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Old 02-07-2016, 11:09 AM   #1
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Mounting anchors in the walls?

Hi All!
My name's Dave, and i recently purchased my first bus. It's a 2001 Freightliner/Blue Bird with a 5.9 Cummins and Allison 545. It has seven windows (we wanted space but also maneuverability) and even has auto-chains! We love it already.

The plan for it is to use it this spring as our moving van as we move from the East coast to the West coast and then to convert it into a camper this summer once we're settled in. This'll require a phase one of working on it where we strip out seats and set it up for cargo as well as mount a trailer hitch and wiring for hauling our car. Phase two this summer will be more for recreation.
At this point i've taken out most of the seats and driven it back East. My vision for it is to use the seat rail as my lower mounting point for some basic 2x4 constructed cargo shelves and mount anchors in the wall higher up to secure the shelves.

My vision is big screw-eyes like i use in my garage for hanging stuff. I want them to be strong, as i'm planning to leave them in place and string hammocks from them as needed in the final configuration. The roof supports that run up between the windows to the ceiling are obviously the strong spots to choose, but i'm still not exactly sure how to proceed. I'd love to go just above the window level, but i'm concerned that there might be a wiring channel up there. I don't want to strip the interior paneling yet, as the spartan metal is great for a moving truck (and i'm lazy). Anyone know if i can drill into the supports just above the level of the top of the windows?

The other issue is what to use as mounting hardware. The usual screw-eyes that you buy at Home Depot or Lowes is designed for use in wood, and the threaded sections are too long for this low-clearance spot. Are there purpose built eyes for use in metal? If so, where would i buy such things?

I appreciate any thoughts, ideas, criticisms, or input of any type!
I'll have some other hurdles to overcome soon such as how to choose a hitch receiver and get it mounted (sadly i don't weld yet), and the decision on whether or not to try to improve the power of the 5.9 for the loaded trip across the mountains, but i'll cross those later. Thanks!
Dave
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Old 02-07-2016, 12:25 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbenzmaine View Post
Hi All!
My name's Dave, and i recently purchased my first bus. It's a 2001 Freightliner/Blue Bird with a 5.9 Cummins and Allison 545. It has seven windows (we wanted space but also maneuverability) and even has auto-chains! We love it already.

The plan for it is to use it this spring as our moving van as we move from the East coast to the West coast and then to convert it into a camper this summer once we're settled in. This'll require a phase one of working on it where we strip out seats and set it up for cargo as well as mount a trailer hitch and wiring for hauling our car. Phase two this summer will be more for recreation.
At this point i've taken out most of the seats and driven it back East. My vision for it is to use the seat rail as my lower mounting point for some basic 2x4 constructed cargo shelves and mount anchors in the wall higher up to secure the shelves.

My vision is big screw-eyes like i use in my garage for hanging stuff. I want them to be strong, as i'm planning to leave them in place and string hammocks from them as needed in the final configuration. The roof supports that run up between the windows to the ceiling are obviously the strong spots to choose, but i'm still not exactly sure how to proceed. I'd love to go just above the window level, but i'm concerned that there might be a wiring channel up there. I don't want to strip the interior paneling yet, as the spartan metal is great for a moving truck (and i'm lazy). Anyone know if i can drill into the supports just above the level of the top of the windows?

The other issue is what to use as mounting hardware. The usual screw-eyes that you buy at Home Depot or Lowes is designed for use in wood, and the threaded sections are too long for this low-clearance spot. Are there purpose built eyes for use in metal? If so, where would i buy such things?

I appreciate any thoughts, ideas, criticisms, or input of any type!
I'll have some other hurdles to overcome soon such as how to choose a hitch receiver and get it mounted (sadly i don't weld yet), and the decision on whether or not to try to improve the power of the 5.9 for the loaded trip across the mountains, but i'll cross those later. Thanks!
Dave
Well Dave I don't know what you have access to as far as a shop goes or friends that weld. You could remove a few rivets/screws in your sheet metal roof/roof bows weld a chain link or half a chain link [depending how big of eye you want] to a piece of flat bar and reattach using the same holes....rivets/screws? Or cut a piece of 1x1 angle maybe by 1/4" thick, depending what you want to hang....hammock/lamp yada yada, with 1 large hole and a few smaller holes to mount to the roof...here's a crude drawing.....you may want to remove the corners so you don't open up your skull

IMG_4008.JPG
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Old 02-07-2016, 01:52 PM   #3
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Nice sketches REDD! This build link here, the owner made kayak supports on the interior ceiling of his bus, and I think his style of doing so might help you get some ideas. I am liking the thought of hammocks as well, and I also like the idea of cargo netting up there, to store stuff if necessary... http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/la-tortuga-updated-05-03-15-a-7581.html
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Old 02-07-2016, 01:53 PM   #4
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Hi, Dave
For what your looking far as eye bolts I like redds idea and if later on the screw holes start to loosen up you can use a meatier screw. I would recommend loctite on the screws but not if there temporary or subject to change locations.
I added some 3 point seat belts and used the chair rail for the lower connections and through bolted the ribs between the windows for the upper/shoulder height piece.
For the hitch I would recommend finding a weld shop and use long enough steel on the main runs to use the existing holes in the frame. Even if you need to drill a few holes in the frame it needs to be bolted not welded.
I am building a hitch structure that bolts to my frame and gives me a 3' wide back porch with fold down steps and a suitable hitch for a trailer but I am a welder and have access to all kinds of scraps my problem is going full overkill on my projects that I could start exceeding my vehicle weight limit before I ever put any food,clothes, family in it to hit the road?
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Old 02-07-2016, 03:18 PM   #5
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Hi dbenzmaine, welcome aboard. You can buy "D rings" at Harbor Freight really cheap. Use big sheet metal screws to attach them on the ribs. Or you can mount 2x2 or 2x4 boards with the screws into the ribs and then mount the d rings anywhere on the wood with wood screws. Just an idea for you. its nice having you here. Good luck.
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Old 02-07-2016, 03:22 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies! As for my shop capabilities, i'm a woodworker and have a pretty complete collection of power tools and hand tools for working wood, but i don't have much for metal beyond a few hacksaws and an angle grinder.

The link to the Tortuga thread was really good. His rivnut idea would be pretty great. I'm guessing i'd have to drill through the roof support to size the hole perfectly, but maybe i could get lucky and find a nut that already matches... Anyone know how deep the space inside those supports is?

The through bolt idea is another that would certainly work. I worry a bit about water and cold getting in though. SS hardware and some silicon would probably to the trick though.

Man, i wish i could weld. I think it'll have to wait until this summer. I have a couple friends who weld professionally, but sadly on is in Denver, and the other is in Maine. I don't have a good connection for that here.

I think i may hit up a hardware store and look into the rivnut option. I also noticted in the Tortuga thread that the four home-made mounts that he made for the hooks are installed almost exactly where i want mine. There are two nuts visible in his pictures, but i'm still confused about how they attach through to the roof supports. It's post #48 in bansil's thread. Anyone know how he did it?

Thanks!
Dave
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Old 02-07-2016, 05:29 PM   #7
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You can buy the rivnuts on ebay pretty cheap. You do NOT need the fancy tool to install them.
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Old 02-08-2016, 08:01 AM   #8
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rivenuts are great, I have them all over the roof in the bedroom, great for hanging wet clothes, lights everything

Biggest issue would be wt, a 5/16 or 1/4 plate about 1-1/2 wide x 4 inches long attached with say 4 pc 1/4-20 rivnuts would give a solid mount for these

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Old 02-08-2016, 09:05 PM   #9
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Those are pretty slick! got 'em on my trailer .... I was sorta goin' for the free route that's all.
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