market for RV couches, so manufacturers cannot benefit as much from economies of scale, and unfortunately, their costs get passed on to us RV lovers.
RV couches need to be small, as the RV interior is smaller than a home’s living room. Therefore, a regular couch would be bulky, even in a large, class A motor home.
Most RV couches have some type of storage built into them, or they can be used as an RV sofabed at night.
This is because you have to be clever with your use of space in an RV, and you may not have those conveniences with most regular couches.
A big feature of RV couches is that they are modular – meaning they come in parts.
You don’t have to be able to get the whole couch through the RV door. Instead, you can bring parts of the couch into the RV and then assemble them inside. This saves so much headache.
Regular couches are large, not fixed to the ground, and designed for comfort as opposed to practicality.
If you want to put new furniture in your RV, by all means, do so. However, I recommend getting cheaper furniture made of plywood or particle board, as they are less dense than hardwoods and therefore lighter.
Your gas mileage will thank you.
Snow likes the new Rv couch pic.twitter.com/OLyZ0t1zHq
— Jenn (@jennlouiseloves) December 15, 2020
What makes a good RV couch?
A good RV couch is modular, has storage space beneath it, is easy to clean, lightweight, and can be fastened to the ground.
Your RV couch needs to be able to get into the RV, so having a couch that comes in parts that you can assemble inside is a huge advantage.
This is one of the reasons why RV owners love IKEA furniture. It comes in a flat pack that you can easily bring inside the RV and assemble.
A good RV couch will have storage space beneath it.
The storage under an RV couch can be like an Ottoman basket – where you lift the whole lid off the bed, or it can be a normal set of drawers under the seats. In all my years of being an RV owner, I believe the best feature an RV couch can have is a sofa bed.
When you are traveling in your RV, chances are you are going to go hiking or camping and get a little muddy.
Therefore, I highly recommend getting an RV couch that is easy to clean. Synthetic leather is the best material, in my opinion. Stay away from fabric couches, as they get stained really easily. And once sand and silt settle in the fibers, you won’t be able to clean it.
You can get real leather RV couches, but I have found that if I take my RV to a desert or the beach, the heat can cause the leather to shrink and develop defects. Synthetic leather looks good, is durable, and is easy to clean.
Some people with fabric couches have managed to get bed bugs, termites, and fleas stuck in their couches.
That’s a massive problem if you are on a month-long RV trip! Check out this recent article on my site about how to deal with insects in your RV and how to prevent this in the first place.
Just click that link to read it on my site.
We didn’t battle aliens & there wasn’t any shawarma but every year after #CampOutForHunger we meet on the couch in the RV for what feels like the most #Avengers-like moment we’ll ever experience… (continued) pic.twitter.com/EcblRGGS5q
— The Preston & Steve Show (@PrestonSteve933) December 1, 2018
How do you get a couch into an RV?
To get a couch into an RV, remove all the furniture in the RV, then get the new couch and bring it through the front door. Use at least two people to bring the couch in. One person will give directions and point out hazards.
But check all measurements first.
As I mentioned above, RV doors are most often 26″ wide. A standard three-seater sofa is typically 90 inches long, 38 inches deep from front to back, and 34 inches high.
Before you put the couch in your RV, you need to remove the old couch, remove anything that you don’t want in there, and decide where to place the couch. It may help to remove all the smaller things in your RV, like tables and chairs, just so you have more space to work with.
You can put them back in once you got the couch into the RV. Once you have got the couch into the RV, you are going to have to anchor it to the ground.
Changed up the furniture layout in the RV. Now *her* couch is in direct sunlight. She’s the happiest little camper. pic.twitter.com/AQGQKee4ru
— Jessie (@jessielynpaints) May 7, 2022
How do you anchor a couch in an RV?
To anchor a couch in an RV, you need to use metal L-brackets.
The best system would be to screw a large L-shaped bracket into the wood frame of the couch and then again into the floor of the RV.
Depending on the couch, this may require attaching the L-brackets to the floor first. Then positioning the couch and then attaching the brackets to the couch with the cushions removed.
This may also require cutting the fabric under the cushions to gain access to the wood frame.
If, however, you choose a residential sofa with wooden legs that protrude from the underside of the sofa, then you’ll have a much easier time attaching the brackets. But they will be a little bit visible.
This is a permanent solution that is good for larger couches or heavy items of furniture. If the couch is really light and has a low center of mass, you can use a bungee cord or even Velcro straps.
If your couch has a backrest and the couch has a high center of mass, you must use metal brackets to drill the couch to the ground.
This is because if you turn your RV while driving, the couch may topple over, causing damage or injury. So ensuring your couch is completely secured to the floor of your RV is crucial!
The downside is that you have to drill into the couch and your RV floor.
You could use bungee cords that you attach to the furniture and interior holdings. The bungee cords allow some wiggling, but they don’t let the couch move much when traveling. Bungee cords are okay for lightweight couches.
New RV couch upholstery done pic.twitter.com/g2GvRnPRrK
— Francisco sanchez (@Francis79841604) January 26, 2019
What size couch should I get for My RV?
The right size couch for an RV will be based on the size of the door opening and available room inside the RV.
In most cases though, we will likely be talking about a 2-seat loveseat.
But there is no golden rule for what size couch you should get for your RV. My advice is to measure the area you plan to put the couch and then go couch shopping with that in mind.
Try and get the smallest couch possible that has other features like storage and a bed.
This will save you space. You should ensure that there is at least 3 or 4 feet of space in the center of your RV so that you can still walk through with the couch installed.
So, if you put your couch against the long wall of your RV, there should be enough space in the middle of the RV.
Just make sure your RV does not become overcrowded and dangerous. And try to find a couch with a low center of mass, as that is less likely to topple over when you are driving.
Do they sell RV recliner sofas or recliner chairs?
Yes. You do see RV recliners, most often in luxury Class A RVs or in fifth-wheel RVs. An RV sofa bed is most common in smaller or less expensive RVs like a travel trailer.
It’s worth pointing out, however, that unless you are really handy with DIY projects, most of what is sold at places like Camping World is designed to be installed by them.
While they may be smaller than a regular recliner, an RV reclining chair is still often larger than the typical RV door opening.
Speaking of RV sofa beds, how comfortable are they and how can you improve the comfort?
Luckily in a recent article, I get into just that. I cover the best replacement mattresses for standard RV beds, but also how to get the right mattress topper for an RV couch that doubles as a sleeper sofa. And whether it’s possible to get a memory foam mattress.
Just click that link to read it on my site.
One of the major differences is that RV couches are smaller than regular couches and are usually what’s known as convertible furniture. They often double as storage or as sleeper sofas.
And all RV-specific furniture is lighter than regular household furniture.
RV manufacturers typically put in couches that have storage units built into them to make better use of the small space inside an RV.
If you have an RV, while you can get residential furniture to replace the regular furniture that came with it, you should get a couch that can fit through the door which will often be 26″ wide.
The right furniture to replace your RV couch with will ideally be modular, and one that you can fasten to the ground without a lot of headaches.
So the best option might be a sectional that comes in small pieces.