What you need to know about Multi Function Items BEFORE designing or building your Motorhome or RV!
Never skip this step because you may regret it for the rest of your RV life!
There are many common motorhome design ideas in RVs. For every multi-function item you find, you save space, weight and money. For most RVers, all 3 those conveniences are in short supply.
Many things you install in an RV are more “permanent” than in a house. The reason for that is firstly, you don’t have a lot of room. So, things are tightly spaced. Secondly, everything needs to be bolted down or built-in for traveling. If you plan wrong, you can be stuck with the bad motorhome design for years.
We had a Novakool double door fridge installed in our motorhome. It is the ultimate dream in any motorhome. Unfortunately, it stayed exactly that – a dream. The freezer never worked properly since day one. I contacted Novakool who informed me that they are looking into it.
A few years down the line, the fridge started giving problems and I dug out my old emails and added some questions and re-send it to them. They actually did fix the freezer issue by adding a separate compressor. The only downside is that the price almost doubled. So I decided to go for another brand.
This is where bad planning can cost you a lot of time and effort. I searched for a month, every spare moment, to find another fridge of reasonable size ti fit the same cavity. I had to go from 258l down to 178l. That is a big difference. However, if the freezer works this time, we will be better off since the Novakool freezer was useless – never got colder than -7 degrees C.
As soon as the new fridge is up and running, I will write a post on the findings. The new just arrived beginning September 2019. Meanwhile we have a little $40 second hand fridge temporarily tucked in the cavity to see us through.
It is thus very important to try and stick to more standard sizes. Novakool has their own weird sizes.
Lid over laptop desk doubles as bench top for much needed and usable work surface.
We planned our bus with 2 laptop stations. Both have raised lids so that you can close your laptop and leave it on the desk. After closing the 2 bench top lids over the laptops, you end up with another 2 meters extended bench top space to do food preparations etc.
The front passenger seat swivels to the side and doubles as a laptop station chair. The other laptop station chair also swivels and doubles as a second passenger seat when traveling.
When selecting a microwave for your RV, it may be best to get the 3 in 1, microwave, convection, grill oven. This again does the job of 3 separate units and saves a lot of space. Being smaller than the conventional stove oven, it uses much less power to reach temperature and thus prepares food quicker.
Cellphone and GPS lovers
A good smartphone can replace many devices these days. It can do snapshots, video, GPS and replace your remote controls. A great way to save space and energy.
Lids over appliances
When planning your RV kitchen bench space, try to fit things in such a way that there is a lid that forms part of the bench top when the appliance is not in use. This can come in real handy when doing DIY jobs or preparing food. Bench space can never be too much.
Compact Multi-function Food Processor
This is another way to save a lot of space. You have one unit on the bench top that can do many different chores preparing food. Get a good one with all the attachments you normally use. Save space, weight and time wherever you can.
Shoe or key rack?
Key hooks are installed as you enter the motorhome. The hooks are strong enough to hang shoes. So it is again a multi-function feature. Even if there are keys on the hooks, you can still hang shoes on the hooks without the keys having a negative effect on the system. This keeps the dirt and dust from the shoes right at the door, easy to sweep out or clean up. You never have to search for your shoes nor your keys.
Triple-use Diesel Heater
When I installed the front Swelter Scirocco Diesel Heater, I ducted it to the windshield defrost outlets with a double T-junction so that the other leg goes into the bathroom and the straight feed heats our feet at the computer stations. One can also get the wetback version which will give you a 4-in-1-use, as heater, defroster, clothes dryer and water heater.
The wood burner is centrally located in the Bus and does a magnificent job of heating the interior. It is also used for cooking, water heating and dehumidifying the Motorhome. I added a heat powered stove fan which tripled the efficiency and saves loads of wood. I used to stoke it frantically to get the bus warm but with the automatic fan, the bus heats up in ten minutes and I only need to add a log every 20 to 40 minutes.
Kitchen table / double bed
As with lots of RVs, the kitchen table converts into a double bed and the seat back rests join up to complete the mattress. This is so handy when you have a visitor staying over for a night or two. The rest of the time, the table is static and available for meals or whatever else you throw at it.
All-in-One TV/Video/DVD player/recorder
The screen is installed in the bedroom in a corner above the bed but is simultaneously visible from the kitchen table in case visitors would like to watch something and thus do not need to jump in bed with you. It does TV, plays DVD, Blu-Ray, YouTube and records. This again saves a lot of separate appliances and in turn saves space.
Pots and Pans
When investing in pots and pans, try to get pots that fit the same lid as the pan. That way the lids are shared and you may get away with less lids.