French Bed Motorhome Layouts

MMM editorial

The Verdict

A French bed layout is an alternative to an island or fixed double and is better suited to those motorhomes where space is at even more of a premium than usual. With the foot-end corner cut off, French beds allow more space to get around. However, because of this cut-away, check you can both comfortably lay down without on partner or the other's feet hanging off the edge. French beds are now popular and can be found in van conversions as well as smaller coachbuilt motorhomes.

At a glance

The pros and cons of a french bed are:

  • Gives at least partial garage storage
  • Allows for a fixed bed in a smaller van
  • Cut off can over-shorten bed
  • Can lead to a tiny washroom

Full details

Fixed-bed motorhomes can either be seen as the ultimate in luxurious motorhoming, or a complete waste of interior space. A compromise is the French bed, which takes up less room than a full-size double or an island bed

The French bed sits longitudinally down one side of the motorhome against a side wall. This presents the obvious problem of one partner being against the wall and being required to clamber over his/her partner to get out of bed. However, it's not all roses for the other partner, as he/she has to contend with the cut-away, which can mean dangling feet or even legs depending on how severe the cut-away is - so always check!

That said, these beds are far more comfortable than beds made up from a mish-mash of seat cushions and, of course, they are always ready made!

French beds don't offer large bike-friendly garages like rear transverse bed models - but they do offer valuable extra storage that can often be accessed from an external hatch or by lifting the main bed base.

Of course, French beds are made to the same comfortable levels as their larger counterparts, and come equipped with single-piece mattresses that can be oh so vital to getting a good night's sleep.

After all, if you don't sleep well you won't enjoy your trip, giving rise to the idea that a fixed bed is in fact not a waste of space, but possibly the most important part of your motorhome.

Both European and British manufacturers favour French bed layout in many ranges, especially in low-profile 'vans, so whatever your budget there will be plenty to suit your pocket.



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