Our Desk is Our Headboard and Other RV Remodel Stories …


IMG_9006When we were planning our RV renovations on our new to us 1998 Foretravel U320, we considered how we might be able to reuse parts that were being removed in other areas or for other purposes. Witness our daughter’s desk, pictured right, which is made up of the former dining tabletop as well as the drawers from the nightstands and the closet area which were removed from the bedroom. We also reused the former liquor cabinet in the same piece of furniture which left us with only framing and some paneling in new material costs. Win-win-win!

Old Headboard = New Desktop

Another surprising area in which we were able to reuse parts was in our bedroom remodel. When we bought our rig, it had a very nice, custom walnut frame and panel headboard, but it was not in keeping with the clean lines that what we wanted for our bed, Plus, it blocked the emergency window, and made opening and closing the shade impossible. In addition, since we were planning on reducing the size of the bed to a smaller footprint to save space, this 60″ wide headboard would be about 6″ too wide.

It would, however, make a very good desk top surface for the office remodel we were planning, and it was within an inch of being precisely the right size! What serendipity! After a run through the table saw and the router to replicate the edge treatment, we not only were able to repurpose the headboard we had, but we were able to replace it with the new headboard from yet a different recycled part of the renovation. You’ll never guess what our new headboard used to be…

So when we downsized our formerly queen sized bed to a full-sized bed, we were on the hunt for a new, smaller headboard that wouldn’t block view or egress out the window. We briefly considered going without a headboard at all, but found that because of the window behind the bed, we really needed to have something solid to lean against rather than the day-night shades! We looked at a number of different headboards online, and were considering a custom, upholstered piece when we happened upon the perfect solution…the solid walnut panel from the Dometic refrigerator that we were replacing with a marine fridge was exactly 16 1/2″ x 54″ – the precise size that we needed for the headboard.

Old Fridge Panel = New Headboard

Ding, ding! It’s kind of strange, but we have a winner – probably completely unique to the RV industry – a fridge panel headboard. After sanitizing and polishing, it was a snap to implement. Because the panel was only about 3/4″ thick and tapered on the edges to only about 1/16″ of an inch of thickness, we added a plywood back stained to match, screwed it and glued it, and then attached the supplied headboard brackets to the plywood to complete the installation – we did it as a quick weekend project.

So…what happened to that extra 1″ or so that was removed from the original headboard to make it fit into the desk space? It covers the gap at the back of the counter that was left when we built a new wall



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