Table of Contents Show
- What Is a Double-Decker RV?
- Double-Decker RV Inspiration
- Pros of a Double-Decker RV
- Cons of a Double-Decker RV
- Are Double-Decker RVs Allowed in the United States?
- Can You Custom Build a Double-Decker RV?
- Double the Fun With a Double-Decker RV
You’ve seen the popular double-decker buses in England. Maybe you’ve ridden on a double-decker tour bus in a city like Nashville or Las Vegas.
But did you know there are also double-decker RVs? It’s true! Although quite expensive to custom-build or renovate yourself, a double-decker RV offers plenty of space to entertain and enjoy the outdoors. Let’s learn more!
What Is a Double-Decker RV?
A double-decker RV is a two-story RV. There may be outside entertaining and lounge space on the roof or an enclosed upper deck with additional sleeping space.
In some instances, a double-decker RV is much taller than a standard one. Other models keep the height down to 15 feet or so, especially motorhomes with second-floor outdoor patio space.
Double-Decker RV Inspiration
If you’re looking for inspiration to custom-build your own double-decker bus, you’re in luck. Below are five double-decker RVs that range in price, size, and amenities.
You can see the ultimate luxury package in Will Smith’s “The Heat” and the military-style truck with the four-point torsion-free chassis of the SLRV Commander vehicle.
The SLRV Commander 8×8 Expedition Vehicle
Built by SLRV, the Commander 8×8 Expedition Vehicle takes families anywhere in the world. SLRV is a specialized motorhome manufacturer.
These vehicles are self-sufficient and ready to conquer any terrain. Joints, fixtures, and fittings are all manufactured using the highest quality materials for rugged off-road travel.
Inside, you’ll find a spacious floor plan with multiple options. That includes high-end cabinetry, solid surface countertops, Miele appliances, Italian leather furnishings, a full ensuite bathroom, satellite TV, mobile internet, and more.
SLRV vehicles can come with a washer/dryer, convection or microwave oven, entertainment systems, and other luxuries.
The electric bed lift configuration maximizes space, while the fixed bed configuration provides a dedicated sleeping space. The top level – the upper deck – can be filled with small beds for children.
The Airstream Skydeck
About 10 inches taller than a standard Class A motorhome, the Airstream Skydeck features a rooftop patio. Don’t worry – you can’t fall off the roof. It’s safely enclosed within a perimeter guard railing and accessible via an inside hardwood staircase.
When you get parked, the weatherproof furniture on the upper deck takes less than a minute to unfold, providing a spacious area where about 15 people can relax and enjoy stunning views.
Most Airstreams feature the classic silver bullet design, but the Skydeck has two slide-outs to provide even more interior space. Airstream doesn’t make the Skydeck model anymore, so it’s difficult to get your hands on.
And if you do, you’ll have some work ahead of you to modernize the interior. But oh, that rooftop patio that you’ll be able to enjoy!
The KABE Tower
One of the two non-motorized double-decker RVs on this list is the KABE Tower. This travel trailer is the largest caravan ever made in Europe.
Located in Sweden, KABE manufactures trailers and motorhomes built to withstand the Nordic climate. In 2007, KABE introduced the Tower, intended to just be a one-model production of the double-decker caravan. But it was a sensation across Europe.
The latest Tower unit, the Imperial Tower 880, was manufactured in 2017 to commemorate KABE’s 60th anniversary. It is 15 feet tall and almost 32 feet long. Its unloaded weight is slightly over 6,100 pounds, so you can’t pull it with a standard SUV.
The lower floor of the Imperial Tower includes an elegant front kitchen, a bedroom with two single beds, and a spacious bathroom with a separate shower cabin.
A spiral staircase leads up to the second floor, where you’ll find a cozy furnished living room with armchairs and a flat-screen TV. This area is also air-conditioned.
Keep in Mind: You’ll be shocked when you see these RVs! These are the Five Largest RVs Ever Made!
Will Smith’s “The Heat”
You can’t buy Will Smith’s “The Heat,” but you can rent it. It’s a $2.5 million RV with a 30-person screening room, 14 televisions, $30,000 of leather furnishings, and more.
The massive 55-foot double-decker motorhome is supported by 22 wheels, pulled by a semi-truck cab, and offers 1,200 square feet of living space with four slide-outs.
The $200,000 kitchen features a three-door refrigerator/freezer, a dishwasher, $125,000 worth of granite, a microwave, and a round dining table that easily seats a family.
The only bedroom in the unit comes with a plush king-size bed surrounded by windows to take in spectacular views. The bed can also convert to a couch to create an additional lounge space or workspace. The staircase leads upstairs to the huge screening room.
If your pockets are deep, you can rent “The Heat” for about $9,000 a night. Will Smith no longer owns “The Heat,” but it’s available for rent on the Anderson Mobile Estates website. Anderson Mobile Estates also custom-built Simon Cowell’s $2 million two-story trailer.
The Double Decker Family’s Bus Conversion
Meet the Eyerly family from Texas, a family of eight that lives full-time in a custom-built double-decker RV. Originally a MegaBus, the 2009 Van Hool TD925 was built out as a hotel on wheels by Cabin.
The Eyerlys purchased it in August 2020, hoping a builder in Utah could outfit it for their travels. Eventually, they brought the bus back to Texas to finish the remodel and started traveling full-time on June 1, 2022. Their YouTube channel is all about their adventures as they roam the country.
The bus measures 45 feet long and just over 13 feet high. It’s powered by a Cummins ISM 450 10.8l engine with a ZF AStronic transmission. The front cab space converts to a home office, and behind the cab is a commercial-grade refrigerator and freezer.
The full kitchen includes a rotisserie oven, a two-burner induction stove, and a large countertop for prep space. The end of the front level features a bathroom with a macerating toilet and sink.
The rear stairs lead to the second level. Halfway up the stairs is the shower, and the washer/dryer combo unit sits at the top. At the front of the second level is the primary bedroom with a king bed and dresser.
The living space includes two of the same benches that were downstairs. In the rear of the upper level, there are six bunk beds, so each child has a dedicated sleeping space. A closet and a second bathroom with a sink and toilet are also in the rear of the unit.
Pros of a Double-Decker RV
The obvious advantage of a double-decker RV is the added space. Whether it’s an outdoor lounge space with patio furniture and a bar or a second level where all the kids can sleep, having the extra space helps make traveling easier.
Imagine watching the sunrise with a cup of coffee on the rooftop deck of an Airstream Skydeck while everyone else is still sleeping inside. Or imagine having the entire first level open for family game nights, Super Bowl parties, and Taco Tuesday get-togethers.
Large families will appreciate the added space so every child can have their own sleeping area. If a family travels full-time, there can be a separation of school, work, sleeping, and eating spaces they can’t get any other way.
Another pro to owning a double-decker RV is most people custom-build their own. This means you get exactly what you want. You can pay for extra luxuries and amenities, or you can go bare bones for a more simple lifestyle.
Cons of a Double-Decker RV
With added space also comes added maintenance and repairs. Anytime you go larger with any type of RV, you’ll have more RV to maintain.
A taller double-decker RV may also prevent you from being able to explore areas you want to visit. Low clearance bridges or weight restrictions on roads or bridges will prevent taller, heavier vehicles from passing through.
Even at campsites, you’ll have more trouble avoiding low-lying limbs or overhanging tree branches.
Another con to owning one is the expense. It’s not just the upfront cost of custom building your mansion on wheels (or buying one already built), either.
Because of the added height and weight, a double-decker RV will be far from fuel efficient. You’ll spend lots of time at a fuel station and lots of money putting fuel into your RV.
Motorhomes typically get anywhere from 8 miles per gallon to 12 miles per gallon. A double-decker motorhome will get less.
Keep in Mind: If you like glamping, try glamping with a 57 Foot Fifth Wheel Camper! You Have to See This Insane Fifth Wheel Camper!
Are Double-Decker RVs Allowed in the United States?
There is no law preventing the manufacturing or custom building of a double-decker RV. The only caution for purchasing or building a double-decker RV is the height and weight restrictions that bridges and roads have.
Different states also have regulations on the height, weight, and length of RVs on interstates. You’ll want to stay well-informed as you travel if you’re crossing state lines.
Can You Custom Build a Double-Decker RV?
Like the Everly family and Will Smith, you can custom-build a double-decker RV to fit your style and travel needs. Will Smith wanted luxurious accommodations to entertain clients and a private space where he could prepare for movie set filming.
The Everlys needed space to accommodate their six children for an enjoyable traveling experience. You can also custom-build your own double-decker bus by converting a MegaBus or hiring a company like Anderson Mobile Estates.
Double the Fun With a Double-Decker RV
You’ll certainly turn heads as you travel in a double-decker RV. There are not many RVers with rigs like these, so you’ll catch the eye of other travelers and spark conversation at the campground.
However, traveling around the country may not be as easy due to the size of such a coach. So think about the pros and cons before diving in and investing hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Would you travel around in a double-decker RV?