Fixed beds are the most comfortable, but they can be restrictive. Corner beds have cut-off corners, reducing one partner’s legroom. Overcab and garage beds may have restricted headroom and one partner will have to climb over the other to leave the bed during the night.
Mattress quality is important: a seating group bed may make up quickly into a perfectly comfortable bed… or it may not – you must try it out to see for yourself!
Colour is a matter of taste, but how might the fabrics wear over time and would they be likely to put off other buyers when you come to sell? Also consider how different styles may favour certain seasons: dark woods can be a bit oppressive in summer, and bright colour schemes can appear cold in winter.
If the motorhome is in a well-lit showroom, try closing the blinds to judge what the electric lights are like. Try to assess how much daylight the windows and roof lights will provide on dull or rainy days
Consider storage space, equipment, and work surface area. And, are you likely to use an oven or a separate freezer compartment enough to justify the space they use? If you plan to stay exclusively on sites with electricity, a microwave could be practical. If you’re unsure about how much space you will need, consider a week’s touring and what you might be cooking. Also consider how others may be affected: can they sit comfortably in the lounge while someone is cooking?
Consider if there is enough headroom for the tall people in your family to be able to stand up straight, or manoeuvre throughout the motorhome? Can two people pass each other when one is seated, or working in the kitchen? Can you get to the toilet when other occupants are asleep?
If children are using the motorhome, are there separate areas where they can read, sleep, and keep their things? And are there clear pathways, at their height, with no sharp edges?
If you plan to stay on sites all the time, the toilet or shower space is not a major consideration as long as it’s OK for occasional use. Many washrooms are narrow, so the simplest way to test whether there’s enough room for your needs is to pretend to shower and wash etc. If you plan to camp away from facilities, how easily can all occupants get to the bathroom in the morning and is there room for everyone’s towels and toothbrushes?
Many motorhomes have only two belted seats. Also, some travel seats are not permitted to be used on a 3.5-tonne chassis (to which some drivers are restricted). But more seats don’t necessarily mean a bigger motorhome: some campers can seat up to seven, while most coach-sized US RV’s seat only two. Remember that using all the travel seats will take up some of your payload.
Among other decisions you must make are – what weight of vehicle you can legally drive? The amount of space you have in which to park the motorhome? What size of motorhome you feel most comfortable driving? It is important to answer these points before looking at any motorhomes as you will invariably want to buy the biggest model possible to gain the maximum amount of living space. Try to be realistic in your choice – you will not enjoy owning a motorhome if you are dreading maneuvering it into your driveway at the finish of each trip!
This becomes more crucial the longer you spend in the motorhome. If you like reclining, is there somewhere to rest your head, or position a cushion? Could one of the beds be used as a sofa? Could the swivel seats become recliners? If you plan to use your motorhome for active family trips, you may prefer a dinette which would be better for mealtimes. Can everyone see the TV? If you like socialising, can four or more people sit around with a cup of tea, and come and go in comfort?
Consider a change of circumstances. If your eldest child has just got married, or you plan to have a child yourself, how could a floor plan cope with new occupants or visitors for a day, or a week? Maybe you will retire soon and take longer trips than you have in the past, or perhaps visit friends?
How many people can sit at the table and comfortably reach their plates? Check for table extensions and adjustment mechanisms. If there are swivel cab seats, can the height be adjusted so that shorter occupants can reach the table? And, can both swivel seats be occupied without neighbours knocking knees? Finally, how easy is it to serve food to the table from the kitchen?
This is just a brief introduction into some of the things you will find inside a motorhome. Keep these in mind next time you’re looking to buy a new model and its quite likely you’ll end up with the model that’s right for you.