Tips for hiring or renting a motorhome, campervan or mobile home (2)
3. Configuration/Layout of Motorhome.
The interior layout of any motorhome or campervan is an important area to consider before you decide to hire or rent. To start with there are dozens of interior layouts to choose from and I will not go through them all here. If a motorhome or campervan has a fixed bed (usually at the rear of the vehicle) then on the plus side this is great as you do not have a bed to put away every day and usually there is a garage or large storage area below the bed. In the Roller Team Pegaso Garage Living, the fixed bed at the rear is built about 4′ above the floor. This allows for a large garage area, big enough to accomodate two small scooters or 4 bikes, to be built below the bed. On the negative side, this layout is only usable at night, and at least 1/3 of the floorspace is taken up with a bed. This restricts the amount of useable space available during the day, and although the front seats swivel round to face the dining/living area, this then becomes the main living space in the vehicle during the day. Another consideration for fixed bed layouts, especially those that are raised a few feet from the floor - will they suit older/young people? There are obvious disadvantages for the disabled, and it is important to understand that motorhomes with a fixed bed do not necessarily mean that they are located on the floor like beds in bedrooms.
Some other configurations include fixed bunk beds at the rear. Again there are positives and negatives to this layout, with reduced useable space available, but normally the bottom bed will fold up to provide a large storage area. We purchased a 6 berth motorhome called a Volks Mobil in 2006 and quickly realised that it was not fit for purpose. It had two fixed beds at the rear of the van, and this left only the dining area for use during the day (the front seats did not swivel due to the layout). Although it could sleep up to 6 adults, the dining area could only seat 4 persons in the normal arrangement of two double bench seats opposite each other, around the dining table. This configuration/layout only permitted 4 people to sit and eat together, or sit in the evenings and watch TV. It was impossible for a family of 6 people to be together in one area. We quickly realised that this layout of motorhome did not match its berth size. Four people could sit comfortably, but there was no space for 6 people, unless two people sat in the forward facing driver and passenger seats. We sold the Volks Mobil within a year of purchase, but used it as a good example of paying full attention to vehicle layout before making our next purchase. For some more information on this topic, go to http://www.motorhome-chooser.com/bg-understanding-layouts.php.
An important area for hirers is storage in a motorhome or camper. Firstly you will need adequate storage for the items that usually come with a motorhome - pots and pans, plates, glasses, cups, cutlery, cleaning utensils and the important items like kettles for making a quick cuppa whenever you stop somewhere pretty. Next you will need space for your clothing and other items that you take on holiday with you. Lastly you will need storage area for your luggage, especially if you fly to the UK. All motorhomes are totally different when it comes to storage. There is usually a wardrobe area in most motorhomes, usually upper aircraft style lockers, and there is a limited amount of space under the seats (remember that some of the utilities are located here, such as water heaters, water tanks etc). The most spacious motorhomes have a ”Garage”, usually under a fixed bed. These can be cavernous areas, but you have the positives and negatives outlined earlier. On some occasions we travel to airports to meet customers flying into the Country, and on more than the odd occasion we are dismayed when a party of 6 adults arrive, and they have a large suitcase each…. Its usually not a problem finding a place for all of the clothing, but 6 large suitcases! On other occasions, some people arrive with 3 or 4 full sets of golf clubs. Again a major concern for storing large items. The moral of these stories is to do a bit of homework first, to see if the motorhome or campervan that you intend to hire or rent can accomodate any large items that you intend to take with you. We’re still waiting on customers arriving with his and her canoes - it will happen, I just don’t know when.
This blog is written by the people at Motorhome City. www.Motorhome-City.co.uk.