The final segment of the living room tour of our 2018 Grand Design Reflection 312BHTS brings us to the dinette, front door, and entry hallway. Not only is this the first space you see when coming into the rig, it’s also the only real choke-point in this floor plan. That little hallway is a busy pathway, but it doesn’t handle two-way traffic very well! The bathroom door is directly opposite the main door you see in the photo, and the master bedroom is behind the door with the mirror, so we’re going one direction or another through there all the time. Luckily this all opens up quickly into the living room, as you’ve seen in the previous four posts. Let’s talk about the dinette first and work our way towards the front.
More Than Just a Dining Table
The kids eat at the dinette for pretty much every meal but it’s not really big enough for all five of us, nor is it super comfortable for us adults. Therefore, we let the kids spread out and eat there while we either eat standing in the kitchen or sitting in the recliners. When it’s not being used for meals, it’s either one of Vector’s many sleeping spots (as seen above) or Terra’s space for taking care of her school work.
There is a BUNCH of storage under those benches. The cushions and an underlying piece of plywood lift up and the entire inside of those boxes is wide open. We have various bins and chunky items under there, including our printer. We found that power strip at, you guessed it, IKEA. It clamps onto the table and serves as a great place for us to plug in all sorts of electronics. There is an outlet down there near the floor but it is a PAIN to get to, so this was a great find that has definitely made life easier.
As if all of that wasn’t enough, the dinette can also convert into a “bed” of sorts. The table easily pops off of its legs and sits on little rails just below the front of the cushions. Then the cushions all lay across the new bench-table-bench surface and make an oddly-shaped bed. Our kids LOVE when we convert it into the bed thing because it’s another space for them to cover with blankets and stuffed animals. No adults have attempted to sleep on it yet though, and we imagine it’s not terribly comfortable.
The Entry to Our Home
We’ve added quite a few things to our front door for both safety and convenience. The three horizontal bars across the middle are actually a single push-bar unit that gives us a sturdier place to push and pull on the door that’s not the screen itself. We also added a screen door grate to the bottom to keep the dog and small children from damaging the screen, or potentially breaking through is when the main door is closed.
The third security measure is actually the single most important modification we’ve made to our rig. One question we see online ALL THE TIME from parents of small kids is “How do we keep the little kids from accidentally opening the door and falling out?” There aren’t any good RV industry-provided solutions to this problem like the door bars and screen door grates, but there are a couple great homemade fixes. Some people swing the outside railing/handle thing inwards to “pin” the screen door closed, but this only works if the main door is open and it was quickly defeated by both of our littles. Others install baby gates, but that’s not possible in our rig’s configuration with no walls on either side of the door, nor did we want to add any more bulk to an already skinny hallway.
A Child-Proof Front Door
That’s where the most simple, tiny, and cheap solution popped into our heads. We ran out to Home Depot and bought a sash lock.
After installing this lock vertically on the screen door and frame, we have had ZERO issues with either of the littles opening the door. Not only does it work when we have the main door open, it also keeps them from opening the main door when everything is closed up. The install was 4 screws, took about 2 minutes, and has been invaluable. We’ve actually incorporated it in our regular “locking up” routine because we’re pretty sure the door would break before that lock would fail.
To choose the placement of the lock, Erin stood outside on the steps and reached in through the little opening (with the sliding plastic cover) and stretched her hand as high as she comfortably could. I made a mark and installed the lock in that spot. You can see it in the photo above about halfway up the window on the door. This allows us to lock and unlock the door from outside as well as inside. It’s actually pretty amazing how such a small thing can give you such peace of mind. We don’t ever worry about one of the littles getting out on purpose or by accident.
Busy Little Hallway
There was only a single set of coat hooks in the front hallway from the factory. We needed a lot more space for things like jackets, hats, flashlights, and Vector’s leash, so we broke out the trusty Command Hooks and got to sticking. Now we have plenty of spots to hang the things we grab when we head out the door. We also wanted a tall mirror somewhere in the RV for checking out outfits and putting it on the outside of the master door made the most sense. Unfortunately we couldn’t get Command Strips to hold that mirror up so we had to screw it into the door, but we’re pretty sure it’s a welcome “permanent” modification whenever we sell this RV in the future.
And that’s it for the living room / kitchen / pantry / school house / dining room / home theater / front door / entry hall / coat room of our home on wheels! We’re going to take a short break in this series and will be back next week with the bathroom, master bedroom, and a good look at the outside areas of this RV. If you’re enjoying this in-depth look, make sure to bookmark our site, subscribe to us on YouTube, and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Patreon.