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Old 12-18-2015, 06:49 PM   #1
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Roof rack/deck

Is there a build thread in installing a roof rack/deck?
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Old 12-18-2015, 06:59 PM   #2
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I haven't found one in here, but there is a site on the net that has one.
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Old 12-18-2015, 07:00 PM   #3
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Gat a link Cap?
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Old 12-18-2015, 07:05 PM   #4
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Roof Rack & Deck
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Old 05-28-2016, 09:51 PM   #5
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April 2 - SeanF

This guy has done a real good job. This is what i will be following. Check it out
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Old 05-28-2016, 10:59 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by HOLFB600 View Post
April 2 - SeanF

This guy has done a real good job. This is what i will be following. Check it out

Sean is a member here. I don't know if he has been here in a while.
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Old 05-29-2016, 02:13 AM   #7
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Wouldn't this take the bus to >8' width? If so, is there some loophole for attachments and such that makes it OK?

[edit: I guess there would have to be some sort of provision to allow for mirrors.]
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Old 05-29-2016, 03:03 AM   #8
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I think the new max width for RVs is 8'-6"
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Old 05-29-2016, 03:50 AM   #9
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The federal motor vehicle standard for overall vehicle width is 8'6" or 102" but my understanding is that school buses specifically are restricted to a smaller 8' even or 96". Therefore I imagine you have up to three inches per side to work with without question. Note this does not include things like mirrors which extend beyond the vehicle body but pertains to the body construction itself. I imagine as creative as skoolies are we'll find some gray area to fudge, like hinged porches or planter boxes or what-have-you.

While I like the concept of a roof deck or storage rack, two things specifically discourage me from considering one. First, it's a lot of weight way up in the air. Regardless of how lightweight your construction, ultimately you're adding mass above the roof which is going to have a significant impact on the stability and aerodynamics of the vehicle when in motion. And if it's storage then all that cargo is further compromising the performance characteristics from the original design. This is one of those factors that makes insurance companies frown on school bus conversions because I think in their collective minds skoolies all look like RAGBRAI buses. Second, the school bus is one of the safest constructed vehicles on the road because of the one-piece roof bow rib construction but that applies to accident survivability which doesn't necessarily translate into awesome long-term load-bearing capacity. A roof deck I can forgive because it's only carrying load while the vehicle is parked but rooftop storage to me is just an accident looking for a place to happen. It's basically the same conundrum we face when considering lifting the roof because we intend to compromise the original design with no way to adequately prove the reinforcements we add even match nevertheless exceed the strength of the original design. Raising the roof like roof racks also alters the handling and aerodynamics so things like the suspension and steering components all begin to come into the equation... But too often as DIYers we don't know what we don't know so we just do it and hope for the best.

Sorry to ramble, just getting it out of my system.
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Old 05-29-2016, 01:22 PM   #10
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Right on Jake. Couldn't have said it better. Still I'd like some kind of minimalist luggage rack up there, but not for strapping down cargo. My point is to make a second skin over the roof that will shield against the sun in hot areas. It would be cool to be able to park a lawn chair up there sometimes when the weather is right. Riding up there could bring a new color to silver surfing, but we won't go into dumb ideas right now.
I'm not into a roof raise specifically because of the top heavy issues. Don't even want to put air conditioners up there, mostly because that would interfere with the luggage/deck. I see the luggage rack as something to grab onto if I'm falling off the roof. Haven't done that on a bus yet, but I've fallen off the house roof twice. I bounce pretty good.
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