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Old 07-18-2013, 07:40 PM   #51
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Re: Full-time planning

Hey 100sqft,

I like your new design pics. Nice refinement.
It's a much more open design so the inside will seem roomier, less closed in.
Hope you don't mind but I'm going to throw out some What If's, good or bad.

You don't have too much counter space for prep work for meals.
What if you were to move the fridge cabinet to the opposite side.
You might have to slide the gaucho forward a bit and you could do that and just limit the driver's seat swivel to 90deg if you have to. Then the galley area could have a counter height cabinet and you can have storage/pantry below or move the microwave as an under the counter rather than having it up high. Another advantage is that while sitting on the gaucho, you'd have a nice sight line out the van.

I would then raise the platform bed to be the height of the counter. This would give you more storage room below and if your feet need to hang off the bed, like mine do cause I'm 6-2, then you don't have a wall against the foot of the bed. Raising the platform makes it slightly harder to get into bed so that needs to be considered and it reduces your head room above since you have some upper cabinets, but it might work.

Back on the new spot for the fridge, not sure how much room you'd have to get to the shower area. The bed really sticks out pretty far. If you had to you could clip the corner like you had on the original design. not sure how doable that is but something to consider.

This other idea would add some weight and make things more closed in, but I'll throw it out. What if you added a partial T wall in the back. Floor to ceiling across the van, wall to the edge of the bed that was maybe 18" or more from the back and then a small forward wall maybe 24". This would provide some tall vertical storage in the back, only accessible from the rear door, if that's something that would be useful. Then it provides an alcove for the toilet area so it's not in direct line with the bed and can be the storage area for your shower curtain if you plan to have it on a track. Moving the toilet area forward will reduce your shower pan area, but if you end up with a porta potti then you can remove it to shower. I'm not fully sold on the idea but it might be something useful to consider since you wanted a wall originally. This doesn't help your weight total.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:47 PM   #52
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Re: Full-time planning

love the new design except the wire baskets but they of course can be removed.I would rather have the counter space and view.I also would put a smaller lavatory sink and cabinet where you have the plastic drawers on the other side of the couch wall.I think you will tire of shaving and brushing in the kitchen.If you have guests you may want a little wall between the bed and potti.Look at the tailgating examples on SMB website. http://www.sportsmobile.com/3_tailgaters.html .the walls appear to be a very light material.A vent in the toilet area could prove important later on.
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:15 PM   #53
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Re: Full-time planning

scroll down to see a compact sink example http://www.sportsmobile.com/1_dyo_examples_rb.html.Could be plumbed to the shower grey water tank.Man! I've got too much time on my hands.
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:23 PM   #54
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Re: Full-time planning

radin2son: Thanks for your comments and information. My current plan is to keep about two weeks worth of underwear/socks, a bit less on shirts, and two or three pairs of jeans. My intention is to dry camp (remote) for a week to nine days at a time, and I don't want to feel like a laundromat is the first place to hit when I return to civilization. My spec for a 20 gal. fresh water tank fits with that timing too. I hadn't thought about road dust accumulating on clothes and things. I'd be interested to hear if others have had the experience. I expect cooking well to become a significant hobby, so I want room to carry more than just the essentials for food. I do intend to cook outside most of the time.

windguy: You've got some really creative ideas there. I've recognized the lack of counter space. A few things come to mind. As I said above, a lot of my cooking will be outside (campfire or grill) so inside space becomes less important. At home, it seems I am rarely using the stove and sink at the same time, so in the van I can have one covered as extra counter space. I also plan to set up the pedestal table near the galley to extend the counter. Finally, if that still isn't working out, I'll add my own swing-up counter extension off the end of the galley, probably made of butcherblock.

I took a serious look at your idea of moving the fridge to the opposite side. The biggest problem is that clearance between the fridge and the bed would be 2 inches. As you suggest, I could clip the corner of the bed, but it would take a serious chunk to fix the problem. Also, I measure 96" allowed by SMB from the front of the wheel well to the furthest forward (low) cabinet. A 25" fridge cabinet plus a 72" gaucho exceeds that by 1". True, I could shorten the gaucho, but I've got a 6'3" brother-in-law who's already going to be hanging off the end. One thing I'd never do is put the microwave under a counter. Unlike some others on the forum, I expect to use my microwave frequently.The idea of having to get down on my knee every time I want to look in is not appealing. In the early days, I was looking at the Airstream Sprinter. The fact that an experienced company like that would put the microwave under the counter dropped them off the list.

My problem with the T-wall is the weight. I promised myself once I got the weight down, I was going to resist the urge to start adding back a little here and a little there. I'd rather have the flexibility to do that after experience has taught me some lessons. I probably will hang a curtain to separate the bed and the toilet.

Please don't take my working through your ideas as discouragement - they are thought provoking. Keep 'em coming.
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:42 PM   #55
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Re: Full-time planning

stanw- Yeah, you're probably right about the baskets; I may have gone a bit overboard. I will definitely ask SMB about some lightweight partition next to the toilet, though probably nothing is going to do more than block the view, noise and smell is an inevitable price to be paid in tight living quarters. A corner sink for the shower is a real possibility. However, I've always used an electric razor ( and will probably use it less when retired ), and spitting down the shower drain after brushing can't be any worse than dishwater in a gray tank.
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Old 07-19-2013, 02:24 AM   #56
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Re: Full-time planning

Quote:
Originally Posted by 100sqft
Please don't take my working through your ideas as discouragement - they are thought provoking. Keep 'em coming.
nah, doesn't bother me. this is all fun stuff plus I'm learning through your experience.
I would agree that open baskets for items in an RV isn't ideal. perhaps some plastic boxes that you can cover. use clear ones if you prefer to see what's inside.

You've got a tall BIL. Between the two of you, you're sucking up a lot of bed space. dang.
that does add more restrictions on your design flexibility but nice to have good company.

everyone's cooking requirements are different. It's nice to have adequate inside facilities with the option to move outside. For me, dragging stuff in and out of the van doesn't sound appealing.

I often thought it would be nice to have both electric and propane capability for cooking. If you're at a campsite with a hookup, then you don't have to deplete your propane and can use an electric hot plate or even an electric heater if required. Same for producing hot water.

Speaking of hot water, one technique I really like for hot shower water is to fill up one of those solar shower bags with hot water from an on demand system and then hang the shower bag in a shower stall to bath. This eliminates the need to plumb in an extra line for the shower area or run a line from the kitchen sink and even gives you the flexibility to shower outside if you wanted. I stayed at a remote camp in Mexico that did this and it was great and very water conservative. The on-demand system was propane fueled and warmed the water up nicely. Excess water not used was recycled back into the tank for reuse. The water had a good consistent temp too eliminating the temp swings you can get when using it directly from the tap.
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Old 07-19-2013, 02:21 PM   #57
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Re: Full-time planning

Nothing like providing a link without knowing the link. Maybe someone from the San Diego area is familiar with this builder.

When I was looking at various builds, I came across a blog about a couple who planned to live and work out of their camper van for 2 years. They chose an E-series van with an added fixed top and, if I recall correctly, a builder in San Diego, who used only solid wood because it weighed less than what typically is used in a conversion. I immediately thought this builder also built boats.

Right from the start they had minor problems. The build did not go as smoothly or quickly as they hoped. Despite all the research and planning, the fixed top was slightly curved when they expected flat. This caused a problem with mounting solar panels, but they worked around it.

They were supposed to continue their blog, but I never saw an update.

The couple I know, who live in their Sprinter for 6 months a year, are always glad when they park it and return to their home, now apartment.
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Old 07-19-2013, 02:40 PM   #58
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Re: Full-time planning

Quote:
Originally Posted by radin2son
They were supposed to continue their blog, but I never saw an update.
was this it?
http://www.advanturetrek.com/
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Old 07-19-2013, 07:22 PM   #59
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Re: Full-time planning

Yes.

I'm using an iPhone which sometimes/most times doesn't let you navigate a site. I tried to get back to the build page and couldn't. Nice looking van but the top looks different from the earlier blog.

About the solid wood, it may not have been lighter; rather, it was less prone to warping and/or separating when wet. I guess we can't float a SMB..

Edit: Found it? Didn't scroll down, down, down far enough. Still, I didn't find the build blog, only the web address of the interior builder and photos when they picked up the van. Looks like SMB was involved and they may have posts on the forum.

Really found it. Go to the bottom of the page to the alphabet scramble and click on Sportsmobile. The build and planning starts here. Interesting reading.
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:17 AM   #60
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Re: Full-time planning

Have you thought about moving the spare to the back door and building a basement? Sorry if I missed it if discussed before. You might have to work around the shower but it provides a space for more "stuff" you will acquire.

No egress through the back doors? That provides a wall of storage for an awning crank, a cheater bar (I need that to change a tire), water hose, fishing pole, etc.

I dumped the propane system, pulled that heavy tank and use an Espar. No worrying about dual fuel and a lot less noise. The stove top uses the 1 pound bottles but you could build an outside access for an 11 pound bottle that would last a very long time.

We have 2 solar panels and a 2000w inverter and very seldom plug in even if in a campground.

SMB says by the time you build your second one you get most things right. Sounds like you are trying to skip a step

Regards,

Keith
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