Let us help you through the different types of motorhome layout options that people should think about when buying their new motorhome.
If you haven’t read it yet, we have also written an article which will help you choose which type of motorhome you can buy. It has some careful questions that you should consider.
So without further ado – lets talk about the matter of interest
What layout should I choose for my motorhome or campervan?
Although the choices are absolutely vast, when it comes to the actual layout, you can divide into key areas:
- What type of bedroom layout do I want?
- What type of living space do I want?
- How does my bathroom function?
- How does the kitchen area function?
- How many people do I need to sleep in it.
- How many seatbelts do I need.
- How much space does it have for storage
- How big is the garage space with the motorhome.
Lets start with your motorhome bedroom layout
It’s a pretty key area this – you spend approx. a third of your life asleep, so it needs to be right!
The bigger the motorhome you buy, the more difficult it will be to find a motorhome layout that does not have a fixed bed.
In a smaller motorhome, you may find that the lounge area then becomes the bedroom area. You remove the table, or lower it down and this forms the base for some cushion rearranging.
In the higher end, more modern motorhomes, you may have an electric drop down bed. Be mindful of this if you want to spend a lot of time wild camping or off grid. Beds that lower down like this use electricity from your leisure battery.
- Do I want a fixed bed or not?
- Do I want a transverse bed (a bed across the back of a motorhome)
- What about a French Bed?
- Do I want a raised bed?
- Do I want an island bed?
- Do I want twin beds.
- How many beds do I need?
- Do I need all bed all the time or will some be made up if we need them?
Overview of the key bed styles
Fixed Rear Bed
Is just that – a bed that is fixed and a full time space in the motorhome. Even in smaller motorhome you can get a fixed bed (we have one). The fixed bed can will be either transverse (at the back) or it can be down the side at the back. Both types will involve climbing over each other in the night as the one nearest the ‘wall’ tries to get over the one in the front! These are often ‘French beds’ which are narrower at the foot end. It’s usually to save space. i.e. We have a fixed, transverse, French bed (the space saving gives us the room for a shower). The fixed bed is raised- which makes for more garage room storage at the back.
These are available in more modern motorhomes. They sit in the middle of the motorhome at the back and allow access from both sides. Just like in a house. You are unlikely to find this bedroom layout in the smaller motorhomes as you have access from both sides of the bed which takes up space. You need to be able to walk around the bed to get in it so they are not transverse. A lovely grown up bed!
Nothing kinky going on here. Just a version of a fixed bed which generally appears at the back or the front of the motorhome. When you want to go to bed, you press a button and lower the bed down to cover the seating area. The mattress is all in place and made up, or you may want to add further pillows and duvet on and off you go. There are two things to consider here.
- If you only have a rear living room, and the bed is over it – at night time, once the bed comes down – there is no seating – unless you have a second lounge of course.
- As previously mentioned – it is about electricity used if you do a lot of wild camping. Electricity is a precious commodity when the sun isn’t shining on your solar panels.
This is the final type of bedroom layout that you will find in a motorhome. A whole bed to yourself – a good nights sleep! Normally with one on either side of the motorhome at the back and a small central ‘bedside table’ to share. Nice for a morning kiss and cuppa.
All of the above can be accompanied by various other bed options. You may have a second fixed bed over the driving cab of your motorhome. A variety of living seating arrangements that fold down to make additional double or single beds. You can even get bunk beds, which is great when you have children that you need to take on your motorhoming holidays.
What kind of bedroom layout do you prefer? It may change after you have tried a few out and looked at a few motorhomes!
Moving on to the motorhome living room layout
There are generally 4 kinds motorhome living room layouts that are available:
- Front lounge lay out
- Twin Lounge layout (front and rear lounge)
- Back Lounge Layout
- Lounge/Kitchen layout (central)
Some of the front seats in the cab will swivel and lock into place and form part of a central living area, which is a useful design. It is also good for security too!
The designs can be anything depending on the length of your motorhome. I simply don’t have the space to put down all the combinations that you could have based on 2 / 4 / 6 berth with front lounge. The rear of the vehicle could have a back lounge, a transverse bed, a bathroom, a side French bed with bathroom, a central bed with side wardrobes.
The questions that you can answer is how important is that living space to you?
- How many people need to sit round a table to eat.
- Do you need to have the ability to use the lounge and the bedroom at the same time?
- Is it sufficient to have one side of the lounge as a single bed and the other side as a sofa?
- Do you need space for the adults and a space you want to allocate for the kids to use?
- Do you need space to work in your motorhome and how does that work with everything else that the living space needs to do?
How much motorhome garage space and storage is needed
This is really important for your motorhome layout. You will probably find that the longer you plan to stay in your motorhome at any one time, the more storage you will need in it.
If you are going to live in your motorhome there are some different considerations to be made. You won’t be able to ‘pack up the awning and stick it in the living room’ if you are going to be living in it all the time. Trust me – nothing is worse that wanting to have a lie down, but finding stuff all over the bed. Or wanting to drive off, only to find the front seats are taken up with ‘stuff’. You really need to keep your space organised so that your van stays a nice liveable space to be in. Clear van – uncluttered mind!
We have a nice big garage under our bed. You can access it in two ways.
- Lifting up the metal frame from the inside.
- On either side of Freddy on the outside through the garage doors.
We keep big plastic 70l plastic boxes in there to keep everything tidy and organised. We have an inflatable kayak, the fishing rod, the BBQ/firepit, generateor and spare cassettes for the toilet in the garage as well. We needed plenty of room in the garage.
And so . . .
Concluding our knowledge on what to look out for when thinking about your motorhome layout – the absolute key question really is
‘HOW WILL YOU BE USING YOUR MOTORHOME OR CAMPERVAN?’
Spend some time thinking about it – start creating a list of ‘must haves’ vs ‘nice to haves’
We did this – our must have was:
- Fixed rear bed (for the views!)
- Shower and toilet.
- Living room seating where we were able to look at each other as well as out of the window.