"Buying A New RV" 101

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April 13, 2008

Improvements to RV floor plans are always welcome, but how often do they come with trade-offs?  Well there is one that has bothered me for years and some builders and models are still doing it.  If you are near six feet tall or taller, pay attention, and if you are not, you may not be immune, as it could affect your resale buyer, should you one day wish to sell your vehicle.

Don’t you just love all that space to walk around that queen sized bed in the bedroom?  You sure wouldn’t think you were in a RV.   Well, not at least until bed time.  Many of the beds found in many RV’s are only 74″ long, not 80″.  Doing the math seems to make it work, 6′ = 72″  –  74″ – 72″ – 2″.  Wow, 2″ extra!  But, wait.  Do you think your head is going to be within an inch or so to the wall?  No, of course not, more like 4 or 5 inches in reality.  Now stretch out.  Feel that cold air at your feet?  They are now starting to occupy that spacious walk around area that seemed so great. 


The problem is, when we buy a new, or used, RV, we never think of such things.  We also don’t try out the bed.  But, believe me, an 80″ long bed is a world of difference.  That extra 6″ can be the difference of being comfortable and warm or not.  Click on the above floor plans to enlarge.  Now check out the real size of the bed.  That is a current 2008 “A” class motor home, and it is not the only one.  This same manufacturer has models also with 80″ length beds too.  So it is not manufacturer specific, but model dictated.  So you really have to look and check it out yourself.

Perhaps you are not that tall, or prefer to sleep in a more folded fashion.  You still may feel this issue, if it’s only when you to sell it.  A motor home I bought new sometime ago was equipped with such a bed.  I’m about 6′ tall.  I recognized the issue the first night we used the bed.  Well it was a little late to do much about it by then.  So I had to live with it.  But since then, I vowed never to buy a rig with a short bed again.  So, in summary, it might reduce the number of buyers.

There are additional issues that may be encountered during ownership too.  RV beds can present a challenge anyway when shopping for new sheets and covers, but the shorter bed can present even more headaches.

So next time you are out shopping for a new recreational vehicle, check out the bed.  Generally this can be done by referring to the floor plan which should show the bed dimensions, and 80″ is what you are looking for.  But, just in case, bring a tape measure with you.    

Some Relaxing Thoughts         Lug_Nut  –  Peter Mercer

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