Planning the Layout for the Bus

Planning the bus layout from Rolling Vistas on Vimeo.

I am trying to get over my fear of being on camera (and hearing my voice 😛  )  . . . I just filmed, edited, and uploaded my very first all-me video.

The layout planning has definitely been a team effort but I kind of took the reins on this part.  Using Sketchup, a free 3D design program, I created a guide for the floor plan needs Zac and I have discussed.

The video explains some of the big decisions we made and why we made them but below I’ll detail some of the nitty gritty choices.

The bed:


We have always slept on a full-size bed, so no need to go bigger now!  That makes things a little easier.

We like the buses where people can walk around the bed but with a mid-sized bus, we didn’t have the room to spare.  I do think it will feel like a cozy little nest back there the way we’ve planned it though.

We will be building the bed as high as we possibly can to sit up in bed comfortably.  This will 1) give us the maximum storage space beneath the bed  and 2) keeps the dogs from jumping up on the bed when we’re away.  Since we won’t have a full-size washer/dryer anymore (planning on getting a small crank washer and using laundromats for big loads), we will need to keep the sheets clean for as long as possible which means NO DOGS ALLOWED. (We haven’t broken the news to them yet).

The Garage:


We have a great handicap door that we wanted to put to use and this was the way we decided to do that.  We will also be able to open the back door from the bed for nice mild days.

The Wood Stove:

We got a little pot belly stove (who we’ve named Mitch).  We contemplated how large we needed this to be. . . looking into the tiny tiny ones that cost an arm and a leg and the larger ones which would be warmer, accept full size logs, but take up more space.  In the end, we think Mitch will be perfect for the space.

We’ll have it up on a wheel well and store wood underneath. This also keeps it a little safer for the dogs. I’ve left a lot of space here since I have not done the research yet about how far we have to keep it from walls.  We may put in caddy corner. We plan to use reclaimed metal, galvanized steel, or coffered metal to surround this area. Still researching . . .

The Kitchen:

I turned our old Ikea dresser into a kitchen counter which is very shallow.  This will be great for giving us room to walk around each other in this part of the bus.  It won’t be so great for counter space though . . . this is part of the reason we made the choice we did for the long bar area.

We decided to do a chest freezer turned fridge built into the counter so it doesn’t block windows.  The chest fridge will be super energy efficient because heat rises and will give us more much needed counter space.

The Bar:


We’ve decided to go with a long bar area to be a multifunctional space for eating, working, and food prep.

The Couch:


I’d love to have a big couch but honestly, we have a love seat and a full size couch in our house now and we pile up on the loveseat 95% of the time.  Still undecided about whether to custom build the couch or get a small ikea couch w/ storage already built in.

The position of the couch will allow me and Tuco to see out of the front window while riding (we both get car sick sometimes ).

The Bathroom:


The toilet will be on a wheel well since we don’t need standing space there. (that means sitting for dudes too! which apparently is the way to go for a composting toilet anyway). You will have to step through the shower to get to the toilet.  We haven’t decided if we really need a curtain here or not.

Storage Storage Storage:

In a >200 sq. foot space, storage is the biggest challenge!  We have planned for several storage spaces.  We would like to avoid the upper cabinets that many buses have because we saw Natural State Nomad’s skoolie, an awesome example of one without upper cabinets and it looked so much bigger inside. It will be nice to keep upper cabinets in our back pockets if we decide we do need more cabinets!  But let’s see if we can do without.

Let us know if you have questions or suggestions for us!  We would love to hear.

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