RV Desk Ideas for working on the road

RV’ing has become not only a great hobby, but now more than ever it has become a lifestyle. Lots of people have elected to live and work in their RV’s, especially during these hard times. Here are some awesome RV desk ideas to try, including my own DIY version.

RV desk ideas

We use our RV as a “home away from home” at our seasonal campground in the White Mountains. And I found myself still wanting to work on the blog while away camping. I found it difficult to find a place where I could work that I didn’t have to break down to get out of the way for the next task.

So, I decided that I needed to find a designated area where I could work comfortably, that was multi purpose, and a place that I didn’t have to clean up after I was done only to set it all back up again later.

To see this RV’s complete makeover check out my post “RV renovation, farmhouse style”

Our convertible sofa, which is across from our kitchen, was a barely used area that had potential for something greater. Honestly, I wanted to just rip it out and use the space for more storage. But my husband was, and still is, hesitant about that because of resale value. So, I came up with an idea that leaves the sofa, but lets me use the space for multiple purposes. This is just one of many great RV desk ideas in this post.

RV desk area before
Before adding desk

Okay, so this RV project was so easy but made a huge difference in the overall use of space.

Because I had to leave the sofa, I decided to build a desk area on top of the sofa. I made the RV desk removable for those rare occasions that we needed to use the sofa for guests to sleep.

The first thing I did was nail and glue (liquid nails) one short piece (approximately 2′) of a 2×2 board on the wall to the right of the sofa, at the same height as the back of the banquet seating on the left. I used very short nails just to hold the wood until the glue set up as to not damage anything inside the wall of the slide-out.

I only needed to do this on the right side because I made the desk so it can sit on top of the banquet wall on the left side.

RV desk idea

If you have a space where you want a desk between two walls then you would just attach a 2×2 on both left and right walls at the same height. And for more durability you can also attach a 2×2 on the back wall. I didn’t need to attach anything to the back wall because my desktop sits on the back of the sofa.

I purchased a sheet of 3/4″ finish grade plywood and had it cut to size at the store. You will need to measure your space and have your wood cut to the appropriate size for you.

In hindsight, I should have used something thicker to prevent sagging in the middle. I think this happened because my desk area is as long as the sofa, which is too long to not have support in the middle. I ended up making a free standing support leg to fix this.

For you I would suggest using something that is at least 1″ thick to prevent this from happening or you could also use a leg. I would have loved to use butcher block, but I’m worried it may be too heavy for the camper! That stuff weights a ton!

RV desk area
After adding the desk

Now this is where you can get creative. I chose to cover my plywood with a faux painted wood wallpaper. This way I can change up the look if I want to later. But, you can paint it or stain it however you want to coordinate with your RV’s interior. Make sure you use finish grade plywood if you are going to stain your desktop.

Then your simply going to sit the wood top onto the 2×2 wall pieces! Now add a chair or stool and you have a designated office area that is completely removable.

If you want to make your small space feel bigger, read my post “How to make a small space feel bigger” and learn all my tips and tricks.

RV desk ideas

If you liked my DIY desk idea, here are some other great RV desk ideas that are just as convertible and space saving…

RV desk idea #1… Multi functional freestanding desk/coffee table

RV desk idea flip top coffee table
TANGKULA Coffee Table Lift Top

A lift top table is a great idea if you have room in your living area. This table provides storage both hidden and for decorative use. You could easily store your office supplies in the storage under the lift top when your not working.

RV desk idea #2… Folding shelf brackets

RV desk ideas, folding shelf brackets
Folding Shelf Hinge Wall Mounted, Heavy Duty 304 Stainless Steel Collapsible Shelf Bracket

A folding shelf is a great way to create an office space that folds out of the way when your not using it. These brackets are very sturdy and you can place them where ever you need them and just add a top. Get creative like in the image above. The possibilities are endless.

RV desk idea #3… Use some wall space in your RV

RV desk ideas, fold down shelf desk
Fold Out Convertible Desk with A Chalkboard

How about using wall decor that converts into furniture? This storage wall cabinet acts as a chalkboard when not in use, then turns into a desk when your ready to work.

Here’s another one with a tall cabinet that sits on the floor. Lots of organized storage with this option!

Here is another RV renovation that I did with an older travel trailer. “Camper remodel before and after”

RV desk idea #4… Folding computer desk/table

Using a folding table is another great RV desk idea because you can use it anywhere you need it, and you can fold it up and slide it away when you don’t.

RV desk ideas #5… Sofa tables

Why not get dual use out of your furniture? A sofa slide table can be used as a permanent side table and pulled around to the front when you need to work.

RV desk idea #6… Convertible shelving

This idea is one of my favorite RV desk ideas and actually for any small space! You get a great looking shelving unit that converts into a desk by simply swinging the top around in any direction! And it’s on wheels! I love it!

RV desk idea #7… Lap Tables/desks

This lap desk is great because it’s height is adjustable and it folds up flat. With this type of desk you can work anywhere… In bed, on the sofa, or even at the campfire!

RV desk idea #8… TV/Snack Trays

And finally, never forget about your good ‘ole TV trays! Find a good over-sized set and you’ll have tables for multiple uses including your mobile office desk.

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  1. Hi! Looks like a great idea. We are looking at taking the little sofa out for a desk area too!! My only question is how do you sit at the desk when the sofa is where your legs would go?

    1. I have a stool that I sit at and my knees kind of go over the sofa. However I use this space mostly for my printer and Cricut machine when I’m crafting or as extra storage space for the kitchen area when I’m not actively using it.

    1. Hi Lisa, in our Rv there are two walls that I could rest the top against or we can slide it into our storage compartment from the outside. As far as the other ideas some slide under the furniture or fold up against the wall. I hope this helps, Lori