This article was written by Robert Moreland of MCM Design. Robert is a Portland, Oregon architect who has spent 35 years designing quality homes. These RV designs are his first stab at making his own “Tiny House”.
As an architect, I had a tough time finding a motorhome that had an interior design to my liking.
I wanted an efficient layout that was both contemporary and comfortable.
After looking for months, I found that few motorhome models in the US met these criteria. Winnebago had some nice models, but nothing stood out as a clear winner.
I thought about buying an Itasca Navion, but then it occurred to me that if I couldn’t get the custom RV design I wanted maybe I should just design my own?
I had never tried designing a custom RV before.
My first attempts for my own custom RV are these two 26’ long design concepts shown below.
The first has a bathroom in the rear to give a larger open space.
The second features a mid-bathroom layout so that the main sitting area is in the rear where the view at most campsites is most likely better.
Custom RV Design #1:
Custom RV Design #2:
RVs that are designed to sleep a lot of people usually have a small general living space.
For a dinette to convert to a bed, the seat cushions and backs have to be flat, making sitting at them very uncomfortable.
Both of my custom RV designs utilize an easily accessible cab-over full size bed.
Three wide steps that double as storage drawers provide easy access to the bed. There’s no need for climbing ladders in the middle of the night.
Plus, the wrap around sofas are long enough to sleep an overnight guest.
You Don’t Always Need an RV That Sleeps 6 People
These custom RVs are designed for a single person or a couple.
I believe that baby boomers, like myself, are going to want custom RVs with less sleeping space and more living room.
The kitchen areas in my designs are also much larger than those found in ‘stock’ setups.
Part of my attraction to the RV lifestyle is having great meals with good friends in the beautiful outdoors.
To make a large meal you need counter space and a sink large enough to clean up the pots and pans afterward. Both designs have 6’ of counter space and enough room so that two people can work side by side with ease.
I also want the designs to be environmentally responsible and to use sustainable materials as much as possible.
This means making the custom RV as light as possible, using aluminum construction and avoiding heavy slide-outs.
There is no reason that kitchen cabinets be paneled with wood and topped with granite counter-tops.
Many other materials are lighter and have just as nice of a look.
An Aerodynamic Exterior Is Important, Too
RVs have a lot of things attached to exterior surfaces which make gas mileage poor and open the rig up to leaks during rainy weather.
While I don’t have a solution for the rooftop air-conditioner yet, I think the side awing on my custom RV can go.
You can buy a folding shade structure that will work just as well and not clutter up the outside of the rig.
These are designs in progress.
I hope to be able to price and test their feasibility soon.
If you would like to see more detailed plans visit MCM Design.