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Old 07-17-2007, 09:14 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
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designing floor plans do's and don'ts

is there any websites or computor program that aid in designing a floor plan for my skoolie
also what did you do and liked or what did do that you hate
Help I have ideas but wonder if I will run into problems with plumbing or wiring if I lay it out wrong
dale
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Old 07-18-2007, 03:26 PM   #2
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Re: designing floor plans do's and don'ts

Using a computer program SUCKS. I don't know why anybody would bother unless you're an expert at a CAD program. What I do, is I take a bunch of regular printer paper, and tape the sheets together. I measured the inside living area of my bus at 24.5 feet long, and 7.5 feet wide. So, I then took four sheets of paper, lined up the long edges, and taped them together with scotch tape. I then used a ruler and made a rectangle that was 7.5 INCHES by 24.5 INCHES. I of course used a ruler and protractor. So, each inch on my piece of paper represents a foot on the real bus. It keeps things nice and simple. Now that I had my rectangle, I then drew in where I wanted everything. I decided I wanted a king size bed, a 8' couch, a bathroom with shower and toilet, bunks, and a kitchen area inside my bus. I then decided how big I needed everything to be and converted it down to my paper and drew everything up. On the outside of the rectangle, I had plenty of room for notes. I also marked where the wheel well's, escape hatches, and where each window was. It's nice and simple, and will only cost you a few cents. Don't waste your time with CAD programs. Once you have your plans drawn up, you can then go in your bus and use masking tape to mark where you want your walls, and floorplan. That way you can get a look at it in real size and get an idea if you need to change anything. I also look at things around the house like my couch, my bed, my shower and get an idea of how big I want things to be in my bus and if I can scale it down any. Like my shower. I can live with a 32" by 32" square shower. I'm telling you, doing it on paper is by far the easiest, most fun, and most accurate way for you to design your floorplan. If you can do basic math and ratio proportion, you can do it on paper. If you can't do basic math, you couldn't use a CAD program anyways.

I have designed my own radio controlled airplanes for years now. Everybody thinks I make them with some fancy computer program. The only thing I use a computer program for is the air foils (wing ribs). Other than that, I draw a small version of what I want on a piece of paper. Then, I tape a bunch of pieces of paper together and draw my plane on there in full scale. I'll do the wing on a bunch of sheets, and the fuselage on another bunch of sheets. I draw the outline of what I want, and fill in the rest from there. I can design an entire plane with nothing more than a 12" ruler, a 36" ruler, a protractor, a pump pencil, sheets of paper and some scotch tape. That's less than $5 worth of stuff. So, if an aircraft can be designed like that, you can do your bus floor plans like that.
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Old 07-18-2007, 06:08 PM   #3
Skoolie
 
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Re: designing floor plans do's and don'ts

I have layed out my ideas on graph paper to get an idea. I have went and looked at a few new rvs to get ideas, but haven't had the oportunity to take a tape measure and measure though but I will.
Really what interests me is hearing what others have done to give me ideas that I have not thought of. and I want to hear mistakes so I don't make them myself
dale
I had planned to do an actual layout first, like you said but one of those neat 3-d programs to see it before I build it would be cool too.
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Old 07-18-2007, 06:12 PM   #4
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Re: designing floor plans do's and don'ts

oh buy the way kc10 chief Is your bus the red chiefs shory bus that I seen in Raytown mo today. I live in kcmo
dale
just a hunch I maybe a newbe but I am always looking for neat buses
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Old 07-18-2007, 06:29 PM   #5
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Re: designing floor plans do's and don'ts

No, I used to be an aircraft mechanic on the KC-10. It's a big, three engine cargo and mid-air refueling jet. Then I was a mechanic on the E-3 AWACS. Then I switched jobs and now I'm a flight engineer on the AWACS. But I started using KC10Chief a long time ago on other forums and it's easier to just keep it the same.

Anyways, looking at RV's is an excellent thing to do. I had a travel trailer a while back and I learned a lot about how RV's work and what I want. Another thing I like to do, is go to places like Home Depot and Lowes and spend a while walking around and seeing what kind of products are available. I get all sorts of crazy ideas on what I want to do. I am working on making my bus fairly nice and modern on the inside. Nothing crazy, but I'd like it to be comfortable and decent looking inside. So, I look at home improvement magazines or look on the internet at expensive houses that are for sale and just get ideas on paint, woodwork, tile, carpet, textiles etc. I'm planning to do everything myself though. I figure the hardest part for ME anyways, is going to be the wiring. I know the basics about electricity and understand how everything works basically, but it's definately my weak point. Plumbing and woodwork are definately up my alley. Another thing I'm doing in my bus, is removing all of the metal trim on the floor in the bus. Any holes from where seats were, I'm sealing those up. Then, I'm going to lay some wood subflooring in. Lowes has 4'x8'x7/16" sheets for less than $6. I figure I can put a nice subfloor in my bus for around $50. Then, I'll have a nice wooden surface to build on. I'm putting heated floors in my bus as well. Carpet in the back where the bedroom and bunks are, tile in the bathroom, and wood flooring (vinyl wood ) up front. I have very detailed plans on how I want it to turn out. I spent a lot of time in my bus just staring at it and imagining how I wanted it to turn out. I also took a lot of measurements like the length and width on the inside, height, where the wheel wells are located, escape hatches, where each window is located, the height from the floor to the bottom, middle and tops of the windows. I also marked which windows I'm going to paint from the inside, which ones I'm going to tint, which ones I need to permanently install into the up position, which ones I'll want to be able to open etc. I took storage into account as well. I also took measurements underneath the bus for water tanks and compared it to inside the bus so I can make it work with the bathroom and plumbing. I decided where I wanted electrical outlets and how I would need to route the wiring, where to install batteries, inverters, etc. Try to think everything through and how one thing is going to affect another.
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Old 07-18-2007, 08:39 PM   #6
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Re: designing floor plans do's and don'ts

I used the paint shop program on the computer, but used pixels instead of inches, but otherwise very similar to the way he mentioned above. I don't remember what my actual scale was, but I believe I either used one pixel to equal and inch, or 2 pixels to equal an inch... or something like that.

In my design phase, I already had a basic idea of how I wanted it to lay out, which pretty much fell in line with just about any motor home...living area up front, kitchen mid-forward, bath mid-rear, and bed in the back.

Since it's my intention to use this thing as a full time unit, and I live in a climate which can get below freezing several nights per winter and occassionally snow, I wanted to make sure it was fully 4 season capable. In as much, I added a cargo bay under the middle of the bus, and this is where I ran almost all the plumbing that had to either be exposed below or cross over from one side to the other. This way all the plumbing would be inside an enclosed area and easier to insulate and heat if necesary. It also minimized how much plumbing had to be routed around the bus, keeping everything basically central within the bus design...
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Old 07-18-2007, 11:57 PM   #7
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Re: designing floor plans do's and don'ts

kc10 I thought it might be you because his liscense plate was kc10rd
dale pretty simular
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Old 07-19-2007, 12:12 AM   #8
Skoolie
 
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Re: designing floor plans do's and don'ts

cliff I try to use the k.i.s.s. method myself keep it simple stupid. unfortunately the stupid part really refers to me
the plumbing wiring ect. is more important to me than the asthetics. Keeping everthing as close as possible really make sense to me. It also save $ and sense as well that the advice I'm really after.I too want to make four season as well don't know how much I really will use it all year round but want the option. I am going make it easy to drain and flush my plumbing for the winter though, been thinking about adding heat tape and insulation as well. I just don't want to make repairs everytime i turn around. I'm really going os! OFF SUBJECT.
i AM TRYING TO THINK OF ALL THE DETAILS BEFORE ASSEMBLY! That is why I want to hear what you did and loved and what you would do the next time different
thanks Dale
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Old 07-19-2007, 08:01 AM   #9
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Re: designing floor plans do's and don'ts

For a simple and very inexpensive CAD program I recommend 3-D Home architect ….for a measly $10.00 you can draw up as many plans as you want….
You can set your wall thickness at 2 inch which is a nice feature ,and it contains a library of furnishings and fixtures that are easily re-sized for rv specs….

Then for kicks you can do a 3-d walkthrough of your plans ….this is a nice feature because it allows you to see in a 3 dimensional sense what the finished interior will look like.
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Old 07-19-2007, 08:21 AM   #10
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Re: designing floor plans do's and don'ts

Here’s a tip I’ve learned in the working with floor plans stuff….make sure you take into account what’s underneath the bus too….this is especially important when you cutting holes through for your toilet flanges and other water ,propane and such lines….
I screwed upon that big time and sprained my wrist using a big hole-saw attachment to cut through the floor for the toilet flange ….I hit a steel cross member which was no fun….

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