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Why are RVs Designed the Way They Are?



While RVs come in all shapes and sizes and vary greatly from one manufacturer to another, most RVs have a few things in common. Following are a few of the most common RV-design features people wonder about. While some of the reasons for these designs may seem obvious (safety reasons!), we want to answer your questions about them. So why are RVs designed the way they are? Let's see!






Why are RV doors on the right side of the unit?

Answer: Driving is done on the right side of the road (in most countries), so parking, loading, and unloading of cargo or passengers is usually done on the right side of the street/road. By putting the door on the right side of an RV, it's safest for the passengers.






Why are the door hinges on the front of the door?

Answer: The hinges are located on the front of the door for a very good reason. If your door should happen to blow open as you're traveling down the highway at high speeds (yikes!), having the hinges on the front side of the door will ensure that the wind will simply blow the door shut. If the hinges were on the back side of the door and it blew open while you were traveling 70 mph, the door could possibly tear right off and put those behind you on the road in danger (and cause a lot of damage to your RV).






Why are awnings on the right side of an RV?

Answer: Same as the doors on a RV, the awnings are located on the curbside to avoid the awning being in the road or in traffic when it is extended for use.






Why is the front end of an RV angled?

Answer: The rounded corners, smooth sides, and recessed areas for external components lends to an aerodynamic benefit when towing. An added advantage is the under belly of the trailer. With the tanks and waterlines enclosed into the trailer, you avoid additional wind drag from exposed components. This design leads to better gas mileage and easier towing.






Why do some RVs have ramps?

Answer: Toy hauler RVs have a fold-down ramp for loading and unloading cargo, such as outdoor toys, gear, and equipment. Toy haulers are constructed with diamond plating and tie downs to make them extremely sturdy and secure for campers who wish to bring their ATVs, bikes, kayaks, and more with them when they hit the road.






What are the different tanks for in an RV?
Answer: Your RV has a few different holding tanks. The largest of the three tanks is the fresh water tank. These are usually plastic and can be either black or white (black inhibits the growth of algae!). The black water tank holds the water that goes down the toilet. If your RV has multiple toilets, then you probably have multiple black tanks as well. The grey tank is designed to collect and store the water that goes down the sink and shower drains and from a washing machine if you have one.






What are the propane tanks for?

Answer: The RV propane tank(s) is a very important component of your RV. Otherwise known as LP (liquid petroleum) or LPG (liquid petroleum gas), propane is used for many daily functions, such as cooking your food, cooling your refrigerator, and heating your water. Those little tanks pack a big punch!






Why are propane tanks located in the front of an RV?

Answer: Safety issues are a big reason propane tanks are located in the front of RVs. Depending on the type of vehicle, cylinders and regulating equipment can be found in the following locations:

1. Travel Trailers and Tent Trailers: On the A-frame as close to the front of the trailer body as possible.

2. Motor Homes, Vans, Fifth Wheels for Slide-in Chassis Mounted Units: In a recessed compartment, gas tight to the interior of the vehicle, and accessible only from, and ventilated to, the outdoors. Pressure relief valves must be pointed away from the vehicle or toward the container compartment opening.






Why are water tanks located in the center of RVs?

Answer: Water weighs more than eight pounds per gallon! When you hit the road with water in your tanks, you are traveling with a lot of excess weight in your RV. The tanks are built into the center of the RV so that the weight is centrally located in the RV and not on one end or side (which could cause tipping or rolling when going around corners).






Why are air conditioners located on top of an RV?

Answer: The air conditioner is located on the top of an RV to allow the hot air to be discharged out of the unit, while pumping cold air inside the RV. Some models have basement air conditioners, which helps to lower the center of gravity of the RV. However, one disadvantage of this style of A/C unit is that it takes up valuable basement storage space—something that may not be in your favor.

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