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Old 11-13-2009, 09:49 PM   #1
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Floor Plan questions

I'm in the process of ripping out the seats and doing a floor plan at the same time. I bought a few of the conversion books. And a lot of reading and looking at pictures.

I have a floor plan drawn up. But I'm trying to figure out the actual size of everything that will be constructed or put in the bus. Is that where "doing a floorplan to scale" comes in? I've never done anything like this before. I know where I want everything placed in the bus. Its just figuring out if its going to work.

I would like to put a couple couches in, so would I go and measure a standard couch to get an idea? Etc.. Etc...

Is there some sort of math formula that I need to use to make sense of this?

If so, could someone give me some sort of sequence for this?

Thanks!!
Dan
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Old 11-13-2009, 10:34 PM   #2
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Re: Floor Plan questions

There is no formula that I'm aware of... I drew a scale drawing of the bus empty shell, then went around and measured things that I wanted to put into it. Since I new that I was going to use an RV style sofa that is what I measured. The refridge, cabinets & counters, the mattress... everything I measured. Then I made some scale cut-out's of all those items, and placed them inside the bus shell drawing, this allowed me to move a few things around and tweek my design...

In the end, my bus came out at 95% of how I had planned it, only made a couple of minor changes as the build went on...
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Old 11-14-2009, 01:00 AM   #3
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Re: Floor Plan questions

Start with an outline drawing blocks where you think you want things - your rough ideas may not be to scale, with some blocks to big or too small, no aisle left, etc. Then do the scale drawing:
- one way is to get/make paper with the boxes ruled on it, and depending on how the size of the bus fits the paper, each box could be 6 inches, 1 foot, etc.
- another way is take a ruler, and if 1/4 inch equals a foot, you can fit 44 feet onto an 8.5 x 11 sheet.
- or get one of those architects triangular rulers at an office supply, they have inches plus ten different scales already marked in feet.

Do a drawing scaled to the actual size of each component so you can see if everything fits, or if you have to juggle. I usually try to draw a person to get a feel for the true scale.

Another common way to make a layout is to put tape lines on the bus floor to test the layout. Don't just look at your feet, though. Make sure your shoulders aren't hanging over the lines and 'poking through walls' when your feet are in the aisle. On one project I once hung plastic sheets from the ceiling where the walls would go, to be sure the space wasn't really cramped.
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Old 11-14-2009, 04:12 AM   #4
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Re: Floor Plan questions

If you can get your hands on a bit of cardboard...

1) Get your measurements for everything that you plan to put in the bus.
2a) If using full boxes, cut and stack them how you want everything. Mocking up the general floor plan.
or
2b) If using cardboard sheets, cut them to the footprint size (including handles) of what you plan to put in, and then place them where you want on the floor.
3) Dont forget to put spacing for the walls and any drywall/paneling that might go on them.

Once you get it figured out, you could get a can of spray paint (or chalk lines, sharpies,...) and mark around the corners to mark out where things should go during the build so your not sliding around on cardboard or stumbling over boxes. Plus, you might be able to use some of that cardboard as templates for building the beds or cabinets.

Cardboard is just so easy to move around and you dont have to peal tape up if you decide that you want to move something around.
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Old 11-14-2009, 09:48 AM   #5
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Re: Floor Plan questions

I found this post under the floor plans thread in tutorials and how-to's, it helped me figure things more to scale viewtopic.php?f=8&t=95#p32667 He linked a PDF grid paper that you can download, and I found that it is really helpful.
I havent even gotten close to starting a bus project yet but to me the cardboard method sounds like a good way to start before you start cutting wood and find out that its not going to work how you planned it, and have to rip it all out and start again. if you cant do the cardboard method then try to outline everything with masking tape.
As far as getting everything to scale I would suggest just measuring the things you want to put in the bus then convert it to your scale drawing.
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Old 11-15-2009, 03:15 AM   #6
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Re: Floor Plan questions

I never really liked the tape method. Its great if your outlining a bunch of stuff at once, but if you try to put stuff next to each other, you have to put small spaces between the tape of one item and the tape of the next. Thats why I like the cardboard, and gave the two methods that I have seen so far. Just depends on how much cardboard you can find/afford...

I remember something about a guy who was hired at FedEx and started work a week before his desk was to arrive, so he used a bunch of the FedEx Boxes to build a desk, chair, and printer stand...


This is not a picture of that guys office. His was much bigger, but I cant find pictures of it now.
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Old 11-15-2009, 07:28 AM   #7
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Re: Floor Plan questions

These are some great ideas guys! Thanks! I forgot all about the door width. I was planning on putting in a couch or two but they just might not fit through the door.
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