It’s all about the floor plan

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fifth-wheel-floorplans

So first you had to choose a type of RV and in case of a Travel Trailer or 5th wheel also a tow truck. Next up is a floor plan. The misses is the biggest decision maker in this as she needs to be happy with the whole thing.

This is hard to do but here are some considerations:

Create a checklist of your biggest priorities in a RV, and then take the list with you when shopping to decide on the type of  bathroom, kitchen and bedroom style you prefer and don’t forget the storage space.

Size
After deciding what type of RV you want, you will need to consider the size. For instance, travel trailers come in sizes from very small 12 ft. models, and go up to 40 ft. with three or more slide outs.

Among other decisions you must make are: what weight of vehicle you can legally drive or tow, the amount of space you have in which to park the RV, and what size of ’van you feel most comfortable driving. Confirm these points before looking at any RV because 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.

The future

Consider a change of circumstance. 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, or perhaps visit friends in the Netherlands? If you’re a couple, will there be enough room to keep out of each others hair?

Beds

Fixed beds are the most comfortable, but they have their limitations. Corner beds have cut-off corners, reducing one partner’s legroom.Over cab and garage beds may have restricted headroom and one partner will have to climb over the other to leave the beds during the night. Mattress quality is worth checking, too. Go lay on the bed together and see if the space is comfortable. (Watch your head when you sit up)

Ambiance
Color 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? Consider how different styles favor certain seasons: dark woods can be a bit oppressive in summer, and bright color schemes can appear cold in winter. Try to assess how much daylight the windows and roof-light will provide on dull or rainy days.

Bathroom
When you start shopping, get into the shower and move around like you would taking a shower.

If you plan to stay on sites all the time, the bathroom or shower space is not a major consideration. Many bathrooms are narrow, so the simplest way to test whether there’s enough room for your needs is to physically act out showering and washing. If you plan to camp away from facilities, how easily can all occupants get to the bathroom in the morning?

Internal design

Is there enough headroom for you to be able to stand up straight, or maneuver easily? Can two people pass each other when one is seated or working in the kitchen? Can you get to the bathroom when other occupants are asleep? If children will use the RV, are there separate areas where they can read, sleep and keep their things?

Kitchen

Consider storage space, equipment and work / counter surface area. Are you likely to use an oven, microwave,  a separate freezer compartment enough to justify the space they take up?  If you’re unsure about how much space you will need, consider what you would cook in a week’s touring.

Dining
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? Also, can both swivel seats be occupied without neighbors knocking knees? Finally, how easy is it to serve food to the table from the kitchen?

Relax area

This becomes more crucial the longer you spend in the ’van. 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 ’van for active family trips, you may prefer a dinette (better for mealtimes than for lounging).

TAKE NOTES
In the time you are shopping and looking for the right floor plan. take notes what you like, dislike and the brand, model and dealer where you looked at the RV.
A little video about floor plans:

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