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Old 04-29-2014, 01:50 PM   #1
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See the custom RV I'm building

Hi all,

Great web site! I would love to make some new friends here. I am going to be building a small custom RV later this year to travel solo full time throughout the United States. I would love to share my plans with you and hopefully get your opinion on them.

I've posted my RV plans online at: MY RV PLANS

I would greatly appreciate any thoughts or comments based on your RV experience. (i.e. my floor plan design, equipment, decor, structural design, sustainability, etc.)

Thank you so much for your time. - Darla
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Old 04-29-2014, 02:08 PM   #2
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Why so few windows?
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Old 04-29-2014, 02:32 PM   #3
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In opening door can be a waste of space. Compost toilet would be perfect for this app., do more research.
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Old 04-29-2014, 02:39 PM   #4
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Closet space

Neat design. What about clothes storage?
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Old 04-29-2014, 02:44 PM   #5
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Fyi, there is a 33 ft Fleetwood bounder diesel (1993) on Craigslist for 4 grand. had a roof leak so will need a new roof as well as repairs inside. all systems supposed to work perfectly. might be a great candidate to gut interior and rebuild exactly as you want.
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Old 04-29-2014, 03:06 PM   #6
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Welcome aboard and glad you joined us. Sounds like quite a project and I wish you the best to get it some. Be sure to PST pics of your progress. Good luck and have fun.
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Old 04-29-2014, 05:07 PM   #7
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I prefer an outward swinging door. - Much harder to kick in.
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Old 04-29-2014, 06:58 PM   #8
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WOW!!! The detail on the blog spot is amazing!

A few things pop-out looking at the renderings:
~Access to any space/voids under the floor is not shown, except for 2 small doors on the drivers front -> using an off-the-shelf cargo trailer with solid walls will prevent adding too many "bin doors" to the lower walls (interior trap doors?)
~The towing tongue is well above the top of the wheel boxes -> using an off-the-shelf cargo trailer would usually have a frame that is even with the bottom of the walls (goose neck from frame?)
~The tongue at this height will not work without a major lift on the tow vehicle hitch.
~The tongue jack is far out of scale...looking at it next to the 16" spare tires - that thing is huge!

Best luck
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Old 04-29-2014, 07:40 PM   #9
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Best of luck with your new adventure. I don't think I would care for just 15 footer, maybe a 20, but that is just me. You have put a lot of thought into this project and it will be interesting to see it coming together and you getting to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Please keep posting as you move forward with your project. I don't think I would care for the door opening inward. Like was said by someone else, takes to much room.
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:57 PM   #10
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I really like your plans.

Regarding the outside steps:

1. How do you plan to store them when in transit?

2. Can you design a handrail? There's a lot of steps.

Jim
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:52 PM   #11
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Thanks for your comment about the windows. Well, in a 15' trailer there’s not too many options with all the other equipment I have to get in there. My design shows 2 windows positioned on opposites sides of the trailer so I should get some real nice cross air ventilation. I had considered turning part of the door into glass, but that might present a security issue because breaking the glass on the door may allow someone to unlock the door. On the plus side I’m one of those people that loves the shade so with 2 windows and the light from an exhaust fan I think I will have plenty of daylight coming in. But here’s a key point; windows are for looking outside and I want to be outside most of the time. (I see this trailer more as a sustainable life transport vehicle to wonderful places and not as a cave on wheels)
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:55 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by DonDee View Post
In opening door can be a waste of space. Compost toilet would be perfect for this app., do more research.
DONDEE, Thank you for your comment

AN ENTRY DOOR THAT OPENS INWARD
I think the RV manufacturing industry got this one wrong. Maybe those RV hatch doors are just cheap to install or they think it minimizes liability or because they think if everyone else is doing it it must be right. I think RV doors that open outward present many issues of inconvenience. If it’s an issue of safety then why don’t most people have outward opening entry doors on their stick homes? Even in hotel rooms where safety is essential the door opens inward. Every time you open those RV hatch doors from the inside you have to hang on to it or pin it back. On windy days those doors can rip from your fingers and swing back against the trailer.... and when it happens it could cause damage. Ever been inside with the door pinned back when all of a sudden it starts to rain hard outside.... then you gotta run outside down your retractable stairs, unpin the door and then grab it as you climb back up into your rig. And the inside of the door is going to be wet. How easy is it to return to your trailer with a handful of grocery bags in your hands and at the same time unlock the door, pin it back and then get inside? Even if you don’t pin it back you would have to back down to let the door swing out in front of you. You have to make at least 3 trips up/down the stairs to accomplish this task. Outward opening doors can interfere with awnings especially if you want to angle them low. Outward opening doors could cause you to accidentally open the door into someone you can’t see approaching your trailer. All these things are not an issue with an entry door that opens inward. Are outward opening doors safer? First, according to my thorough research on this there is no RVIA requirement that manufacturers install entry doors that open outward (In fact, most of those tiny homes on wheels are built with doors that open inward). Second, the argument that in the event of an emergency it’s easier to exit a door that swings outward is not really true.... especially if there is something blocking the door outside like another vehicle or a fallen tree. And as for fire?.... any fire outside the door is still really hot no matter which way the door opens. Now let me get a little crazy for just a minute.... if a major snow drift, mud slide or debris fell up against my entry door my chances of exiting safely are much better if the door opens inward. It is true that an entry door that opens inward only works in some floor plans such as mine where there are no internal steps or obstacles. Maybe it’s time for the industry to reconsider this? Also, in my floor plan I have included a small emergency exit door in the back that can not be opened from the outside but can be opened outward.

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Old 04-30-2014, 06:57 PM   #13
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Neat design. What about clothes storage?
Thanks so much for the feedback.

CLOTHES STORAGE
Well, while there is not a lot of store there is more than enough for my needs. My design specifically calls for a big open (easy to vacuum) storage area under the bed for bins for my clothes. Not drawers. I love bins. They’re easy to get things in an out of, they’re sanitary and easy to clean, you can get them in different sizes, shapes and colors, they’re easy to label, they’re inexpensive and they have no moving parts. I will also have plenty of storage in my tow vehicle and in my “basement area” below my floor.
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Old 04-30-2014, 07:00 PM   #14
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Best of luck with your new adventure. I don't think I would care for just 15 footer, maybe a 20, but that is just me. You have put a lot of thought into this project and it will be interesting to see it coming together and you getting to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Please keep posting as you move forward with your project. I don't think I would care for the door opening inward. Like was said by someone else, takes to much room.
I once lived in a studio apartment in New York City. $1600 a month and wasn't as big as the RV I want to build. Small can work for 1 person. Thanks for the well wishes. And yes I will keep you posted on the progress.
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