As I said before, each RV can be quite different both in layout and furnishings. Motorhomes and fifth wheels can be quite different inside with layouts reflecting their inherent differences. The recent addition of slide-outs has added more space to the living areas of many RVs.
We use the overhead bed for storage. In the summer we drop it down, lay our winter coats out flat and then pull it back up! Utilizes unused space and keeps the coats in a less humid environment. In front of the coats we store all our various hats (my husband, being in the construction industry, tends to collect them).
The passenger seat turns to the side, providing a better view of the television (in the dash model) from the living area. We have a very deep dash and this area does double duty for our fax machine and DirectTV receiver. We have a plug overhead so it works out well. Our phone connection is on the passenger side of the RV, just behind the seat so we don't have to drape the cord too far. We have an old-fashioned looking black oscillating fan that sits on top of the TV area. While the dash does have two 12-volt fans built-in, they tend to be pretty noisy and somewhat limited. Both the driver and passenger seats are put into use as "collectors". That is, they collect everything and anything that needs to be accessible short term and would be in the way otherwise!
Our RV came with café style curtains in all the windows with light filtering shades behind them - except the dash area. Here there are just curtains which would allow a fair amount of light during the daytime and still be somewhat see through at night. The previous owner included pre-cut sunshades (they are insulated and aluminum paper covered - you can buy them pre-cut or in bulk rolls and cut to fit) for both windshields and the back bedroom window. They are great for reflecting the sun and providing total privacy. I hope to add ones for the side windows as well because a fair amount of light comes in here, too.MAIN LIVING AREA
Just behind the cockpit area is our main living area. There is a built-in sofa that makes into a bed (similar to the current day futons but more padded), a small table with a pullout leaf and two un-mounted chairs. I really like the chairs, they swivel and rock and are quite comfortable. The table has two levels. On the upper level I put a small piece (placemat sized) of non-skid liner. Here is where I have a unique glass for pens & pencils, an antique silent butler for small miscellaneous items, a candle and two built-in cup holders. The lower shelf (which becomes the support for the pullout table) holds current reading material. I found this is a great spot to sit and make phone calls to our family and friends. Tip: Getting prepaid phones can be a good idea if you're looking for a solution to long distance phone calls while you are on the road.
Behind the chair closest to the door, we have a wooden magazine rack that holds catalogs and current magazines. Since I write, I have many more magazines than would fit here so on the floor behind the chair is a cardboard storage container for my magazines and the various newsletters I receive. There is storage under the top shelf but because it's inconvenient to get to I don't store much here. It is a good place to put my various knick-knacks when we are on the move, though. Also since the table projects from the wall about 15", I store our one-step stool under here as well. It's handy and doubles as a footstool.
This table doubles as a work area for my laptop and when I am fully setup, my HP LaserJet sits very nicely on the upper level of the table with the laptop and mouse on the pullout leaf. I do have to use extra cushions behind my back and to sit on, though, since the chairs are fairly low.
As I said in an earlier article, we use the storage space under the sofa for extra pantry items, especially the heavy things. But we also use behind the sofa for extra pillows. One caution, be sure to pull them out before laying the sofa down otherwise it lays uneven and makes for quite an uncomfortable night (just ask Mike's brother!).
Other storage areas are the spots between the sofa and the driver seat and between the passenger seat and the chair. We use these spaces for work boots, our 5" battery TV, my padded lapdesk, a golf-size umbrella and other hard to store items.
The cabinets overhead are used to store video tapes, CDs & CD player, cassettes, toys for grandchildren and other visiting kids, books and office supplies. I try to group like things together and make heavy use of the shoebox-size plastic storage boxes (usually found for $1.00 in most discount stores). I keep only the most often used office items in here with the extras (and backup supplies) stored in a tote in the basement area.HOME SWEET MOTORHOME
I have tried to make our living area somewhat ours. We don't have much space for pictures or knick-knacks but I have tried to take advantage of the space we have. The only real space for pictures is between our upper cabinets. This makes things a little easier since we can use real screws without worrying about damaging the exterior of the RV. I have a cute little wooden sign that our daughter gave us hanging over the sofa. The cabinets over the chairs have a woven swag lamp hanging on a plant hook and I have also hung a very small wind chine as well. I hung a couple of favorite pictures above dining area, in the hallway and over the bed as well. I also have an antique looking thermometer in the kitchen area, by the pantry closet.
I have the fortune of having fabric covered enclosed valances over all the windows and the door. I have used the area over the door to store my favorite knick-knacks - a Hummel Goose Girl figurine I gave my mother when I was ten, a leaded crystal frog given to me as a gift, an oriental box with two card decks that my father brought home from the Korean war and a couple of other little things. I don't know where I would have put them otherwise. In the kitchen I used the valance to hang my stained glass sun-catcher and on the dining table I have a tole-painted enamel coffee pot that holds the silk flowers from my wedding bouquet.Well, enough rattling for now. Next time we'll venture down the hallway into the bathroom and then back to the bedroom. Until next time, keep on rolling! Oh, and be sure to check out the great discussion on hanging things in your RV!
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