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.

To return to the Motorhome Buyers' Guide home page click here

More useful Motorhome pages:

Motorhomes for Sale  |  Motorhome Reviews  |  Sell Your Motorhome  |  Motorhome Advice  |  Motorhome Buyers' Guide

Motorhome News  |  Motorhome Features  |  Motorhome Forums

MMM (Motorcaravan Motorhome Monthly) Magazine  |  Which Motorhome Magazine  |  Motorhome Shows

Motorhomes Advice

Motorhome buying and selling advice

Motorhome advice direct from the motorhome experts.

Buyers Guide

What motorhome?

A guide to the types and sizes of motorhomes and campervans available.

Which Motorhome   
Which layouts

Motorhome Layouts

Motorhomes come in a huge range of different layouts. Which layout is best for you?

Motorhome Layouts   
Which motorhome

Motorhome Reviews

Hundreds of in-depth reviews to help you choose the right motorhome for you.

Motorhome Reviews   

Sponsored by our trusted partner:

Marquis Motorhomes

Motorhome Accessories For Sale

Looking for great bargains on motorhome accessories?

Take a look at our motorhome accessories for sale section, where great deals are available on both new and used accessories. You never know what you might find!

Accessories For Sale   

Sell your motorhome!

Sell your motorhome or campervan with Out and About Live. It is quick and easy!

Get the price your vehicle deserves!

See our Ad Prices Here   

Motorhome and Campervan Shows

Why not visit one of our many shows and explore in person your next motorhome or campervan.

All our motorhome shows include:


  • Massive collections of motorhomes, campervans and outdoor leisure accessories.
  • A huge range of new and used models from both national and local dealers
  • Thousands of accessories from hundreds of exhibitors
  • Free expert seminars available at most shows
  • Indoor and outdoor exhibition areas (when possible)
See Upcoming Shows   

Buying Your First Motorhome 2022

Motorhome Buyers Guide

Looking for more great motorhome and campervan buying information? You need the brand-new guide to Buying Your First Motorhome, it’s packed with everything you need to help you with choosing, buying, owning and enjoying your very first motorhome or campervan.

Digital    Download it now from Pocketmags for just £9.99.

Printed    Or order a printed edition for just £9.99.

Motorhome magazines to your door!

Invest in the quality journalism and the trusted opinions of the motorhome experts. Our magazines represent industry-recognised quality, authority and credibility, offering professional insights and opinions from the people that live and breathe the motorhome and campervan life.

MMM magazine


The Motorhomers’ Magazine. The best-selling motorhome magazine, packed with top travel, sites, tests, practical advice, buying guides and more.

About MMM Magazine   
What Motorhome Magazine

What Motorhome

What Motorhome magazine is the essential monthly magazine for those looking to buy a new motorhome or campervan or to upgrade their existing model.

About What Motorhome Magazine   
Campervan Magazine


Campervan is the exciting monthly magazine that will give you all the inspiration you need to explore the world in your campervan, including top travel and sites.

About Campervan Magazine   

Even more buying and selling advice

Motorhome Buyers Guide

A Buyers' Guide

Everything you need to know about buying a motorhome or campervan. The ultimate buyers' guide.

Buyers' Guide   
Motorhome Sellers Guide

A Seller's Guide

Whatever your reason for selling, there are a number of ways to get the best price for your motorhome or campervan.

Sellers Guide   
Motorhome Insurance

Motorhome Insurance

Found the right motorhome or campervan to buy? Now you need to find the right insurance cover…

Motorhome Database

The Motorhome Database

On the hunt for the perfect new or used motorhome? Search and compare over 14,000 makes and models from the last 20 years

Motorhome Dealers

Find a motorhome dealer

Looking for local motorhome and campervan dealers? Start your search here using our handy trader directory.

2022 Motorhomes

2022 best motorhomes, campervans and awnings

We have hand-picked the best motorhomes, campervans and awnings of the year and put together a selection of handy all-you-need-to-know essential guides!

Handy guides 2022