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Old 12-12-2006, 11:24 PM   #11
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Speaking of floor plans; here's the most recent revision to ours for our new Thomas Safe-T-Liner.

It's a little hard to read but I didn't want to make it too large; here's the link for the bigger version.

Some explanation:

This is a flat-nose transit style bus (36' overall) and has wheel wells forward and aft to contend with; they dictate a lot about how the interior can be arranged. In the Thomas they're about 24" wide, about 48" long and 9" high at the top of the curve.

This is also a rear-engined bus so the area behind the bed is part of the engine compartment. The rear seat is also part of the engine compartment but since it's at a standard seating height it's used to support the rear of the bed.

Our primary design goal was for a comfortable bus for two folks for extended trips and full-timing. Our version of a Wanderlodge if you will. My wife also is an artist (painter) and plays the piano (very well and I love to listen) so that had a large impact on the design.

When coming aboard there is a swivel seat immediately to the left which is the co-pilot seat underway (there's a cover over the stairwell) and a comfortable lounge seat when stopped. It sits just ahead of a 9" high "floor" over the front right wheel well; on top of this is the cabinet that holds the main TV, a small bookcase and a wine rack. At the aft end is also where the Dickinson propane marine fireplace resides (it's a direct vent unit that's there for ambiance and a back up source of heat).

Aft of the driver's seat is an 80" couch (over the left front wheel well) that pulls out into a double bed. In front of it (toward the centerline of the bus) is a pedestal table. The Roland RD-700X Digital Piano is mounted on a base plate installed at the top of the pedestals over which a "box" fits which then becomes the table top. The top is lifted out of the way when one wants to play the piano. The top, the piano on its base and the pedestals are all removed to form the bed.

Aft of the living room area is the kitchen/work space. On the curb side of the bus it's easy to see the sink, range (with micro hood over), and refrigerator. On the driver's side just aft of the couch is a counter which holds our espresso machine and coffee grinder (hey! we're northwesterners!), aft of that is a 48" long desk/work table, and aft of that a 24" wide storage cabinet. The main electrical panels, tanks monitors, genset controls, and such are mounted in the top part of this cabinet.

Next aft is the bathroom area; the door to the toilet room swings around to close off the bathroom and bedroom from the forward part of the bus which really makes the bath and bedroom one large dressing area.

Since this will be a full-timer I worked a small but reasonably sized bathtub in; we won't use it often but on occassion it will be a treat to soak in the tub.

The toilet lives in its own private room (mostly to keep the passageway of the bus open even when it's in use). It sits in front of the existing emergency door which is still usable should the need arise.

The two closets in the aft part of the bathroom are placed over the two rear wheel wells. An LCD HDTV is mounted on the rear side of the curbside closet for watching from bed.

One of the things that I most wanted to incorporate into our rolling home was a large bed. We're used to sleeping on a king-sized bed (along with our two Blue Heelers (Australian Cattle Dogs) and I wanted that same level of comfort in the bus since we intend to be in it full-time at some point. There are narrow cabinets (about 7") on each side of the bed for additional storage, a place to set a clock, glasses, water, tissues, etc.

Aft of the bed is the "deck" over the engine. At its aft end is an existing emergency window and we decided to keep that for light, ventilation and emergency egress if we needed to bail out. Small cabinets are in each of the rear corners and they also house the reading lights.

Since the bus has limited headroom (6' exactly) there are mini-split air conditioners mounted forward in the center over the driver's area and at the far rear over the engine compartment. Just like with house central air the main (compressor/condenser) unit is "outside" (in this case in the storage compartment under the bus) and only the air handling unit is mounted inside. This alleviates the need for roof-top air and that units register/control housing's intrusion into available headroom.

That's about it...thanks for looking.
Les Lampman
1982 Thomas Saf-T-Liner Pusher "Illusion" Gallery
Illusion's SmugMug site
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Old 02-21-2009, 10:41 PM   #12
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Re: Conversion Encyclopedia - Floor Plans

What software is available for skoolie floorplans?
Are there any FREE programs?
Open Office. Does everything Microsoft Office does, except put more money in Bill Gates pocket. Does not save files in Microsoft Visio format.

I'm thinking:
kitchen sink back to back with shower
hand washing sink below that. So you can wash up outside after doing things involving petroleum residue or drain hoses
back of bus a '70s style "sin bin", a recreation of my old van, man
sliding doors at bedroom, throne room, behind driver. Heat and cool only the portion of the truck you are in.
front of bus a maple workbench along one side, a series of workstations on the other side.
robust roll cage with stout metal wall behind driver. So I don't get whacked up side the head by a milling machine flying off that workbench
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Old 02-22-2009, 10:53 AM   #13
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Re: Conversion Encyclopedia - Floor Plans

Anyone have links to plans for us short bus folks?
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Old 02-03-2010, 05:16 PM   #14
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Re: Conversion Encyclopedia - Floor Plans

We need to re-kick start this thread I would like to see what everyone else is doing.

here is mine so far

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Old 04-02-2010, 07:51 AM   #15
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Re: Conversion Encyclopedia - Floor Plans

We're almost finished so these plans are pretty much as it is built. I used microsoft visio from my office computer.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Bus Plans - systems (2.18.10) - water.jpg (79.0 KB, 12798 views)
File Type: jpg Bus Plans - systems (2.18.10) - electrial.jpg (64.6 KB, 12760 views)
File Type: jpg Bus Plans - systems (2.18.10) - floorplan.jpg (76.7 KB, 12812 views)
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Old 07-12-2010, 02:38 PM   #16
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Re: Software?

Originally Posted by pervy2u
What software is available for skoolie floorplans?
Are there any FREE programs?
Google Sketchup is just this side of awesome and absolutely free. You can use it as a simple drawing tool in 2 dimensions, but it really shines when used as a 3d tool.

Yes, it takes a few days to learn, but you get out of it what you put into it. Training videos are available and simply setting aside an afternoon to watch them and do the exercises will have you visualizing your designs in short order. There are also scads of free models (cabinets, plumbing, electrical, etc) that really speed things along. If your curious what the output looks like, peek at the my gallery page for the current bus and every section will have before drawings and after photos.

Also, if anyone with an '82 Thomas TransitLiner wants the base model for the bus, PM me and I'll put it somewhere for download. Perhaps the admin could put up small section for CAD file sharing?

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Old 10-15-2010, 07:51 PM   #17
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Re: Conversion Encyclopedia - Floor Plans

I hate pulling a trailer, so I'm trying to design a skoolie that allows me to carry my Jeep instead of towing it. Since I'll be traveling alone and I don't foresee hosting any parties onboard, I have decided to delete any kind of dinette with seating for four. I'll prepare my meals in the kitchen and eat at the workstation under a bed that lifts up with a large desk underneath. There is also room for 250 gallons of fresh water under the back of the desk (why, yes—I will be boondocking!). I had to rough this out in Google SketchUp just to make sure everything would fit, and I think it's a workable plan. The only drawback is I'll have to add a three-foot extension to the back of the flatbed section to accommodate the length of the Jeep. (I've figured about 25 feet 6 inches behind the driver's seat to the rear of the original floor. Is that about right?)

Now I just need to find a suitable bus!

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Old 12-09-2011, 12:44 PM   #18
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Re: Conversion Encyclopedia - Floor Plans

Just a beggining...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Floor Plan1 Rufus.jpg (452.5 KB, 6460 views)
TUMBLEWEED (AKA Rufus) build:
PICTURES : ... M-HP/Rufus
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Old 12-10-2011, 12:08 AM   #19
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Re: Conversion Encyclopedia - Floor Plans

When in doubt tape it out (i.e. masking tape on the floor of your floorplan.) There's less room in there than you think. Keep it simple. Toilet is usually aligned front to back (longnitudinally) with a wall in front, so if you're sitting while moving the wall is right in back of you if the brakes are slammed on, and if standing you face plant. Look at class A floorplans for guide. On a pusher the wheel wells make a queen bed in the back an issue, as in how to get in and out of bed.
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Old 12-10-2011, 10:42 AM   #20
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Re: Conversion Encyclopedia - Floor Plans

Originally Posted by bus-bro
When in doubt tape it out (i.e. masking tape on the floor of your floorplan.) There's less room in there than you think. Keep it simple. ...

For 3-D you can make simple mock-ups from cardboard found in the 'cardboard only' dumpsters behind most stores (at least here in CA). A few minutes with a box cutter, a roll of masking tape and a few boxes can tell you a lot about your layout.

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