DIY Promaster RV Van Floor Plan:
We spent a considerable amount of time trying to determine which Promaster van floor plan would be best for our RV build out. There are many pros and cons of different layouts, and we drew and considered half a dozen floor plan designs before deciding on our final plan.
Once we thought the final design had been reached, we used CAD (cardboard aided design) to mock up the floor plan in full size inside the van. It was very helpful to be able to walk into the van and see cardboard walls and other items close to the correct size and location. We did make a few small adjustments after seeing the design in true three dimensional size with our cardboard furniture. The image below shows part of our mock up. Note that this photo does not show the shower walls, but we did mock up all walls and furniture to make sure that we liked the final floor plan design.
No one floor plan or layout will be best for everyone, so here are some of our thoughts and considerations related to our floor plan. We needed to think about how the van would be used and how we wanted to live in and use the RV. Some people opt for no shower or even no toilet at all, but our intended plans caused us to opt for a wet bath (shower and toilet in one compartment). Other features had to be thought out carefully.
Rear Raised Fix Bed
Our design includes a cross-wise bed in the rear of the RV. This bed will be about 32″ above the floor and fixed or not able to be easily folded away or moved. We chose this design feature of our DIY RV van because we did not want to have to make up the bed each night or unmake the bed and store all of the bedding every morning. It also allows one person to get up and start showering or making breakfast without the other person having to get out of bed. The fold out sofa designs often are a difficult layout to do other things in the RV if the bed is still folded out.
In addition, the garage area under the fixed bed is very useful storage. In our design, we wanted all fresh water and waste tanks to be above the van floor in the heated space. This would allow us to operate normally, even if the exterior temperature were below freezing. The space under the bed will allow the fresh tank (46 gallon) and the gray water (shower and sink waste water – 33 gallon) to lay flat over the rear axle between the wheel wells. This area will also house our water heater and a set of storage drawers. Above the tanks, there is still room to store two folding bicycles laying flat. Since the bed was at the back, we located the RV roof vent fan above the bed area.
We decided that we definitely wanted the ability to shower in the van. We also wanted a toilet in the van. We considered composting toilets, which many vanlife designers opt for, but for many reasons, this was not the best option for us. We have lived in RVs that included a wet bath, and we think it is an efficient use of space. In our van, the wet bath will consist of a 24 x 32 shower pan over an 18.5 gallon black tank. The toilet will be installed in the shower pan and a curtain or retractable door will contain all water spray while showering.
Wardrobe and Pantry
At the end of the wet bath, we will construct a full height wardrobe and pantry storage cabinet. This will partially be over our plumbing from the black and gray tanks. It will adjoin the full height back wall of the wet bath shower area. The small amount of hanging space for clothing will be useful, and the pantry or canned good storage below will keep those heavy items low in the van.
Double Sofa Bench Seat
We wanted the ability to transport two additional people and to also have another seating option. For these reasons, we designed a wide bench or sofa seat directly behind the driver seat. By installing two seat belts, this seat will allow extra people to travel with us, although it will likely be infrequent. The area under the bench seat will likely house batteries and electrical components and possibly additional food storage. By locating it forward, it allows four people to seat close together for meals, conversation, and games.
Kitchen or Galley Cabinet
The kitchen or galley cabinet in our DIY RV van floor plan design is on the passenger side and extends into the sliding door opening. The slider opening is quite large and only two feet or so are needed for entry and exit. By comparison, our last RV door opening clearance was only 21 or 22 inches wide. When the slider is open, counter space at the end of the galley will provide nice views outside. The galley cabinet will be just over 5 feet long and will allow all counter space to be in one continuous area.
At the forward end, the cabinet will house a 4.3 cubic foot refrigerator. This 12 volt refrigerator requires ventilation, and the exposed back of the cabinet in the slider opening will allow a fresh air vent to cool the coils and compressor. The sink will be located in the middle of the galley, while the microwave will be on the rear or aft end just below the counter top. Additional storage will be available in this cabinet unit.
The only windows in the cargo area of our Promaster van are in the rear doors. These windows are fixed and do not open. We have chosen to install three awning type windows in our DIY RV build out. These awning windows have a lower glass section that will crank out from a middle full length hinge. This will allow the window to be open for ventilation, but any rain or precipitation will not come into the RV due to the awning design. Our windows are roughly 37 x 17 inches in size. One will be installed over the bench seat, one will be installed over the rear end of the galley, and one will be installed in the sliding door. The window in the sliding door is necessary to also allow the driver to view traffic coming from the right, which is difficult to see with only the passenger door window. Installing the windows will require cutting large holes in the van, but it is designed to structurally handle this modification.
We are very happy with our DIY RV van floor plan for our Promaster. We look forward to sharing additional progress on our build as it progresses.