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Old 05-10-2018, 12:29 PM   #1
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skoolie layout feedback

Hi! I'm new here, and my partner and I are in the very (very) beginning stages of buying and converting a short bus. I wanted to share the layout we've come up with to see if we could get any feedback from some pros (since we are so new to all of this!)

Just to explain the layout a bit:

Kitchen: for now we're just going for a microwave or some sort of convection type oven, a sink, and we're thinking a little fridge somewhere. That might have to go under the microwave, and the drawers will change to cupboards. We're going to be using this for weekend trips to campgrounds mostly, so we figure we can do any grilling outside.

Couch: there will be storage underneath the couch, and if you move aside the back cushions, there will be storage under the bed. To the right of the couch we thought having another little storage cupboard and countertop would be useful. The table will swivel in and out so depending on whether you want to use it while sitting on the couch or not.

Bed: Will be a queen sized bed with a headboard (more storage), and also storage accessed from the back doors.

We're also thinking of adding some overtop cupboards above the couch on the left side, but I didn't draw those in.

Anyway, any feedback would be greatly appreciated! We're just winging it here, and of course things may be a bit different once we get in there, but if you see anything that just looks like it could be a huge problem, it would be great to consider ahead of time. Thanks in advance
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Old 05-11-2018, 08:47 PM   #2
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I would go toaster oven or microwave, and since counter space will be at a premium, I would make and upper shelf for it to be stored on. Don't know that I would try and make an upper that I could use it on...
but at least having it out of the road for food prep.

aside from that if the drawing is to scale then it look snug but comfortable.
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Old 05-11-2018, 11:28 PM   #3
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So you crawl over part of the couch to get in the bed? A double burner hot plate uses less power than the microwave and gives you less cancer. Just a thought. Cabinets over the couch will work well if you have a high ceiling. I did that in mine. Also above the kitchen area because both places they aren't in the way of walking. I just try to keep the heavy stuff down low and use the upper cabinets for lighter stuff to keep the bus from being top heavy.
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Old 05-12-2018, 12:00 AM   #4
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In a space that small I would getting out of the 'house thinking' box and thinking multi-function - do I need a bed AND a couch? No - I personally would never need both at the same time. A better use of the space would be a couch that converts into a bed. Not just for space reasons but functionality - you wanna have to crawl over your couch to get into bed? Sure you've got to figure out a way of easily/quickly putting the bed stuff away in the day but..

The same goes for every aspect/component - think hard about how you can utilise every space the most effectively. For example, you could mount that microwave on the wall in a cabinet (though I wouldn't recommend you put a microwave anywhere but in the garbage) - why use some of the tiny amount of countertop you have to sit it on it?
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Old 05-12-2018, 12:02 AM   #5
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I just try to keep the heavy stuff down low and use the upper cabinets for lighter stuff to keep the bus from being top heavy.
People put steel roof racks on buses then full them full of stuff and they don't fall over. Your kitchen utensils will make no difference to how your bus drives whether they're on the floor or taped to the ceiling.
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Old 05-15-2018, 01:48 PM   #6
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This was all great feedback, thanks!
We've also revised the floor plan a bit (based on some comments here and also some ideas we've had on our own).

Everyone we show does seem to be weirded out by the climbing over the couch to get to the bed thing, but for us it's not a huge deal and it seems to be one of the few ways we can have a longer couch in there!

Anyway, here are some revised floorplans (same plan, just different angles), feedback is always appreciated Also, I just want to share for anyone else who's looking for floor plans, maybe I can give some ideas.
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File Type: jpg skoolie-with table2 (2).jpg (67.0 KB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg skoolie-with table2 (3).jpg (64.4 KB, 37 views)
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Old 05-15-2018, 02:19 PM   #7
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No toilet???
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Old 05-15-2018, 06:05 PM   #8
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We've been going back and forth on the toilet situation for awhile! I personally kind of want one, but my boyfriend thinks it'll take up too much space. Where could we put it in this layout?
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Old 05-15-2018, 08:58 PM   #9
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I put a cabinet above the couch (though mine is a bed) and hedged my bet a bit by making the sides of it from a woven mesh (Harbor Freight stuff). I supported it from straps on the ceiling and firmly on the wall. The bottom is made of what used to be known as package tray cardboard like what was used between the rear seat and back window of old cars. I can't begin to count the times I have been thankful for the give when I've stood up and whacked my head on it. I'll post a picture of it when the slide out is retracted but it will give you an idea of what it looks like. Jack

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Old 05-16-2018, 08:24 AM   #10
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Oh, this is a good idea. I hadn't really considered it as I'm very short, but my boyfriend is about a foot taller than me so this might be a concern for him! Something to consider, thanks
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Old 05-16-2018, 01:34 PM   #11
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It would take a different layout to accommodate any kind of toilet. But I can tell you that if you plan on camping (even at Wally World), eating and sleeping in a rig...you are going to want some kind of relief on board. Even a potapotty will do...but ya gotta have a place for it.

On my micro bus (about 12 feet behind the driver seat), I gave up a full sized bed for a fold out, and decided I did not need a full dinette...but...made room for a combined toilet/sit down shower so that I could boondock just about anywhere.

Just an example...


The combo toilet/shower is in the space with the porthole on the left side. It only measures 30" wide x about 36" deep. I am also working up shelving that will be in the door so it will function as storage when the Loo is not in use.


The potty now sits against the wall, but this is pretty much the idea.


One more thought...

...try out ANY floor plan in the real world before committing. First with just some tape on the floor. Then if you have ant doubts...make some full-sized cardboard mockups of everything and sit them in place. It's a lot easier to adjust tape & cardboard than the real thing.

Best of luck on your build and keep us up on your progress...with pix!
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:48 AM   #12
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Thanks for this advice! I like this layout, and we've talked about it and I think we're going to try to accommodate a portable toilet type of solution. Another rework of the plans! Definitely though, you're right, we're going to lay everything out in real life before we make anything permanent. Right now these plans are more of an ideal or dream layout, and then once we actually buy the bus (since we're still working on that part of things!) we'll mask it all out and see what's realistic.
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Old 05-20-2018, 02:00 AM   #13
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Something else to consider about the layout where you have to climb over the couch to get into the bed - it's annoying, but not a problem to climb into bed. Trying to get to any of the storage UNDER the bed, on the other hand, will be a PITA.
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Old 05-23-2018, 07:48 PM   #14
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To pee or not to pee :)

Greetings!

3cats, you are pretty much at the stage we are with our Skoolie. We bought a 2007 6-window shortie and trying to figure out where everything goes. I'm pretty sure my husband has already toyed with a sketchup program to do the visuals, cuz that's how he rolls... We are still working on getting the few remaining seats out (SOOO difficult, but just gotta do the bolt wrenching!), and then plan on grabbing a few cocktails, some sidewalk chalk or tape and mapping it out.

My 2 cents: Your kitchen can be condensed, especially if you're NOT living in the bus full-time...Simplify! It seems bigger than necessary. Ikea has an amazing, small 2-burner hotplate...we'll add a french press and either a cooler or tiny fridge, one cabinet, a drop down table or counter, and shelving above the windows ...along the lines of what others suggest for our kitchen...that's it! Take that for what it's worth.

I would DEFINITELY include a shower/toilet combo...I think Tango's suggestions are perfect. We're doing a porta-potty in a teak-floored shower. may upgrade down the road to a compost or bench seat toilet. Currently plan on placing it right behind the drivers seat where the biggest window is. The kitchen sink will back up to the back 'wet-wall' of the shower.

The dinette will be opposite to the bath/sink. Ideally, the seat closest to the front will have a reversible back that can be flipped to face forward if desired for the copilot (moi).

The bed(s) will be in the back. We don't want to close off access to the back door as we plan on adding a short deck down the road, so we think that we will have facing couches - slightly shorter than a standard bed (approx 72"), that pull out to 2 full-sized beds at night(and storage beneath) ...if possible... with a narrow walkway in between. We are beyond the age of climbing over anything - especially each other for the frequent nighttime potty visits...

So depending on how much space is left between the dinette, bath/sink and couches, the rest will become our kitchen.

Our priorities: maintaining the windows/light ... not closing off the space by using half walls between kitchen and couches....and having a shower/toilet.

Found a LOT of great ideas on Pinterest and by viewing photos here. Have a 'board' filled with them! Remember, there's no such thing as an original idea...just borrowed ones

I'll create a thread once we start construction. All the best!
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Old 05-31-2018, 07:29 PM   #15
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Dedicated bed vs fold up

It's neat to see your plans in progress! Good work on putting them together. I can see the appeal of both a bed and couch, but the storage access is the only thing that gives me pause.

We are thinking about a floorpan for our little bus and I think a toilet/shower is a priority, so I want to make room for one. It's so striking on this thread to see the space flexibility offered in a folding bed/bench. I wonder how much of a pain this is in practice to set up, put away, etc...

AuntBee I'd love to see your Pinterest board, care to share your handle over there?
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Old 05-31-2018, 09:02 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by BagelBus View Post
It's neat to see your plans in progress! Good work on putting them together. I can see the appeal of both a bed and couch, but the storage access is the only thing that gives me pause.

We are thinking about a floorpan for our little bus and I think a toilet/shower is a priority, so I want to make room for one. It's so striking on this thread to see the space flexibility offered in a folding bed/bench. I wonder how much of a pain this is in practice to set up, put away, etc...

AuntBee I'd love to see your Pinterest board, care to share your handle over there?
"AuntBee I'd love to see your Pinterest board, care to share your handle over there "



Here's a link to my Ant Bee board...there's a few logo pins interspersed as we are also beekeeping, but lots of cool ideas and links to other skoolie things...


https://pin.it/e5vnpmou7zuqpl
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