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Tiny houses are all the rage these days. The rush to live in less space has also brought the RV industry into the spotlight. But is it realistic to ask a large family to squeeze into the tight quarters of a one-bedroom RV with a sofa sleeper? One of the world’s largest manufacturers of trailers, motorhomes, and fifth wheels may have found a solution: the two-story RV!
Is There Such Thing as a Two-Story RV?
Forest River has been quietly planning behind the scenes, designing travel trailers that will accommodate larger groups. Working with roughly the same amount of square footage in a 42-foot long RV, Forest River engineers began to think vertically.
With little room to expand the length or width of a mobile RV, the company added height by dropping the front main bedroom down a bit. It then created loft rooms with bunks above them and a full bathroom. Their result is the Salem Grand Villa. It’s the first two-story recreational vehicle of its kind, complete with a staircase for access to three additional beds.
Considered a “destination trailer,” this two-story RV isn’t built aerodynamically like most ordinary travel trailers. Its tall walls are straight rather than curved, with full-length windows and several full-sized slide-outs (depending upon the floorplan). This two-story rig can be towed to a campsite. However, it’s built to be in a location of your choice, like previous ‘park model’ RVs.
This new model comes in three different floor plans and has sleeping space, an entertainment area, and holding tanks befitting a larger family. And even though it has more vertical space inside the rig, the exterior height remains at 13 ft. In other words, it’s a tiny mobile house for the entire family!
Pro Tip: If these RVs still aren’t big enough for you and your family, here are Five of the Largest RVs Ever Made!
About the Forest River Salem Grand Villas
With a 12-inch I-beam frame and bowed truss roof rafters, the Salem Grand Villa is built to weather the wear and tear of a big family.
Wood studs connect its cambered chassis, and three-eighth-inch roof decking is placed 16 inches on the center. They’re all joined to create an interior height of 8 ft, even with the second-floor lofts in place.
Let’s take a look at the various floorplans for this ground-breaking two-story RV.
Salem Grand Villa 42DL
Length: 42 ft long by 8.5 ft wide
The 42DL has the standard setup found in a travel trailer. The main bedroom and bathroom aren’t open and accessible. The smaller loft looks down over the living room and kitchen, with a second loft enclosed over the bedroom.
Air conditioning units are above the lofts for better ventilation in the summer heat, with windows placed generously around the rig.
The main bedroom also has a secondary outside door. Residential appliances and a large pantry are ready for full-time living, as are the tanks, with a 39-gallon freshwater tank, 40-gallon black water tank, and an 80-gallon grey water tank.
Pro Tip: Even though these RVs can fit the whole family, you’ll still want to upgrade the mattresses. Especially the ones for the kiddos; check out Where to Get the Best Custom RV Bunk Mattress!
Salem Grand Villa 42FK
Length: 43 ft long by 8.5 ft wide
With a central entertainment/living room, this two-story RV differentiates itself from the other floorplans with sleeping space for up to eight. The kitchen and dining area are at the front of the rig, giving it a more ‘residential’ feel.
Two lofts have bedding areas for four, and the master has a king-sized bed. The freshwater and black tanks hold 40 gallons each, with an 80-gallon gray water capacity.
Salem Grand Villa 42FLDL
Length: 41.5 ft long by 8.5 ft wide
The least expensive floorplan in the Salem Grand Villa lineup, the 42FLDL, has an open kitchen and living room space, a full bath with a residential shower, and a custom king main bedroom.
Two lofts provide three additional beds, bringing the sleep space total in this unit to seven. One sliding door in the living room and one door in the bedroom make up the two entrances available. The kitchen has residential appliances and plenty of cabinet space.
Where Can You Park a Two-Story RV?
Most long-term RV parks with full hook-ups allow park model-type recreational vehicles on their grounds. Because the Salem Grand Villa is more of a stationary unit, most owners place them on a permanent lot or in a long-term space. You can move them if you need to, but they shouldn’t be a constant “mobile” home.
Camp in Luxury With a Two-Story RV
If reducing your footprint in the housing market is important to you, but you’d still like all the amenities of home for your family, a Salem Grand Villa destination trailer could be the answer to your prayers.
Although it is not as mobile as a motorhome, this park model can provide luxurious living with individual sleeping spaces for seven to eight people. Whether placed on a campsite or on a private parcel of land, you will feel like the king of your castle.
Will you consider a two-story RV?