RV Renovations Continue with the Dinette to Dog Crates!

Since this is our most popular project yet, I felt I needed to get a move on with posting all about it.  We started to think about a better, more convenient way to travel with our dogs.  The Varikennels on the left behind the driver's seat were fine, but a little small for our shepherds.  With RV life, it is always about finding a better way to store things and keep things organized.  With the dogs, we wanted them to be comfortable in our travels while being safe.  We saw a picture of kennels built into the dinette seating of an RV and with Shawn being a carpenter, and always up for a project he said, "I can do that!" and so it started.
The original picture we saw

First thing I need to explain is that we did not have anything inside our dinette that had to be re-routed or moved.  Our first RV had a heating duct in one side and the water pump in the other.  Our current RV only had storage so it was a matter of figuring out how and what to make the crates out of.  Again, I use the word "we" in this blog but really it is Shawn, my hubby, who does all the heavy lifting and the "making my thoughts a reality".  I just say how I want it, how I want it to look and he pretty much does it.  I am lucky!

Here is the Original Original Dinette (before the cushion project which you can read about Here) and then after we re did the cushions.

Looks better right?  Definitely, but now it was time to convert the ENTIRE THING.  There are a couple of things to take notice of here.  First, the table has a swing out leg and is attached to the wall with clips.  Also, the wall on the right side is damaged as well as underneath the table.  This dinette also converts to a bed so we didn't want to lose that sleeping space.  So keeping all those things in mind, here is how we did it.

First we measured EVERYTHING.  You can never have too many measurements on a project like this.  When converted to a bed, the cushions all need to line up.  If it was too small or too big, this wouldn't happen so we made sure we knew all the measurements and wrote everything down.  Then we started demo.  Demo can be really fun until you find some problem you didn't think you had.  Luckily, that didn't happen to us.  We knew the wall had been compromised and needed to be fixed.

The start of the removal

Measure against other crates as we finish the new flooring

After ripping out the damaged wood
Shawn went to work on replacing the wall with new wood.  Then the painting began.

The wall after it was replaced

Priming and painting.  it looks so nice!
Next hubby built the boxes.  Unfortunately, I do not have pictures of the boxes being built as Shawn did these while I wasn't home.  There are a few things I can tell you though.  We knew since the boxes would be taller, we needed a new table.  We decided to build a small platform in between the boxes (seats) so we could raise the table and accommodate our legs.  Remember when I said to keep in mind the table with the swing leg and wall attachment?  Well, you can't attach a table to a window as that is how tall the table needed to be.  Our first RV had the table that had two removable legs.  So, I went and found table legs and parts so we could convert it that way.
You can find the legs here:

Russell by Edelbrock MA-939 CHROME 27-1/2" Table Leg (there is another size so find the one you want)
But everything is sold separately so I had to buy each leg and each holder (top and bottom) to attach it.
Find the holders here:
Russell by Edelbrock MA-1119 CHROME Exposed Round Table Base
Russell by Edelbrock MA-1112 CHROME Flush-Base Round Table 
We happen to have an old butcher block table top and wanted to use that.  We just had to cut it to size.  If you are looking for a all in one combo with legs, you can find the link below but again, make sure it fits! 
DetMar 12-1106C Removable Rectangular Marine/RV Table

First box is used as measurement for table.
On another note, we needed to measure for doors for the boxes.  Since we modeled the crates around a 400 Varikennel, we bought two of those doors from amazon.  
Get the doors here:
Petmate Chrome Door Replacement for Model 400 Vari-Kennel , Large 
Getting the doors on was not easy. We basically had to bend the wood to get the pins in but it worked.  
We also had build the platform for the table.  This now became a place to store the legs when we weren't using the table.  

Platform is build and boxes are in. (probably should have painted them before but....)

Used this bit to make the holes for the legs.

Added strips of flooring to match and then drilled hole again.

Here is the finished table holes.  We also added the holders on the insides of the crates for the table top when it gets dropped down for the bed.  And a coat of paint.

We used exterior paint because we felt it would be more durable.  They are painted inside and out to protect them.  We also put a kick plate on the platform. 

And DONE!...well almost.  We are putting a small door on the platform with a piano hinge and going to drill a few holes on the inside for more ventilation.  
Also note, the seat part of the crates (the tops) are attached on piano hinges so it is easy to clean.  I will take a pic of those and add it to the blog.
This was a fun and easy (well, Shawn is a carpenter) job.  It took a full weekend with painting and cutting and running to home depot twice for stuff you forgot.  There are also small details that I don't go into like the floor trim to finish it off and the back to the seat on the right by the door.  You need to add that or you have nothing to lean against and the cushions need to fit into it so the don't just slide off for the bed part.  But, I think this really gives you the ins and outs of how it can be done.
As always, we welcome any comments or questions!


  1. I love your remodel! We just our first (new to us) class A motor home. This is an ideal way to inconspicuously put the crates into the decor.
    Thank you so much for sharing the step by step process. :)

    1. Thanks for reading my blog! We are really having a fun time renovating the RV! Make sure you follow me for more updates!

  2. So sorry I should have signed my name. (new to the blogging concept)
    Dixie Williams
    No Faux Paw Chinese Shar-Pei

  3. What are the dimensions of the finished crates

  4. I'm curious... what kind of beer is that on the table? :)

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  15. Great ideas to get the creative juices flowing. Any thoughts/tips on how to integrate crates for giant breeds? Our family has a newfoundland and a great pyrenees that we rescued and go with us everywhere.

    1. My husband has built a similar kennel in our RV for our 60lb lab mix and 40lb rescue. The dinette was U shaped with storage on all three sides. The sides became kennels and he kept storage on the "bottom of the U".

  16. This is exactly what I need to do in my RV. Your husband is a carpenter... mine is not.. and shouldn't be allowed near power tools, much less a circular/table/any power saw! Would you be willing to post the dimensions of this? I really need to build it, but having the measurements would surely save a lot of time. Thanks in advance

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