I know the contest is over, but I don't care.
I love this thread, have reread it several times over the years, and now have something to contribute.
My design is built on top of a 20 foot trailer with the entire flatbed over the wheelwalls so as to use all of the 102" width allowed for towed vehicles. Here's an example of the trailer type: http://www.allprowest.com/files/20_Flat_Deck_Deckover_Equipment_Trailer.pdf
(though I have no use for those ramps)
So the outside footprint is 170 sq ft. This is not large for an RV, but because it's stickbuilt, it'll be heavy. I figure it can be pulled wth a F-250 pickup.
I looked at a few hundred RV floorplans and a lot of the Tumbleweed stuff and related links, and lots of what I want was not addressed in any floorplan I saw.
This plan is for me and my husband and thus planned for what we consider important.
The Tumbleweed guy doesn't seem to cook. While I would not be doing pressure canning and grinding my own grain in this trailer, there's room to REALLY cook, with an apartment-sized range and fridge.
All the floorplans I looked at annoyed me with the waste of space by interior walls, built-in cabinets and bookshelves - an enclosed shower and refrigerator are "walls" between which I site a composting toilet with a simple shower curtain in front of it.
I do not see us using either the shower or toilet often. When traveling, we will often be staying at campgrounds with facilities. When we buy our own land and park this, we will build an outhouse and a showerhouse almsot immediatly. So in my mind, the shower and composting toilet are largely for occasional use.
I do not want to climb into a loft to sleep; I'm disabled (though not wheelcheer bound) so a loft is not happenning. I wanted a queen sized bed that you could actually walk around, permanently setup, not needing to convert from something else. It's just too uncomfortable otherwise.
So... I designed my own after deciding everything I didn't like about all the other floorplans I saw. This is a very rough floorplan designed with floorplan.com software.
It will be RV-like in the sense that the batteries and a couple 20 lb propane tanks will be situated on the tow-bar. Most of the RVs I've seen have a cover you have to put over the window on the tow end, and I didn't think we'd be likely to put that on and off, so just left that wall blank. There will be a small cabinet door over the tow bar to access the area under the center of the queen bed. That will be outside storage for things like our dining tent, camping chairs, etc.
My design assumes 6" walls. I'm thinking 2x4 framing sideways as interior walls are generally done, simple vinyl siding outside and thin paneling inside, stuffed with insulation in between. Insulation in the floor when the deck is built, likely vinyl sheet flooring. And the roof will be open rafters, same paneling as the walls laid on top to hold insulation and a metal roof.
One wall is higher than the other to allow for a shed roof. The software used has some limitations in that a wall can only be one height the whole length so the end walls are screwed up in the external views. Also, those aren't the windows I want, I want double sash windows. It's going to look like a house like the cute little Tumbleweeds do.
Though realistically, I will use what I can scrounge or get sheap. This is one reason for looking at normal-sized stuff, rather than RV-specific stuff.
In the floorplan, the big grey space near the bed is my kitchen cabinet. Hubby built me my ultimate kitchen cabinet in our current rental home, customized to my exact specifications. We'll build a lighter weight one for the trailer and bolt it directly to the wall. Here's the cabinet: http://www.ornery-geeks.org/home/pictures/kitchencabinet/
- the upper doors on that will open over the bed space on one side and over the range on the other.
I've been living with this cabinet for 4 years and it's awesome. The only improvement I can think of is it would be nice if the bottom shelves pulled out. But otherwise, I really lvoe the thing, everything you ened is at hand from one countertop (built higher than normal so i don't tear up my back chopping veggies).
The back of the cabinet will have a hole to the wall with a surge protector mounted at the top, so it can hold things like my microwave, coffemaker, etc. win the back and still give me plenty of counter top for food prep. The other thing we will do differently versus the home version is put a lip across the bottom of the shelves so if we're parked not perfectly flat, we don't have stuff falling out. There is more than enough storage for real cooking supplies plus dry goods in this sucker.
Storage of other than kitchen stuff is not shown in the floorplan. Drawers under the queen bed on each side will only pull out so far. The center of the bed area will be outside storage as described above on one end and space for a litter box on the inside for our cats (with a lip at the bottom, in hopes that the whole trialer doesn't wind up with litter in it).
I put a door near the queen sized bed just cause I am not happy with only one exit. We plan to put a metal ladder under the trailer to be able to step in. Inside will be hooks for broom and mop, and a couple for hanging clothes. It will mostly be an emergency exit, not a real entrance.
Hubby has suggested flipping the entire thing 180 degrees so both entrances are on the curb-side, which we will probably do but I was too lazy to redo the floorplan to show that.
The dinette will be built with the cushions on tops removing for storage underneath and with cabinets overhead on the outside walls. The dinette will be not only our eating place, but our "desks". We spend more time at desks than we do at the ktichen table now. In fact, we will likely have a server under one of those dinette benches with a wireless router.
There's no plan for a TV because I assume we will use laptops at the dinette to watch DVDs. We don't really watch TV now in a rental home except for DVDs, so assume we won't then either.
The entry is in the back. I love the little porches on Tumbleweed houses, so did one of those. Hubby is arguing with me about the waste of space, but... I think it's practical also, with such a tiny space, if your boots are muddy, you need to be take them off outside, and be standing on a clean floor with a roof if there's weather to do it. But honestly, I just adore the porches on the Tumbleweeds as too terribly cute and just want it mostly for the look. The stairs will attach at the top on hinges, so they can be pulled up and stored on the porch when traveling.
The sink is a single sink, but actually deep with a real faucet. Next to the sink is a marine propane heater. Under the sink is an on-demand propane water heater and water pump. Over the range will be a removable shelf so I have counter space when doing dishes.
One of the disadvantages of my setup is that the refrigerator is pretty far from all the rest of the propane appliances, and both hot and cold water plus a drain will have to be plumbed to the shower, pretty far from the sink. I couldn't get it to workout otherwise.
Because of choosing a composting toilet, we will avoid all the hassle of a blackwater tank, but will have a to mount water storage and greywater tanks under the trailer.
Most of the lighting will be overhead, hanging from rafters, as will a couple fans.
We assume solar panels, but not mounted on the roof. The batteries will be recharged when driving. When parked, the solar panels can be setup in the sun while we park in the shade. Electric will be normal 120, so we can swtich from battery/inverter to city power via an extension cord.
I think the amount of windows and the shed roof will give a feeling of space in spite of how tiny it is.
When I envision living in this, the two most annoying things I see are... when we both enter, one person has to continue for a while in order for the other to get in and shut the door. The other is, if I am cooking and he needs to use the john, that will be less than pleasant. But we used to drive tractor trailers over-the-road and lived in a much smaller space without getting divorced, so we'll manage.
Anytime we're parked more than a day, we will set up our dining tent. I'll likely buy a chunk of outdoor carpet to put down out there also. It will nearly double our living space.
When we buy land, I want to build an L-shaped deck going around the sides where the doors are.
Thoughts and advice are welcome.