Originally Posted by the_experience03
Where's the B3 (or better yet, C3) with the twin Leslies on the roof?
My wife is strictly a "piano girl", although when she's played on my sister's Yamaha Clavinova she's tried layering strings and thought that was fun. Right now we have an acoustic upright piano, obviously that won't work in the bus so we'll get the Roland digital. I grew up with an organ in the house (a Baldwin theatre-style) so the digital is fun for me with it's rhythm section and other voices. [The piano is primarily for my wife...she really plays, I just play around; I have my guitar and banjo.]
I'm very impressed with how well you laid it out for everyone to sleep. It's very stick 'n staple of you. Mine very comfortably sleeps 6 (12 if they like each other a lot), but 2/3 of the length of the bus is my bedroom and the bunkroom!
I didn't quite get to the...entertains 6, seats 4 for dinner, and sleeps 2 but I was sure heading that way!
The couch pulling out into a double was a concession to "what if" and because it's so easy to do. It may, in fact, never get used. The biggie was the king bed in our bedroom as our two Australian Cattle Dogs (Blue Heelers) sleep with us, so we end up with the equivalent of a queen bed on good nights and a doube bed others.
Well thought out floorplan! Your experience both with the previous bus and the boats shows.
For general consumption:
One of the primary reasons I wanted to convert a bus (other than I'm nuts) is so that, like most folks I suspect, I could do the interior the way I wanted it. I think this is an important part of the conversion process and is really what makes the bus "ours" when we are done. Since everyone has different needs and visions of what the bus will be for them there really is no right or wrong. A family of 4 or 5 would probably not like my interior and I don't have a clue what I'd do with a couple of bunks in the hallway (other than as a repository for "stuff"). I show my floorplans not as expample of what is "right" but rather as food for thought and a collection of ideas. I know I've gotten a ton of ideas from owning a few RVs, looking at other folks buses, and of course more boats than I care to remember.
The funny part is the very first layout I did for the Thomas would have worked fine, then I spent dozens of hours changing it. The problem was, it was boring. It looked like a long tunnel (or office corridor) with "things" on either side all the way to the back of the bus. So in addition to finding a home for all the necessary components I also wanted something that was very comfortable, user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing.
First I defined the "mission"; in our case it's a long-term liveaboard for two adults with no need to accommodate children or grandkids. We also didn't have to provide much for overnight guests since it's not likely to happen.
Since our bus is to be a rolling home it became important that each area be comfortable and fully functional for extended use. For example, an itty-bitty kitchen with a couple of square feet of counter will work for a weekend or a couple of weeks of vacation but not for a couple of folks cooking everyday for, perhaps, years.
Then I listed the "must haves" like the king bed, the piano, the tub (this would have been the thing that was dropped though if I couldn't make it work), my wife's work space, my comfortable chair, and so forth.
I've seen folks grouse about how "all" buses are set up the same and why doesn't someone come up with new ideas and layouts. Well, the reality is we're mostly all conditioned to feel comfortable with the concept that spaces (in business buildings, in homes, in RVs, in boats, really everywhere) tend to offer public space first then more and more private spaces the "deeper" one travels into the interior. So just as in a house the typical presentation is living room, kitchen, bathrooms, then bedrooms; I think most folks would be a bit uncomfortable if the first space you walked into in a house was someone's bedroom (though that might be fun
). From the boat biz I know "innovation shows but traditional goes"; that means folks love to look at innovative layouts and such but when it comes time to pull out the wallet they almost always go with what they're most comfortable with. So I knew from the start of my desgin process that I'd have the living room forward, the kitchen area next, then the bath area, and finally our bedroom at the rear.
I knew the piano had to go up front, it didn't make sense to have my wife playing all by herself in the back of the bus, I like to listen to her play as much as she enjoys playing. The art table was the biggest hassle, 30" x 60" in a bus is a fair amount of space. I wanted it up front so that when I was reading or working on the computer we were not too far apart but I just couldn't get it to work out well and she needs room around the work table to move so it ended up in the back where she can take over the whole space when working. Even the bed then becomes a useful place to set things down.
The other issue in layouts is with regard to the mechanical requirements like the toilet needing to be over the waste tank (for the most part and there are ways around it), and (in our case) the need to keep the side emergency door functional, where batteries will live, where the water heater goes, ad infinitum. I also mixed in the fact that I didn't want long runs for the hot water lines so that dictated the need for the water heater to be realtively close to the shower, kitchen sink and lav. I also didn't want propane lines running every which way so the propane consumers (range, water heater and Dickinson heater) are near each other.
The other aspect of our "mission profile" is that we'd like to be as independent as possible; we're not much for hanging out in the typical RV park for any length of time so we need to be able to go almost indefinitely without the need for a shore power connection. We can't do away with the need to take on water and fuel, or empty the waste tanks, but otherwise we should be able to boondock quite well.
Since I have such an extensive background in the marine business and what I do a lot is design electrical systems for cruising boats this will help me set up the bus for extended time away from the grid quite well. Conservation is the key; every amp you don't use is one you don't have to supply. A high level of insulation, energy efficient lighting, low draw appliances and such are all important. I'll spend the money up front to get those components so I don't have to purchase even more expensive fuel to run a generator. My goal is for the bus to be totally electrically self-sustaining on solar power alone. I realize this is a goal and perhaps not doable in all circumstances but if I can achieve it for the most part we'll end up running a noisy, expensive generator very little.
OK...this is getting way too long, I really need to get my web site going.