Choosing a layout for your motorhome is a very personal choice. It can mean scouring different models for many weeks to find the perfect interior which suits personal preferences such as.
– sleeping arrangements
– living space
– design of washroom
– positioning of kitchen
The time spent trying out of a range of layouts is worth it though as the reality is you’re choosing a home from home and it needs to be comfortable in every way.
The choice for end layout is one of the most important parts of the motorhome to really think about. There are a number of options such as a U-shaped lounge, a kitchen the width of the back of the motorhome, fixed double or twin beds or an all-encompassing washroom.
There are pros and cons to each possibility and it comes down to what suits those who will call the space their home. A U-shaped lounge is a great space to relax in the evening, especially if the children have been put to bed towards the front of the vehicle. It does however mean it could need making into a bed every night which can be time-consuming after a busy day or a long trip. A kitchen means the cooking can take place in a dedicated area rather than the main ‘corridor’ of the motorhome which frees up precious living space. The possible issue is that many cookers are placed right next to the back door so there needs to be extra safety measures taken so that the chef of the group doesn’t fall down the step.
Beds can be walk around (also called island beds), twin, bunk beds or fixed at one side. Walk around beds are the ultimate luxury but do take up space unless it’s a very large vehicle such as an American RV. Twins are good for couples who don’t want to disturb each other in the night, bunk beds are great for children and a fixed bed is fantastic but with many having a cut off corner (known as a French bed), some may be too tall for them. There’s also a height issue to consider. Many modern motorhomes have under garages at the rear and this means that a rear bed will be accessible only with a ladder. Anyone with a mobility issue may find this a challenge each night.
An end bathroom is a great choice for anyone wanting the space to move around freely in a wet room shower with toilet in the same room; cubicle showers and separate toilets can sometimes be cramped so a bathroom at the rear is often top of the list for many.
Layouts in the front are usually either facing sofas which convert to a double bed, travelling seats with detachable tables which create eating areas or a corridor design.
Those who choose facing sofas have the best of many worlds. Long seating areas with a clear aisle in the middle mean good access from the cab. They are easy to convert into a bed and often have storage underneath. The only drawback is that they cannot legally be used as travelling seats.
Travelling seats with head rests and seatbelts are a very safe option for those with passengers in the rear of the vehicle. Many also convert to single or double beds and can instantly become a dining area but aren’t overly aesthetically ‘homely’ feeling due to the seat design.
The corridor design is popular and has the kitchen facing the bathroom. It creates a divide between the front layout and the rear and lots of owners like to feel they have small separate ‘rooms’ they are walking between.
Over cab beds have been a very common feature in motorhomes for the past few decades. Accessed with a ladder, they create a sleeping area whilst freeing up the rest of the motorhome for more spacious living arrangements. Opinion is divided on their use; some feel they are incredibly comfortable and love the fact they have a larger seating and cooking area whilst others find them claustrophobic or difficult to climb up to.
Recent motorhome designs are now replacing the over cab bed with an electronically operated drop-down bed in the centre of the vehicle. It means that the external design is much more ergonomic as there is no overhang at the front and the bed can be instantly dropped or raised when needed without the need to pack away bedding or rearrange the layout each day.
When choosing a motorhome, it’s crucial that lots of different layouts are explored. Check every element of the design to see that it really does tick all the boxes and don’t buy the wrong layout for the sake of speed of ownership. Wait until the right one comes along and you’ll have a much more relaxed and happy experience on your travels.