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Old 07-14-2015, 08:41 AM   #1
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Board up the side door

Anyone ever boarded up the side door, and used only the rear door for an entrance?

My shuttle bus' side door and steps are pretty rusted and busted. They're on their way out. Thing is, replacing them with a well-insulated setup is expensive, and they're in the way of my intended floor plan anyway.

I figure if I board them up and put a window in so that my vision isn't totally obstructed, I'll be much happier with the interior space.
I could even [temporarily] use the steps as a battery compartment until I cut them out for more ground clearance.

Does anyone think this is a big no-no? I just haven't seen it anywhere, and that worries me a little.
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Old 07-14-2015, 08:48 AM   #2
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That's my plan. I'm in it pretty deep, though: I'm doing a roof raise and entirely replacing the exterior sheet metal. My bus has transit-style windows which I'll be shifting forward. Originally there was the front entry on the right and a small window beside the driver on the left. Behind those, on both sides, were windows that spanned two between-roof-bows spaces. The door and driver window are both out, and I'll be shifting the big windows forward one bay to fill the space.
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Old 07-14-2015, 08:48 AM   #3
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That is deep!

My E-Super Duty has a driver-side entrance, so the cab will still be easily accessible without it.
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Old 07-14-2015, 09:04 AM   #4
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I know a few people on here that removed the front door and moved it to a mid door. That way they had better space up front for their wife. I kept my front door and use the rear for safety, in case of a fire we have two exits.
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Old 07-14-2015, 09:06 AM   #5
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Well this is encouraging guys, thanks. I'm pretty new here, so I guess I just haven't come across anything like that yet.
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Old 07-15-2015, 01:15 AM   #6
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For our conversion right now, we are going to have the back door be very seldom used... our bed is right by it. We have a wood stove... and even if we didn't... its always a good idea to have more than one way out. Lord knows I couldn't get my butt out of those little windows very easily, lol. That's the only concern I would offer. Does your bus have a ceiling emergency exit?
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Old 07-15-2015, 01:21 AM   #7
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I moved my door midship.

I used a steel, foam core, residential entry door, hung in a custom frame I made from 14 ga galvanized sheet steel.

Pics can be found in this thread.

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/th...ime-10138.html

I also raised the roof 23 inches and installed windows 4 foot tall by 5 feet wide.

Nat
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Old 07-15-2015, 10:14 AM   #8
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Well my bus is pretty short, so I want as much side length as possible for my floor plan. I still have the driver's side door. There was a roof hatch. Still have the broken off door, the hole's been patched with a sheet metal cover. I imagine it's easily fixed.
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Old 07-15-2015, 10:19 AM   #9
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Some pics of my bus from the welcome center. This is how he sits now, haven't torn into him yet.
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f6/hel...-vt-11395.html
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Old 07-15-2015, 10:18 PM   #10
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I think I can reuse the windows from the door in the same place. Rather than buying a new window, I could just cut those to the right length, save some money, and preserve the look a bit to boot.
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Old 07-17-2015, 09:23 AM   #11
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Could be done. Use that space under the floor for something-batteries, generator, water tank, etc. Most of those doors leak horribly anyway.
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Old 07-17-2015, 10:02 AM   #12
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If my batteries fit there, I'll be using it for that at least temporarily. It really cuts down on my ground clearance, so I think I'll eventually cut the stairs out entirely. Eventually.
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Old 07-17-2015, 10:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sproutroot View Post
If my batteries fit there, I'll be using it for that at least temporarily. It really cuts down on my ground clearance, so I think I'll eventually cut the stairs out entirely. Eventually.
I cut my stairs out.

Now I have 16 square feet more floor space.

I never did like the idea of wasting floor space with stairs that can be outside the bus.

Nat
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Old 07-17-2015, 11:26 AM   #14
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by sproutroot View Post
If my batteries fit there, I'll be using it for that at least temporarily. It really cuts down on my ground clearance, so I think I'll eventually cut the stairs out entirely. Eventually.
At least the bottom step. Building a trap door storage locker would be good, too. It depends on your weight balance and interior floor plan, but you can still get a foot of vertical space without impacting ground clearance.
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Old 07-18-2015, 09:08 AM   #15
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I was thinking that it would be a cabinet accessed from the outside. If not for batteries, maybe it could be for tool drawers, or the generator, or insulate it and put in a water tank. Cut out the second step, turn it upside down, and weld or bracket it back in to get a box, rather than stairs.
Still think I'd rather have the ground clearance though, we'll see.

@Nat, I'm a slave to floor space.
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Old 07-18-2015, 09:16 AM   #16
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I know we're talking shuttle buses vs. conventional buses... but papabear had a pretty good build... so, I'd say just about anything is possible!

here
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/member...albums538.html


and here
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/member...albums495.html
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Old 07-18-2015, 11:53 AM   #17
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That's a great example of what I'm talking about.
And what a great build!
Did he ever paint that rig up?
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Old 07-18-2015, 12:15 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sproutroot View Post
That's a great example of what I'm talking about.
And what a great build!
Did he ever paint that rig up?
dunno, I tried resurrecting the thread from the dead.....
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/th...s-3501-10.html
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Old 11-09-2015, 03:24 PM   #19
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I'm in the process of finishing this project up. I'd like to patch the hole (left after door removal) with a material that matches the rest of the bus.

It's a composite material consisting of two layers of aluminum sandwiching a core of something else. Does anyone know what it's called, or how to get my hands on some (by some I mean one 9'x3' panel)?

After some searching, I think my best guess may be to find a similar bus in a junkyard, and cut it up. However, that would take time, which is my most limited resource at this point.
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Old 03-02-2018, 01:45 PM   #20
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I think this is the type of material you are referring to:
https://www.ebay.com/i/142264365317?chn=ps

My dad used to work as a mechanic for a company that built canopies over the pumps at gas stations and they used something like this. I can't remember what it's called, I'm sure I'll remember in a couple of hours.
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