Class C RV over-cab bunk: The good and bad

Overhead bunk

By Andrew Robinson
I believe one of the reasons that many couples graduate from a Class C motorhome to a Class A is that they get fed up with sleeping in the Class C’s overhead bunk. Of course, not all couples sleep in the overhead bunk, but many do. The way I see it, the overhead bunk – typically a full-size bed or larger – is a great use of space.

With the bed over the cab and another bed below, a family can sleep comfortably without making and unmaking a dinette- or sofa-bed with each use. In very short Class C motorhomes, the overhead bunk may be the only full-time bed, leaving the rest of the coach as usable living space. Even a 20- or 22-foot motorhome can thus offer a relatively lot of room to move around. That said, the overhead bunk may not provide the world’s best sleeping experience.

A decision is made by couples in the very first days of new Class C ownership that will establish their sleeping relationship until the coach is retired. And that is: Who will sleep in the back of the overhead bunk – the area right at the very front of the coach? This can be a heated discussion. I have been the unfortunate loser in this situation and banned to the back. The major consequence was spending many nights remaining in bed even when my bladder was threatening eruption.

A truly gifted person – one with strong arms for pushing up and rolling/vaulting over his bedmate – can actually de-bed without waking his or her partner. But it’s not easy, and I speak from experience. And even those who can perform this delicate maneuver when young find that doing so in middle age is increasingly hard or in most cases, impossible. And so it is at this stage in our lives when, at an RV show, we become fixated with the queen-sized “island” beds in Class A motorhomes, those where each person can exit on his or her own side.

A guy like me, who has been banished to the back of the bed for a virtual eternity, may think, “Thank you, Lord, for this is the answer to my middle-aged fantasies.” And so begins the discussion of putting the old rig out to pasture in favor of the new one where the sleeping is easy. I believe there are RVers out there who buy an RV not for the kitchen, the engine, the chassis or the spacious bathroom, but for the island bed. Let me know if this rings true with you.