RVs may be teeny tiny spaces, but RV makers really know what they’re doing and often do a great job taking full advantage of the space in an RV. One of the most common ways they do this is by installing RV couch beds in most rigs.
These beds are awesome because they provide more sleeping space without consuming more space than is necessary. That said, just like any other piece of furniture, an RV sofa bed can become worn out and will need to be replaced. Additionally, some RVs don’t come equipped with an RV hide-a-bed. Both instances call for a shopping trip to pick out a new sofa bed to put in the rig.
Of course, an RV sofa bed replacement isn’t something one shops for every day. Therefore, it’s important to do a bit of research before buying anything. Here are our top tips to get your started.
Main RV Sofa Bed Styles
We’ll begin by discussing the different types of camper couch beds. Knowing your options and the differences between them can help tremendously when it comes to finding the best RV couch bed for your camper and your family.
The jackknife sofa bed was once the most popular of the RV couch bed options. This style of sofa bed looks much like an upholstered bench when in the upright position, but can be laid flat with the seat and the seat back lying side by side to create a sleeping surface.
These beds are the least space-consuming in both positions, and they weigh less than traditional couches, but can also be fairly uncomfortable in both positions because of the bars that make up the frame.
Another camper couch option is the traditional hide-a-bed. These feature a thin RV-style mattress that folds into an otherwise ordinary RV couch.
This is a bit more space-consuming than the jackknife option, especially when in the bed position. It is also a much heavier couch than the jackknife option. However, the couch part tends to be much more comfortable, and depending on the mattress used, the bed can be as well.
More recently, we’ve seen air mattress hide-a-bed sofa options hit the market. These have quickly become the preferred option, and can be found in many new rigs.
This RV sleeper sofa with air mattress works very much like a traditional RV hide-a-bed, but includes an air mattress rather than a traditional mattress, making it much more lightweight.
The issue with this type of RV couch bed is the fact that the air mattress can develop holes, making it unusable.
What to Look for When Buying an RV Sofa Bed
Now that you have an idea of what kind of RV couch bed you might want, you’ll probably want to know what else you should be looking for in your new sofa bed. Below we will discuss the four most important things to look for in a camper couch so you can shop smart.
RV furniture works hard. Not only will your new sofa bed have to do the work of a normal couch, it’ll also need to work well as a bed while standing up to the rigors of travel day. Make sure whatever you invest in is durable.
Size is extremely important. Measure your space not once, but twice, making sure you know exactly how much room you have. When you find something you like, triple-check the measurements to be sure it will fit.
Another important factor is weight. All RVs have weight restrictions, and it is very unsafe to surpass the cargo carrying capacity put in place by the manufacturer. Additionally, putting excessive amounts of weight in a slide can cause damage to the slide mechanism. Therefore, you will want to be sure your RV sofa bed replacement doesn’t weigh too much more than the old one.
There’s no point in having a new RV couch bed if it’s uncomfortable. If at all possible, sit on your new couch and pull out the bed to lay on it before purchasing. If this isn’t possible, make sure to read reviews.
Other Factors to Consider
Of course, there are other factors to consider that are also very important, so they shouldn’t be ignored. Make sure you are happy with all of these aspects of the furniture before investing in an RV sofa bed replacement:
Clearly, you will want your new RV couch to look good with the rest of the rig. Keep this in mind during your search for the perfect piece.
Ease of Cleanup
RV furniture can become quite dirty. This makes sense considering the fact that you’re usually spending time in nature when camping. To combat this, try to find a couch that can be easily cleaned if necessary.
Ease of Use
Nobody wants a hide-a-bed that’s impossible to pull out. Make sure your new furniture is so easy to use that you won’t mind setting up the sofa bed after a long day of hiking or sightseeing.
We all know how precious storage space is in an RV. Why not try to squeeze in a little bit more wherever you can? Many RV sofa beds include a storage drawer, something that is worth looking for if you’re in need of more storage in your rig.
Hardly anyone has an unlimited budget to work with when it comes to shopping for RV furniture. Know your budget and stick to it. There is something out there for every price range, don’t worry.
Finally, you may want to consider investing in a warranty. This will protect your investment should something go wrong, and will give you peace of mind if nothing else.
FAQs about RV Sofa Bed & Couches
Want to know even more about RV couch beds? This section is for you. Below are some of the top FAQs about RV sofa beds, as well as their answers.
What size is an RV sofa bed?
RV hide-a-beds come in various sizes. This means you will need to carefully measure your space as we mentioned before. That said, the standard mattress size for an RV sofa bed tends to be close to that of a full-size bed.
What are the best brands to consider?
There are a few different RV furniture brands out there, and most are just fine. That said, we really like the items we’ve seen from RecPro, as well as Thomas Payne. If you’re willing to go with a couch that is not RV-specific, IKEA makes some awesome pieces that work well in tight spaces. Home Reserve is another great option.
How do you remove an RV sofa bed?
You will likely need to unbolt your old RV couch or sofa bed from the walls and possibly the floor of your RV. Once this is done, you may be able to cover the couch with moving pads or blankets to protect it, pick it up, and—with the help of a buddy—carefully maneuver it through the small RV door.
If this doesn’t work, the furniture will probably need to be taken apart and removed through the RV door piece-by-piece.
How do you install an RV sofa bed?
If you purchase an RV-specific sofa bed, it will almost certainly come with instructions as well as hardware to bolt it into place. Meanwhile, a couch made for a house will not include such things, meaning you may need to get a bit creative with how you keep it in place.
Some people feel comfortable leaving their furniture unsecured in a travel trailer or fifth wheel, but we definitely recommend against doing this in a motorhome because things could shift during travel, posing a threat to all passengers.
What’s the best place to buy an RV sofa bed?
Obviously, if you’re looking to purchase a sofa bed that is not RV-specific, you can head to any furniture store. As we pointed out, we think IKEA is great for this purpose. However, those looking for an RV hide-a-bed will want to head to an online retailer such as Amazon or an RV-specific store such as RV Furniture Center.