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Old 02-22-2009, 10:17 AM   #1
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Re: Does size matter?

So far the wife and I only live in our bus for 1 month working at Burningman. We upgraded to a 35 ft pusher from a 30' conventional, and are happy. We gained about 9' of usable space, giving room for a guest bunk up front. What ever length you go with, in general you'll gain approx 4-5 ft of usable space by going with a flat front vs. a conventional. The difference will be even more important if you want the smallest bus you can get away with. The greater visibility is impressive also. I've seen a number of shorter Bluebirds that look both livable and nimble.
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Old 02-22-2009, 01:07 PM   #2
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Re: Does size matter?

All the women in my life have always told me that size does not matter, though I suspect they were just being kind!!! Oh wait... whats the question? Oh... never mind.

I think all in all it is a compromise. For living and moving about in, sure, bigger is better. For ease of maneuvering in tight spaces shorter is better. Many folks have no problem driving a full size rig. I'm not one of them. I got a short bus. I am very comfortable driving it. But I'm still in the very early stages of converting it. Do to my disabilities and income my conversion is a very slow process, which is a good thing as it's given me lots of time to plan and think. I've changed my mind about some major things several times now.

First off was the decision to change my drivers seat. I didn't want to, the seat that was there was a very comfy air-ride seat. But in a bus as small as mine I couldn't allocate that much space to be used only while driving. So out it came... I got some really nice van seats and swivel pedestals and now my driver seat swivels 360. When I'm parked it faces towards the back and is very usable, and a very comfy seat.

I think the key is making as many things as possible serve more than one function, while eliminating things you really don't need.

-Ray
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Old 02-22-2009, 10:42 PM   #3
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Re: Does size matter?

I have 23' of usable interior room, from the back of the doghouse to the rear wall, and I have never really wanted more space. At 29' overall length, the bus is not a handful in parking lots or around fuel pumps.
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Old 02-23-2009, 12:55 PM   #4
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Re: Does size matter?

Removing seats is fun!! I know you have bad knees. Crouching down in between seats with a grinder is gonna be hell on ya. I have a bad back and a bad knee and it was murder on me. But I only had 8 seats to contend with in my shortie. I couldn't have done a full sized bus, I'd have had to have help.

Here is an oddball idea I've had in my head. Mini window-sized slide-outs... For driving they'd be inside and would be enclosed storage space with little doors to access the storage... and they'd sit on the counter top. When you slid them out they'd reveal usable counter space underneath!

You don't use counter space while you're driving. This method would allow you to use that space for storage while you were driving and get your storage space OUTSIDE your bus when you're parked and most in need of space inside your bus.

You could do as many windows or as few as you'd like. They could be only a few inches deep, or a foot, or even more I suppose. You could slide out storage, or perhaps even an air conditioner, microwave, who knows? Has anyone here done this?

-Ray
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:55 PM   #5
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Re: Does size matter?

reversing your air conditioner, that's a pretty good idea! A/C units produce a ton of heat. I don't understand it, but there is some sort of synergy when using a heat pump where 1 + 1 = 3 or something like that. I don't think that actually works all the way down to 33 degrees though. I bet you find it'll ice up before then.

Swiveling A/C mount.....you should apply for a patent!
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Old 02-24-2009, 12:20 PM   #6
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Re: Does size matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
Ray, I won't have a choice but to have to pay to have the seats removed, or hopefully find someone who wants them in exchange for the trouble of removing them. Knees & back aren't my only physical issues, my spine issues go up into my neck, and I have problems with my left shoulder, constant inflamation of my neck....
You have a diagnosis for that inflammation in your neck? I have constant inflammation in my neck that spreads into my jaw. My doctors just look at me like I'm nuts when I tell them about it.

-Ray
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Old 02-24-2009, 01:38 PM   #7
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Re: Does size matter?

I'm not sure that having the AC on a swivel mount is a good idea, either. This is essentially a heat pump, which is actually pretty efficient, usually having a coefficient of performance of around 3-4, where an electric heater has a COP of around 1.(one joule of electrical energy will produce one joule of useful heat) I think the biggest problem you're going to come across is that the AC side will ice over. Air conditioners are not designed to be used in cold environments since.. well.. who in their right mind would want to cool the cold? We've been wrestling with this problem at my work. We have a server room that we are trying to keep very cold, and bought a couple of stand alone ac units, but they keep freezing up then not working. I'm not really sure how to avoid this since any time you drop the temperature you are going to create condensation, and if your radiator is sub-freezing, that condensation is going to ice up. You are going to end up with a heater that you can only use on warm days. I'm not sure how real heat exchangers deal with this problem. Preheat the cold side maybe to keep it above freezing?
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