We are sitting in a beautiful Florida State Park waiting for the snow and wintry mix to pass through Georgia before we head north. We will winterize tomorrow morning after breakfast. Usually we can get halfway home before winterizing, but this winter has been cold – even in the south.
We spent most of the day in the Roadtrek – it was raining – and we starting thinking back on all we have learned in five years we have had Red Rover. There are so many big and little things we have picked up along the way to make life more pleasant in a Class B. We got into a discussion of why our Roadtrek is such a comfortable cozy place. Not all RVs are like that. But why?
We have been in much larger RVs – Class A units of all sizes, a rented 38-foot Allegro Bus, a 34-foot Airstream silver bullet motorhome, and others. We explored RVs at RV shows, from pop-up campers to magnificent Prevosts with every luxury including electric fireplaces and exterior plasma HDTVs. Nothing had matched the comfort we experienced in our Roadtrek. Why?
Roger thinks it is because our 190 Popular has a variety of spaces in it – not like the spacious behemoths. The ceiling height varies, low in front over the driver and passenger seats, higher where the three windows lead up, then down again to the space in the rear. Also, we make up the rear into a table and two long seats in the daytime. This gives us a comfortable additional sitting and eating space with picture windows in daylight, cozy curtains at night.
Lynn found the books A Pattern Language and the Not So Big House enlightening by defining principles for what makes spaces comfortable. The original Roadtrek interior designers purposely or perhaps just from the experience of living in a camper van applied many of the principles outlined in those books. The concepts of alcoves, ceiling height changes, extended sight lines, moving toward the light and the suggestion of more space just out of sight make the 19-foot long camper seem larger than its size. The combination of the warm golden oak cabinets harmonizes with the cool blue upholstery. The inclusion of front and rear tables means two people can work in comfort and be out of sight of each other. The 30-inch wide aisle is just enough to make the kitchen / bath spacious – any narrower would have changed the feel, but also to provide the separation between areas.
Pillows from Pier-1 punch up the blue color scheme. We do not leave the rear bed made up full time – as many class B owners do – because in our experience that cuts down our daytime use and pleasure of a cozy living space. Also, we have installed several additional mirrors on cabinet doors that reflect the attractive cabinetry by night and increase the visual spaciousness of all the views by daylight.
We have changed to LED lighting for power conservation, but installed LED strip lights over the rear table, in the kitchen, and toilet compartment. A dimmer on the table overhead makes it easy to dial down the right light level for a romantic dinner or dial up the illumination and turn on the big light for working on scrapbooks, cartoons or computers. In short, we have adopted home designer principles of variable lighting, materials, borrowed space, and views to make an attractive living space into an even more enjoyable and comfortable basic surrounding. Of course, our ideas of attractiveness are deeply personal and the result of years of reflection on why our Roadtrek is fun to live and travel in.