On the Trail of the Holy Grail – the ideal motorhome design

We have just about finalised the design of our new motorhome – which is just as well since construction has started. Building a new motorhome (personally or by a builder) can be fun, challenging, stressful, and downright scary.  I can see that buying something off the shelf or off the yard can be an attractive option. Mostly everything is decided and done, so it’s then just a case of living with it. Easy peasey ….

But not for us. Or for many others. We had ideas. Constraints. Must-haves. Wants. We bought an ex-rental campervan, as a bit of a trial horse. We learnt lots. We added stuff to it, like solar power. We developed a smaller table. We talked about what we’d change if we were to live in it for long periods of time. We worked out what worked well, and what didn’t.  We started looking at second-hand motorhomes, with an eye to finding something to live full-time in.  This became like ‘Goldilocks and the Two Bears’- the other story where stuff is either too big or too small, and nothing is just right. Fairly quickly we came to the conclusion that to get something just right we were going to have to start from scratch and build something – or more precisely get something built.We did learn the downside to this – and no, not the cost. We realised it was going to cost more (or a lot more) to get something made. No, the downside was that we could do almost anything, and would have to make lots of decisions. I remember some artist talking of the terror of a blank canvas – where to start? The answer to the blank canvas was to splash a couple of lines across it – then there was somewhere to start and react to, even if it was to start painting over the splashes.

The good thing is that there is no ideal motorhome type or design. We all have different needs and wants. The fun part is trying to get something what we need and want. The challenge is to get something that we wake up in on Day 2 and know it is going to work.  And on Day 42… and on Day 237 … The trick is to look and listen and learn, and research and ask and visualise and plan and visualise and plan some more. The devil is in the detail – that’s the scary part. If you’re not a details person, be prepared for some surprises.

We’re mostly finished now in terms of design – not least since construction started last week. We’ve looked and learned a lot, and changed our minds a few times along the way as well. Well changed a lot really. Over the next weeks, I’ll go through aspects of our design in terms of how we got to what they are. Not to suggest that this is the Right Way. Just to raise some of the issues which might help anyone else figure out what would work for them.  The cool thing is that there is a Holy Grail for motorhome design, and there is one for each of us.

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2 Responses to On the Trail of the Holy Grail – the ideal motorhome design

  1. madeline says:

    so Ross, what are your priorities, given you have been doing this for a while. Would really help, us being real newbys, (1 week only in a motorhome so far) 100 hrs + looking at them on line or in the weekend. We intend coming over to the UK next year and buying one to use for 6 months, coming home for summer and then returning for another 6 months to try Europe before bringing it home for a “rest of the days” may home.

    • Ross says:

      Now there’s a challenge Madeline; to see if we can list our priorities. We’ll work on this over the next few days and I’ll let you know when we’ve distilled some thoughts.

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