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RVing

DIY RV Office: How We Transformed a Sofa Nook Into Our Workspace

Why We Converted Our Sofa Nook Into an RV Office

While it is hard to believe, we have been a full-time RV family for more than a year now!

There are a lot of upgrades, modifications, and purchases we have made along the way to make ourselves feel more at home on the road.

That being said, our RV office is my favorite one.

I have been working remotely since 2014, and this workspace beats every other one I have tried. And believe me, I have tried my fair share!

These include noisy coffee shops, coworking spaces with beer on tap, seedy motel rooms, beachfront cabanas (not that productive), camp chairs in the forest, and even a home office with a roadrunner that used to look curiously through the window. Okay, that was pretty awesome.

Still, our RV office has everything I could ever want in a workspace, mobile or otherwise.

I have to give credit to my wife Kim for her impeccable vision and great sense of interior design.

From the moment we first walked into our fifth wheel (2020 Grand Design Reflection 290BH) on the sales lot, she knew the sofa nook had to go.

The fold out sofa was stiff and uncomfortable, and it was not adjacent to the TV, meaning we would have to crane our necks to watch movies.

This is the sofa that came with our fifth wheel
This is the sofa that came with our fifth wheel

I love having a peaceful sanctuary where I actually feel inspired to create stuff and I know Kim feels the same way.

Where we put the RV office in our Grand Design Reflection 290BH
Where we put the RV office in our Grand Design Reflection 290BH

How We Did It

We began our pursuit to make the perfect RV office by painting the overhead cabinets with Sherman Williams Alabaster paint.

We think the overhead cabinets look a lot better now
We think the overhead cabinets look a lot better now

Afterward, we sold the tri-fold sofa that came with our rig. That gave us $200 to put toward a custom desk with a turquoise epoxy river.

Our friends Christy and Brian Gorr of Epoxy Flow built us a beautiful desk at the unbelievably affordable price of $950.

Initially, they delivered a desk that turned out to be too small for the space. I was thoroughly impressed when Brian offered to redo a larger desk for a nominal fee.

Posing in front of the smaller desk. A few weeks later, Epoxy River replaced this with a larger one
Posing in front of the smaller desk. A few weeks later, Epoxy River replaced this with a larger one

Christy and Brian even drove 6 hours from Salt Lake City to the Grand Tetons to deliver our new, bigger desk and camp with us! We had a blast hanging out with such an awesome couple.

Our full RV office setup
Our full RV office setup!

Once our desk was in place and secured to the wall with brackets, we mounted a Samsung 28-inch 4k monitor, got a swivel office chair with armrests, attached a swivel lamp to the desk, screwed in towel bars to hang Kim’s art supplies (e.g. pens, markers, paintbrushes, scissors, etc.), and added particle board shelves to the overhead cabinet to optimize vertical storage space.

I also bought a well-reviewed Bluetooth wireless keyboard, mouse, and my dad gifted me a laptop stand to make computer work more comfortable.

Finally, Felix Gray sent us Nash computer glasses to help us combat the inevitable eye strain that comes from staring at a screen for long stretches of time.

Kim wears Felix Gray Nash computer glasses

Max wears Felix Gray Nash computer glasses

Everything We Bought for Our RV Office

Our Experience So Far

There are countless reasons we LOVE our new RV office but here are a few of the key highlights:

  1. It takes minimal effort to secure it when we tow. The desk, monitor, and towel bars are bolted in and don’t budge.
  2. The space itself has a cheery feel that makes us excited to work, craft, make art and always gets our creative juices flowing.
  3. We like having lots of functional space above the desk to store things like Kim’s sewing machine, Cricut, camera lenses, a printer, etc.

Kim drinks tea from her Contigo mug while working from the RV office

A few weeks ago, we wrapped up a 4-month stint where we were moving a lot and found ourselves in remote rural areas much of the time.

We travelled from Bear Lake, UT to Lava Hot Springs, ID (where we had solar installed by the Dry Campers), then continued to the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Glacier, North Cascades, Olympic Peninsula, Oregon Coast, Redwoods, Yosemite, Alabama Hills, and Zion.

On our road trip, we connected to the internet through Visible, which uses Verizon towers but is cheaper and does not limit your data usage. Occasionally, we used RV campground WiFi too.

There were a few times we could not get a connection where we parked. When this happened, I would drive to areas where I had service (Opensignal app is handy for this) or use the WiFi Map app to find places with free internet access.

I am not a fan of working out of our truck! I do not like to idle for long periods so inevitably I go without climate control and I hate not having a bathroom nearby.

I would much rather work from our RV office. The funny thing is, the only downside of our office is that I can’t work in it all the time.

Max (the author) jots down some notes in the RV office
Max (the author) jots down some notes in the RV office

For that reason, I decided to upgrade our internet! Last weekend, I installed Mobile Must Have’s full-time RV bundle. It includes a cellular router with two SIM card slots and a MIMO antenna that can run off DC power.

We now have an unlimited AT&T SIM and prepaid Verizon SIM in the router and are enjoying the WiFi speeds so far. Once we have done more in-depth testing of our new equipment, I will follow up with another post. Stay tuned!

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