Posted by on May 8, 2019 in Furniture, Interior

We did this project as part of an RV Renovation. The RV renovation included the removal of the kitchen dining booth, which also removed the associated sleeping space. This chair adds back in an additional space for sleeping, as well as creates a sitting area in the RV without taking up as much space as the original dinette. We partnered with Amazon and Home Depot for this project.

Convertible Club Chair

Before taking on a project like this, we always turn to Pinterest for some inspiration. We were specifically looking for a “club chair” look, but also something we could somehow convert into a sleeper. We found a few ideas that had that nice “club chair” feel, as well as an interesting convertible sleeping idea. We liked the way it flipped out and over into the bed, and wanted to somehow incorporate this into our design. The design plan for it, however, created a MUCH too bulky and heavy build than what we were looking for. Creating something lightweight is crucial when you are working with an RV.

Inspiration for Convertible Chair

To get started, we looked at Amazon for convertible chair cushion options. The one we found had a nice slim width to it, the color fit well with the decor in the RV, and it was priced very affordably.

Amazon Sleeper Chair

We waited until we received the chair before we got started so we could measure it and create the build specific to the chair’s dimensions. After we made all of our measurements, we planned it out on paper. Here is a page from our planning sketchbook.

Convertible Chair Planning

Our chair was going to include two sides that flipped out, one for the backside and one for the foot area. We decided to use Select Pine for this build. Although it’s more expensive than traditional pine, it doesn’t have any knots. We weren’t going for rustic here – we wanted that clean wood look. We used 1×2 boards for these so they would be lighter weight, and folded over on top of each other wouldn’t be too bulky. We started out by building the frames for each part, with the sides of the center portion being higher to cover everything when it was stacked together.

Framing Laid Out

After the frames were constructed, we added the four supports, which would act as the bases for the arm rests. We used our Kreg Jig for this step.

Arm Rests Added
Kreg Jig Convertible Chair

Once this step was completed, we cut all the rest of the wood to our cut list, and then stained all the parts. We don’t like to stain a piece when it’s completely put together because getting into all the nooks and crannies creates a bit of a sloppy look. So we like to stain mid-way through a project before it gets too far along. That way we can touch up the stain at the end rather than painstakingly trying to get into all the grooves once the whole thing is put together. We chose Varathane Stain in Provincial. We decided not to coat it with polyurethane, just stay with the raw stain for this project.

Convertible Chair Staining

Once all the parts were stained, we added the slats to all three frames, and added the hinges. The foot side slats we attached with wood glue and our nail gun. The backside we attached with our Kreg Jig. This is because we wanted the backside to be clean and seamless. That side will be seen when the chair is folded up. The Kreg Jig holes will not be seen because it will be covered up by the chair cushion. You can see this in the picture below.

Slats added
Convertible Chair Hinges

We added feet that rotate out on hinges on both sides of the supports and added the top of the arms. Once this was all done, we could lay out the chair cushion and test it out. Our tester approved!

Tester on the chair

We added a wood piece on both sides and drilled holes for cotterless hitch pins which would hold it in the upright position when it’s not used as a sleeper, and can easily be pulled out when you want to convert it. In this picture, you can also see the legs. They are a simple build, just three pieces of wood attached with furniture screws, and then attached to the base with simple hinges. The top and bottom of each leg is cut at a 25 degree angle so the supports can rest on the ground at a slight angle for greater stability. You can also see in this picture that the slats are seamlessly integrated in the design, as mentioned earlier.

Backside of convertible chair
Club Chair
Chair out as a sleeper

And here the chair is in it’s permanent home – the RV! You can see how it’s extremely flexible in this space. There’s plenty of room for the chair to flip out to the sleeper. With it’s slim design, there is plenty of walking room around the side of it, and since it’s pretty light, it’s easy to flip around for use at the desk! After giving this club chair a test drive on an actual camping trip, we added some fabric on both sides of the arms to soften up that area. The bare wood wasn’t the most comfortable! It worked out great, and now we have a nice seating area with an extra space for sleeping when we bring an additional guest on a camping trip!

Chair in Camper 1
Chair in Camper 2
Chair in Camper 3

Thanks so much for reading!


Amazon Logo

Convertible Sleeper Chair

Home Depot Logo

Select Pine Boards

Hitch Pin

Varathane Stain