Choosing a Floor Plan

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This decision for each couple or family will be different because of personal choice and finances. First, you will have to decide on the type of recreational vehicle that fits your needs and finances the best.  This is a tough decision as you have so many models to choose from: Class A Motor Home, Country Coach, Luxury Coach, Fifth Wheel travel trailer, Travel Trailer, R-Pods, Lite travel trailers, Micro-lite travel trailers, Toy Hauler Travel Trailers, truck campers, or the tear drop trailer, and we can’t forget the small tent trailer for that weekend trip for two.

What should I be looking for in a Floor Plan

Start with making your list of “wants and needs”.  You can choose a floor plan that you like without driving for miles, by going through all the floor plans that is offered by the manufacturers.  Ultimately, a floor plan for your vehicle becomes a real personal choice.  

The configuration will depend on your family’s needs and workable space.  Consider special needs, such as a wheelchair that requires a larger living space area and modified washrooms.  Children may prefer bunk beds so talk it over with the family and decide what kind of RV lifestyle fits your family.  Are you a road warrior family who travels extensively cross-country on your holidays, or do you want to be that family that takes lots of weekends at the lake enjoying the great outdoors?

In your research you will note that most units have four main areas.  You have your main living area, kitchen area, sleeping area and the bathroom area. If you have a preference towards the smaller Class C and or B vehicles then most of them offer slide out sections which help to enlarge your space within those top four areas. Here you can find the ingenuity of the manufacture getting the most effective use of a small area.  You may see convertible couches that turn into beds, eating booths that turn into double beds, bathrooms that become a place to shower.  The smaller unit, of course, comes down to practicality for two for short weekend getaways.

The larger RV’s have the most livable space in all of the four areas.  You can even have an extra kitchen outdoors.  Some units have outdoor shower or even a large entertainment area under the awning while you sit on your patio.  If you are looking at the larger coach motor homes then keep in mind that the slide outs are only used when you are parked on level parking areas, so make sure that that you can get to all the locations within your vehicle when the slide outs are closed.  While you are on the road traveling across the country you may want to be do laundry, or you may want to
reach a certain item whether you are on the road or parked.

Front Kitchens, rear kitchens, side kitchens

Big decision right?  It will come down to personal choice and your priorities.  If the person that does all the cooking requires lots of counter space and room to work without interruptions, then you need to choose of a floor plan that gives more space to the kitchen area.

Having the kitchen located at one end of the RV or trailer lessens the chance of interruptions especially if the bathroom is at the opposite end of the vehicle.  Choosing a floor plan with the kitchen at the side will allow you to have the bedroom and the bath area at one end of the vehicle and the living area at the other end. This works for a lot of families.  Now, if you can afford the larger coach then you can have up to four slides.  This will combine all four main areas into one or two larger areas.

Front Bathrooms, rear bathrooms or split bathrooms

There are some things to consider here.  If you are up a few times during the night you do not want to pass through other sleeping areas to get to the washroom.  There is something to be said about having the bathroom off of the master bedroom for convenience.  Flexibility is having a split washroom, where the shower is across the hall or in the master bedroom, and the commode and the
vanity sink area would be separate.  Some floor plans offer a walk through bathroom area which would work well if you were only traveling as a couple.  Keep in mind, however that you might want to take the grandkids along.

Finally the good news is that most major manufacturers will offer optional floor plan arrangements that can offer a better alternative to you and your family.  Be aware that you may not find the perfect floor plan, with everything exactly where you’d like it and as much space as you would want.  Manufacturers are restricted by building to codes for weight and safety concerns