There are state and federal laws that regulate just how big motorhomes can be. No matter who makes it or how much they cost, no motorhome can never exceed 8’6″ wide x 45′ long if it’s to be used on U.S. highways. This has created a design environment where manufacturers have had to get really creative in order to provide everything customers demand in about 382 sf.
Subtract the space required for the cockpit, engine compartment and various other vehicle systems, and you’re left with a very small space to provide all the comforts of home. That was a strict design limitation until 1990 when Mahlon Miller put the first power slide-outs in a production motorhome.
Slide-out are a portion of the interior that is capable of being extended beyond the exterior walls of the motorhome. Here’s a picture of our Newmar Dutch Star with all of its slide-outs retracted and ready for driving on U.S. Highways.
The interior spaces are pretty cramped when we are driving, but we have enough room to get to the kitchen and mid-ship bath, which is really al you need when underway. That’s Tiki looking out from her crate.
Interior with Slide-Outs Retracted
When we park, we extend 3 slide-outs that add about 100 sf to our living area. The slide-out on the driver side is “full wall” at 26′ long and extends from just behind the driver seat all they way back to the bedroom. This slide-out is a marvel of engineering as it moves up, out and down as it extends almost 3 feet beyond the side of the motorhome.
Full-Wall Slide Extended
On the passenger side, there are 2 slide-outs; one each for the kitchen (front) and bedroom (back).
Kitchen and Bedroom Slide-Outs Extended
Once we are parked, the slide-outs are extended and vehicle transforms into a home.