What Is A Jackknife Sofa?

So, what is a jackknife sofa? If you’re new to the world of RVing, it can be hard trying to understand all the new terminology that you have to learn. In this article, we will be covering one of those terms – a jackknife sofa.

A jackknife sofa is a couch that can be pulled out and turned into a bed. A jackknife sofa is a common piece of furniture in RVs as they save space by doubling up as a couch and a bed.

What is a Jackknife Sofa?

A jackknife sofa is a sofa bed for an RV, they are typically lighter, easier to move and the pull out mechanism takes up less space than a residential sofa bed. They are also more affordable than other hidden bed solutions. 

At first glance, they look like a regular two or three seater sofa, and are usually made from leather. If you take a closer look you will see that there is a mechanism on the underside that allows easy conversion into a bed when the seat is pulled. Because of the cushions on the sofa, there is no need to worry about a mattress for the bed, as it’s already comfortable.

Jackknife sofas come in a range of sizes from as small as 60 inches to 75 inches, so they should be able to fit into most RVs without taking up more space than necessary.

what is a jack knife sofa

What Are The Benefits Of A Jackknife Sofa?

There are lots of benefits for getting a jackknife sofa in your RV, here are some of the main ones.


Value for money should always be one of the most important factors, and jackknife sofas offer plenty of value for money. They are much more affordable than other pull out options.

Jackknife sofas are the most affordable way to provide extra sleeping for your guests.

Space Saving

The jackknife sofas are great space savers, as they perform two functions. They are also more compact than other pull out solutions. As we all know space is the most valuable thing in all RVs.

Easy To Use

Jackknife sofas are really easy to use, you just pull the seat of the sofa until it lays flat. Other pull out sofas can be more complicated. 

Also because they are lighter than other options they are easier to move too. This makes them easy to maneuver and install in your RV.

Perfect For Guests

Jackknife sofas are the perfect solution for guests that are staying in your RV. They convert in a matter of seconds, and your guest has a comfortable bed to sleep on. Some larger sofas have enough room for two people.

what is a jackknife sofa

How to Look After A Jackknife Sofa

Looking after a jackknife sofa isn’t much different from caring for a regular couch. Keep it as clean as possible, I like to use a handheld vacuum cleaner to clean up larger debris. 

Use a damp cloth to clean stains. You can use a stain remover if needed. Read the manufacturer’s instructions to find cleaning instructions or unsuitable products.

The only difference from a regular sofa is the mechanism that turns the couch into a bed, check that you have enough room to fully extend. You don’t want to scratch or tear the sofa because it doesn’t have enough room.

How does a jackknife sofa work?

Jackknife sofas are really easy to use, to convert into a bed just pull the seat forward and it will slide out and into a bed. To convert it back, just pull the backrest section up and it should slide back into a couch.

It has a sliding mechanism on the base that lets you convert it by just pulling it in the direction you want it to go.

What size bed is a jackknife sofa?

The size of the bed the jackknife sofa turns into is dependent on the initial size of the sofa. A smaller jackknife sofa ranging from 55” to 62” will be comfortable for a single person. A sofa that’s bigger than 62” should be able to fit two people comfortably as a bed.

Can an RV jackknife sofa be slept on every day?

If you get a good quality jackknife sofa you can sleep on it every day. I would recommend making it more comfortable as a bed by adding a foam pad or mattress topper. Other than that there is no problem using it every day.

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