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Author Topic: designing floor plans  (Read 3153 times)
coachcrazy
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« on: June 07, 2006, 05:14:27 PM »

i am wondering what programs you gentelmen use to do the designing of your floorplans. any shareware/free programs would be a plus
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Ross
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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2006, 05:29:03 PM »

Go old skool....Use graph paper. Smiley

Seriously though, that's what I did, and I have some high end CAD/CAM software.  Sometimes it's just easier to sketch it on paper.   In the end, only laying it out on the bus floor with tape will give you a true idea of how it will work.
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FloridaCliff
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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2006, 05:35:56 PM »

Before I had the Bus I played around with Visio and drew up all kinds of plans

Once it was here it was tape on the floor.

You really need to know the relationship of the bays to the upper floor and where all the main support ribs fall.

In order to plan where everything will go.

Have Fun,

Cliff
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1975 GMC  P8M4905A-1160    North Central Florida

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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2006, 07:14:31 PM »

I would have to agree with Ross on this one! We used graph paper as well and to this day we have changed from the original layout very little! We still dig it out and look at it from time to time just to see what we have or haven't changed. Yes it's takes a little longer but who's counting days when the conversion never seems to get completely done anyway! Smiley

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coachcrazy
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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2006, 07:31:50 PM »

thanks for the input guys, i figured that would be the simplest and easiest  way to go.   
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FloridaCliff
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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2006, 08:10:05 PM »

One more thing.

It is well worth the time to take a look at as many completed conversions as you can.

Every conversion I have looked at has given me ideas or confirmed why I didn't want to do something.

If theres a rally near you, make it a day trip and bring your camera.

Bus people love to show off there work.

Oh yes, I also used graph paper Grin, before I transfered the measurements to the tape on the floor.

Good luck,

Cliff
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1975 GMC  P8M4905A-1160    North Central Florida

"There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded."
Mark Twain
coachcrazy
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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2006, 09:05:22 PM »

One more thing.

It is well worth the time to take a look at as many completed conversions as you can.

Every conversion I have looked at has given me ideas or confirmed why I didn't want to do something.

If theres a rally near you, make it a day trip and bring your camera.

Bus people love to show off there work.

Oh yes, I also used graph paper Grin, before I transfered the measurements to the tape on the floor.

Good luck,

Cliff

Well its kinda hard right now given my location and that the bus/rv lifestyle isnt that popular here.  Iam going to get to the Delaware event and im going to try and get to event in SC in Oct but i may be in KY that weekend, so thats in the air atm.  I just found these 2 coaches sitting in a closed auto dealership in the back fenced in lot behind the building .They dont look like they are being cared for, so i am thinking i may be finding a possible gem sitting in my own town.  One is i think a neoplan cityliner but its kinda hidden behind the other coach witch is either a gmc or a eagle but i think its a gmc.  Im trying to find out who owns the lot and or the buses to get a better look at them.      think you guys can identify them if i get a pic from the fence?
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TomC
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« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2006, 10:13:30 PM »

I have made dozens of floor plans (I started in junior high as a hobby).  Done every size and many layouts.  You can get a general idea of what you want in the length of bus you want.  Then when you get the bus you'll have to modify the floor plan to fit the bus and its' structure.  After I made my graph paper drawing from the measurements of my bus, I then made a vellum master at 1" per foot and had several copies of the three view (floor, left and right wall) copy and had a 4ft x 3ft blue print.  On separate copies I made the A/C wiring, D/C wiring, plumbing, drainage, and general cabinetry requirements.  Even with all that, I STILL had to wing it while building as different problems arose-but that's half the fun of it.  How boring it would be if everything went exactly to plan!  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2006, 03:57:38 AM »

I did mine on graph paper, showing the basic perimeter, steps, windows, etc.,  and then used tracing paper sheets. . one for bays and frame components, and another to lay on top showing projected cabinets and components.  This allowed me to see where rails went, how the bays really lined up, where the windows were in relation to the projected floor plan. . .that really worked well. . .following the KISS principle Cool

Now, this will crack everyone up Grin, but I then took large sheets of cardboard and "built" a bed and some basic cabinets to see if the walkways and open space was adequate for our needs, and to get a bit of a visual on how closed in it may look.  I'm hoping to only convert one bus once, and keep it FOREVER. Wink  Christy Hicks
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« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2006, 05:12:43 AM »

My project is still "Way" underway but I found proping up sheets of plywood with like sized objects to give a feel for just how cramped you can stand. Oh yeah, and tape on the floor.
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TomC
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« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2006, 08:39:37 AM »

Christy- that isn't so out of line.  When I was on the road, in between loads, I used the inside of my moving van to do the exact thing with spare moving boxes.  Making sure passage ways were wide enough, enough room to do your paperwork in the bathroom, enough counter top space in the kitchen, etc.  And since I'm a big boy (6'3" and 295lb) my bus is basically a 32ft design stretched to 40ft.  So it feels spacious.  To many times have I been in other conversions that they just tried to cram in as much as they could and created a twisting, ducking, dancing around corner cave.  Leaving a little less is more relaxing.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
coachcrazy
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« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2006, 09:01:52 AM »


Now, this will crack everyone up Grin, but I then took large sheets of cardboard and "built" a bed and some basic cabinets to see if the walkways and open space was adequate for our needs, and to get a bit of a visual on how closed in it may look.  I'm hoping to only convert one bus once, and keep it FOREVER. Wink  Christy Hicks

actually that seems like a really good idea and one i will probably incorparate.  We always get cardboard at work in big pieces, we are always throwing it away now i can start taking pieces home with me and will have an abundance to use when the time comes
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Danny
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« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2006, 08:32:43 PM »

I believe in the simple ways too.  However, I used a version of Corel Draw that allowed me to work in levels so I could overlay the electrical, plumbing, floor plan, etc.  I could look at these in isolation or together.  But, I just like playing with the computer and had a long winter  :-)  I admit - that was over kill...

Danny
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I have heard it said, "life comes at you fast".  I didn't know it would be in the shape of a bus  :-)
BJ
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« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2006, 09:34:47 PM »

Well. This is my third conversion, the first around 30 years ago so I looked at all the taped floors, cardboard appliances and computer designs and said xzwosnfhf... I sat and looked at everything, planned it all out in my mind and built one part at a time. When finished with that part then I would sit down and think about the next part. I have a beautiful bus, very unique and comfortable for myself. what can I say? I plan to have pictures for the center fold in a few months.
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Geoff
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« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2006, 05:18:00 AM »

It is really hard to make a floor plan when you don't know the exact size of the furniture and components you are going to use.  The location of the toilet is very important so you can put it above the holding tank.  For the most part I just bought what I wanted and made it all fit, I had tape on the floor after I had an idea of how everything was going to go together and it all sort of worked out. Now I have a very unique semi-side aisle layout which is very user friendly and comfortable.  One important tip is that you should try to keep  24" of clearance in the walking/aisle area.

---Geoff








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Geoff
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« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2006, 05:25:33 AM »

When we drew our plans up using the graph paper, we purchased a plastic template that had items on it such as toilet bed, fridge, couch, stove, vanity, chair, etc. and that made it a little easier. I think it cost about a buck. It had different type of chairs such as straight back or wing back and different size beds like full, twin etc., I think you can pick one up at most art, craft, office, and even wal-mart stores have them!

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gumpy
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« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2006, 05:31:35 AM »

One of the first conversions I ever got a tour of belongs to a friend of mine. He did a fantastic job on it. But he told me he had one regret, and that was that he made the shower stall too small. He was ok with it, because as he said, you're only in there a few minutes, but I could tell it bothered him because he took a lot of pride in his bus and it's design, and this was obviously a "failure" to him.

That conversation has always stuck in my mind, so when I planned mine, the shower was an issue. I had limited space, but needed to make sure it was adequately sized. So, I measured the one in our master bath in the house. It's about the smallest fiberglass unit made, but is still comfortable to use. I modeled my bus shower after that, with some slight modifications, trying to preserve the basic measurements of L x W, and I could not ask for a better result. It's the perfect size for use, and uses no more space in the bus than was necessary. I used a curtain, instead of a door, which gives the feel of more space in the bedroom when it's open, plus keeping it open allows the shower to dry out when not in use. Right now, the shower is the only "jewel" in my conversion.

I did the same for the toilet. I measured the ones in the house to get an idea of minimum clearances needed to the sides and front. I'm not done with the bathroom yet, but have the side walls up, and am very happy with the clearance there, so far.

I gave up on trying to use cad to do the design. Would have been different if I'd had more experience with CAD, but there are so many other factors you don't think about till you actually get into the building stage.

The cardboard and tape approach is probably the best, though. Build out your interior in refrigerator boxes and duct tape, and then take a weekend or longer trip.  Adjust things as you go and when you have something that works for you, copy it.

Whatever you do, make sure you use the coach while you're building it. That's when you find out where you've made mistakes in the design, and the sooner you find this out, the easier it will be to correct. I have several things I need to change, already, and had I waited till it was all done before using the coach, I'd be very unhappy.

craig
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Craig Shepard
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TomC
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« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2006, 08:20:27 AM »

Speaking of bathrooms, I have a transit bus and have a different design. The bathroom is of the older separate design and is on the passenger side, built around the rear door so to be able to come directly into the bath from outside, so not to drag dirt through the whole coach.  Also have an exterior shower next to the door.  Once inside, have a trap door to cover the stair well.  The lavatory/toilet part is 4ft wide and 4.5ft long-no bumping around in here.  The shower comes off the main bath and is a 36x36 Kohler shower pan with the drain in one corner since this is where the floor slopes slightly up to the engine with a 10" space by the wall for a linen closet accessible from both the bath and bedroom.  Have two doors to the hallway-one from the main bath and one from the shower stall so two can use the bathroom at the same time.  The main bath door opens into the hall blocking the front view and the rear of the hallway closet door can open closing off the bedroom to make either a dressing area or just to block the rear bedroom for privacy.  Unlike what many think and say, my toilet is on the passenger side with the black tank on the centerline going the length of the bus with about a 3ft 3" ABS pipe connecting it.  No problems with flushing-maybe do use a little more water, but that's why I have a 45 gal black tank (get a week use easily before dumping). Just my way, you'll do it your way.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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