The office setup in our RV has long been a problem. It worked, but it was not ideal. I had turned the RV dinette table into my office area: the height was all wrong and the chair was only comfortable for maybe the first hour. From an ergonomic standpoint, my setup was a nightmare. I was having issues with wrist and elbow pain, shoulder stiffness, etc. We knew this just wasn’t going to work long term.
It was also a major pain every time we moved (which is anywhere from every 1 to 4 weeks). I had unscrewed the table from the floor to move it out farther and give me more room, but lost the original holes in the floor (oops!). So every time we moved, we had to not only put everything away (we would store the monitor on the floor between the bed and the wall), but we also had to flip the table over and strap it down to the floor because it’s so top heavy.
After taking some measurements it would seem my options were going to be limited, but I knew what I needed:
- A desk that I did not have to flip when moving
- Able to adjust the height so I could alternate between sitting and standing
After lots of searching, I found the perfect desk base on Amazon: the VIVO Black Electric Stand Up Desk Frame. It’s a bit pricey ($284.99), but the product is solid, and the motor is super quiet. You can also program several desk heights to easily move between standing and sitting with just a click of a button.
Now we needed to figure out what to use as the desktop. Originally I considered having a woodworking shop create something for me out of reclaimed wood, and I still may eventually, but my wife had the brilliant idea of just buying some plywood from Home Depot so I can get up and running quickly. Scarlett spent the next few days outside our RV sanding and staining the wood to get it ready for me while I continued working on a make-shift desk. We ended up dropping off the RV dinette at her brothers house while passing through South Carolina.
The lights above my office space were blinding. I’m not a fan of working under LED lights at all, and that’s the type of lighting that fills our RV. Since my desk is right next to our recliners, I really wanted something that I could attach to the desk, but also swing over and use while sitting on the recliner. The Globe Electric Architect 32″ Swing-Arm Clamp-on lamp was the perfect fit ($21.52).
Monitor and Keyboard
Since my desk could only be a maximum of 41″ wide, the base for my monitor took up most of my new desk space. As you can see below, once I added the keyboard, mouse, and laptop there was just nothing left.
One of my biggest complaints with this monitor is the fact that the base doesn’t allow it to swivel…at all. I will often turn the monitor to watch videos while doing dishes or cooking so I really wanted something that would free up space and allow me to swivel the monitor around so I can view it from different parts of the trailer. I ordered the AmazonBasics Premium Single Monitor Stand ($99.99) and it’s perfect. I can even work from my recliner!
The final piece was the keyboard tray. I didn’t need this item, the desk had room, but it all felt super cluttered. Plus the desk can only go down so low, and I’m a shortie, so even with the desk all the way down, I still had to raise the office chair enough so my feet weren’t flat on the floor. Having the keyboard tray solved this problem. It also freed up a bunch of space on my desk. I chose a product that didn’t require being screwed into the desk since the desktop isn’t all that thick to begin with. The Stand Up Desk Store compact clamp-on keyboard tray ($44.00) works perfectly for my needs.
Finally, I also bought a Monitor Stand Riser ($15.29) so I could stack stuff on my desk neatly. I’m not 100% sold on this part of my solution though. The stand is really well made, but I feel like there should be something out there that gives me a place to put my docked laptop that has storage a little more easily accessible.
And here it is! My new office space. Not too shabby, eh?
Oh and a note about my desk chair. My company bought me a beautiful office chair but it didn’t fit in our original tiny trailer so it’s in storage. For now I’m using a cheapie from Office Depot, but I’ll be picking up my real chair when we hit Colorado again in the summer.
2 thoughts on “RV Customizations: Office Space”
Very nice mod! We too, are going to be living full time in our 2019 Solitude in a few months. I will still need to work, while my wife retires from her travel agent career of 30 years. I’m sure I will need to set up a work station like yours as well. Thanks for posting/blogging your efforts and ideas.
Hi Keith! Congratulations on going nomad soon! It was the best decision we ever made. If you need to be online for work, I recommend getting a couple hotspots, the campground wifi’s are usually terrible and unreliable. We have an AT&T hotspot as well as a Verizon one and invested some money in a cellular amplifier to get better signals. Works great and we’re really happy with it. My desk is a dream…working from the dinette is no fun at all. If you end up doing a mod I’d love to see pictures of your setup! Good luck and happy travels!