Sunday, February 8, 2015


I've thought a lot about layouts over the past few months and when I first decided I wanted a short bus I did a quick layout with paper to make sure it wasn't too small. Now with this super short Portland bus hopefully in the picture I thought I'd throw together another layout with more specific dimensions to really make sure I could make a tiny tiny bus work. 

oops. chair was still selected when I did a screenshot...

So let me tell you about this layout. 

To start I found interior dimensions for this bus are 10' long by either 7' or 6.5' (different sites had conflicting info) so I went with 6.5' just to be safe. This is not including the door which is up front with the driver's seat. 

First order of business is the bed. As I've talked about before I really want to put the bed along the back wall of the bus. I've got a mattress at home that I think I'll be able to turn into a folding futon style couch bed, but I'm starting to consider other options. If the bus is in fact 6.5' then the mattress will just fit, probably too tight to fold in and out though. :P My options if this doesn't work are either get a new futon type mattress (one that is made to fold to a couch would probably be a good idea) or to switch to a non folding twin sized bed. Also not idea cause I want my bus to have the option to sleep two people even if just me is the primary resident. This will take a little more figuring once I have real dimensions, but I've got options. 

Next I put in the toilet. I am looking at the Nature's Head composting toilet which is surprisingly small and less expensive than some (but an investment.) I have yet to do the math about how much power it uses and if it is viable, but we will get to that later. Anyway, that is the toilet I used for my dimensions. I put a 3'x3' shower around it. I've been thinking lately about the bathroom walls and think I'd like to have one solid wall and one curtain wall, this way it is less intrusive in the room. Switching to a solid door later wouldn't be too hard though if I change my mind. 

The kitchen wedges nicely between the bathroom and the bed's 'out' position. I did 2.5' deep counters with a 1'x1' sink. Pretty small but I'm hoping to keep things tiny. Under the counters I'd have a mini fridge and drawers for kitchen things. On the counter I'd have a hot plate and probably a toaster oven. Above the counters I'd have some additional shelves for more kitchen things. 

Along the opposite wall will be my work space. I'd like to do a work/dining table that folds down so it is flat against the wall. This will have to be folded down for the bed to be pulled out, but while the bed is in couch form it can act as another chair at the table. 

For additional storage I will have a layer of drawers under the bed, perhaps with shallower drawers accessible from the front and an additional storage space accessible from the back door of the bus, behind the bed. The front accessible drawers would have my clothes in them. I would also like to have some shelves/cabinets above the bed to hold books and other knickknacks. For these shelves/cabinets as well as the ones in the kitchen I would ideally not be blocking any windows. They would start right above the window line and go to the roof (not a huge amount of space.) 

This layout really doesn't have a lot of storage. I was hoping to incorporate a cabinet on the full height of the bathroom wall that could house my clothes, leaving the under bed storage for crafty supplies. I may try out a few more layouts to see if this is still possible, maybe by switching the table/chair with the kitchen. 

Back to storage- I have a plan to also add storage on top of the bus. I would like to create a roof rack of sorts, accessible by built in ladder on the back of the bus. This roof rack can store things I don't use often and maybe my water supply (so it can be gravity fed) though this might be too much of a pain, lugging 5 gallon jugs up there all the time. My secret plan for this roof rack is also to use it as a balcony on occasions. By occasions I obviously mean Burning Man. 

So there you have it. My life in tiny form!


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