When customers come to us requiring interior upgrades to their motorhomes it can sometimes be quite difficult for us to relay our ideas over to the customer. Some customers have big ideas of what they want without any real grasp of what work is involved to achieve their vision. There is also the problem of cost. Some of the ideas that people come up with can involve a tremendous amount of work which means that labour time becomes high and costs accumulate.
At LAS motorhomes we listen very hard to what is said by the customer, then try to visualize what you the customer are trying to achieve. Sometimes we have to be quite blunt and stop the customer in their tracks if they ask for things that cannot be achieved within their budget. It is much easier to point things out at the start rather than halfway through the project.
Any medium to large upgrade visions aren’t set in stone as they evolve with progression. More often than not when one part of the interior upgrade has been completed, the second half rarely follows the original plan.
We also have customers that will say we have this motorhome that we want to use for racing, whilst the company that owns it wants to use it for corporate events. During our planning meeting, we sit there and usually hear things like, have a TV there but we still need access to the bed over there. By this time we know the score, the pressure increases when they say “By the way we need it in 4 week’s time,” this can be far worse than someone with a concrete plan.
First of all, we end up standing in the motorhome for a few minutes gazing into space and looking for some inspiration. This is basically what happened with the project that I am about to run through with you. When this kind of challenge is put before you, you can only hope that the customer likes the end product because this is how customers can be won or lost.
Here we have a picture of what we had to work with. The aperture at the top of the picture is the access to the overhead bed and the lower aperture is the access to the driver’s cab. At the bottom of the picture, you can see we have already made a box to which we have fitted an LPG vapour tank.
Our idea is to use the lower access and fill it with insulation, making the living area warmer and also making a place for the TV.
On the left image above you might just be able to make out that there is a slide out. This is where we intend to build some additional seating, this will become an “L” shape unit. Once the slide-out is in, there should be just enough room to create a passage.
The box that is housing the gas tank will become a place to put a computer. If we wire an HDMI socket straight to the TV, the computer can then be used to project presentations onto the TV screen. If all the wiring to the TV is done internally it should look quite impressive.
Well, that was our plan anyway, at this point you just hope that you are able to cover all the necessary points that the customer requires and that they will be happy with the finished product.
This picture gives you a better view of the “L” shaped seating area that protrudes past the kitchen work surface that can be seen in the picture, the TV should be visible from the seating area.
All of these ideas are good but they need to work. What we have learnt through the years is to test your ideas whenever you can. The picture above is all about testing. You can see in the picture that we have temporarily fitted the TV, now we can test whether or not you can sit in the seats and still see a clear picture. Also, you can see at this point that the electrical boxes have been fitted.
The other thing to note is that the driver’s cab access is still there, the intentions are that when the cab is tilted back to the driving position it will seal against the back of the false wall behind the TV. On this occasion all was good and everything worked as it should so now we could continue to the end of the project.
With the upholstery put in place and everything as it should be, even I was impressed. The TV looked good and fitted completely flat against the wall. Above the table was the 230-volt socket with the USB charge points, whilst to the left of that was the HDMI socket which we wired straight into the TV. In the picture you can also see how the seat protrudes behind the kitchen and the bed access has been revamped with a new surround. All in all the whole upgrade looks original just as we like it.
The wallpaper damage was nothing to do with LAS, the vehicle was manufactured using wallpaper which never works in a motorhome environment.
Our next quest is to recover the walls, we will keep you posted.