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Old 04-20-2020, 09:47 PM   #1
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Reverse Layout?

Hi all,

Is there a downside to a 'reverse layout', meaning bedroom at the front of the bus and living room and kitchen at the back of the bus?

I've been dreaming about a reverse layout since Fall 2018, as I like the idea of being able to modify the back of the bus to open up entirely so that the living room area can then have a back porch behind it. I've searched for others who have done so, and only found 2, but in both cases it was a passing mention of planning to do so. I didn't see any concrete commentary on why it ultimately did or didn't work.

Would love any and all feedback, thoughts and input.

P.S. I've been obsessively researching & planning for about 4 years now & thanks to COVID providing lots of extra time, It's finally time to take the plunge. Excited to get input from all of you lovely people as I dive in. Thanks in advance!!
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Old 04-20-2020, 09:50 PM   #2
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Someone just posted one the other day, it might have been in a For Sale thread. Bedroom in the front, kitchen in the rear.


Edit: Ah, here it is https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f9/ne...ell-30854.html
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Old 04-20-2020, 09:57 PM   #3
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Bedroom in the front (assuming you keep your entrance in the front) means you have to go past your bed to get inside. You'd have to go past on the side rather than the middle, and without a roof raise you will have headroom problems there. You can move the door and the stepwell to the middle (as some users here have done) but that's a substantial bit of fabrication work.

A bed is usually the widest thing in the bus, so it's natural that it usually ends up at the back where it isn't in the way of movement through the rest of the bus.

Edit: you could have something like a Murphy bed in front that folds up and out of the way, but then you still wouldn't be able to use the exposed space underneath it for anything but an entryway.
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Old 04-20-2020, 10:04 PM   #4
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It can be done, but I think you'd be looking at custom fabricating a sliding platform of staggered slats (I've seen wood and metal versions) that slide out to be a bed, then back in to be a sofa. You might also look at a Murphy bed. There are plenty of ideas like this both here and on YouTube.

Keep in mind that putting your bed at the front makes for some interesting complications with staying warm or cool, as the closer you are to the front windshield and front door, the more chance of drafts and glass and steel simply radiate cold and will quickly heat the bus in the summer. That's something not easily remedied with simple windshield curtains.
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Old 04-21-2020, 01:02 AM   #5
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Check out Kazetsukai's Build ... a LOT of great work and great ideas implemented well. He has the bedroom in front.
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Old 04-21-2020, 05:19 AM   #6
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Maybe I should start by saying I watch far too many movies. LOL ..
The bus in Priscilla Queen Of the Desert, has single beds in the front, followed by a dressing area, I'd guess ya might call it. Then there's a living room in the back. Part of the movie plot depends on the driver being far removed from the folks talking in the living room. It seems like that element of privacy would be important in a real world machine if you had several people on board.
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Old 04-21-2020, 08:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew Bru View Post
Thanks so much for finding the post! That definitely looks similar to the layout I'm looking at. Going to see if I can reach out to seller and ask some input based on experience - really appreciate the direction you've provided!

Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
Bedroom in the front (assuming you keep your entrance in the front) means you have to go past your bed to get inside. You'd have to go past on the side rather than the middle, and without a roof raise you will have headroom problems there. You can move the door and the stepwell to the middle (as some users here have done) but that's a substantial bit of fabrication work.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
It can be done, but I think you'd be looking at custom fabricating a sliding platform of staggered slats (I've seen wood and metal versions) that slide out to be a bed, then back in to be a sofa. You might also look at a Murphy bed. There are plenty of ideas like this both here and on YouTube.
I'm looking to move the front door to where the emergency exit is. I know this is normally not a full size door, but am also looking to do a roof raise which should give enough clearance height for a full door. Even as such, I am looking to build the bed so it could be folded away, but because the regular door wouldn't be the primary entrance, that wouldn't be needed regularly - however would be an option.

Specifically thinking I will have the bed fold away to one side of the bus and on the other side have folding car seats bolted in that fold down - with the bed at a height that would cover them most of the time. We wouldn't plan on using these seats frequently, however would allow for us to use when our friends with a young son travel with us and we could use with their car seat for truly safe travels.


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Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
Keep in mind that putting your bed at the front makes for some interesting complications with staying warm or cool, as the closer you are to the front windshield and front door, the more chance of drafts and glass and steel simply radiate cold and will quickly heat the bus in the summer. That's something not easily remedied with simple windshield curtains.
Had not thought about this part before, super helpful insight I'll have to think about. We do plan on having a wood burning stove, but of course that would be in the living area so not directly heating the bedroom area. Hmm...

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Originally Posted by Native View Post
Check out Kazetsukai's Build ... a LOT of great work and great ideas implemented well. He has the bedroom in front.
Thanks! I had skimmed this post, but didn't see much commentary on if the layout ultimately worked well or not for him. Will look more thoroughly and also see if I can reach out to him directly!

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Originally Posted by Johnny5 View Post
Part of the movie plot depends on the driver being far removed from the folks talking in the living room. It seems like that element of privacy would be important in a real world machine if you had several people on board.
My husband - who will be doing a lot of the driving - is an introvert and this is definitely part of the allure. I think he'll get exhausted having tons of people around him for hours on end as he drives. His preferred driving scenario is putting on his sports podcasts and blocking everyone else out. So I figured this would give him his own little driving space.
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Old 04-29-2020, 07:56 PM   #8
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I have a cutaway which means super small so keep in mind I have mini config. Upon the completion of my last trip of 7 weeks I was so tired of crossing the bed, a full size mattress that goes across width wise and doesnít fold up, I ripped it all out and am redoing so the kitchen is in front. Iím just able to stand/walk for height comparison.
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Old 05-02-2020, 08:18 AM   #9
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I know I said I wanted a Cali King murphy bed in my built thread... I went with two twin XLs stacked instead. We can sleep one or two by just moving them around instead of all-or-nothing. What it came down to was, the Cali King didn't fit because my ceilings were too short. More data points in favor of a roof raise. Would have saved me headache with the shower too if the ceilings were a bit higher.


I'll be watching your build thread if you're up for it...
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Old 05-06-2020, 05:47 PM   #10
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We have a reverse-ish layout in our ongoing build. Our bedroom is in the front of the bus but the space that you would use for your rear living area is where our bathroom and garage reside.

Our bed consists of two facing couches with a platform that flips out to bridge the gap between, making it a queen size bed. Some of our Skoolie friends have warned us about the issues of temperature control with this layout, but we had already almost finished our couches and kitchen by that point. It also doesnít help that we only have a mid-size bus.

Having the bedroom able to convert to another sitting area during the day in addition to your living room in the back is definitely a great way to accommodate any introverts who need that alone time to recharge!
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Old 05-06-2020, 06:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winston on the Road View Post
We have a reverse-ish layout in our ongoing build. Our bedroom is in the front of the bus but the space that you would use for your rear living area is where our bathroom and garage reside.

Our bed consists of two facing couches with a platform that flips out to bridge the gap between, making it a queen size bed. Some of our Skoolie friends have warned us about the issues of temperature control with this layout, but we had already almost finished our couches and kitchen by that point. It also doesnít help that we only have a mid-size bus.

Having the bedroom able to convert to another sitting area during the day in addition to your living room in the back is definitely a great way to accommodate any introverts who need that alone time to recharge!
I'm building an insulated bulkhead wall (with its own entry door) just behind the driver's seat because of the hopelessness of trying to insulate the front of a bus. The seat and the entry steps really aren't usable space anyway. As a bonus, it will protect you from the kitchen knives that people seem to have hanging up in skoolies a lot.
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Old 05-07-2020, 07:50 AM   #12
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We are doing our "master" bed in the front, but as someone already mentioned, it will be 2 facing couches that pull out to meet in the middle for a large bed. We will be traveling with 2 grandkids so their beds will be in the very rear, bathroom up from that, then kitchen and living area. So ours is not a "true" bedroom for us. Not exactly what you're looking for...
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Old 05-07-2020, 09:28 AM   #13
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I have no experience living in mine yet, but I'm also building a reverse layout mini-skoolie. I'm using the old steps for a battery box, and got rid of the front door entirely. My dream would be to fit a real econoline passenger door there, but the fabrication involved makes my head spin. I've seen a few full sized skoolies with custom "cab" doors on the front like this one by pdbreske:


I think that would be perfect for a reverse floorplan. There's something to be said for the safety of having a door in the cab near the driver.

I also always consider claustrophobia. My dad would not even board a bus with the floorplan you're talking about. One entrance really isn't enough, especially if you'll be removing all the emergency hatches.

That said, a lot of people here get away with it just fine.
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Old 05-09-2020, 08:45 AM   #14
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I think that would be perfect for a reverse floorplan. There's something to be said for the safety of having a door in the cab near the driver.

I also always consider claustrophobia. My dad would not even board a bus with the floorplan you're talking about. One entrance really isn't enough, especially if you'll be removing all the emergency hatches.
I'm not planning to take out the door or walk way, just to not have it be the 'front door'. But I'm with you, safety is key and I wouldn't ever want the driver to not be able to get out of the bus quickly if there was any issue.

Excited to hear how your build goes as you continue to make progress! Keep us updated
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