My original concept was for the middle of the bus to be the living / dining / kitchen area. Almost every bus layout ive ever seen has inadequate living areas. I guess in most cases they are designed for summer holiday makers, who just want to eat and sleep, after doing their outoodr things. In my case a live-in bus needs comfy places to sit, a desk / workstation and a permanent made up bed.
The other thing i didnt like is the galley / tunnel effect that happens in narrow buses when people try to put standard sized kitchens and things in, like with 600mm wide benches in them, 4 burner stoves etc. I figure i can do a kitchen bench in 450mm, using off the shelf sink and stoves and fridge.
Also there is never any space between the sink and the stove. Ive always reckoned that this is the single most useful part of a kitchen is the about 500-700mm between these two key appliances. And no fold up glass covers. Not here, not ever.
The idea of having the living area central is that it allows the more private bedroom area to use the rear, and likley also the front of the bus with some kind of improvised bunk as two seperate bed areas. Good enough to suit either a couple or in my case an adult and one half-time preteen.
The shower/wc area is either put right in the middle of the bus or behind the driver. Experienced bus fitters i talked to urged me not to put in the middle, as it makes the bus feel really small by breaking it clean in half. So the front area behind the cab is to fridge and shower.
The bed is reasonably high, a bit like a loft accessed by climbing the lounge seating. This leaves tonnes of space underneath to store my woodwork and computer stuff.
Heres the plan, so far.
Theres still a few grey bits. The exact junction of the bed and the lounge, is so far determined by the location of the nearest window. Originally the bed was a full 2m long. Now its more like 1650mm-- therefore sideways. Id hoped to avoid this but discovered that i can lie across it, with about 5cm to spare.
Heres the end section view. The base measurements are reasonably accurate, so any one planning a coaster can rely on them.
I plan on closing off and insulating the right side windows in the bed area, behind the shower and fridge, and possibly some of the right side of the living area to lessen the fish bowl effect inherent in buses.
Where is the dining table, you ask? The answer is that it has been sacrificed. My original concept had a oval table in the lounge. But the space is in actual fact just to small for a permanent table. I figure one of those round or square fold up wooden camping tables could be whipped out for formal dining occasions!
The interesting thing about designing for small spaces is having to examine your assumed or unassumed priorities so closely. Interesting indeed.
Feel free if you wanna drop in and put our oar in, but work starts on the bed area this weekend! So make it fast ;-)