In part two of our search for the perfect motorhome for full-timing, I would like to address our decision process on floor plan and amenities.
We are a couple, who is retiring to a life of full-timing in a motorhome. We may occasionally take a friend or two with us for a few days. But by and large, it will be just us. Therefore, we will have no need for extra beds, other than the typical sleeper sofa that virtually all motorhomes include.
Neither of us want a pass-through bath, so that means a rear master bath. Since we’ve already decided that we want a 42 to 45 footer, this pretty much means a bath and a half plan. Also, I’m a tall guy, with long arms, so I need a large shower. Of course, to maintain peace, we would really like to have hers and hers vanities. (Sure, I know they’re called his and hers vanities, but I’m just being realistic.😃)
We’ve seen motorhomes that have TVs at the front of the coach or on a wall at the back of the living area. But something about sitting on a couch or sofa and having to turn my head almost 90 degrees, to watch television, just doesn’t make sense. Becky agrees, since if I’m closest to the TV, my big head will get in the way. 😃 So this means that we want a plan where the living area TV is more or less directly across from the sofa or recliners.
Since we will both still be involved in some of our business interests, including my writing economic policy books, we will require at least a small amount of full-length closet space for our professional clothes. After all, I don’t want to go to a book-signing, wearing shorts and an island print shirt.
Finally, we are both coffee connoisseurs and we have some sizable equipment. Our coffee roaster is 20″(w) x 10″(d) x 14″(h) and our automatic espresso/cappuccino machine is 11″(w) x 18″(d) x 14″(h). Both machines also require space above them, to add coffee. Of course, we also have a smaller drip coffee-maker and grinder. So what all this means is that we’ll need kitchen counter space for all that coffee equipment, without it filling up the counter. (We also need space to store all that equipment, when on the road.)
Those are our requirements that directly affect floor plans.
At the top of my list is what affects my driving, since we’ll be spending a lot of time on the road and I’ll be driving most of that time. At the top of my driving list is a clear and unobstructed view. This eliminates anything built on a Prevost chassis, since it has that not-to-be-sufficiently-damned bar down the middle of the windshield (It’s the 21st Century, Prevost!). It also gives a significant advantage to Entegra.
Also, related to driving, is steering. I covered independent front suspension in part one of this series. But I must mention that Newmar offers a decided advantage, with its Comfort Steer system. This isn’t a requirement. But it’s certainly something that has to be considered.
Moving back to the kitchen, we definitely want a dishwasher. We prefer a stainless steel sink, but a purpose-built Corian® sink is acceptable. We definitely do NOT want one of those glued-together box sinks, like you see in the high end Tiffins. Since we already determined that we want an all electric motorhome, it will have an induction stove top. We like the Newmar stove top that will lift out, to allow for use outside. But that’s a convenience that we don’t rate as a major. It’s just a nice feature.
We would prefer that the washer and dryer be in or near the master bath, for convenience. But if it’s in the kitchen area, we could live with it.
We like the idea of a reclining bed that leaves space to walk around it, when the slides are closed. However, we know that’s something that can be added later, in most of the motorhomes we are looking at. We’re willing to lose the storage space under the bed, in order to have the reclining bed and are willing to have such a system installed after purchase, if needs be. It would just be nice if it were included as either a standard feature or manufacturer option.
Heated floors throughout and an electric fireplace are also amenities that we really want. Since we have decided on an all-electric motorhome, we’ll have an AquaHot® or similar system for both heating the coach and heating the water.
Finally, we hope that we can find all of these things in a coach that has an over-sized generator and is pre-wired for solar installation.
Will we find everything we want? Almost certainly not. It’s likely that the only way we could get everything we want, would be if we ordered a custom build. But when buying a first motorhome, it’s probably not a good idea to go over-board on the coach, so we’ll stick with a production build and choose the one that requires the least compromise.
In part three of this series, I’ll discuss the accessories that we will probably add to whatever motorhome we purchase.