Let’s get one thing straight right from the start: I’ve always been an RV fan. Growing up, my family vacations consisted of tent and trailer camping on fifty acres my parents owned. Camping is second nature to me. And yet, there is something about the modern RV movement that disturbs me. It can be encapsulated in a single word: wood.
Please don’t tar and feather me just yet. At least hear me out. Despite being a big fan of motorhomes, fifth wheels and travel trailers, I have never been a big fan of wood as a decorative element. My wife and I used to own a late Victorian with 1300 square feet and more wood than any home should be allowed to possess.
All of the baseboards and crown molding was extra-wide gum wood. So were all the doors, window casings, door casings, and arches. Even the floors were gum wood. Thank heavens for carpet. I just cannot stand looking at so much wood. It makes things look too dark and closed in.
RVs Are Already Small
My big complaint with wood is that it sucks in light. Despite having plenty of windows, that old Victorian always felt very cold and dark. Interestingly enough, I get the same vibe in any motorhome or trailer with too much wood. And yes, I feel the same way even in units in which what appears to be real wood is actually a laminate.
As I see it, RVs are already small. We do not need to make them look and feel smaller by stuffing them with wood cabinets, wood tables and chairs, wood floors, and wood headboards. Wood is not the only building material ever invented!
Don’t get me started about modern interiors, either. A lot of RV manufacturers are touting their new models as offering the latest and greatest in modern styling. But what do they do? They merely change the color of the wood. Instead of dark brown and similar earth tones, they are opting for different shades of gray. It is still just as ugly.
Anything but Wood
I may be the odd one out, but I would prefer just about anything but wood as the primary finishing material for my RV interior. I am also the kind of guy who would purchase AirSkirts’ revolutionary inflatable RV skirting system instead of traditional fabric skirts. Call me a rebel. I don’t care.
To me, the crisp and clean decor you normally see in a doctor’s office is ideal. I like white. I like straight lines, squares, and rectangles. I would have my entire house remodeled to look like my GP’s office if my wife would let me do it. She wouldn’t, so I won’t.
Getting back to the RV thing, I have to suspect that designers utilize wood so often because they think that this is what customers want to see. After all, an RV is meant to be taken to a campground or wilderness area – both of which are locales that tend to be heavily populated with trees.
Laminate Doesn’t Have to Be Wood
I guess the most frustrating thing of all is that most of your budget friendly RVs are not even utilizing solid wood products. What appear to be cherry cabinets are actually press board with a synthetic laminate printed to look like cherry. But laminate doesn’t have to mimic wood. You can make it look like anything you want!
Call me an RV curmudgeon if you will. I just don’t like wood. I cannot understand why the industry is so obsessed with it.