Use Your Noodle 2
Here’s an RV Do It Yourself tip to help you secure your free standing dinette chairs to make sure they stay put and don’t bang into anything during travel.
Over the past summer, we bought a fifth wheel that has a dinette with free-standing chairs. The previous owner (it’s a three year old rig) hadn’t used it much and said he’d never even seen any tie-down straps for the chairs. Some RVers don’t secure their dinette chairs. Others report damage caused by unsecured chairs during a panic-stop or accident. We opted to be safe rather than sorry.
Having used the noodles to make pads for the RV cover, we started thinking about how we could use them to solve this problem. The pictures show what we came up with:
We leaned the chairs into the table so that the chair backs touch the edge of the table, making sure the chair legs clear the wall and the couch.
The noodles we used are about 3 inches in diameter and approximately 52 inches long. We used two noodles. First we slit each of them lengthwise through one side into the center hole. Then we cut each of them into four 13 inch pieces.
The pieces could now be slipped over the outer stiles of the chair backs as shown to provide padding between the table and the chairs.
To hold everything together while on the road, we considered rope, bungee cords, and nylon strapping. We ended up using Velcro One-Wrap strapping and it works great. This stuff sticks to itself and holds firmly, so no knots, hooks, clips, or buckles are needed. It’s easy to remove and simply wrap around the noodle pieces for storage between trips. We bought two 3/4 inch wide by 12 foot rolls. The strip securing each opposing pair of chairs is roughly 9 feet long.
The sketch attempts to show the whole thing from the top of the table. You can see how the Velcro strap (in red) runs around the backs of of the chairs, then under the table and around the center pedestal. There’s another strap for the other pair of chairs, but I just showed one for clarity. One side of the Velcro strapping is soft and fuzzy. We’d suggest you make sure that side is the one that comes in contact with the table and chairs so there is no scratching of the surfaces. Finally, adding a short strap at the top of each pair of chairs, as shown in the last photo, made everything very stable and secure.
There are other ways to secure dinette chairs, and some RVers don’t even bother. We decided to do it and we wanted something that would work and would be inexpensive and fairly easy to use. The two noodles and the Velcro straps cost us less than $30 and everything is lightweight and reusable. While you do have to crawl under the table a bit to put the straps on, it’s pretty easy to do.
So far we’ve used the pool noodles to pad slide-out corners, to make protective pads for an RV cover (post is here), to help secure chairs for travel (this post), and to help winterize the refrigerator (post is here). I’m beginning to think these foam noodles may join good ol’ duct tape in the “don’t leave home without it” category.
We’d love to hear how you secure things for travel. What has worked for you? What hasn’t? Leave a comment