3 RV Floor Plan Must-Haves Every First-Timer Should Know About 169889

When you first start RV shopping, it’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed by the seemingly endless amount of RV floor plan options.

Don’t worry—there is a floor plan out there for every need, every taste, and every budget.

If you take your time, you’ll find it will all start making sense. You’ll begin to note certain similarities when it comes to floor plans and the labels often applied to RV models. Models with “RL”, which often stands for “Rear Living” will have the living room in the rear of the unit. Because you’ll know “BH” means “Bunk House“, you’ll know to expect a Bunk House in the unit before even walking into it.

It’s a challenge to know exactly what RV floor plan will work best before spending time in your RV on the road. Here are 3 things to keep in mind when selecting your floor plan.

Bed Access

Bunkhouse RV Floor Plan
In this RV floor plan both twin beds can be used, and the twins can convert to a 52″ x 87″ bed without having to extend the slideout.

Some RVs are more spacious than you ever dreamed an RV could be! Most often it’s slide-outs that create extra living space in an RV. Slide-outs, especially opposing slide-outs, can be an amazing RV floor plan feature.

However, when you’re on the showroom floor, pay close attention to what is on the slide. Is the main bed on the slide? If it is, is it possible to use the bed when the slide is not pushed out?

In addition to what is on the slide, does the slide bump up against anything when it’s closed, preventing you from climbing into bed?

RV travel often includes one-night stops along your travel route. These stops may be at a Walmart, rest stops, or even the driveways of friends and family. While you may be able to push your slides out at campgrounds, you may not be able to do so at some of these one-night stops. For that reason, you may want to select a floor plan that gives you access to your bed whether the slide is in or out.

If you absolutely fall in love with a floor plan where a slide blocks the bedroom area, make sure there is an alternative sleeping area, like a loft or couch. If you don’t mind using that alternative sleeping area on travel days, you might be okay.

Bathroom, Refrigerator, and Closet Access

Fifth Wheel RV Floor Plan
Multiple slides can be great, but you may wish to check to see that the bed, bathroom, and fridge door are not blocked when the slides are in.

A major benefit of RV travel is having your “home” with you. Having your home means having your own bathroom, your own food, and your closet—even if you are downsizing.

With access to your bathroom within the RV, you don’t need to worry if there’s no rest stop for the next 50 miles. Having your refrigerator with you means you have snacks (maybe even healthy ones!) easily accessible. It doesn’t matter if the gas station you just stopped at didn’t have anything you could eat. And, having your closet means you can’t forget to pack rain boots, a raincoat, or a heavier coat. This comes in very handy when exploring places that can experience 3-4 seasons all in one day.

However, all of these conveniences can be unknowingly given up with certain floor plans. As with the bed, the culprit tends to be those oh-so-awesome slides. Be sure that furniture on the slideouts in a floorplan do not block access to the bathroom door. It’s not uncommon to find floor plans with slides that block drawers, closet doors, and even fridge doors.

Ask to see any RV you’re seriously considering with slides in—be sure you have access to all of the things that make RV travel so convenient at all times.

Work/Dining Space

Chances are you will be eating inside of your RV at some point. You may also wish to have a “work” surface even if you’re retired. For both of these activities it’s a table that will make all the difference. Be sure that when touring different RV floor plans, you imagine yourself sitting down to eat.

You will find that with RV floor plans everything is a give and take. To have a walk-around queen bed, you may find yourself giving up some space in the living area. The same goes for large kitchens and counters. Some floor plans will create space for a large bed in the rear of the RV unit by changing up the traditional dinette area. Instead of a dinette, you might find a sofa and table set-up. In that instance, if you will be traveling with a partner, make sure you think about how comfortable you will be eating side by side in a loveseat.

The work/dining space area in a floor plan is most often a compromise in smaller RVs like Class Cs, Class Bs, and small towables. If you plan on dining al fresco—certainly a wonderful plan when camping—just remember there might be times when rain, snow, or mosquitoes unexpectedly arrive.

Choosing an RV floor plan is both a daunting and exciting process. Take your time. Step into various floor plans and get a feel for how RVs are laid out. As you’re shopping, keep some of these floor plan must-haves in mind. These must-haves are small details that can make all the difference on your RV travels.

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Nadia Bajuelo Contributor
Nadia hit the road full-time in an RV with her husband, Jon, and their 2 dogs. She dreams of traveling the world, creating content that inspires, and hugging a koala bear. She’s been an educator and a marketer for a Fortune 500 company. These days, she works as a content creator and marketing strategist from the road. She writes for various blogs and magazines, also documenting her adventures with Jon at their blog RoamingRemodelers. Until she finds that koala to hug, she’s happy boondocking, visiting indie bookstores along the way, and drinking as much tea as possible.
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  1. Number one is bathroom access, especially if you have more than a couple traveling! Our 35′ Fifth wheel has a half bath in our master and it makes all the difference when we have our son, daughter in law and their two girls with us- then the bunk house (which has a door!) and the full bath is essentially “theirs”, so perfect. Hideout 308BHDS

  2. Your piece about 1st time Rv’s was good. The part called bed access shows 2 single beds. You do not mention the RV manufacturer who builds it. I have been searching for a Class B motor home or a small travel trailer that has 2 single beds. Please let me know any manufacturers that build for folks needing single beds. Thank you

    1. I did a Google Image search (right click the image and click search google for image) on the picture and it looks like it came from a Winnebago…
      I checked Class B Winnebago’s and it looks like the Paseo and Travato have floorplan options with 2 single beds and the picture in this article is from the Paseo.

    2. Thor makes one with 2 twin beds in back with aisle between. These can be converted to a king sz bed easily. It’s called Vegas & is one of the new smaller Class A’s. Saw it @ an RV show in Feb.

      1. Try for comfort not just look! We had jackknife sofa’s in our bunk room not very comfortable! I had to add that bubble cushion over it and fill in that hole where the back joins the bottom of the sofa!

    3. Pleasure Way makes a class Bcand B+ with twins. Very high quality and lots of items are standard that would be options by other manufacturers.

    4. Are you still looking? There are quite a few manufacturers that make single beds. (twin beds that convert to a king) The one we’ve been looking at is from Leisure Travel Vans, the Unity Twin bed model.

  3. I don’t see my post yet on here so in case I can’t edit it, I looked at the picture here again and it looks more like the Travato….because of the door behind the two twin beds (where the wet bath would be)

  4. This is a great article. We just purchased a Class C RV and originally wanted about 24-27 ft. After looking we found that in this size you had to crawl over each other to get into the full or queen bed which was stationary and maybe when younger that would have not been an issue, but now in our 60’s but healthy and active we just didn’t want to crawl over each other at night. Or our other option was a slide out for the queen bed in this length. We also found in this size Class C we couldn’t get both a table and couch separate and thought that was important as well for the same reasons as stated in this article. For the reasons described in the article, we realized real quick that we wanted a stationary queen bed we could walk around and a slide that just widened the main area but without it, we could still use everything in the RV. We ended up with a Forest River Sunseeker 31.5 ft. which has Stationary comfortable queen bed and the slide widens the main area which extends the eating table and sofa and when closed everything looks exactly the same just a narrower main area. We love the floor plan since it also has a bunk so you don’t have to take apart anything if you have friends/family with you. We were told that a floor plan makes all the difference in enjoying your RV experience or not. I believe that.

    1. We are starting our search and seem to have similar needs to your. Can you be more specific with the Model you decided to buy? I looked on Forest River website and was not sure. Thanks!

    2. The starcraft ulta light launch 24rls model has everything you just described. Queen walk around bed, entry door to bath from brm AND main living area. Slide out for dinette, jackknife sleeper sofa and fill access to every storage area with slide closed including bed. We lived ours. The counter space was extremely ample. Hubby wants a 5’er, so we’re looking at floor plans now with Starcraft.

  5. the MOST important thing to do BEFORE you buy is to go RENT a unit like the unit you are thinking
    of buying…..even 2 days of camping will tell educate you on the positives and negitives of that particular unit’s layout….

  6. Great Service! Allen and Lennie were both great. Let us wander and find just what we were looking for the made all the arrangements for us to take it home.

  7. The major thing is what you be towing with. Also what your comfortable in the navigation. Not every park and road is open highway. Are you going to spend a lot of time in unit or just for sleeping. The quality of workmanship is also not what it used to be.

  8. A good floor plan is important in any home, but it’s especially important in the limited space of an RV. If you’ve visited an RV dealer recently then you may have seen the dozens of different RV floor plans to choose from, with more interesting layouts available every model year. While that’s a good thing, all the variety can make it difficult to know which floor plan is the best layout for your needs. This is especially true if you’re picking out an RV for the first time, or if you haven’t experienced much RV camping so choose floor plan wisely.

  9. Sliders are great until they leak or don’t retract. On 6 week coast to coast trip from Virginia to Oregon/CA and back ran into 3 sticky sliders and a leaker on 2and 3 year old units my tools helped.

  10. Is there a floor plan index or a floor plan need program that give which units have what will meet your need?? Do we really have to look at a hundred units to find one that meets out needs. We are a couple that will be desk working as we travel. So far we have decided on a Class A diesel pusher at 30′ +. Now we are looking for a suitable floorplan. Focused more units 7-13 years old units with a steel framed coach box. Can we plug in our desires and poof find units that meet the request??

    1. Paul, your best option is to talk with a product specialist at one of the dealerships. You can make a list for them of the things you want, and they can present you with the best options available.

  11. Our Thor Chateau 28Z has fully accessible walk around queen bed, bathroom and frig with slide in. Also has dinette and couch ( which we replaced with recliners). And TV is in living area not over the cab, so you can watch it without turning you head!

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