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If you have a small motorhome, it can feel claustrophobic. Here are some tips to help you make the most of the space you have.
The average cost of a small motorhome, like a class B model, was $134,000 in 2021. With a huge spike in demand during and after the pandemic, prices rose with it. Who can blame you for choosing a small motorhome?
There are several benefits to choosing a small motorhome over a larger model. Smaller motorhomes are easier to drive and park, fitting into tighter spaces, and causing less disruption on the roads. They are cheaper than larger models, and you should pay less for fuel costs on your adventures.
You may miss the space of a larger motorhome after a while though. No one likes feeling cramped on a road trip holiday, and if the weather keeps you inside for a few days, you can start to feel the pinch.
We can help you make the most of your small motorhome. With our tips, you can make it look more spacious, and even make more physical space while you’re at it.
Pack your map and let’s get started!
Make Your Small Motorhome Feel Bigger with Natural Light
A bright indoor space always feels more spacious. We link dark spaces to cramped, damp cuppy hole rooms, and who wants that in your small motorhome?
Natural light has many health benefits and helps to regulate a healthy sleep pattern. It will help you snooze under the stars and wake up with the sunrise, ready for the day’s adventures.
Install bigger windows that let sunlight pour in. You can add UV window film protection to filter out harmful UV light while keeping things bright. This protects your skin and eyes but also keeps your interior items looking fresh.
Protective window film helps to keep your windows in better shape on the road too, taking the brunt of chips, knocks, and, if you get unlucky, heavy hail. It is a wise investment for a small motorhome.
From late morning to late afternoon, the sun is right over your head, and you may find your small campervan a bit dark even on a bright day. Installing a skylight makes a huge difference, and van conversions offer you the choice right from the start.
Avoid installing too many curtains, vertical blinds, or drapes as these block sunlight. If you need some extra privacy, you could use patterned valances. At night, you could pull down stacked horizontal blinds tucked away at the top of your window frame.
Design a Delightful Outdoor Space
You bought your motorhome to see more of the outside world. When you’re parked up, you want to relax in the fresh air or fire up the BBQ. That’s why it pays to design a versatile outdoor space that you can set up with ease.
Your awnings are key here, so be sure to invest in high-quality ones. Mesh awnings work well to shade you from the sun but still offer a view of the sky. Waterproofing is far from their forte, so back them up with a rain cover and UV sunshade for the best of both worlds.
You can install weatherproof outdoor lighting into your awnings or bring portable lights that stake in the ground or hang from above. Solar-powered portables save on batteries, and you can set them up around your campsite for an ambient perimeter.
Now, you skipped the bold colors inside in exchange for natural light. With your outdoor space, feel free to go nuts with eye-catching patterns, polka dots, two-tone stripes, and whatever bizarre styles you can think of. You will stand out at the campsite, that’s for sure!
Now you need some seating and maybe a table. Buy stacked and folding furniture and give it a home in your interior space storage; this makes it easier to find and set up. You could invest in a screen tent to create an extra room outside of your small RV, perfect for chilly nights or rainy days.
Buy a quality portable grill, a camper-friendly dining set, and maybe a cocktail mixer. Fancy something lighter, how about a homemade lemonade kit? Go easy on glassware for obvious reasons – there are better composite options out there that keep your food and drink fresh, and they are safer than glass.
Keep Your Interior Bright
We mentioned the importance of natural light. Now let’s talk about what to do with it once it’s inside your small RV. Even with the biggest windows in the world, you will still live in a gloomy place without the right interior design.
Paint the interior of your small campervan white to boost ambient brightness. This ensures your walls reflect the light instead of absorbing it like with a dark blue or brown finish. These colors can look stylish with the right interior design, but they have a way of stealing your light.
If you find white too clinical, you can choose other bright colors, perhaps yellow or even a washed-out pink, but make sure the tone is as close to white as you can get it. Vertical stripes in a light tone on a white background help make your walls look taller for a more spacious campervan.
For darker days and dusks, choose warm LED lights to brighten things up. Fluorescents may save you money, but they cast a cool white-blue on everything, and that’s far from cozy. Incandescents give a warm glow, but they get hot and use more electricity – this harms your budget and could even be a fire hazard if you cover a bulb up with fabric by accident.
Fit lights in every corner of your motorhome space. Central or overhead lighting spreads out in a radial gradient, making the middle of the room bright and the corners gloomy. Bright corner LEDs make your interior feel bigger, and they offer ample light, no matter where you sit.
Invest in Smart Storage Solutions
You can get inventive here. Every nook and cranny in your motorhome space is potential storage. That includes under the bed, cupboards, drawers, wardrobes, and outside hatches. Make sure every space is filled and group items by purpose, so you know that in that space, you can find all your electronic items, and that drawer is stocked with maintenance tools.
Storage benches are great for a small motorhome. They are seats, of course, but flip them open and you have a hidden storage space. The same applies to the bed – yes, you can put things under it, but some beds offer secret storage between the mattress and frame.
Shop around to see what’s on offer and never fear second-hand gear. Top-quality storage products will last a lifetime, and they save you money for more adventures in your small campervan.
You can invest in hanging or stacked storage too. Just make sure they are secured when you are on the move, but you can always take them down until you’re parked up again. Modular storage units let you mix and match items, stacking some away and combining others for versatility.
Hooks on the walls are ideal ways to keep the floor and seating spaces free of coats and towels, but avoid overcrowding as this can dampen the effect of your bright interior. Hooks behind doors offer extra storage and keep jackets out of sight.
Declutter and Keep Your Small Motorhome Clean
Even with a smart interior space design, a messy motorhome will always feel smaller than a clean one. When you need to wade through trash and boxed items, even a walk to the kitchen feels like a hassle.
Choose the right cleaning products and make sure they are small enough to tuck away when you’re done. A handheld vacuum coupled with the good ol’ broom and dustpan will handle most cleaning work. Antibacterial wipes will keep your surfaces clean, and if you have a hard floor, you can use larger wipes that attach a multipurpose broom.
All those wipes can create a lot of waste, so look for reusable microfiber cloths and a multi-purpose cleaner to keep the environment happy. You want to maximize the uses of each item – everything should have at least 2 jobs to do in your small motorhome.
Put things like dishes away after use to keep your countertops free of clutter. When you look around, you want to see empty spaces almost everywhere. If you want to take it to the next level, check out some Japanese-inspired tips for a peaceful motorhome interior.
Go Minimalist and Ditch the Luxuries
How many items have you packed for a camping trip and never used? All of those just-in-case products weigh you down and take up valuable storage space. The basics will do, and you might even enjoy your trip more, free of the complications of modern living – a return to nature.
Clothing is a place to start. Pack items that match each other in a myriad of ways. Neutral colors and a little color theory will help you here. Use the adage everything should have at least 2 jobs again to guide you.
For outdoor activities, layers are your friends. They save on total weight in most cases, better than a thick jacket anyway, and they let you adjust your body temperature to conditions. Thick, padded, single-layers leave you with two options: too hot or too cold.
You can save space on electronics with a multiport USB power adaptor. Most tech uses USB-C or micro-USB, so double down and use it to charge all of your devices. You can buy a surge protector in case of thunderstorms or power fluctuations; some campsites run on generators, so this can happen, and you want to keep your tech safe.
Use Mirrors to Make Your Motorhome Interior Seem Bigger
An optical illusion it may be, but installing mirrors in strategic spots around your small RV can work wonders for creating an increased sense of depth. Even a small motorhome can be turned into a spacious campervan with mirrors.
Full-length mirrors are best for boosting perceived space, so if you have wall space, these are your ideal choice. They need to be secured and make sure you choose minimal frame edges to boost the effect.
You can buy top-quality plastic mirrors these days, and let’s be honest, who wants a huge glass mirror in a small motorhome? That is a disaster waiting to happen; they weigh a lot and shattered glass could ruin your holiday.
You could use horizontal mirrors that stretch across your wall space above or under your windows. Team them up with a few hanging plastic mirrors to make your space bigger and brighter, but be sure to avoid cluttering your walls.
Maximize Your Time Outdoors
Even with your outdoor space, too much time at home will turn any living space into 4-walled claustrophobia. Plan hikes, adventures, and outdoor excursions in the most beautiful places in the United States.
More of a city-tripper? Park up on the edge of town and soak up all the city has to offer, from nightlife, to live shows, to fancy restaurants. At the end of the evening, you can retreat to your cozy, small RV, while everyone else heads to their expensive apartments or hotel rooms.
More time outside, in nature, will make you appreciate your small motorhome living space. You will use your energy exploring, and when you get home, the first thing on your mind will be to put your feet up, pour a cold drink, and watch the stars through your skylight!
Hit the Road With a Spacious Small Motorhome
Psst, we will keep it a secret if you do. A small motorhome has huge benefits over large models – parking, fuel costs, cuteness – but if you miss the extra space, follow these tips to make your small motorhome seem bigger.
Keep the interior of your small motorhome bright, get smart with your storage, and stay organized. Your adventures will be so much more enjoyable, and you will welcome your cozy interior after a hard day’s exploration.
We hope you enjoyed the article. We have more travel, lifestyle, and home improvement tips for you. Check out our site before your next trip!