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Understanding Motorhome Layouts


Everyones needs are different

That's why there are so many motorhome models to choose from. To help you get some idea of how different body types and layouts suit different lifestyles, here are three hypothetical situations, the needs they generate and what types of motorhomes could work for them:
 
1 - The Young Family:

Pete and Kate have two children aged 5 and 9. They want to enjoy family holidays for up to a fortnight at a time during school holidays and weekends away at other times. They might like to take one or two of the kids' friends, or maybe even add to their own family in the future.
The Need: Essentially the first need here is for a motor home with a minimum of 4 seatbelts, preferably more. Given the ages of the children now, they will only get bigger and will need to sleep separately. There will also be a need for storage of family gear including toys and possibly bicycles.
The Layout: A "Family Class" layout with a bunk beds at one end for the kids, a dinette in the middle and an overcab double bed at the front for Mum & Dad will allow the kids to go to bed and give Mum & Dad some seating for relaxing late in the evening. If there are additional persons then the dinette will convert into an extra bed. Many bunk bed designs have generous storage underneath the bottom bunk which can be made larger by raising the bunk.Further storage is provided on layouts with a rear garage, which is often large enough to accommodate a lightweight motorcycle.
  
2 - The Couple:

Sam and Chris have grown up children and are looking forward to having more time for themselves. They would like to explore Greece initially and maybe then on into Europe. As they are not restricted by school holidays this could be at any time of year, possibly up to 3 weeks at a time. They both enjoy walking and the countryside.
The Need: As there is no requirement for more than two people, 2 seatbelts are sufficient, however 4 would allow some flexibility for others to join them or perhaps grandchildren. A reasonable amount of storage is required for their hobby gear as well as their personal effects, especially on longer trips. The vehicle must not so long as to be a hindrance in small villages and areas of interest.
The Layout: Many people in similar circumstances would opt for a "Mobility Class", fixed bed layout motorhome. These start from around 5.7 meters (19') in length. The low level bed is always available, saves having to climb up into bed and offers useful storage underneath. Many motorhomes of this type have an external access door to the under bed storage. The low-profile roofline is generally more esthetically pleasing and gives a slightly better fuel consumption than a similar sized over cab design.
 
3 - The Long-Termers:

Pat and Tom are looking forward to retirement and the possibility of holidaying for months at a time. They are considering exploring Greece or Europe at their own pace, perhaps with a view to buying property.
The Need: Is for a quality built motorhome that can stand the rigours of use every day for weeks at a time. It must have good insulation for the heat as well as the cold, plus above average storage, not just for personal effects, but also for water, outside furniture, barbeque etc, perhaps even a scooter. Lounging space also needs to be comfortable and not cramped. The bed must be available easily without having to be made up from cushions and boards.
The Layout: To make the best possible use of available space requires a "Premium Class". The cab area, fully integrated into the motorhome body, becomes much larger than a coachbuilt cab and will normally have a double bed which lowers complete from the roof over the swivelling cab seats, which in turn make the most of the available lounging space. The majority of 'A' class motorhomes also have double floors which facilitate extra storage and help to keep the living area well insulated.
There are many possibilities of course outside these examples and everyones' needs are different.
Ultimately every motorhome has some level of compromise and the trick is to minimise the compromises!