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Old 02-11-2011, 09:37 AM   #1
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Re: Layout Opinions

The first thing that I see is the toilet can't be over the wheel well, it needs to be a pretty strait drop into your black tank. It may be just me, but it seems the bath layout is cramped. If you must have a separate "room" for the crapper take the sink out and make the rest of the bathroom L shaped. A lot of new motorhomes are using curved front or neo angle showers. Even if you make your walls really thin they take up precious space. I've posted my tentative floor plan here http://www.skoolie.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=9827 just for an idea. Nothing is written in stone, and I just realized that I didn't put wheel wells anywhere. Just some thoughts.

Some measurements from a Thomas pusher (probably 1990 or so) windshield to rear of driver seat 49-52 depending on where the seat is.
window to rear of step 39
interior width 90 at floor not counting wire trace.

The engine cover does have some insulation, but you will probably want more. Most people put storage under the master bed. My son's has most of the electrical boxes/junctions there.Many have a lift up the mattress arrangement. The Thomas lower step is 14 inches there. Total distance from rear window at floor is 46 upper step is 29 from rear window.


Hope this helps,
Dick
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:46 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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Re: Layout Opinions

Your basic layout is similar to our. Except we don't have a dinette, we have 2 swivel chairs with an end table between. I don't think you realize how high a wheel well is (BB front is roughly 9"H x 24"W X 18"D, BB rear is 21" or 24" deep... can't remember). We have learned we don't use a table. It just collects "stuff". You bathroom is an okay length. Flip the toilet & sink and pull it to the front to clear the wheel well. Best to do a straight drop into the black. You can use a very short 45* angle but you will use more water when flushing.You will have a high step up into the bathroom, hope you like bending over, unless you raise the roof. Fill in the space at the back of the bathroom over the hump with a closet. To full time with a minimum amount of clothes you need a minimum of 18" (24" is better) PER PERSON for hanging clothes. That for 8 outfits... plus a multi function coat. That's 7 days of clothes plus 1 extra day. At 18" it's a tight squeeze but doable. Our bus bathroom is 27" wide X 60" long. The bathroom in the RV is 27" wide X 47" long. There is very little space between the front of the toilet and the front of the sink (13"). Since our bus is 40 ft (390" usable floor space behind the driver/engine area) we could stretch things out just a little. Our closets fit over the rear wheel wells (30" clothes plus 18" linen/storage). One for me and one for David. Closets will hold all the clothes and will have drawers incorporated into them.

This is my "winter" coat and rain coat. It zips apart. Price is lower if you watch the clearance section (which I did). We don't do "Cold" weather much so it's enough for TN/NC & NM winters.
http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/65972...226-ppxs&dds=y



My suggestion would be to plan cabinets over your wheel wells. Then go from there to place things. You need to place your immovable things first and work around them for everything else. We did build a 51" wide deck over the front wheel well on the driver's side to put our swivel RV chairs (a cubby will hold a foot stool for David). We removed the floor stands and the bottom of the chair is about 3" above the decking. It's almost too high for us to comfortably sit in them.
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:12 PM   #3
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Re: Layout Opinions

Done for the day, looking at your plan again, may I suggest turning the bed so that the head is toward the rear of the bus? A queen will fit there with enough room to walk around. That way you can walk around it to make up the bed. I've been making the bed in the semi for twenty years while on top of it, a real PITN. I think the area above the engine all the way to the back can be made into more closet space. Depending oh ceiling height, it's about 29 deep by 41 high. My idea is to make hanging closets on each side with the center for shelves or less used hanging stuff. I've gone for 20 years without hanging things and keep about 3 weeks of clothes in 3 drawers. Mumsywumsy is a different matter, I assume most of the hanging closed space will be hers.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:35 PM   #4
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Re: Layout Opinions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maynard
... I'm so confused by your comment though the front wheel wells have a different depth?? That's so bizarre and good to know....
Front wheels are single, rear wheels on our bus are dual (inside/outside). On the Eagle the rear tires were single (tag axle) plus dual. I don't think the skoolies are like that. I've not seen any with tag axles.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:45 PM   #5
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Re: Layout Opinions

Quote:
Originally Posted by lornaschinske
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maynard
... I'm so confused by your comment though the front wheel wells have a different depth?? That's so bizarre and good to know....
Front wheels are single, rear wheels on our bus are dual (inside/outside). On the Eagle the rear tires were single (tag axle) plus dual. I don't think the skoolies are like that. I've not seen any with tag axles.
Maynard, I think you may have confused Lorna's depth with height. Depth, meaning measurement from center of bus horizontally to wall. Lorna, are your front wheel wells taller than the rear?
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Old 02-15-2011, 02:00 AM   #6
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Re: Layout Opinions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceni John
In my bus the front and rear wheelarches are the same size - this gives enough space for the single front tires when turned on full lock. You mention the shower over a wheel. No, that won't work!

I suggest you plan all the support systems first, based on the available space for them under the floor. If you decide to use a regular RV loo, the black tank should be directly under it, or as close as possible. (Some folk on BCM have their loos a distance away from the poo tanks, but there's more risk of blockages and you'll use more water to flush.) The poo tank should be on the left, to suit most dump stations; this pretty much requires the loo to be there. The gray tank should be reasonably close to the shower and kitchen sink, and next to the poo tank: this will allow you to back-flush gray water into the poo tank to help remove "solids" when you dump it. The fresh water tank(s) either should be on the bus center-line, or two tanks can be interconnected to keep them balanced left-right (that's how mine are). The house batteries should be next to, but not in the same compartment as, the electrical panel and inverters; this keeps the heavy high-current DC cables as short as possible, but separates the electrical equipment from the batteries' hydrogen gas and acid fumes. LPG should be stored between the wheelbase according to NFPA 1192 - there was a recent thread on this. If you're tall, it may be worth dropping the shower floor a few inches below the floor level to give you more headroom, but the understructure (ribs, longerons, frame rails) will dictate if that's feasible. You should also try to approximately balance the weight left-right, and be aware of the axles' weight ratings - putting more weight over a pusher's front wheels, or over a FE's rear wheels, may slightly improve handling and ride.

Having said this, whether you get a pusher or a FE makes a BIG difference to your underfloor space. With a pusher all the space ahead of the rear axle is usable (except for the fuel tank); with a FE you have a driveshaft running back under the frame rails, but you then have all the space behind the rear axle free. Bear in mind that pushers' rear wheels are relatively further back than FE's, so the rear wheel arches will be a few feet different position.

It's half-jokingly said that the entire conversion is designed around the loo; I would go further and say that the entire conversion is based on the available underfloor space for all the necessary support systems. This is why I'm building my bus literally from the ground up, putting all the tanks etc in place first before I even think about starting the interior. I told my GF that when I have a working loo in the bus I will have passed a milestone (or is that a millstone around my neck?) - I have visions of a gleaming white toilet in all its lavatorial glory, sitting by itself in the middle of my bus, no walls or anything around it. Have crapper, will travel.

Have fun,
John

Great advice... As soon as I got my bus, I started planning my layout... After tearing into it and reading other peoples build threads a lot has changed... Your approach is very solid, no pun intended...
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Old 02-15-2011, 12:54 PM   #7
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Re: Layout Opinions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceni John
In my bus the front and rear wheelarches are the same size ...
My arches are the same height (front and rear) it's the depth that is different. I think we have our definition of depth and height confused. A standard kitchen base cabinet is 24" deep and 34.5" high. My wheel wells are the same height( approx 9") but different depths.

Quote:
The poo tank should be on the left, to suit most dump stations; this pretty much requires the loo to be there. The gray tank should be reasonably close to the shower and kitchen sink, and next to the poo tank: this will allow you to back-flush gray water into the poo tank to help remove "solids" when you dump it.
Dump stations "tend" to be on the drivers side. But not always. I've run into several that had dump stations on both sides. Some RVs are set up to dump from either side. You get used to it... like gas tanks on a car. Current site (older campground) has the water/electric on one side and the sewer dump on the opposite side. Meant we pulled into the "back in" site and ran our sewer line under the RV (requires a support on slope). When we dump all the "solids" drain out. No problem. I have never "back flushed" our black tank. If you use plenty of water, you should have no problem. Only time you may need to back flush is if you are boondocking for long periods of time and not using enough water OR You are parked for long periods of time and not using enough water. Solution is the same for both. Dump 5 gallon of water in toilet (if emptied) add a 10lb bag of ice and go for a ride where the tank will do some sloshing. Dump that tank and remember to use more water when you flush solids. And we don't use chemicals. only water. That reminds me... I have to "pull the valve" on the black tank to dump.
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