Loose Dinette End Piece

Disclaimer: This page describes repairs I have made to various RVs in the hope that it will help others with similar problems. I am not a professional RV technician and I make no claims about the correctness, efficacy, or side-effects of the repairs described here. I won't be responsible for the results of any attempt to use the information on this page.

If you are like me and you have a dinette with a fabric-covered L-shaped piece of trim at the inside end of each bench, you put your hand on the trim piece to give you a boost when getting out of the dinette. If this is the case and you can't break yourself of the habit, you may also (like me) find that the trim piece is only held in place by a series of staples, which really aren't up to the job and will come loose over time.

By far, the best time to do this repair is before the end-piece comes loose. That way, the piece will be held in place by both your screws and the staples and the job will be a lot easier.

I waited too long and had to do the job twice. I didn't bother to remove the staples but you could if you want to, although on mine, it appears that the staples are also holding the two backing boards together. You could try to get them back in the holes (good luck with that) or you could just ignore them as I did.

Remove the cushions and then remove the plywood piece under the seat cushion. Mine had two screws holding it in place. This should expose the staples that hold on the end trim. The picture below shows the dinette from the inside. There's no need to remove the drawer if you have one, although you may want to cover it to keep it from getting full of sawdust. You can see the original staples and the screws I added in the photo.

View from inside showing original staples and new screws

Originally, I used 1¼" wood screws, but they only held for about 6 months. Although it made me nervous, I found that on mine you can use 1½" #8 pan-head sheet metal screws. You need to drill a pilot hole, but be sure to put a piece of scotch tape on the drill bit at just under 1½" and drill carefully. If you go through, the bit may grab onto the carpet on the front of the trim and tear it. That would be really, really bad.

1.5 inch panhead sheetmetal screw

Here's a shot of the finished job:

Finished job

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  —  Bob Ray