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Motorhome Features: Essential Ones and Those You Can Live Without

When it comes to owning a motorhome, the options are almost endless when it comes to different features. You can choose a motorhome that’s kitted out with all the latest gizmos and gadgets, or a camper that’s merely functional and comfortable.

There are plenty of suitable A class motorhomes and high top campervans out there if you want to enjoy the motorhoming lifestyle. The challenge for you is deciding which features you want in your motorhome.

Knowing what the various options are is a good place to start, and this post is going to enlighten you.

What Features to Look for in a Motorhome?

Choosing a motorhome, whether it’s an RV, camper van, panel van conversion is a big decision, possibly one of the biggest you’ll ever have to make. There are lots of different motorhome styles, types, designs, and layouts to choose from. The difficulty is knowing where to start.

Whether you’re a veteran motorhomer looking for your next RV or a first motorhome newbie who needs a clear idea of what features to look for, the following list of RV features should help.

There are also some questions you need to ask yourself, for example:

  • What do you want your motorhome for?
  • How do you plan to use it?
  • Where would you like to go in your motorhome?
  • How many people are going to be coming along:
  • Do you want more or less interior space?
  • Do you need a comfy bed?

Standard Features

Let’s start by looking at the standard RV features most motorhomes will have.

Beds

Beds

The sleeping quarters in your RV are one of the first things you need to think about. How many beds and their style mainly depends on your needs. You might want single beds or a double bed, for example.

You usually have the option of beds that stay in place or beds that you need to convert each night before you use them. With a bed that stays in place, you won’t have to worry about making it up every night. However, it will take up some of your living space. In addition, some motorhomes have bunk beds and fold up and down beds in a sleeping area.

Seating

Seating is also a very important feature. The weather’s not always going to be warm and sunny enough to sit outside. The type, size, and arrangement of the seating area depend on your situation.

Some of the things to bear in mind are how many people will be traveling, whether you like to entertain, and whether you plan to dine in your RV.

A table that folds away will be very useful, as it means there will be more space when you’re not using it.

If you want to have a relaxing lounge area in your motorhome, make sure you test ride them first, as not all seating areas are created equal. If you like to kick back in the evening and enjoy a movie, check that you can relax and still see the TV and your seating makes you feel at home.

Kitchen

Kitchen

Unless the motorhome is really small, it’s likely going to have a kitchen area. Typically, you can expect that to include a sink, fridge, and cooking appliance. Stoves and ovens usually run on gas. Fridges can be either gas or electric or run from a generator.

The size of the kitchen and appliances it contains, tend to increase as the RV increases in size. The number of appliances also tends to increase. For example, some of the larger, more luxurious motorhomes might have a microwave and a dishwasher.

Something else to think about when it comes to the kitchen is the amount of extra storage space. You’re probably going to fill your motorhome with all the comforts of home such as plates, cups, mugs, glasses, cutlery, pots and pans, containers, coffee pots, kettles, and cutting boards, so you’re going to need somewhere to store them.

Bathroom

Small RVs and trailers don’t usually have a bathroom. They might, however, have a wet bath. This is a small room that’s sealed off in which you can sit on the toilet or shower. A wet bath takes up minimal space. The downside is that they feel very cramped and the room can get very wet.

If you’re buying a larger RV you’ll be able to have a good-sized bathroom. That means a toilet, sink, a stand-up shower, or possibly even a small tub that includes a shower. When it comes to the bathroom area, this is another case of trying before you buy. Take the opportunity to test the bathroom area to see whether it’s a good fit.

Storage Space

One of the biggest issues when it comes to the motorhome experience is having enough space to store all the stuff you want to take along with you. Inside the motorhome, you’ll need extra space for clothing, bedding, kitchen items such as plates, cups, and cutlery.

In addition, you might also want to take bikes, chairs, inflatables, canoes, and other equipment. In this case, you’ll need a motorhome with an extra storage area outside.

Slide-outs

A really cool feature you might want to consider is a slide-out. When you stop at RV parks, the motorhome’s walls slide out and provide more space. A slide-out in the living area and another slide-out in the bedroom will make your motorhome feel like it’s huge.

The only downside is that the slides add weight. You’ll also need a park up that’s level and enough space for them to slide out. It’s also critical to consider whether you’ll be able to use the features when the slides aren’t pulled out.

Fresh Water Tanks

Fresh Water Tanks

Running freshwater is something you can expect in most coach built motorhomes. The RV will have a freshwater tank where you store the water. All you need to worry about is filling it up. A water pump then comes into action and delivers the freshwater to your sink when you need it.

Some RVs also give the option of hooking up directly to an external water supply, using a hose.

Smaller RVs might only have a small fresh water tank. Alternatively, they might use a jug/pump style of system. It really depends on the size of the vehicle.

Grey Water Tanks and Black Water Tanks

If your motorhome has a toilet or running water, it’s all going to need to drain somewhere, and for this, you’ll need grey and black holding tanks. If your motorhome has no toilet, all that’s required is a grey holding tank.

The way these waste tanks work depends on the type and size of your RV. Some have a cassette toilet that you empty manually. While larger camper vans have large tanks and a hose that you have to connect to the sewer.

Hot Water Heater

Hot Water Heater

Hot water heaters are generally standard. They might be fuelled by propane gas, electricity, or both. An electric water heater takes a little longer to heat up the water.

Entertainment

While it’s very relaxing being out in the countryside, there may be times when you need some other form of entertainment. A TV is always going to be a welcome feature, but you need to make sure you can see it where you prefer to sit.

An entertainment system is another nice addition, especially if it’s one you can enjoy outside.

Air Conditioning

Air conditioning used to be more of a luxury feature, but more and more motorhomes now have them as standard.

It’s a nice thing to have, especially if you’re planning to visit some warm locations, but it will use lots of power. It’s not uncommon for the air conditioner unit to only run when your motorhome is plugged into an electricity supply or your generator is switched on.

Flooring

An excellent way to make your camper feel more like home is to think about the flooring options. Some of the most popular flooring options include:

  • Carpet: makes your motorhome feel warm and cosy. However, on the downside, it will get dirty, sandy, and covered in pet hair. It is also easier to stain.
  • Vinyl plank flooring: available in a vast range of wood patterns and colours.
  • Laminate flooring: this flooring can look more like hardwood, but is susceptible to humidity and water changes.

Additional RV Features

That’s all the standard features covered. Now it’s time to consider motorhome accessories that could take the outdoor experience to another level.

Retractable Awning

You’ll find that a lot of your time spent in the great outdoors will be right outside your motorhome. A retractable awning will protect you and your fellow campers from light rain and the sun.

It will also help to keep the inside of the motorhome cool during the summer months.

Automatic Levelling System

You should always aim to park your motorhome somewhere level. The reasons are not just for comfort, but also to ensure your slides and appliances run properly.

Back-up Camera & Monitor

When it comes to driving a larger vehicle such as a motorhome, many people feel uncomfortable when it comes to reversing. A back-up camera and monitor will put your mind at ease. In addition, you’ll also be able to see what’s behind you when you’re travelling.

Off-Grid Capabilities

When you’re the proud owner of a motorhome, you can spend more time exploring more remote locations. If your motorhome has off-grid capabilities, you’re not dependent on a campground for amenities.

A solar set up will provide ample power for your motorhome and by harnessing the sun’s power you can spend more time getting up close and personal with nature without having to sacrifice the comfort of having electricity.

Window Coverings

You’re going to want some level of privacy in your motorhome. Window coverings are what you need, but avoid metal ones if you can. Not only are they difficult to clean, but they also clank around when your motorhome is in motion.

Day/night shades are a good idea. They let light in during the day while at the same time offering some privacy.

Luxury RV Features

If you’re ready and have got the budget for features in luxury motorhomes, you’ll end up with a motorhome that feels even better than living at home.

Heated Porcelain Tile Floors

This kind of accent is a luxury feature that will make your motorhome feel totally luxurious. They’ll be easy to clean and keep your feet warm on those cooler nights.

Hardwood Cabinetry

Give your motorhome a stylish feel by adding luxury features such as hardwood cabinetry.

Outdoor Kitchen

There’s nothing quite like having an outdoor kitchen. You won’t have to worry about nasty cooking smells inside your motorhome and be able to appreciate the beauty of your surroundings while you’re preparing meals.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

With a TPMS, you can minotaur your motorhome’s tyre pressures from your cab. Knowing how your tyres are doing during your journey is important for your safety.

How to Decide What Type of Features You Need on Your Motorhome?

How to Decide What Type of Features You Need on Your Motorhome

Motorhoming requires a certain degree of compromise. The sheer number of features can be totally overwhelming.

A good way to start is by making two lists. One that contains features you need and another list that contains features you want. If you want, you can always make another list of features that you just like.

Make sure you appreciate the difference between wants and needs. For this to happen, you really need to be honest with yourself. Yes you need a bed, but does it need to be a king-size bed or could you manage with just a queen-size bed?

You might think you need a dishwasher, washing machine, and tumble dryer, but you only want those things.

Don’t worry about putting them in order of priority. The idea at this point is to get all your ideas out there.

Before you go any further, let’s get something straight. You’re not going to get everything you want in your motorhome. You need to prepare yourself for some compromises.

Now it’s time to put those lists of features into some kind of order. You’ll find it much easier to decide what to trade off for when your lists are in order.

Conclusion

Whether you’re looking to purchase an A Class motorhome, panel van conversions, coachbuilt motorhome, Class C motorhome, or any other type of RV there is a motorhome manufacturer out there who will have just what you need. The perfect motorhome type is out there waiting for you to find it.

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