In this article, we will answer the following question: What is a French bed in a caravan? We will explain everything there is to know about motorhomes beds, including dimensions, pros and cons.
What is a French bed in a caravan?
A French bed in a caravan is a double bed located at the rear of the vehicle but in a lateral position. It is often adjacent to the bathroom. It was a very popular bed during the 2000s, little by little abandoned in favour of central and twin beds.
The dimensions of a French bed in a caravan are:
- Length: up to 200 cm
- Width: up to 140 cm
The main advantage of a French bed: for a double bed in length, the French bed takes up relatively little space. The possibility of accommodating an adjoining bathroom allows this saving.
The main disadvantage of a French bed: accessibility. When two people sleep, each one of them is facing a wall. Not for claustrophobic people, I’d say.
One can say that the French bed in a caravan is an old-fashioned configuration since there are more and more brands that do not include a French bed in their catalogue. Its main drawback is that despite having a bed made there is no feeling of separation.
However, its positive side is that the motorhome can be shorter and does not need to go to seven and a half meters in length, plus there is a lot of storage space under the bed easily manageable from the inside.
Other types of caravan beds
Besides the French bed, there are at least seven other types of caravan beds to choose from. To make your choice easier, we have listed them below.
- Central bed: This bed is placed at the rear of the motorhome, lengthwise. The rear of the motorhome can then be isolated with a door. Sometimes there is a shower and a toilet in this bedroom section, on either side of this door.
- Length: up to 200 cm.
- Width: up to 160 cm.
The number one asset of the central bed is accessibility: it can be entered from either side of the bed, which is lower than a transverse bed. Many central beds are, however, adjustable in height (electrically or using a crank), so that the volume of the hold (located under the bed) can be increased.
Disadvantage: the central bed takes up space. The motorhome should be this much longer. This is why the manufacturers offer various tips for retracting the central bed: the lifting head, the rear slide-out, or the folding corners.
- Twin beds: Two single beds arranged lengthwise, with a central corridor. There too, storage is provided under the beds. The twin beds can sometimes be joined together at the head using a removable central box spring.
- Length: from 174 cm to 214 cm
- Width: from 60 cm to 85 cm (and beyond for very rare models)
The strong point of this type of sleeping is obvious: everyone sleeps peacefully on their own.
The downside, as with the queen-size bed, is the space it takes. And with the twin beds, there is no way to have a shower and toilet on either side of the room.
- Transverse bed: This bed is located at the bottom of the motorhome, in the direction of the width. Positioned on a large cargo hold, it is generally accessible using a small ladder.
- Length: 179 cm to 220 cm
- Width: from 80 cm to 160 cm
The strong point: The transverse bed is the bed that makes it possible to preserve the reduced size of the vehicle while allowing a large hold.
The downside, of course, is the accessibility. The bed is rather high (without reaching the altitude of an over-cab bed, of course) and the one who sleeps on the side of the wall will have to climb over his spouse.
- Bunk beds: There are two or three of them, located at the rear of the motorhome, in the direction of the width or the length. The lower bunk is often foldable so that its location can be used as a cargo hold, with a hatch accessible from the outside.
- Length: from 183 cm to 220 cm
- Width: from 80 cm to 160 cm
The strong point: It is the layout par excellence that allows you to travel with children. We can increase the number of beds to 7, thanks to the bunk beds.
The downside: They encroach on the space usually reserved for the permanent bed. The adults will sleep on the alcove bed or the drop-down bed.
- The over-cab bed: As the name suggests, the over-cab bed is only available in over-cab type motorhomes. It is located above the cabin and remains fixed. The ceiling height differs from vehicle to vehicle. It is accessed by a ladder.
- Length: 190 cm to 200 cm
- Width: 140 cm to 160 cm
Benefits: A permanent double bed that does not take up much space.
Disadvantages: The overall height of the vehicle is correspondingly high. And this permanent double bed is not easily accessible.
- Dinette beds: Most motorhome couches can be converted into an extra bed. It can be a single or double bed positioned sideways when the seating group is forward, or even two small berths placed sideways. The U-shaped lounge found at the rear of some motorhomes can be converted into a large double bed.
- Length: from 145 cm to 220 cm
- Width: from 55 cm to 155 cm (and beyond for rare models)
Benefits: The retractable bed does not encroach on the living spaces, which are so valuable during the day.
Disadvantages: It is essential to clear the space before installation.
- Drop-down bed: The drop-down bed can be found on low-profile and full-size motorhomes. It descends from the ceiling to the level of the cabin or the dinette. Depending on the models (and options) it is operated manually or electrically. Its height is variable. Some drop-down beds make it impossible to use the coach and open the living area door.
- Length: from 180 cm to 220 cm
- Width: from 60 cm to 150 cm
Advantages: An extra bed that does not require the handling of the dinette and which occupies a reasonable space.
Disadvantages: Reduces the ceiling height, encroaches on the payload, more or less easy access.
- And the others: There are many, many other models of beds for caravans, but most of them are a combination of two of the above-mentioned models.
Thus, we also have a Convertible bench, drop-down bunk beds, twin drop-down beds, roof bed (vans), modular sleeping arrangements (rear bed convertible into dinette), rear drop-down bed, drop-down bed in length, twin beds in over-cab, central offset bed, etc.
The bottom line
The bedroom is one of the fundamental parts of any motorhome, so think well before choosing the layout of your caravan. Make sure you know all the pros and cons of each type of caravan bed and choose the one that’s best for you and your family.
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FAQ on What is a French bed in a caravan?
What size is a caravan double bed?
A caravan double bed is a size of 1900 mm wide to 1500 mm long.
How do you turn a single bed into a double bed?
To turn a single bed into a double bed you can bring together two single beds and add a few blankets and pillows for more comfort.
What size is a caravan queen bed?
A caravan queen bed is 15300 mm wide to 1900 mm long.
What is the size of a single caravan bed?
The size of a single caravan bed is usually 1800 mm wide to 610 mm long.