Yesterday I was talking about converting vehicles to RVs (you can go and check if you like).

Today I’m going to tell you why they’re all morons.

Well, no, the individuals aren’t morons, but I find myself completely at a loss when it comes to understanding the interior designer’s perspective when it comes to most RVs.


I mean, what in the hell is that?

Aside from the decor being some early 90s suburban drearyism crap look at the way the space is used!

Now when it comes to these things I’m not a spot on my old man. There’s a place in Renwick, on Uxbridge Street that we used to house project staff in. It has a little house and a reasonably large lawn, oh, and a shed. Nothing unusual.

The thing being that in New Zealand things are usually quite nicely spaced out. The population density is pretty low, at least on the south island. Well, it seemed that way to me.

The thing being that if one evaluated the property on paper as a physical area it could actually easily house a small retail area. About eight units, if memory serves, and a little plaza, and flats above the units.

I think the recession made it a poor time to redevelop the property but it really opened my eyes to what one could do should one strip things down to a raw canvas.

More recently I’ve seen things like this:

For me an RV should be considered not as a tin can on wheels that one has to live within, it should be more of a central component in a living space. That sounds like rather wishy-washy talk, I know, but it’s more the idea of thinking about what I’d really want to use such a vehicle for – travelling and experiencing.

There’s three rooms I need most: a bedroom, a big room, and a bathroom.

“Big room”?

Yeah. I was going to say “living room” but I don’t even know what that means any more. How does one define that? I have a living room in my flat and it basically houses the TV and I sometimes play Gorkamorka in there.

I’d rather have a room that can be reconfigured for what I need to do. Having a TV would be nice, for example, but with the advent of modern TVs I see no reason why it can’t be mounted on an actuating arm that folds up to the ceiling. Ideally it’d be mounted on a rail as well in order to be movable to the bedroom!

Furniture should be kept to a bare minimum and instead follow the design seen in the video – capable of expanding to provide more rather than stuck providing too much. A fixed table seems daft when a great many of my meals are eaten with a plate on my lap!

Drilling down further there’s the basics of the structure that confuse me. Modern materials allow for much more advanced structures whilst keeping weight at a minimum. Weight being the primary concern in order to keep energy usage low. Ideally I’d be running from an electric or hydrogen engine, I suppose. Whether those technologies will be available any time soon remains to be seen, sadly, but either way cost should be kept as low as possible.

In terms of lining the vehicle there’s two concerns – heat and sound. One major element of this is getting the feeling right. Surely sound-proofing shouldn’t be that hard to achieve using multiple layers of different foams? I find the way noise cuts right through thin aluminium walls to be a major annoyance. I feel like people outside are right next to me – not very private! Fixing that immediately upgrades the living space to something a bit more personal and intimate.

I also don’t like being cold. I imagine you don’t either. Don’t worry, that’s normal.

Insulating things appropriately and redirecting excess heat energy from the motor should be within the realms of possibility with a little thought. Right? I don’t want to have to waste energy on heating, which is of course rather costly, when there’s perfectly good heat being thrown away into the vehicle’s radiator!

Similarly lighting should be a non-issue in this day and age but vehicles seem to be stuck using incandescent bulbs that draw ridiculous amounts of juice each! LEDs, a solar panel roof, and sensibly placed fibre optics to bring in outside light. Seriously, why has this problem not been solved yet?

I know it can be done in reality. Surely it’s not that much to ask?

There’s so much to say on the whole portable living space concept, I’m sure I’ll have to revisit it further down the line.

The general idea being to cut down possessions in a minimalist fashion, although not to an insane degree, and then combine that with a portable lifestyle. I love stuff but given how much stuff we can digitise these days I can take a lot of that stuff with me!

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