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Mirrors: The Illusion of More Space

| Updated Nov 23, 2021

One evening a giant Prevost  motorhome pulled into the campsite next to us. We were in an tiny old campground in a small town for a week while attending an event.  Not the kind of place you expect to see a huge Class A.  There were a few campers attending the same event, several permanent residents, and the occasional RV passing through. The next morning the Prevost owner offered us a tour. It had everything (including a lawn mower in one of the lower compartments.). But the odd thing was that inside everything was mirrored. The cabinets, the ceiling, the doors. Everywhere you looked you saw yourself.  It was a bit much!

Mirrors - Front looking back
Front looking back – Mirrors on bathroom, clothes cupboard and pantry doors.

But the appropriate use of mirrors does give the impression of more space .   It also reflects light into spaces that lack light. Our Roadtrek came from the factory with one mirror on the bathroom door. The previous owner had added a mirror to the pantry cabinet. door.  After some thought we added mirrors to the closet door and the clothes cabinet door opposite the panty. We just drove to a glass shop that sold mirrors, window glass, and shower doors.  We had them cut mirrors to the right sizes and install them on the spot.  You can see that our mirrors were installed with mirror clips (except for the factory original bathroom door mirror) and they were cut to fit the recessed part of the doors.

Mirrors- Back looking front bathroom side
Bathroom and clothes cupboard mirrors reflect kitchen and the closet mirror which reflects the outside.

The mirrors do make a huge visual difference.  We were showing our rig to another Roadtrek owner who said “Oh, you have so much more space than we have!  We only have a 190!”  We pointed out that ours is a 190.  She couldn't figure out why it seemed bigger than hers.  Several reasons probably, but the mirrors were certainly part of it.  Mirrors can bounce light around and reflect space, light, and color from other and sometimes unexpected places.

Imagine the difference in the photos if the doors were solid oak instead of mirrors.  The interior would be darker and there would be no “views”.  It would look smaller and narrower.  The mirrors offer views that vary as you change your position in the camper. The only drawback is that traffic can appear in reflections.

Mirrors - Kitchen Side
Kitchen side mirrors on pantry and front closet

You might hesitate to add mirrors thinking you don't want to see your reflection all the time.  That is not really problem because most of the time you are not standing in front of one of the mirrors.  It is still possible for two people to sit in the Roadtrek and not be able to see each other – even with all the mirrors!  The use of staggered mirrors on both sides means you can get reflections of reflections.  This can greatly brighten the interior.  In the evening, the LED strip lights in the kitchen can be reflected to softly illuminate more of the interior without using more power.

In the photo of the kitchen side mirrors you can see the side door window reflected in the pantry mirror – the image is reflected from the closet mirror via the bathroom door mirror.  A triple bounce!  If your Class B feels small try adding some mirrors.  The difference will amaze you.

Mike Wendland

Published on 2014-09-29

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

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