Easy RV Mod -> Re-String Your Reclining Chair (with Kitty Approval)

A properly strung recliner w/ paw approval
A properly strung recliner w/ paw approval

While I’m in the middle of socializing and gathering more cactus shots for you, I figured I would give you a little light entertainment with this (ridiculously) easy RV Mod. The key to this mod is actually two-fold:

1/ Buy the right cord
2/ Involve a feline friend

Indeed whereas my other RV mods have merely required furry approval, this one is best done with actual kitty involvement. In fact, I might go so far as to say your results will be inadequate without the appropriate paw-of-involvement. But I digress…

Our old cord was toast and had borken in many spots
Our old cord was toast and had broken in many spots

The basis for this mod is re-stringing the elastic cord (often called “shock cord” or “bungee cord”) on a recliner chair. We have some very basic no-name recliners that we bought at Camping World over 3 years ago. We love the chairs and apart from some rust they’re actually in pretty good shape. But the shock cord which holds the fabric to the metal frame had deteriorated completely, a pretty normal occurrence for something that sits outdoors in the elements all the time.

The 100-ft 1/4" cord from Amazon.com
The excellent 100-ft 1/4″ cord from Amazon.com

Now you can buy “repair kits” for certain types of recliner chairs (e.g. LaFuma chairs have this one), but generally the cord is of mediocre quality and/or the kits are expensive for what you get. The other alternative is to buy bungee or shock cord by the foot. Many stores (such as bungeecords or campmore or REI) offer this, but costs are often ~$0.50-$0.75 per foot depending on thickness. I managed to find an OUTSTANDING deal on Amazon HERE which offered 100 ft of 1/4″ cord for only $27, by far the best I’ve seen anywhere. This was more cord than I needed, but it was solid quality and I figured it would give me enough to re-string both our recliners for the next 5 years. DONE!

Once you have the cord the steps are easy:

  1. Cut off existing  cord, making a note of HOW it is wound onto your chair. The easiest way to do this is actually to tackle one side at a time, using the other side as reference before you cut it off.
  2. Start stringing the cord through the eyelets. Kitty will keep you alert and ensure you are hitting all the holes. If you lose the end of your cord, kitty will help you retrieve it.
  3. Once string is completely through, tie one end using a good non-slip knot (I personally like the Figure 8 knot, but you can use any you prefer).
  4. Progressively tighten the cord along the length of the chair, starting at the knotted end and pulling hard through each eyelet to remove slack until you get to the other end. Work this way along the chair several times to get a good, taut fit. Kitty will observe and approve. Once one side is taught, string the other side and tighten that too before tieing off both sides in a final non-slip knot.
  5. Finish string ends by burning (to seal fibers) and covering with tape. This will prevent fraying.
  6. Complete final kitty test (see header shot)
The steps to re-string a reclining chair (with cat)
The steps to re-string a reclining chair (with cat)
Click HERE To Shop Amazon.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the product links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. That said, I only ever recommend products or services I personally use and love! Wheelingit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do

  1. says

    Good tip on the cord If I have to restring my recliner anytime soon, I will have to do without kitty supervision but perhaps one of the doxies will be able to fill the supervisor position. Now sit back and relax. I bet kitty will be glad to vibrate you to sleep.

    • libertatemamo says

      I admit that the re-stringing got side-tracked quite a few times w/ kitty play. Likely most furr-free folks will finish this mod in half the time I did :)

    • libertatemamo says

      Yup, our cats (especially Taggart) must be invovled in EVERYTHING. Usually she’s glued to us wherever we go.

    • libertatemamo says

      The kitties are available for technical consultations…at a price of course. They expect undying devotion & endless petting :)

    • libertatemamo says

      Yeah, not sure how useful I would be without the paws…it’s a symbiotic relationship (or am I their slave….hmmm…not quite sure) :)

  2. MarciaGB says

    This is super helpful. I just noticed mine are getting frayed so I’ll take your great advice and order from Amazon today. Thanks and have a great day!

  3. Beverly K says

    Nina, Your kitty is so well behaved and doesn’t run off chasing a gheko. My cats would be gone. Just love all of your “how to’s”. Someday they just may come in handy when we are RVing like you and Paul. Can you tell me “how to” get a photo in the box next to my posting?

  4. Alison says

    Hi Nina, totally random comment, and forgive me if you have already addressed this in the blog, but do you have a clothes washer/dryer in the Beast? How do you handle laundry with all your fab boondocking? Thanks so much! Alison

    • libertatemamo says

      Yes we do, but we don’t use it boondocking. Too much water goes into that thing. Usually we handle laundry at a laundromat while in the boonies…or wait until we have a few days of hookups and then do them in the rig.

  5. Vivian E. van Dijk says

    Hi Nina. Been following your travels for lo these many years … however, I’ve not as yet seen any of your blogs with “food” as the subject.

    I’m really interested in how you guys manage the purchasing, planning, etc., of groceries and menus. We’re not full time, but do spend a lot of time in our motorhome. Right now we’re in Yuma. (Lots of fresh lettuce.) So this subject is of interest to me – how do other people do this? And what do they eat? Would appreciate your thoughts in some later post perhaps?

    • libertatemamo says

      Hi Vivian,
      It’s a good question. I’ve written a few times about food but mostly regarding farmer’s markets and grass-fed meats (www.eatwild.com). We try to hit farmers markets everywhere we can and will sometimes drop into farms to buy our meat (we’ve even driven “the beast” into a few of them!). I try to plan my menus around whatever fresh/healthy food I can find and will shop/keep around a week’s worth in the fridge.I also LOVE meals that last mult-days…so roasts in the oven and stews in the pressure cooker. Plus I get no end of joy out of our wok (such a multi-purpose tool).
      But it’s a good basis for a future post! If I get time I’ll write a more detailed post on it.

  6. says

    Looks like you are having a great time F/Ting. As for your taping the ends of the bungee, I’ve found electrical shrink tubing works great on different cords to keep stiff for threading and to keep from fraying. We’ve been F/T for 9 years and at the 2014 Escapee Escapade in Goshen IN at present.

  7. Jacki says

    Hi Nina
    This is just the advice I needed as we just noticed our cord is disintegrating.
    Thanks so much for your website. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for because we also travel doggy style with Honey Bear and Tuka and are looking for good weather, natural beauty, space and dog friendly places. Great job !!

  8. Sarah foepp says

    Thanks you made this so easy I was wondering how I was going to repair my chair. I have been using actual bungee cords. Having a red headed female is quite rare. They are my favorite kitty

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