Over the decades that motorhomes, campervans and caravans have been in production, manufacturers have tweaked interior designs in a continuing effort to maximise the available space for those looking to buy or considering motorhome hire in North Wales, and enjoy some time on the road. Convenience as well as comfort has been high on the agenda from the very beginning – and now there are more options than ever.
Most often a reasonable clue as to the layout of a leisure vehicle can be gained from one basic piece of information, one answer to a simple question – how many berths is it? A berth is the available space for a single person to sleep – so, then, a two berth motorhome is likely to be a smaller and more compact motorhome which is suitable for two people to sleep in (and so on). A four berth motorhome is great for small families, and a six berth motorhome is likely to be a larger vehicle which can handle the demands of bigger touring parties.
Having said all that, the art of motorhome layout design is in making more berths available in a smaller space but without compromising on the overall comfort of the interior. This has led to some ingenious solutions, and we’ll look at some of them here.
The different types of motorhome beds
- Convertible seating
Most common in motorhomes is a ‘dual use’ scenario. The living area / social space in a motorhome usually comprises some form of seating (benches, sofas) which can be ‘folded down’ and converted into bedding. Perhaps there are two benches in the living areas which become two single beds or bench seating which becomes a double bed. Happily, this convertible seating is manufactured for comfort as well as convenience, so you’ll definitely get a good night’s rest and not feel like you are, basically, sleeping on a sofa!
- Drop down bed
One of the major benefits of this type of bed is that it can increase the berth capability of a motorhome without drastically affecting the potential layout. Arguably the ultimate in convenience, a drop down bed is a double bed which resides in the ceiling area of the motorhome when not in use. When required, it can be ‘dropped down’ (usually by an electronic mechanism) into the living area. A drop down bed is usually sited over the convertible seating below and accessed via a small ladder once it is in position. A drop down bed, therefore, immediately increases the available bed space. If you are a couple travelling without family or guests, a drop down bed can be a hugely attractive feature as it means you don’t have to go through the process of converting the living area seating every bedtime.
- Bunk beds
Often towards the rear of a motorhome and spanning its width (though in some layouts sited down one side), bunk beds offer the convenience of two ‘stacked’ beds. Usually single beds, so used for children or guests, a bunk bed is the name given to one single bed positioned above another. The smart thing about including them in motorhomes is that you are using vertical space rather than horizontal – space which would otherwise be ‘wasted’.
- Fixed island bed
This is a permanently sited double bed, usually towards the rear of the motorhome and pointing either in towards the rest of the layout or across it (transverse). Often it’s in a partially enclosed area, so offers a bit of a separate bedroom feel, which can be great for privacy. An island bed will, like your bed at home, have simple access to either side – so there’s no clambering over someone to get to the bathroom in the middle of the night!
- French bed
As a fixed double bed which is positioned lengthways down one side of the motorhome, a French bed feels cosy and tucked away conveniently – accessible from one of its bottom corners. French beds are positioned at the rear of the vehicle and often have a wardrobe or a washroom next to them.
So what about the rest of the layout?
The layout of the rest of the motorhome is dictated by the type of beds it contains, but it’s not quite as simple as a designer starting with a bed and squeezing everything else in. Motorhome design is all about providing a really comfortable balance between all of the different necessary aspects of life on the road – the driver’s cab itself, the living space, the kitchen area, the washroom and the sleeping areas (plus any other important features such as the position of the door, any wardrobe and storage, or possible interior access to the rear garage etc). A lot of thought is put into achieving a healthy relationship between everything. As we said earlier – that’s where the art of design comes in!
Swift: A Highlight
In each vehicle made by Swift, a manufacturer based out of East Yorkshire, a masterclass in practical and sensible layouts takes place – whether it’s a caravan or motorhome. This comes as no surprise considering their many decades in the industry. We recommend that when you’re looking for Swift motorhomes in North Wales you give us a shout and see what we have to offer from this great brand – we have a continuous supply of top-quality used Swift motorhomes for sale on our forecourt. Don’t forget, that we also supply campervans to North Wales, as well as offering motorhome hire. Threeways is your one-stop shop for caravans, campervans and motorhomes – the whole leisure vehicle experience!