Tuesday, October 28, 2014

What if: Interior, over the bed

Now that I'm done prattling on about my ingenious chair (Or is the word I'm looking for ridiculous?? Whatever; it's one of the 'ous's' and  I'll let you pick.)  I want to go back and look at the space around the bed from the mattress up.

With the base of the bed 21” above the floor and allowing for 5” of mattress on top of that, there’s still 50” of space above the bed before I run into the ceiling. Some of that will be left alone and will help alleviate any sense of the space closing in as well as provide access to the storage in the cab-over fairing, but that still leaves a lot of space that could potentially be used for other things.

Over on the left side, where my feet will go when I’m sleeping, I decided to mount the through-the-wall air conditioner. Again, this is a heavy system and placing it at the front of the camper shell helps ensure I end up with a functional center of gravity when all is said and done.

Also, though I’m not a fan of air conditioning, when it is necessary to use it, unlike in the van where the AC is as far away from me as possible and does a good job of chilling my storage area but a poor job of chilling me, this placement directs the output right where I will be spending most of my time in the camper, so even in the hottest of weather I’ll be able to stay somewhat cool with this small unit.

I designed a cupboard space to fit a Freidrich model US08D10. This is an 8000 BTU through-the-wall air conditioner designed to retrofit into the space utilized by many other brands of through-the-wall units. I figured this would be a pretty generic size to work with.

Vertical placement of this cupboard was a balance between keeping the weight of the air conditioner low but at the same time not cramping my feet too bad-ly. (Must keep up with proper grammar or the world just might fall apart, or so I’ve been told.) After a bit of experimenting I set the bottom of the cabinet at about 14.5" above the bed cushion. That would be impossibly low at the head end of the bed but I think is is plenty high enough that I’m not likely to notice it lurking there over my feet when lying down. This also keeps the top edge of the AC unit low enough that if I decide to clip the corners of the shell I won’t have to cut anything off the AC unit as well, and I’m pretty sure that’s a good thing.

 The depth of the air conditioner, minus shell wall thickness, minus minimum exterior extension (1/2”), minus minimum face extension (3.75”) set the depth of the cupboard at 11.5”.  When not occupied by my feet, the space under this cupboard will work very nicely for rolling my bedding into and out of the way during the day as well as storing my pillow when the rest of the mattress is tilted up for chair access.

There’s also space above the unit which will make a nice additional storage cupboard.

Over on the other side, the right side of the bed, I chose to just extend the over-counter cupboard all the way across the head-end of the bed to the front wall.

For reasons I’ll get to later, the bottom of this cupboard is 33” above the bed cushion. Anyone who has designed tight spaces knows that the average person sitting upright needs about 36” between butt and top of head. This obviously doesn’t quite make the grade, but I also know that if and when I do choose to lounge decadently on the bed I will be more or less prone, (Seated lounging is what that gimmicky chair is for.) so I decided the complication of adjusting the height of this portion of the cupboard upward for circumstances that are unlikely was just not warranted.

Next time, counters and cabinets

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