The next time you go shopping for a motorhome, bring along a tape measure. You’ll find it is a handy tool when it comes to evaluating an RV’s livability.
Begin by using it to measure the outside storage cabinets. Is there room for your leveling blocks, hookup equipment, folding chairs, barbecue, tools, golf clubs and fishing gear? Compare the sizes of the larger items to the dimensions of the outside storage bays.
Ascertain the usable countertop space in the kitchen. That motorhome may come equipped with a large side-by-side refrigerator, icemaker, LP-gas oven, microwave/convection oven, pullout pantry, double sink and dining accommodations for six people. But does it have adequate counterspace on which to prepare a meal or stack dirty dishes?
Check out the interior dimensions of the cupboards. Will your coffee pot, toaster, slow cooker, pressure cooker, electric skillet, pots, pans, lids, serving bowls, dishes, cups and glasses fit? Measure the shelf heights in the slide-out pantry. Will they accommodate boxes of dry cereal and bags of potato chips or just small sizes of canned goods?
Open every drawer. You’d be surprised at how short some of them can be. Most drawer items will fit one way or the other, but some motorhomes may have more drawers with better dimensions.
Look in the bathroom. Are the bathroom towel holders adequate? Can you add more? Where? Measure the available wall or door space.
See if the medicine chest is deep enough and if its shelves are high enough to accommodate the items you plan to keep in it.
Take your shoes off and step into the shower. Go through the motions of bathing yourself and washing your hair. Can you accomplish this without bruising your knuckles on the ceiling or getting wrapped up in the shower curtain? Be reasonable; most coach showers won’t compare to the one you have at home, but do measure and compare the various showers available for the type and size of motorhome you are researching.
The manufacturer’s brochure claims the couch sleeps two. Does that mean two adults or two children? A 6-foot-tall adult would appreciate a bed that is at least 74 inches long. Convert the couch (and the dinette) into a bed. Lie down on it. Is it comfortable? How many nights could you sleep on it?
Measure the mattress. You may want to buy fitted sheets. Just because it’s labeled a “king” or “queen” size mattress does not mean it meets the standard measurements of the bed industry.
Here, according to a mattress manufacturer, are the standard mattress sizes:
California King 72 by 84 inches
Standard King 76 by 80 inches
Queen 60 by 80 inches
Full 54 by 75 inches
Twin 38 by 75 inches
There’s nothing wrong with a mattress that isn’t a standard size, but you do want to make an informed decision.
Measure the interior of the motorhome’s wardrobe closets and shirt lockers. You want to be able to hang your clothes in the closets without the bottom 6 inches lying rumpled on the closet floor. And you want the closet door to close without pushing your clothes sideways.
At home, measure from the top of your wardrobe’s clothes rod to the bottom of the longest item of clothing you expect to hang in your motorhome’s wardrobe closet. Next, measure the shoulder width of the widest garment you expect to hang in your motorhome’s clothes closet. Then measure from the top of your clothes rod to the bottom of the shorter items of clothing you might hang in a motorhome’s shirt lockers.
In the motorhome, measure from the top of the wardrobe’s clothes rod to the closet floor and from the inside of the closet door to the back wall of the closet. Compare these measurements with the measurements you made at home. It will allow you to determine if the RV’s clothes closets and shirt lockers will accommodate the clothes you want to take.
Your tape measure will also come in handy for measuring the motorhome’s interior and exterior heights, its width, wheelbase, rear overhang and ground clearance.
Next time you go looking at motorhomes take your tape measure. It will literally tell you if a coach is going to measure up to your expectations.
Visit the Kievas’ website at www.rvknowhow.com.