Rear lounge or fixed bed | MotorhomeFun | The Motorhome Support and Social Network

Rear lounge or fixed bed

Jan 5, 2020
35
28
Funster No
67,833
MH
Van
Exp
15 yrs
I’m sure this has probably been asked countless number of times but I can’t find anything on the forum. We are looking at a two berth around 6. 5 m length home. Mostly for use in the UK but possibly two weeks in Europe. We don’t want an overcab one.

Just wondered what people’s views were on rear lounge v fixed French bed?

We have had a Vw camper for 15 years so are used to lack of space and making the bed up!
 

Puddleduck

LIFE MEMBER
Jan 15, 2014
10,371
27,318
Scottish Borders
Funster No
29,703
MH
SunLiving Lido M45SP
Exp
On and off for many years.
We've had vans with both rear lounge and fixed bed.

I prefer the fixed bed (and often sit there to read or knit / crochet) with back against the bulkhead and loads of pillows) as making up a bed is a pain - literally. When we had the rear lounge we would often leave the bed made up. I also like the garage under the bed.

We only take the supplied dinette table (big and heavy) with us if we need it to make up the lower centre bed and have a folding table instead. That way there is loads of room in the dinette.

Another solution for you might be a drop down bed? There are a few layouts with a drop down bed over a mid-ships lounge.
 

Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
25,266
37,588
On the coast in West Sussex
Funster No
658
MH
Hymer B678 Dynamic Line
Exp
Since 2008 & many years tugging
:welco:
We wouldn't even consider a van without a fixed bed, who wants the hassle of making a bed up every night then sleeping a miss match of lumpy cushions.
Our first van had a French bed, not a bad layout but limits storage space, our last two vans have had single beds at the rear that gives a nice big garage and a front drop down double bed. A Class vans give the best compromise when it comes to beds and storage.

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Aug 26, 2008
2,158
8,499
B&NES
Funster No
3,823
MH
Van Conversion
Exp
since 2007
Fixed French beds usually have a corner that is cut off, so as not to impede access to the washroom. If you can sleep well despite that missing bit of mattress, fine, but I don't think it suits everyone hence the French Bed layout is less common than a few years ago. One of you will have to climb over the other to get to the washroom in the night.

There are MHs and even PVCs with a rear lounge and drop down double bed so that ticks both boxes.
 
Jan 8, 2013
4,411
4,775
Dronfield - Derbyshire
Funster No
24,202
MH
Burstner Lyseo 690G
Exp
Happy FLT for 8 Years
Fixed French bed.
I don't like the rear lounge types, the seating always seems too upright to lounge.
The two best seats are the drivings seats - turned around they become the perfect lounge ----- with a coffee table!
We've had two Burstner T660 over the last seven years. Perfect for two and you don't have to go to bed at the same time

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Nov 29, 2019
14
29
Funster No
67,099
MH
2015 Citroen Relay
I'm just converting a Citroen Relay at present and have gone for a fixed rear bed also. Eve do a superb small double mattress which I have bought and am building around that. I would agree that making up a bed every night is a pain.
 
Jan 26, 2017
1,558
3,687
Suffolk, twixt Bury St Edmunds & Stowmarket
Funster No
47,068
MH
Autosleeper Inca
Exp
Three Years and 16,000 Miles.
Different view, we wouldn't even consider a fixed bed, waste of space in a 6m van, extra 'room' to keep warm.

Our Inca beds can be ready to sleep in within minutes, less than five, no lifting no assembling, just push a few levers, slide a few sections and all done, easy peasy..

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Puddleduck

LIFE MEMBER
Jan 15, 2014
10,371
27,318
Scottish Borders
Funster No
29,703
MH
SunLiving Lido M45SP
Exp
On and off for many years.
We definitely avoided that. One could slide out the bottom of our French bed without disturbing the other.
Another good reason not to choose to have the cross wise beds
Maybe we have been together too long but he never wakes up when I climb over him either on my way out or back in :) Generally I don't need to get up during the night so a fixed transverse bed is fine for us.

We could use the drop down bed over the dinette if we wanted to which has access both sides.

Before buying a van with a drop down check how far it comes down and if a ladder is required.
 
Feb 15, 2014
376
381
cambridgeshire
Funster No
30,113
MH
Bessacar E450
Exp
newbie
I have a fixed bed in my bessacar and its great, I sleep on the cut off side no problems and I am 6ft 3in, only slept in a caravan made up bed but found that uncomfortable
 
Feb 21, 2016
2,955
6,120
Uk
Funster No
41,726
MH
C class
Exp
Beginner
Fixed for me. Easier. Saves time when you’re tired. Very comfortable. Garage underneath.
But if making the bed up and sleeping on cushions makes you happy...............;):LOL:

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Feb 15, 2014
376
381
cambridgeshire
Funster No
30,113
MH
Bessacar E450
Exp
newbie
best thing is to visit a few dealers and look at the options, a friend has an adria with an island bed which is nice but it takes up quite a lot of room
 

Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
25,266
37,588
On the coast in West Sussex
Funster No
658
MH
Hymer B678 Dynamic Line
Exp
Since 2008 & many years tugging
If you do go for a French bed make sure it's a decent length makes getting in and out for the inside person easier. The Hymer we had with one the bed was 7' long.
 

milliethehymer

LIFE MEMBER
Jul 18, 2015
990
10,016
West Yorkshire
Funster No
37,199
MH
None!
Exp
40 years under canvas: Motorhome 2016 To 2020
Layout is of course a personal thing.

but I think - for us- we have the perfect 2 berth layout. Rear lounge (garage underneath), with drop down crossways double bed or longways 2 singles. So one of us can be in bed, the other up and about in the lounge. Van is 6.99 m long.

our first van was twin fixed beds, which was what we thought we wanted, but the small amount of day space that resulted from the fixed beds was more of a compromise than the drop down bed (which at first I didn’t want to have)..

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Oct 20, 2018
1,084
2,021
Teesside
Funster No
56,835
MH
C Class
Exp
Since 1990
Electric drop down bed every time, best of both worlds in a smaller van. Ours comes down to seat cushion level so don't need a ladder, though it can be lowered part way down.
 
Reactions: XYL
Sep 12, 2016
1,758
3,247
Chesterfield England Tellus 3
Funster No
45,091
MH
Lunar Roadstar 800
Exp
10000 miles and 300 nights in 3 years
Layout is personal and depends on your nightly needs, and storage needs

Our van is little larger but we looked ,physically at lots of vans and decided we wanted an ISLAND fixed bed. No disturbing each other in the middle of the night. Lots of storage under it

So I would suggest you find a big dealer (not necessarily the one you will buy from) and jump on hundreds of different beds and work out if that layout suits you
 
Aug 27, 2017
395
356
Harrogate
Funster No
50,207
MH
F Line F70
Exp
Since 2012
We find most of the French beds too small and many of the drop down beds too weight restrictive particularly those which are motorised. Until recently we'd always made the bed up on our two previous vans, one a PVC the 2nd a coachbuilt. without hardship and the lounge bed in the Tracker EKS was very comfy and huge, nearly 7 ft long and easily 6ft wide and the huge overcab lockers easily held 6 pillows and two super kingsize duvets, 4.5 tog over cushions & 10.5 over us.

With the Pegaso we are certainly enjoying the convenience of the drop down bed which pivots above the cab seats leaving the lounge free to use, it's the size of a standard domestic double bed and has a weight of 250kg. It does require some ladder use but isn't particularly high and me being 20 stone and having rheumatoid arthritis still find it easy to use.

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Feb 22, 2016
1,431
2,057
York
Funster No
41,744
MH
Bailey 620 Approach
Exp
Since 2015
There are pros and cons to both. We have single beds that we have to make up. we opted for that for a few reasons, not least that we both have to get up couple of times a night (sometimes more) and don't want to wake each other up. More importantly, we both have different heat tolerances. I like the heat and feel the cold. the superior officer is the reverse. So we please ourselves with regards to duvets etc. Also, when really hot, say like in Greece last year, being close to someone else sweltering isn't conducive to sweet moods!
mak
 
Oct 3, 2019
9
2
Edinburgh
Funster No
64,915
MH
Just looking
Exp
None
Layout is of course a personal thing.

but I think - for us- we have the perfect 2 berth layout. Rear lounge (garage underneath), with drop down crossways double bed or longways 2 singles. So one of us can be in bed, the other up and about in the lounge. Van is 6.99 m long.

our first van was twin fixed beds, which was what we thought we wanted, but the small amount of day space that resulted from the fixed beds was more of a compromise than the drop down bed (which at first I didn’t want to have)..
Hi there, this sounds a good model for us, can you tell me what can you now have, thanks Sally
 

ABZSteve

Banned
Jan 8, 2014
1,525
1,652
Aberdeen
Funster No
29,617
MH
2018, Apache 634 150 Auto
Exp
Since 2015
Rear lounge all the way. Ours makes up to a king size bed either direction in minutes. Or, if you prefer, two singles. As for lounging of an evening, perfect, lie down, sit up whatever your preference. Once the bed is made up we can make up a small front "dinette" if we wish. We have a large enough through garage under the rear lounge so I don't need any more space. And, who wants to constantly spend time in a cramped tiny upright seating dinette area looking at the waste of space that is a fixed bed. Just saying like. Good luck with your choice (y)

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milliethehymer

LIFE MEMBER
Jul 18, 2015
990
10,016
West Yorkshire
Funster No
37,199
MH
None!
Exp
40 years under canvas: Motorhome 2016 To 2020
Hi there, this sounds a good model for us, can you tell me what can you now have, thanks Sally
it’s a Hymer Duomobile 534. they also made a bigger one called the 634, which is even nicer but more than 1m longer as well as being a touch wider (the 534 is 2.2 m wide compared with many MH which are 2.36.) If you want any more info just send me a pm ??
 
Oct 29, 2009
2,497
3,896
Derby
Funster No
9,111
MH
Dethleffs
Exp
Since 2006
I, too, favour a fixed bed.

HOWEVER, the OP indicated that the MH would be used mostly in the UK. That, I think, pushes the emphasis towards prioritising lounging space; particularly in a shorter van.

Ian

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Oct 18, 2017
812
3,334
Funster No
51,006
MH
Hymer Ayers Rock
Exp
1Year
Fixed rear bed for us as well and we're in a 5.4m PVC

Went the front lounge, make up the bed every night to start with because we thought we needed lounging space but making the bed every night was a faff and as the one who sleeps on the left and the one who has to get up at night, it turned into a game of "shuffle bodies" every night - Mark moved forward so I could get past him, both dogs had to be moved onto the bed, the dog beds had to be pushed up to the back doors, I used the loo, and then everything went into reverse. We had that van just 3 months before I said enough is enough!

We now have a smaller fixed transverse bed with lots of storage space underneath, I'm on the inside the van edge and Mark sleeps up to the doors. We have the captains chairs to relax in, Mark usually watches films down that end when relaxing in the evenings and I'm like Puddleduck with sitting on the bed, I lean back to the washroom wall with my feet toward the back doors, I can crochet, read, listen to music; I'm tucked away round the corner and the dogs might be with me or with Mark.

The bonus is being able to leave the bed made up during the day, it serves as a useful storage space for soft things like the dinette seat (used to be a dog bed but Mark has managed to find a way to fix the bed to the back wall of the dinette now so the seat is taken off for travelling), slippers etc; not forgetting sleeping on a proper mattress.

It doesn't make any difference to us whether in the UK or abroad, and in fact since we've owned the current one we've been away a few times in the UK and just 4 nights in France.

I think it really does depend on how you spend your "in-van" leisure time plus the amount of storage space needed because the settee we had in the first van only had room for the bedding and a needed bed base cushion whereas our current van has masses of storage under the bed for everything we need and more!
 
Jun 30, 2018
27
32
Funster No
54,679
We have to make the beds up in our Eldiss 115, and we sleep better in that than we do at home. However we have decided our next motorhome will have fixed beds.
 
May 29, 2014
772
539
southampton
Funster No
31,701
MH
A frame
Exp
since 1985
Fixed French bed.
I don't like the rear lounge types, the seating always seems too upright to lounge.
The two best seats are the drivings seats - turned around they become the perfect lounge ----- with a coffee table!
We've had two Burstner T660 over the last seven years. Perfect for two and you don't have to go to bed at the same time
Well there you go you obviously did not try the Autotrail Apache 634U The Lounge is an excellent shape,length,and very comfortable with a panoramic view.
Very quick and easy to turn into very comfortable singles or kingsize double.
The big problem with most of the Euro builds is not having the ability to Lounge in the very upright seating of the dinette.

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Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
25,266
37,588
On the coast in West Sussex
Funster No
658
MH
Hymer B678 Dynamic Line
Exp
Since 2008 & many years tugging
The big problem with most of the Euro builds is not having the ability to Lounge in the very upright seating of the dinette.
Yes but you have Aguti or ISRI captians seats which are the most comfortable in the house.
Also they don't do water ingress as standard like UK built vans.
 
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