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Old 01-03-2019, 12:53 AM   #1
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Floorplan feedback?

Hi - would love any feedback on this draft floorplan as we continue down our skoolie journey! The bus will be for 2 people, with potential for 2 guests, a dog and a cat. We also want to get this as off-grid as possible in very cold to warm climates. What might we be forgetting in this layout?
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:20 AM   #2
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My only comment would be to try and put all the plumbing on one side of the bus. Preferably, the driver side. Running wet lines side to side can get very tricky on many buses.
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Old 01-03-2019, 01:49 PM   #3
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Lack of closet space strikes me. For 4 people, cold climate, takes lots of heavy clothes and footwear. Tools needed onboard and extra fluids need a location also. I have space for firewood too, inside and underneath.


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Old 01-03-2019, 06:08 PM   #4
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Eliminate the vanity sink. One sink is enough. Have you taken into account the wheel arches?
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Old 01-03-2019, 06:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by CaptSquid View Post
Eliminate the vanity sink. One sink is enough. Have you taken into account the wheel arches?
Agreed. We were able to mount our shower head in such a way that it doubles as a place to wash our hands. The spot where your vanity is could be more storage.
Funny thing about building a skoolie, at least for us, is that the process is sort of an organic work-in-progress.....solutions to problems you didn't even realize were problems start to present themselves as the build progresses.
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Old 01-07-2019, 02:21 PM   #6
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K, so I have a few opinions and a few ramblings, if they make sense to you then giver'....I'm by no means an expert just a nutbar redneck.
Firstly everyone's version of cold is different, today it's a balmy -14C with a WCF of -29C.
With that out of the way here's what I see;

As others have said ditch the vanity sink, one sink is enough. If you really like the concept of a separate was area that isn't the kitchen, then keep the vanity but employ a wash basin that can be poured out in the sink or the shower. This reduces your plumbing, and the issue of crossing side to side on the bus, and improves flexibility for food prep away from hands and face washing, aka time management.

Woodstove awesome.......however......Your Fridge/Freezer are straight inline with your heat source. Have you accounted for this? cabinet door/wall ideally with either a thin layer of insulation, a metal reflective panel, or both. I have a ton of time in off-grid cabins, tents, and semi-permanent structures, woodstoves in close proximity to smaller fridge/freezers makes them work really hard, or makes your food not so cold/cool.

Another thing I see is an airflow choke point, you have a hallway, with split staggered walls, one bedroom wall, and the wall supporting the vanity mirror. Not sure how cold of a climate your version of cold is, also not sure how warm or cool you like your sleeping quarters. But I feel that with out the assistance of a fan your bedroom may not heat as well as you might like, plus your clothing in the closet is even further and has two outside walls.

Love the idea of the mirrors on the door, curious about the execution, attaching hardware, pocket clearance, door slider weight rating, anti sway support, and latch catch for travel.

I like the idea of the table being in sections, I look forward to seeing it's design concept or it done which ever occurs. But does provide flexibility with your sitting/lounging section should you have company, may not be a bad spot for another clothing hanging area should need to dry more clothing or outerwear.

Not sure what the Cat Drawer is? a Litter box?

I like that you have dead space between the woodstove and the fridge, are you planning a hanging or drying rack of some sort... drying clothes or outerwear...

What's your power plan? do you have sufficient storage for it?

Now I'm not a big fan of pointing out possible issues or problems with an accompanying solution, again....this is just me...and... what I would do for how I function in the parameters you described. BUT IF IT WAS "ME"
I would switch the following things around;
Swap the toilet and the shower, as well as the door to keep it inline with the shower, so the door travels aft to open. This would permit the removal of the vanity wall and moving the vanity itself to the front side of the bedroom wall. Thus opening an unobstructed path for heat, while also removing the funneling chokepoint and making the space feel larger.
At this point I would then reassess the counter space on that side, depending on your food prep habits, storage requirements, etc. I would also consider the measurements of the freezer vs the washer/dryer, as I would try to find a way to stick the fridge and freezer together and stuff the washer/dryer on the same side as the rest of the plumbing. I'm going to assume most of your plumbing will be internal given the cold climate. further to that end now you can keep direct heat away from the fridge and freezer with less materials.


Ok....So with my ramble out of the way....I tell people this with all kinds of different things... Think about your situation, your goals and dreams and weigh them against your layout. As others have mentioned some problems you won't even realize until they are smack dab in the middle of what you're trying to do. but some questions you can ask are;
Do I have enough storage?
Is there enough flow in my design?
Do I have enough food prep area?
Work space area?
Is my garage only accessible from the outside of the bus? Does that matter?
Is my garage heated? does it need to be?
Do I need a coat hangar area in the drivers compartment?
What about draft curtains to separate the drivers compartment with the living compartment?
The list goes on...and on.... and on... people may think I'm crazy but I sit in bus sometimes and good through my plan and visual it in action and how I function and how the House Sergeant Major functions

just my two bits
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Old 01-07-2019, 02:48 PM   #7
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Nice to hear you are having a mild spell up there YC!


Taking the afternoon away from bus building today.


Hands got so cold today working on tailight, brake light and licence plate non-workings.


Great points above all.



You are right about spending time on what will work best for your comforts, accessibility and all.


Foresight may be the word of the day.


I would add that my woodstove fills the bus well with heat in any weather.

Still while the air is warm standing up, it is much cooler on the lower bunks.
Maybe 20" off the floor the heat seems to dissipate quicker. I think I need more circulation but for now, just some findings.


...I'm by no means an expert just a nutbar redneck.


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Old 01-07-2019, 05:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yukon Cornelius View Post
K, so I have a few opinions and a few ramblings, if they make sense to you then giver'....I'm by no means an expert just a nutbar redneck.
Firstly everyone's version of cold is different, today it's a balmy -14C with a WCF of -29C.
With that out of the way here's what I see;

As others have said ditch the vanity sink, one sink is enough. If you really like the concept of a separate was area that isn't the kitchen, then keep the vanity but employ a wash basin that can be poured out in the sink or the shower. This reduces your plumbing, and the issue of crossing side to side on the bus, and improves flexibility for food prep away from hands and face washing, aka time management.

Woodstove awesome.......however......Your Fridge/Freezer are straight inline with your heat source. Have you accounted for this? cabinet door/wall ideally with either a thin layer of insulation, a metal reflective panel, or both. I have a ton of time in off-grid cabins, tents, and semi-permanent structures, woodstoves in close proximity to smaller fridge/freezers makes them work really hard, or makes your food not so cold/cool.

Another thing I see is an airflow choke point, you have a hallway, with split staggered walls, one bedroom wall, and the wall supporting the vanity mirror. Not sure how cold of a climate your version of cold is, also not sure how warm or cool you like your sleeping quarters. But I feel that with out the assistance of a fan your bedroom may not heat as well as you might like, plus your clothing in the closet is even further and has two outside walls.

Love the idea of the mirrors on the door, curious about the execution, attaching hardware, pocket clearance, door slider weight rating, anti sway support, and latch catch for travel.

I like the idea of the table being in sections, I look forward to seeing it's design concept or it done which ever occurs. But does provide flexibility with your sitting/lounging section should you have company, may not be a bad spot for another clothing hanging area should need to dry more clothing or outerwear.

Not sure what the Cat Drawer is? a Litter box?

I like that you have dead space between the woodstove and the fridge, are you planning a hanging or drying rack of some sort... drying clothes or outerwear...

What's your power plan? do you have sufficient storage for it?

Now I'm not a big fan of pointing out possible issues or problems with an accompanying solution, again....this is just me...and... what I would do for how I function in the parameters you described. BUT IF IT WAS "ME"
I would switch the following things around;
Swap the toilet and the shower, as well as the door to keep it inline with the shower, so the door travels aft to open. This would permit the removal of the vanity wall and moving the vanity itself to the front side of the bedroom wall. Thus opening an unobstructed path for heat, while also removing the funneling chokepoint and making the space feel larger.
At this point I would then reassess the counter space on that side, depending on your food prep habits, storage requirements, etc. I would also consider the measurements of the freezer vs the washer/dryer, as I would try to find a way to stick the fridge and freezer together and stuff the washer/dryer on the same side as the rest of the plumbing. I'm going to assume most of your plumbing will be internal given the cold climate. further to that end now you can keep direct heat away from the fridge and freezer with less materials.


Ok....So with my ramble out of the way....I tell people this with all kinds of different things... Think about your situation, your goals and dreams and weigh them against your layout. As others have mentioned some problems you won't even realize until they are smack dab in the middle of what you're trying to do. but some questions you can ask are;
Do I have enough storage?
Is there enough flow in my design?
Do I have enough food prep area?
Work space area?
Is my garage only accessible from the outside of the bus? Does that matter?
Is my garage heated? does it need to be?
Do I need a coat hangar area in the drivers compartment?
What about draft curtains to separate the drivers compartment with the living compartment?
The list goes on...and on.... and on... people may think I'm crazy but I sit in bus sometimes and good through my plan and visual it in action and how I function and how the House Sergeant Major functions

just my two bits
Holy Smokes Batman, that-there is a ton of advice fer 2 bits!
All good and valid points, I might add. Can't even guess what you might get for a buck!
Now fer my 2 bits, although probably no-where near the bargain you got from Yukon! I too, firstly noticed the shortage of closet space, and totally agree with others about losing the extra sink and keeping all plumbing to one side. I also really like someone else's idea of using the shower head as a vanity faucet. [I think I will steal that one!]
Personally I absolutely detest having to crawl into bed from the end, not to mention the pain of making-up the bed with no side access. What I would do, is lose the garage, which would give a couple more feet of room to turn the bed 90 and center it. Which will give access to both sides and room for 'is & 'ers closets above a small night table on either side. Then overhead cabinets spanning the center would give a couple more cubes of storage space. If that garage is a must, you could still have it below the head end of the bed. This configuration would also help with that airflow issue that Yukon spoke of.
I like your idea of turning the kitchen sink 45,[looks nice] however, a dead-space has been created at the back of the sink, but maybe you could create a small cubby in there, accessible from the bathroom side?
Like I said, probably not worth the 2 bits, but there it is!
Have fun, enjoy your build and keep us up to date.
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:57 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by one_eyed_jack View Post
I also really like someone else's idea of using the shower head as a vanity faucet. [I think I will steal that one!]
Just for reference, this is the shower system we got from Ikea. We mounted it sorta low, so its "normal" height is perfect handwashing level.

We got a showerhead shut-off valve that's easy to slide with your thumb. This way we can set the water temp and leave it, then quickly turn the water on and off as we need to.
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Old 01-07-2019, 08:06 PM   #10
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Cold climate use requires lots of clothing and boots, all of which need somewhere to dry well.


Get out of wet sweaty clothes and boots asap and allow to dry fully before putting back on. Cold can be miserable or enjoyable, take your pick.


I find places to add hooks just for this reason and helps act as curtains too at times.


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