House and garden

Motorhome: the pros and cons, DIY construction


A motor home is a type of vehicle that also serves as housing. It has gained and is gaining popularity since the end of the last century.

On the whole territory of our vast planet there are cars with residential trailers or even full-fledged mobile homes. But in our country it is even to this day quite a rarity and luxury. It is used for travel, for long trips, including abroad - without bothering with the purchase of tickets for airplanes and trains, searching and booking hotels and hotels, and also with the aim of being as independent as possible from everything. For some, this is temporary housing for the period of construction of the dwelling or use as an auto cottage.

Types of Mobile Homes

There are several types of motor homes for distinctive design features and areas of operation:

  • Trailed, trailer.
  • Wagon.
  • Integrated in the vehicle.

Subsequently, they are divided by purpose:

  • for long or permanent residence;
  • for short-term use and travel.

According to the official recognized classification are divided into:

  • A class
  • B class
  • C class

They all differ both in technical characteristics, dimensions, capabilities, and in the price category and the requirements for maintenance and operation.

  • Class A, and in overall dimensions similar to the average bus, is the most comfortable, functional and expensive. As a rule, it is made on the basis of a truck, like a folding house on wheels, and requires a category C driver's license. A distinctive feature is the presence of a very large windshield, as, for example, a tourist bus, variable living volume by means of movable partitions and pull-out zones, the presence of individual sleeping places. Also, this type is as mobile as possible, has a large supply of water, a generator and gas, and can be operated as a winter version.
  • Class B - the main difference is the location of the berth at the end of the living compartment in the direction of travel. It is the most popular type of cottage on wheels in America.
  • C-Class is a category that unites all small-sized houses, the priority is a small trailer with a folding mobile tent, used in conjunction with a car.

What makes a motor home

The most important part of any "house" is the availability of all life support systems, such as water and gas supply, electricity, gas and a sewage system. Regardless of the classification and dimensions of the caravan, there is a sleeping place, and then their quantity and location are already determined from the volumes and capabilities.

For example, a full-fledged double seat can be located above the driver, a folding ladder is installed to enter it, you can only be there in a lying position, since the height there is no more than 80 cm and decreases along the way. In the living compartment there can be up to 4 places for sleeping, for example, in the rear part, transversely to the direction of movement of the car, it can be either two in a row or in a single place one above the other. Also, the table and benches can be transformed into a full double bed, but in some cases this can limit movement in the cabin.

For all-weather use, a heating system is arranged, gas cylinders are installed for this, gas is also used in the kitchen for cooking and heating water, which is much more profitable and more rational than electricity. The presence of a cooking zone also implies the installation of a hood and ventilation system, especially when using gas. Water is stored in containers where a pump is installed to supply it to the kitchen and toilet.

For the disposal of used water, a special tank is installed, which can be installed both from the inside and outside when parking. The shower compartment as well as the toilet are individually set, but according to the specific requirements, a full toilet cannot be equipped, therefore a dry closet is used. As for furniture, the main attribute in its manufacture is compactness and practicality with the aim of optimizing and saving living space, for this reason one can observe solutions such as folding beds, extendable tables and the like.

To ensure safety during movement, all moving and non-static elements are fixed. To provide electricity, a rechargeable battery is installed, an external 220 V network connector, which is used to connect at a campsite or near a power outlet. In the absence of such a possibility, a gasoline generator of various capacities is installed, which generates electricity when gas is consumed, it is installed in a special soundproof compartment to suppress increased vibration and sound of the generator. Its life is limited only by the supply of gasoline.

Advantages and disadvantages

In this world, everything has both positive aspects and disadvantages. In order not to be disappointed in your purchase, you need to make an informed choice. Those who want to buy a motor home can be divided into several categories:

  1. The first is lovers of outdoor recreation, for whom an ordinary tent creates great discomfort, and in order to spend their holidays in more comfortable conditions, they choose a motorhome.
  2. The second - travel lovers who overcome distances, do not stay in one place and, in order to exclude problems with moving, booking hotels, hotels, they chose a motorhome.
  3. The third is a category of people who chose a motorhome as their only and permanent housing on a specific site or established campsite. A simpler approach to the choice of a motorhome will be possible only for summer residents, the rest will have to pay attention to many details.

Description of advantages

Consider the advantages and disadvantages in more detail, let's start with the pros:

  • Using a motor home, you do not pay for hotels, short-term rental housing, do not depend on a specific place, time and date, independently determine driving routes, places of stops, rest and visits to various places.
  • Independently make the choice of your desired luggage, companions, pets, any other type of transport, for example, a bicycle - everything that fits.
  • There are models that allow you to move not only on paved roads, but also on rough terrain and off-road.

In general, the main advantage is that you are your own master, and it is the greatest degree of independence and freedom, comfort and living conditions creates such an attraction.

Disadvantages of a motorhome

Now about the shortcomings, we will cover them in more detail so that there are fewer unpleasant surprises.

  • If we talk about Russia and neighboring countries, specialized parking for campsites and replenishment sites is very rare, some ordinary parking lots and gas stations have this option, but very rarely for a fee.
  • It is also worth paying attention to the quality of our roads, which has a very critical effect on a mobile motorhome.

If the movement is planned on the territory of Europe, then in order to simplify and plan the route of movement, you need to prepare a list of parking lots for camping, which will be possible settle down and refuel life support systems.

  • Most of the full-fledged campsites used are located near small roads where there is not much traffic, and near small settlements, so sometimes you have to deviate from the route and get off the highway.
  • The service at such campsites is paid - prices are in the range of 10-30 euros per day, however, it is worth noting that it is much cheaper than hotels or hotels.
  • If you have a large transformer house based on a minibus, this will create little discomfort when moving in densely populated cities with a narrow roadway.
  • For large trailers and caravans based on a truck or a bus, a special category in the driver’s license will be required.
  • Storage of such a mobile trailer or motorhome at a time when it is not in use is a very costly and problematic task: not all parking lots can be placed on it, and the price is commensurate with the dimensions of the motorhome.

How to build a motorhome yourself

To turn a vehicle a motor home needs a lot of time, effort and money, and also requires appropriate equipment and premises.

To begin with, it’s worth deciding which tasks will be manufactured by a motorhome, and also choosing design features: a full-fledged motor vehicle, trailer, or with the possibility of transformation and increase in the area of ​​living space. You need to choose a car, study the legislation, make a list of life support systems, an approximate planning scheme, materials, calculate the approximate cost of manufacturing. If everything suits you initiallythen you will have to resort to the help of a computer, draw up drawings and diagrams, according to which the work will be carried out, make more accurate estimates.

Take for example a car with a simple covered body called kung.

  • Work must begin with cleaning the body of old coatings, any structures, removing common flaws, such as dents, rust, rot. A cleaned body is covered with primer, paint and special protective coatings in the right places to protect against corrosion and environmental influences. In the external and residential compartments, tanks for storing water, gas, a waste water collector, a generator and an autonomous heater are installed.
  • Installation begins inside with window openings, frames and ventilation holes. In the future, insulation of the surfaces of the body is made, it is worth paying attention to the characteristics of the insulation, which can be operated in such conditions. After that, the hidden installation of electric, water and heating lines, installation of fasteners for drawers, furniture and other equipment is carried out. After that, a fine finish is made, which begins necessarily from the ceiling, and only then goes to the walls and floor.
  • Cabinet furniture and a sleeping place are installed, then the equipment for the cooking area is started, usually from the washbasin - in parallel, water supply lines are installed and equipment for heating the water is installed, the wash basin and shower are installed in the installed place. And only after that a gas or electric stove is connected, in the first case, additional safety requirements are applied, namely special openings for exhaust gas discharge.
  • When installing an electric stove, pay attention to the additional volume of the batteries and the generator. When installing a heating system, the main parameter is the seasonality of the operation of the motorhome and climatic conditions; an electric thermal curtain is installed above the entrance, and a gas-fired heater, this allows for comfortable living conditions even in winter.
  • The penultimate stage is the installation of systems and control centers for the motorhome, the installation of household electrical equipment and additional elements for their operation.
  • The final stage is checking the gas supply system with specialists, as well as checking and refueling all the mobile home systems.