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Old 07-06-2012, 06:14 AM   #221
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Re: 2012... The Year of Renewal

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Originally Posted by ol trunt
I probably missed reading it but how are you going about the roof rack build? Star
The roof rack is just a 6' x 16' deck sitting on top of the bus. We precut all the pieces, added the hangers and corner brackets, then wrestled the pieces on top of the roof for construction. The box frame of the deck is attached to the roof with 3/32" thick corner braces that were bent open to the correct angle, a piece of cut-up inner-tube placed under it as a gasket, and hex head screws were used to fasten it to the bus at each rib.



Now, here's the thing that's worrying me... When I pre-drilled the holes for the screws, that drill seemed to go through the metal too easy. It could be because I used cutting oil, which always makes drilling metal easier. Or it could be because the drill bit was only 3/16". The shaft of the screws I used are 1/8" so they did grip really well. But, if the bus' ribs are in a "C" channel, like Dave suspects, then I'm afraid I totally missed the rib and am just screwed into the sheet metal of the roof .

Today, I'm washing the roof, touching up the two minor rust spots we found (less than a half-dollar size, yay!) & caulking the seams before the final decking goes on top. I was thinking of adding 4 more braces - 2 in front and 2 in back on the ribs that run front-to-back... but these four would be drilled completely through the roof and I would use bolts to hold it in place.

Is this Overkill??? Or am I being justifiably paranoid?
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:46 AM   #222
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Re: 2012... The Year of Renewal

if it were me, i would put 1 bolt thru the roof, (or mig weld my brackets) and one bolt also through the wood. The reason i would only put one bolt along with the screws that are already in place is that when there is the proper tension on one fastener, the other fastners will stay in place . While i would not reccomend this illustration to be done (even though i have done it) if one has 1 lug nut really tight on a wheel, and the others like only 25 ft lbs, the wheel will stay on the hub just fine. (ie one bolt wheels on some vehicles. same principle applies for other things.
aside from that, i would not put rubber between the bracket and the bus skin. after all, rubber will work and working screws will loosen is my guess.
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:08 PM   #223
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Re: 2012... The Year of Renewal

TC, I'd want to be sure that the wood stays in place. Short of welding the next best route is the through bolt idea like '49 suggested. I'd through bolt the wood as well and use nylon lockers to keep the nuts from working loose. Once the wood ages in and the material around the screws has been wet a couple of times the screws will get loose--not good.

BTW, the mail box episode -- too funny
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:15 PM   #224
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Re: 2012... The Year of Renewal

One more roof rack consideration...

It is a good idea to leave a gap along the bottom of any continuous rail so that leaves & such don't collect and hold moisture. Mine will bolt into a set of four welded on brackets but I'm positioning the horizontal rail itself about two inches off the roof for good drainage and easy cleaning. Just a thought.

Saw one years ago made with a raised sheet metal surround that turned into an above ground swimming pool during the first rain. Had no accommodation for draining at all. At least not until they took a torch to it.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:34 PM   #225
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Re: 2012... The Year of Renewal

Well the mailbox picture is priceless...just lay it down for "Ground Delivery"
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:20 PM   #226
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Re: 2012... The Year of Renewal

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Originally Posted by browncrown
Well the mailbox picture is priceless...just lay it down for "Ground Delivery"
and leave it open fro air mail....... they can just drop the mail in....
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:14 PM   #227
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Re: 2012... The Year of Renewal

Okay, I won't retype my blog posts, but know you guys want pictures of the deck build. So here ya go:


Wood delivery right in the bus. I bought:
  • 2 - 2x12 x 16 foot for sides[/*:m:37gkffh6]
  • 1 - x212 x 12 foot for 6 foot wide front & back[/*:m:37gkffh6]
  • 12 - 5/4x6 x 16 foot deck boards[/*:m:37gkffh6]
  • 4 - 2x4 x 12 foot joist boards to cut down to 6 foot width[/*:m:37gkffh6]
  • 18 joist hangers[/*:m:37gkffh6]
  • 4 - 8" corner braces[/*:m:37gkffh6]
  • 4 - corner caps[/*:m:37gkffh6]
  • 10 - 5" angle brackets for side supports[/*:m:37gkffh6]
  • 1 - 5lb box decking screws[/*:m:37gkffh6]
  • 1 - 1lb box of 3" deck screws to secure joists[/*:m:37gkffh6]


How it's put together


My Mother helping... My Mom Rocks. Can you believe she's 64 years old??? I only hope I do as well as she is at her age.


Side supports screwed into the bus ribs.


Major end brackets that were bolted to the longitudinal roof supports.


Major bracket was bolted clean through the roof. Used Henry clear roof sealant under, over, around and at the ends to keep rain from getting under the bracket and causing leaks. While I did add the sealant to the nuts too, they are regular lock-nuts and shouldn't need it. I was just being paranoid.


Eyebolts were used to hold the major brackets to the wood.


Clean and shiny bus. We power washed it before patching the rusty spots on the roof, and of course, once you start washing something, it's hard to stop with just one dirty spot. We discovered the deck will let water under the sides, so no worries with it pooling and causing rust-prone areas. Good news!


Staging the pre-cut deck boards on the side.


Almost done!


Cutting a hole for the light to poke through.


Next to the last board! We were ready for this to be DONE.


Mom putting the last few screws into the finished deck.


DONE! Truly a thing of beauty when a plan comes together. I am particularly proud of the way this came out.

I am OVER the heat. We worked pretty much non-stop for 3 1/2 days from Wednesday to Saturday. I had to work Thursday, so that was the half day. Friday I took a vacation day. Saturday we finished up around 5. It was not exactly difficult work, but it was hard because of the extreme heat. I had to take loads of breaks, drank gallon upon gallon of water and juice, and almost got sick Saturday morning from the accumulative affects of the heat. But we slowed down and got it done.

The truly amazing part to me is the bus drives so much better now that it has all that weight in the back once more. I was afraid it would be incredibly top-heavy. But it seems to have settled down and drives much smoother than before. Amazing.

I'm off to bed now. I slept most of the day, but am still pretty tired. Tomorrow the heat wave is supposed to break - go figure. I'm still grateful to be in an office environment.

If you would like a detailed account of the build, head over to my blog. I think I have more photos here, but a better description there. No videos. We were too busy working. Glad to have it done. Now for the wiring and to finish the plumbing...
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:20 PM   #228
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Re: 2012... The Year of Renewal

Awesome work Tyger!!!!
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Old 07-09-2012, 03:21 PM   #229
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Re: 2012... The Year of Renewal

WOW! nice work!! keep it up

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Old 07-09-2012, 04:14 PM   #230
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Re: 2012... The Year of Renewal

wow nice!! party at your place.. er bus? lol
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