Cafe or L shape?

Submitted: Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 17:47
ThreadID: 128016 Views:4373 Replies:8 FollowUps:3
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We are soon going to Bushtracker to finalise our layout and colours. It is very exciting! We are probably having a 20ft van built. Can anyone offer opinions on the following

What advantages/disadvantages they have found with the Cafe and L shaped dining

Do people use an outdoor shower when you have the seperate shower inside?

We know it is personal preferences but are interested to gear others thoughts/suggestions

Mark and Chris
Mark and Chris

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Reply By: The Hob - Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 18:16

Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 18:16
Cafe dining usually has the wheel wells interfering to some extent to leg room if 4 people are sitting at the cafe table. However, we find the arrangement works as we only have two of us and not such a big problem for occasional 4.

We also had 3 on one trip and dropped the table to use it as a bed and this worked well.

Never had a L shaped dining but friends do it seems to allow more seating area for visitors.

Our batteries, charger, inverter etc are under the seats of the cafe dining area.

We don't have them but would recommend to have side wall cushions if you go for cafe dining as this allows you to stretch out along the seat to watch TV etc. We have to use a pillow or put up with the hardness of the wall. Some have even put small extensions for foot rests using this concept.


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Reply By: Spydor - Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 19:24

Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 19:24
Mark, dining area is gonig to be your personal choice, test/ sit in a couple of options to see what suits YOU. In regard to the external shower, in our opinion this is a MUST HAVE. We use our all the time when bush camping in hot weather
especially near sandy areas. After a swim just rinse off with fresh water and all the sand "etc" stays outside. if you don't have a rubber mat to put under your feet at the time, just use a few gum tree branches with leaves on them. this keeps your feet dry and sand free! Also solves the problem of having to clean the mat.
Cheers Spydor & Robyn
Everybody makes me happy! Some when they arrive, Some when they leave !!

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Reply By: Wherrol - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 03:23

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 03:23
We think you should do as Spydor suggests and sit in a few vans for at least 15 minutes. That should give you a taste of what you might like.

Our choice was a back cafe dining with a bathroom in the middle. We have a 19 ft van, with a 2 mtr long kitchen. The windows at the back and side of the cafe are fantastic, airy and lots of light.

We wish you well in your BT journey. If you would like a photo just PM us.


Allan and Sharon
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Reply By: grumpyolephartz - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 06:03

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 06:03
Hi Mark and Chris, fancy you designing now!! We love the L shaped dining having sat against the wall in the cafe dining arrangement for an hour or so. I do have longer legs though. I found the cafe dining cramped and enjoy the L shaped.

You will find the indoor shower much more roomy than you are used to, assuming you are going with the rear full ensuite. We used the outdoor shower in the previous rig a maximum of twice. If you are in cool to warm conditions the indoor works well.

The BT staff will help you through the design process. We actually had the rear frame work framed out to later put in an outdoor shower should we wish to. Only a slight change of aluminium work required, no commitment to additional cost.

Love the three slide out shelves in the pantry. Means you don't have to see to the back of your shelves as they come out to you. Don't need lighting in there either...

Go the full length boot lockers too, like Pikies'.
Regards from us grumpyolephartz, mostly John, but may be Heather

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Reply By: Bobrovin - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 07:10

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 07:10
Why not have combo of both. You can sit opposite as in cafe or sit in the corner and stretch your legs out along the length. Plenty of room for 4

Image Could Not Be Found
Image Could Not Be Found

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Follow Up By: Freewheelers - Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 04:48

Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 04:48
Hi Bob,

If we upgraded to a new van, I think we would probably choose to have dining on the left, as you have - the van feels more spacious when you enter.

Cheers Deb
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Reply By: Gone Bush - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 18:10

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 18:10
To us, the important factor was the size of the table. L shaped, the table is small, and Cafe, the table is bigger. We made our table bigger still because we wanted to have a laptop and a newspaper on it without getting in each other's way.

Our table is not designed to drop down and turn into a bed.

The "returns" to lean against while watching telly are essential.

Outside shower: personal choice. We had one on our previous van and never used it. My observation is that they are set too high for women to reach and the plastic cover can't take the sun and yellows over time.

Image Could Not Be Found

If you aren't going to drop the table, I would suggest the Fiamma leg. It's looks much nicer.

I have some details on our van in my blog if you want more info.

I'm going where the sun keeps shining
Thru' the pouring rain,
Going where the weather suits my clothes.......

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Follow Up By: muddywaters - Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 21:42

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 21:42
We would agree with Gone Bush about the Cafe Table setup, you get a bigger table area but slightly more cramped up if there are 4 people. We did it slightly differently as our table drops down still. I'm a fairly big fella so we narrowed the table by 1.5 inches each side,makes getting in and out much more comfortable, and carry a couple of support boards under the mattress in case we need to put it down. [ only really expect to house the grand kids] The wall back-padding we consider a must.

The out door shower we are not sure about yet. We have one but have not been into the hotter areas yet to use it. We can see the advantage of it in sandy or wet muddy conditions to save tramping it inside. When out bush I wear lace up boots mostly so am not big on taking them off unless they are really dirty, [much to Christine's chargin].
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Follow Up By: Freewheelers - Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 04:51

Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 04:51
Agree with everything Stephen says, including external shower comments

Cheers, Deb
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Reply By: surfy53 - Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 23:56

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 23:56
Sometimes they put a downward swinging door under the fridge and oven. Too low to retrieve things. Have these changed to pull out drawers, much better. Check under the lounge seating, if there is unused space see if it can be accessed by putting in a drawer.
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Reply By: MarkB - Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 08:31

Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 08:31
Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts and knowledge. We are off to BT on Thursday to start the design process. Looking forward to it.

As suggested, I think we will sit in some vans to help decide on the seating arrangement.

Mark and Chris
Mark and Chris

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