This is part six of 'How to choose a mobile home'.
Downsizing from the average 149m2 New Zealand house1 to something in the vicinity of 20% or less the size is no mean feat. [Let's face it, sometimes it's hard enough to get any space even in the toilet at home without it ending up like you are holding court.]
For those fortunate to be in the position to design your dream mobile home from scratch you are only limited by your imagination and budget. You can start with the end in mind, listing all your requirements and craft your own set-up that is perfect. Perhaps though, what happens more often is that you end up evaluating a pre-existing rig and asking yourself how this mobile home has this feature or allows you to do this thing when you are traveling with these people. Most times the space and fixtures have to do double or triple-duty.
So that's what we are looking at today: Ergonomics.
- Does the layout make sense? Does it feel right?
- Do you need to push past someone all the time? Do you have enough space to co-exist?
- Do you need to be able to multi-task; and will the layout of the mobile home allow you to do so?
- Does any area have multiple uses? Do they work with your routine? Would you need it to do something different before you are finished with it for your first task?
- Can you see the television / DVD / monitor from where the seats are?
- Is it light and airy? Skylights for ventilation and light? Does it have windows in the right places?
- Are all the windows tinted or have good curtains/blinds?
- Do you have to put your work / hobby / study materials / newspaper / laptop / jigsaw away all the time to use the table or seating?
- Is there space to 'entertain' / sit comfortably? Can the cab seats swivel to become chairs in a motor-home?
- Is there a good stereo system that operates indoors where you would want to listen to it and/or outdoors?
- What is on the floor? Is it water impervious in the entry/exit areas, food preparation and bathroom areas? Is there carpet anywhere? Do you need a vacuum? Can you use mats and shake them outside instead?
- What is there to make living / using the outside of your mobile home work for you? Do you have a sun shade / awning / tent / gazebo / umbrella?
This is perhaps the most considered aspect of of our traveling together that I keep re-playing in my head. Will this work for all of us?
Being a slightly larger family in an average-sized home we are somewhat used to areas serving double duty though.
The issue that I would prefer not to have is a seating area that duals as a sleeping area; but in the end I would hope that we could work with that, and it not stop us from getting on the road.
Another preference would be for hard-wearing solid floors throughout as this is primarily what we have at home and it helps with allergies and reducing housework.
From experience a sun shade or awning totally rocks over an umbrella, tent or gazebo too.
In the end, this is part of what our adventure is about. Learning to live, work and function more closely together as a family. Learning to appreciate the simplicity and having the privilege of perspective if and when we are able to have something extra.
Where is the line between can't live with and can't live without?