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Old 02-10-2010, 08:33 PM   #1
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New DYO Design

This is my wife's and my first RV and while we liked some of the standard designs we didn't think any really worked for us. We are planning on a Ford diesel EB 4x4 done at SMB West. We plan on doing a lot of short weekend trips with our young children (3 of them) and needed a plan that would allow them to be comfortable and be able for us to store all of our stuff neatly. We also wanted to have a fridge, sink, mw, and diesel (or electric) cooktop (we deleted the propane system). Here is what I came up with:




Not sure if the porta-potti will fit in the cabinet I selected and I am not sure if the end cabinets will fit either. If not I will see if they can extend the rear cabinets back as far as they can. Since this is our first RV what do you existing owners think about the design? I would appreciate your comments/suggestions. Thanks!
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:32 PM   #2
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Re: New DYO Design

I'd think twice about putting the kids in the sideways seats. You should also check out this post:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3490&hilit=sideways+seat
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Old 02-11-2010, 06:47 AM   #3
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Re: New DYO Design

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldercrest
I'd think twice about putting the kids in the sideways seats. You should also check out this post:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3490&hilit=sideways+seat
We've also got 3 kids, ages 11, 8 and 5 and have done many roadtrips in the SMB. Fully agree that side facing seats are not ideal. Also, consider having SMB install another captain's chair for one of the kids, especially if they use a child car seat. For kid comfort and safety, we went with an EB-51 setup with an extra captain's chair behind the front passenger seat. A few things we've learned. 1) Kids like to see what is outside as we drive by. 2) Facing forward makes it easier for them to watch DVDs on long trips. 3) The closer they are to the front, the better because they always 'need' something.

Good luck.
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Old 02-11-2010, 08:09 AM   #4
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Re: New DYO Design

Quote:
1) Kids like to see what is outside as we drive by.
This turned out to be more of an issue than I thought it would be. I had a window added over the sink in my EB50 so my son that sits on that side of the bench could see things on the drivers side of the van.

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Old 02-11-2010, 10:51 AM   #5
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Re: New DYO Design

I like the idea of the walk through design but I'd also shy away from the side seats with the younger kids. An issue with many of the non-50 designs is the lack of counter space. You may want to think through how much kitchen prep you will do inside the van because it does require a fair amount of counter space which is mutually exclusive with the full height cabinets.


I have 2 kids and went with an eb-52 which has two captain seats in the passenger row as well as the bench for the third row. We also made an effort to put a window next to each seat. We used the Sprinter awning windows because they are somewhat larger and have more airflow.
My gallery has some design pics if you are interested.


All that aside, the SMB has been a great choice for us as a family to spend enjoyable time together.

-Mark
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Old 02-11-2010, 05:55 PM   #6
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Re: New DYO Design

Thank you for the comments, I will certainly consider each of them.
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Old 02-11-2010, 10:20 PM   #7
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Re: New DYO Design

Ditto on the side facing seat(s) for kids issues that were raised. Many kids can't "stomach" riding sideways for any length of time. If you're determined that the dinette plan is for you, then you might want to rent, or test drive, an RV that has side facing seats for a day to confirm your kids can handle it.

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Old 02-12-2010, 12:52 AM   #8
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Re: New DYO Design

Something like the EB27 may be better for 3 kids:


This allows 2 kids at any time to site forward, but also allows them so sit opposing when they are playing games. And this way everyone is within communication range of the driver. Tradeoff is less storage space, but that could be made up with a rear cargo carrier or rooftop carrier.
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Old 02-12-2010, 07:58 AM   #9
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Re: New DYO Design

I get horribly car sick sitting sideways (in fact I'm getting sick right now just thinking about the layouts). Fortunately I get to drive, by my nephew at 5 suffers the same malady and the window shades have to be drawn anyway for him to endure a trip.

Apart from that I don't believe there is any issue with sideways seating. Of course we grew up without car seats or seatbelts, not that I don't always wear mine, but sometimes I feel for my niece's who have to wear a bike helmet to play in the driveway. Gettin a little off topic here, but I guess my point is I think "no sideways kids" is a little over-cautious. Any evidence out there to prove me wrong?
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Old 02-13-2010, 05:50 PM   #10
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Re: New DYO Design

Jage, here's one reference I found: http://www.voea.vic.edu.au/publications ... ookes.html

Various Google searches on side-facing seat safety turned up dozens of sites saying that kids' safety seats should NEVER be used in a side-facing seat. Most states' seat restraint laws state that car seats have to be in front-facing seats, and some states require that car seats be affixed in the rear seats of a vehicle. States vary widely as to age and weight of children required to be in car seats. I also found more than one site that said children above car-seat age and adults are as safe (or really in as much danger) in side-facing seats with seat-belts as they are without the belts. This is because seat and shoulder belts, when worn front-facing, can still allow our bodies to bend some at the waist, a motion natural to the body. In a collision, a person in a side-facing seat can be thrown violently sideways. Without a belt, you fly forward and smash your arm, shoulder, hip, leg, and head into whatever's between you and the front of the vehicle. If you're belted sideways, your body is forced to bend violently sideways, with your waist restrained. This unnatural motion has often resulted in spinal injuries. Bottom line is, as has been said before in other threads on the Forum, riding sideways is pretty dangerous for bigger folks and potentially fatal (and illegal in most states) for kids. Wish it weren't so - our rig has only side-facing seting in the back. We won't let anybody ride there.
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