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Building a Fold Out Dinette Table for 4 | Skoolie Kitchen Layout

When Matthew and I designed our layout, we didn't want anything that needed to be moved or converted in order to be used. For example, we didn't want to have to fold up our bed every morning into a couch. Our goal has always been to have the most house-like skoolie as possible.

There was one exception though, and that's our dinette table. On a typical day, it is just Matthew and I so we don't need a huge table. However, we do plan on having guests over and thought it would be nice if they could sit at a table for a meal rather than on the couch or something like that.

In order to get the table to fold out the way we wanted, we experimented with a few different ideas. In the end, Matthew's design works really well and is super easy to use.

How We Built Ours

Let me start off by describing what our original dinette table was like.

skoolie conversion kitchen living room layout dinette table and booth seats
This is what our table looked like without the foldout addition.

The table top was made from butcher block that we stained and polyurethaned to match the rest of the bus. We bought a large section of butcher block from Lowe's that we cut up into multiple pieces throughout the bus, which saved us some money.

Instead of making our own table leg, we bought a pre-made one from Lowe's. We ended up cutting off a couple inches from the top since we needed our table lower, but that wasn't difficult.

We wanted to make sure that the table leg was attached well so it wouldn't get kicked off after being bumped over time. To do this, we drilled some holes in both the butcher block and the table leg that lined up. We then glued and hammered in some dowels.

Once the table leg was attached, we were able to put the table in place. We attached it to the wall using two L shaped brackets. To give us as much leg room as possible, we avoided the decorative brackets that had a rod connecting the end making it a triangle.

Below you'll see a comparison of these L brackets. For this specific use, we preferred the style option on the left over the style option on the right for sake of leg room.

The Fold Out

Our idea for the table was that the section we would fold out is always attached so we don't have to store it somewhere. So we made a second table surface using the butcher block with the same dimensions as the first piece.

two layers of butcher block table for fold out dinette in skoolie conversion

We decided to use piano hinges because they are pretty unnoticeable and won't draw too much attention to themselves. The other hinge options would have been too bulky for our liking.

Having the piano hinge between the two table pieces made it a bit un-level on top. To fix this, we routed out a notch on both table pieces which allowed the hinges to be inset and make the table lay flush.

The Table Leg

While we won't have to store the table top somewhere else, we couldn't avoid the fact that the table leg needed to detach and be stored elsewhere.

We made the table leg out of 3/4" plywood and trimmed the edged with walnut. We've used walnut as trim throughout the bus and it's added a really nice touch to the cabinetry. We also stained and polyurethaned this to match the table.

Now for the fun part of how we get it to attach to the table foldout.

foldout table dinette in school bus skoolie conversion
Ta-da! There it is folded out and ready to use!

When the table is unfolded, it exposes three holes drilled in the side of the table. These holes are hidden when the table is closed. These holes line up with bolts we put in the table leg. This acts as a peg system to hold the two pieces together.

bolt peg system to attach table leg to fold out table
Here you can see the bolts going into the corresponding holes in the table.

To keep the table leg from slipping right out, we put hot glue on the bottom to add some grip.

Even with the table folded out and the table leg right on the end, there is enough room to pass by! This was a must for us since we didn't want to have anyone awkwardly trapped on one side of the table.

We're looking forward to having our first guests over so we can share a meal around this amazing table!

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Meet the Author


Hey! I'm Kaitlynn, a lover of the outdoors and all things travel. I quit my job to travel full-time with my husband, Matthew, in our skoolie. 

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Matt & Kate

Project 63 

Bringing you travel information and inspiration as we travel to all 63 National Parks.

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