June 27, 2016

Dream Class C 21' RV

This past weekend, we came across the new 2016 Winnebago Class Cs and were really impressed.

They've gotten rid of B+s (hybrids of Class Bs and Cs but had slide outs) and made compact, high quality Class Cs that retained the all important overhead bunk.

The overhead bunk:

Modern minimalistic acrylic back splashes instead of the previously common gaudy ceramic:

The upgraded modern interior:

They've really looked at every corner and made it into storage even in shallower spaces.

So although we still didn't see our ideal RV, it inspired me to photoshop and mix and match some of their new 2016 designs. We will also not go longer than 21' as that's the maximum in order for a vehicle to fit into city parking, so these modified plans are 21' long.

Inspired by the back slide out of the Winnebago View 24G, this particular design allowed us to have an extra sofa seating in the back when not in use, or when we have guests, the sofa can easily fold out to a full size bed:

However, if we didn't care to having that extra dedicated bed, we were also inspired by the luxurious back bathroom of the Winnebago Fuse 23A. With the bathroom in the back, this allows for a completely dedicated spacious galley area:

Per suggestion of the hubby, instead of just sliding out the dinette, perhaps it could be mechanically possible to slide out most of the side so we could get deeper, larger storage space. I can imagine having those pull-out wardrobe racks and pantry space to utilize the deep storage room.

With the larger kitchen working space, we could also expand the window the full length, have room for a mini stove and microwave. Note that the fridge is placed on the non extending side in case the wires couldn't extend in a slide out.

Ideally, it would be more convenient if we can lay long wise on the cabover bunk, so we may request a 180° foldable panel that folds down for extra leg room in the cabover bunk. That may make the bed a king size bed! Now that would be a luxurious cabover bunk!

Now if only we can also get the truck to be a hybrid, electric RV with autonomous driving. Then we'd be all in to custom make this RV!

April 7, 2016

The Dream Compact RV

So, the hubby and I have been renting out various RVs over the years for short weekend get aways sometimes with friends or family, and sometimes just the 2 of us.

These are interior design features I've come to learn are musts in our dream RV:

  • Wet baths are OK as it's an easy way to wash the whole room! However, there is a minimum floor space I'm willing to shower in proximity with the toilet seat.
  • Cab over beds instead of a separate bedroom is a better use of space
    • Murphy beds that cover the dining area is not acceptable as I want us to be able to have one person lounge in bed while the other lounging at the dining table at the same time.
  • Wardrobe space to hang jackets are a must
  • "Full height" fridge with a separate freezer component is a must
  • 19 to 20 feet are ideal lengths as the RV will still fit in typical parking spaces
The benefit of Class As are that they are tall enough such that manufacturers have been putting loft beds over the driver seat (motorhome.com):

The down side to this is that we would lose the use of of the driver seats to lounge in when the bed is down. Despite there being a separate dinette sofa chair, that 2nd chair allows us yet another place to spread out to in the limited RV space. 

Similar to Class As and unlike Class Cs, Class B RVs driver seats typically turn around. The driver seat in this Winnebago Travato is reused for the other side of the dining table. A great re-use of furniture in a limited space. (Winnebago Travato 59G):
The downside to this layout is the small width of bed. The hubby and I fit but a larger bed would be even more ideal. Class Bs do however tend to have higher quality secureable cabinets and built in interior and exterior speakers. This particular Travato also has a spacious enough bathroom to regularly shower in. The storage space INSIDE the bathroom is also surprisingly spacious.

On the other hand, we've rented out a truck camper like this Lance 850 but found the bathroom too small. I also did not like washing dishes in front of the hubby's feet in my face. There just wasn't enough room for the 2 of us to spread out in this camper (Lance 850):

The wardrobe space in the cabover bed was very quaint and great use of space though. I also swoon over the large truck that comes with such campers where 6 ppl can fit in the cab. We haven't gotten the chance to try out a Lance 1172, however this double sliding camper comes very close to a dream layout:
A minor downside to this layout is that we tend to cook and wash dishes or use the sink at the same time. One of us would have to use the sink perpendicular to it to allow the other to cook on the stove. A very minor downside when compared to the additional lofty sofa seat, separate shower space, and large mirrored wardrobe in the cabover bunk. A potential downside is that it would be difficult to get into this camper when the sliders are not out.
For truck campers, I do like the idea of the truck being able to be used separately from the heavy camper, however we were told that these campers are not the easiest to remove. Large dually trucks with the wide body and double tires in the back are also needed to carry these large campers. 

Eagle Cap has truck camper layouts that is hard for me to imagine a truck bed can carry!
However, Eagle Cap's 1160 kitchen layout is a slightly better version of the Lance 1172. We were unfortunately told that the build quality of Eagle Caps are not as great and campers have been known to break off due to its top heaviness!
One of my favorite compact RVs we have been able to rent out is the Cruise America Compact 19.

The only main bed in the truck is the cabover bed allowing for this Class C RV to be just the perfect 19 feet long. The shower was spacious. The downsides to this RV was that coming down from the cabover bed always felt slightly precarious, and the kitchen/stove layout didn't allow for the hubby and me to be both in the kitchen.

So if we were to get a Class C 19', I'd re-lay it out as so:

I moved the fridge to the back of the car so that we can both work by the sink and stove. I also moved the wardrobe to where the extra seat was. That is a bit of a bummer as that's where we had put the camping chairs and telescope, which still leaves a clear walkway. Compared to a mini class A, this Class C also does not have much external storage. I did however dream up that the passenger and driver seat could rotate and be used as an additional lounging chair. I've always wanted a car where we could fit 2 other couples, so this Class C 19 would be such a perfect fit for our lifestyle. Sigh~

August 3, 2015

A 2 story house

A coworker raved about Floorplanner.com, a UK website where users can easily make simple designs. I've been daydreaming about redesign our house to a 2 story house. I had tried SketchUp last time hoping to not have to pull out a real CAD program, but found SketchUp more of a burden than of help, so I was inspired when I heard about Floorplanner.

Floorplanner is definitely intuitively built where I could focus on the design and not worry about the technicality of the program.

So here is our current house plan.

In addition to wanting more square footage, I've been dreaming of having a Japanese style bathroom where the shower is just beside the bathtub. We also prefer a separate toilet room. I love the additional linen closet space in our existing toilet room so I kept this layout to help maximize storage opportunities.

We are also currently missing shoe storage.
Our current living room layout also doesn't make it an inviting experience for our guests to lounge around our wonderful kitchen counter and sofa area.

We simply don't have enough room for everything I wanted, so the only solution is to build up!
Now that we've lived in our current house for 4 years, we've also realized that need more clothes storage. The 2nd floor bedrooms all have larger closets.

I was inspired by the sun rooms in the center of the house design of some of the prefab houses we visited so I decided to open a 2 story ceiling for the 1st floor entry and living room area.
(I could then also do my aerial silk practices here ;-))
I was also very concerned that the walkway into the bedroom would be very dark with the walk-in closets these are now literal walk through closets. 1 idea is to have the door walls to be shorter to air out the closet room. Also to add some sort of windows in the closet room into the 2 story entryway/living room. 

Based on the hubby's feedback, it did seem excessive to have 3.5 baths. So this is another version where we just have 3 baths; the 3rd bath is not the elaborate Japanese roomed bathrooms. This also allowed for a larger room on the 1st floor which we would most likely use as a large work space.

Now I just want to get a quote and see how much this would actually cost us! ;-)

Just another version of the 2nd floor where the room is larger and the bathroom a more typical size. The unfortunate part is the lost 2nd vanity. However the toilets can have an over the top sink.
The end shelves between the closet and the bedroom doorway hopefully open up instead of walling in the entryway.

August 30, 2014

Personal Curved Screen Monitors

Good job Dell for creating curved screen monitors!
Having experienced a large TV monitor, the curved screen TV made the field of view seem smaller.
It seemed like one would need a much larger TV to make a curved screen TV worthwhile.

Personal monitors on the other hand, make a lot more sense.
Bravo Dell!

Source: Engadget

August 29, 2014

Intimate Banking Experience

With the ability to email our bank agents, the customer service feels so much more intimate and immediate.
We don't need to wait to go to a physical bank and talk to a new agent every single time.
Yay technology!

August 25, 2014

"By the age of 40, 100 percent of all individuals with Down syndrome have the pathology of Alzheimer's in their brain," Rafii

With our advances in medical care, many down syndrome individuals can now live up to age 60, where they will have dementia.

"People With Down Syndrome Are Pioneers In Alzheimer's Research"
Source: NPR

Definite ethical dilemma for families with down syndrome family member(s).
However, it is an important note for families in what to prepare for.

August 2, 2014

NASA's Mars Opportunity rover sets a new driving record, beating an old Soviet one

Boing Boing

"The NASA Opportunity Mars rover landed on Mars ten years ago, and was not expected to be trucking along in the dust an entire decade later. But truck along it has, and NASA this week announced that Opportunity now "holds the off-Earth roving distance record after accruing 25 miles (40 kilometers) of driving." The previous record was held by the Soviet Union's Lunokhod 2 rover."

In celebration, posting one of my favorite songs.
I love the many references to the various Mars rovers. Listen for them! :-)