How to Pick the Right RV Floor Plan
Finding the right RV for you and your family can seem like a daunting task. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of different RV models on the market. First, you have to decide what kind of camper you want – Class A or Class C motorhome, a Class B camper van, a travel trailer, fifth wheel, toy hauler, pop up, or teardrop, to name a few. Then you have to pick your favorite floor plan. Options include a bunkhouse, front living, rear living, wet bath, dry bath and everything in between. How’s a person to decide?
Like any major investment, it’s best to take the time to really think about how you want to use the unit, where you want to go, and how you want to spend your time. If the floorplan of your unit doesn’t fit your lifestyle, your camping experience will be much less enjoyable – in fact, floor plans are one of the most common reasons people trade in their RVs. Are you itching to head out for the ultimate boondocking experience, or is a luxury campground more your style? Will you be hanging out at the campground or off seeing the sights? Will you be eating out at restaurants or at your campsite? If you’re towing, is your vehicle up to the task?
The three primary differences between RV floor plans are the location of the bedroom, the bathroom, and eating and living spaces. Some models prioritize living and entertainment space, others are more focused on storage and sleeping space. We’ve outlined what we think are some of the key considerations when selecting an RV floor plan to help you on your way. Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to camp – there’s just your family’s way.
Getting In and Out: Where’s The Front Door?
The main entrance to the RV may not be one of the first things you think about when you’re looking at floor plans, but it should be near the top of the list. Even in the largest Class A’s or fifth wheels, there’s only so much space, and the location of the door can really impact the flow of traffic in and out of your unit. Be wary of a door that’s in the middle (or mid-ship) of the unit – it will likely be in the middle of your living and entertaining space and can make it harder to have conversations with your guests and camping companions.
We like a door that’s at the front of the unit, like you’ll find in Bowlus luxury travel trailers. You’ll find long luxurious couches that span the length of the Bowlus’ living space, which makes for easy entertaining. The entryway to the Bowlus leads into the kitchen, which makes eating and cooking outdoors so much more convenient because everything you need is just inside the door. We also love that there’s no door rendering some of your awning space unusable.
Hitting the Sack: The Bedroom
Bedroom options vary wildly in campers these days. The biggest consideration here should be the number of people who will be regularly camping with you. Will you need sleeping quarters for four or more adults? How many kids? How many beds do you want to set up and tear down each day?
Murphy beds are popular in a lot of smaller trailers, but they’re typically located at the front of the unit and fold down into the living space. You’ll have to fold down the bed to go to sleep at night and then fold it back up in the morning so you can move around. Many RVs offer fold-out couches or sofa beds, but they’re not typically known for their comfort. Bunk beds, often called bunkhouses in the RV world, are also popular with families with lots of kids that don’t mind crawling into the often confined spaces.
We love the flexibility of the Bowlus’ sleeping quarters. Our rear north-south king size bed can provide a luxurious night’s sleep for you and your partner. Or, if you’re hitting the road with your best friend, it easily converts into two comfy twins. The couches in the living area can also comfortably accommodate two more adults.
Wet or Dry: RV Bathrooms
You have two primary options in an RV when it comes to bathrooms – wet or dry. Small campers will typically have a wet bath (basically a shower with a toilet and a sink in the same space), but those have their downsides. Dry baths (what you’re used to at home) come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes the toilet, shower and sink are all in the same room, other times you’ll find the shower across the hall from the toilet, like in the Bowlus. Space to move around, a space to store your toiletries, and privacy are all key things to think about. With doors to close off the entire bathroom space or just the toilet room, you and your traveling companions will have all the privacy you need in a Bowlus.
The Heart of the RV, Part 1: Living Spaces
When you think about your camping adventures, how do you see your family spending their time? Will you be out exploring the wilderness, the local town, a vineyard? Will you be entertaining guests in your RV?
How you’ll use your RV really dictates what’s important for the living spaces. If you’re working from the road, you’ll want an RV that has a flexible living room. Every Bowlus is designed for today’s technologically advanced work environment and has charging stations and a cellular booster. The Endless Highways Edition includes a robust router and an antenna pre-wired on the roof. If you’ll be entertaining, you’ll find the Bowlus’ living area is spacious, yet offers an intimate setting for you and your guests. We’ve even redesigned the traditional dinette so you can entertain your guests in luxury.
Keep in mind that no matter how much you enjoy your traveling companions, you’re going to want an RV that offers some private spaces. The Bowlus has multiple zones so you can isolate the bedroom from the bathroom and living spaces if you need a little alone time.
The Heart of the RV, Part 2: Kitchen
The kitchen is one area where you may think you need to go big. But stop and think about how you’ll be using the space and you may see that things like a kitchen island in your RV are overkill. Most RVers are grilling out or cooking over their campfire. Others still are hitting the town to grab dinner at a local hot spot.
If you do decide to stay in, the Bowlus’ European style kitchen shines with stainless steel countertops and has everything you need to prepare a gourmet meal, including a two burner propane gas cooktop. Outdoor kitchens are trendy in the RV world right now, and our Endless Highways Performance Edition is also outdoor kitchen ready with a 110V outlet and a propane connection for your portable gas grill.
To Slide or Not To Slide: We Vote No
One of the most common ways that RV manufacturers try to expand space in an RV is through the addition of one or more slide outs. You can read all about the pros and cons of slides in this article (summary: we’re not big fans and we’ve designed the Bowlus so you don’t need slides).
Light and Bright: Windows
Large windows and natural light make a space feel bigger. The last thing you want when you step into your RV is to feel like you’re entering a cave. That’s why we put large windows on both sides of our luxury travel trailers. We also include two amazing skylights, which are perfect for taking in the night sky (without all the bugs).
Your priorities will be different if you’re a weekend warrior or looking to live in your RV full time. But we think these design elements are what can make or break your camping experience.