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Old 06-16-2016, 02:22 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Washington state
Posts: 16
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Gmc
Engine: 5.7l 350 v8, gmc
Rated Cap: 41 passenger
Roof Deck Project

so over the last 2 or 3 evenings my dad and I have successfully mounted a 20'x8' deck to the roof of my 86 bluebird. and im excited to be able to show you step by step how we did it. my dad is a self employed 30+year carpenter so he was definitely the brains of the operation. this is my first attempt at a "how to" so bare with me. but i know a lot of people are trying to figure out how to get a deck on their bus so many should be happy to see another option.

so first off most of the wood used is pressure treated, but we used a litte ceder as well which you will see. we use these types of wood because water and insects do not effect them.

so to start we figured out where the 4x4 mounting brackets should go, marked the holes, predrilled them(Everything Gets Predrilled before screwing, dont want to slipt anything), and then filled the holes full of silicone calking to reseal the holes before screwing the brackets in.


these are the screws used the mount the bracktes.



used 10 screws in each bracket, these things arent going anywhere. and 6 brackets, 3 on each side.


http://www.skoolie.net/forums/member...cture13335.jpg


next we screwed 33" pressure treated 2x4s into each of the of the brackets. these are longer than we needed but we werent exactly sure how long we needed until we got them up there.



once we figured out the length, just marked and cut.




after that we screwed in the rim using pressure treated 2x8s, and 3" deck screws.




once we got the rim up we nailed a 1x1 ceder ledge around the whole thing to hold up the edges of the 2" rigid blue insulation that we then laid down and is in between the deck and the roof. this rigid insulation is extreamly stong. im insulating the roof from the outside as you can see. and also you can see we had to notch the front 2x8 to fit the arch of the buses roof.






after that, all that was left to do was screw in the pressure treated 2x4 cross support pieces. and put on the decking.the cross pieces are supported in the middle by the 2"rigid and roof of the bus.




to finish up the frame we ran more 1x1 ceder on top of the rigid insulation to hopefully keep it from flapping in the wind while driving





it looks pretty good from the ground!!! so far... its not finished yet but that is all the hard stuff. i will be using regular 2x6s that im going to stain and waterproof myself, and that will be the top of the deck.



i will post pictures of the finished deck and how i spaced the boards once i finish it in a few days. and also pics to come on the custom interior we just started on as well. so far the whole floor is insulated and plywood finish with 1" rigid and 1/2" cdx plywood.


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Old 06-16-2016, 02:45 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Richmond Virginia
Posts: 902
Year: 1984
Engine: 366 Big block Chevy! :) w/ Stick shift
Wow beautiful. I also love the plywood floors when they are stained as is. So much wood grain. i considered playwooding this floor and may in the future, but i opted to get in here first and find out where everthing will go before i do too much.

Hanging out of that deck will be so nice. Curious why the insulation?
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Old 06-16-2016, 04:54 AM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Oregon
Posts: 18
Year: 1974
Engine: 432 V6 Slanted 60
Looking good. Thanks for posting. My BlueBird has a metal rack on already but it only goes about half the length of the bus. What did you do to prep the flooring before installing the ridgid and plysheets? That's where I think I'm going to start with mine (flooring). Also, did you insulate the side wall's?
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Old 06-16-2016, 06:00 AM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: hills of sw virginia
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Year: 1996
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nice safari roof, that insulation should keep you nice and cool. i covered up that little vent in the roof in the front of the bus, it does nothing and will end up leaking. nice looking bus
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Old 06-16-2016, 09:52 AM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Washington state
Posts: 16
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Gmc
Engine: 5.7l 350 v8, gmc
Rated Cap: 41 passenger
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carytowncat View Post
Wow beautiful. I also love the plywood floors when they are stained as is. So much wood grain. i considered playwooding this floor and may in the future, but i opted to get in here first and find out where everthing will go before i do too much.

Hanging out of that deck will be so nice. Curious why the insulation?
We used insulation to help shade the bus, it will help a lot with heat from direct sun.
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Old 06-16-2016, 04:03 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Washington state
Posts: 16
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Gmc
Engine: 5.7l 350 v8, gmc
Rated Cap: 41 passenger
Quote:
Originally Posted by droppedout74 View Post
Looking good. Thanks for posting. My BlueBird has a metal rack on already but it only goes about half the length of the bus. What did you do to prep the flooring before installing the ridgid and plysheets? That's where I think I'm going to start with mine (flooring). Also, did you insulate the side wall's?
I just ripped all the rubber flooring out got all the screws out and it was ready to go. And yes the walls are insulated too. This should cut out a lot of road noise.

Quote:
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Old 06-16-2016, 04:05 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Washington state
Posts: 16
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Gmc
Engine: 5.7l 350 v8, gmc
Rated Cap: 41 passenger
Insulated around the wheel wells as well.

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Old 06-16-2016, 07:20 PM   #8
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: central texas
Posts: 87
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas/International
Chassis: 3700
Engine: 7.3
Rated Cap: 72
wood rack

Just a few friendly comments,

Looking at your sheet metal screws leads me to believe they are designed to connect sheet metal to wood, the grooves look to be too wide for a "best" connection to the thin metal of the bus, from my research smaller grooves really hold to sheet metal better. Lots of bouncing may work them loose or even break them.

It looks like you used deck screws to connect the 2x4 verticals to the brackets, these are not nearly as strong as structural screws, lots of bus bouncing may work them loose or even break them.

As you drive the bus frame and chassis will bend and twist will can work things loose.

The reason why I mentioned this is that you have a lot of weight sitting on relatively tall legs which are then attached to a 10ft tall bus that will be bouncing and swaying down the road constantly.

The screw connections look fine if the bus is parked all the time but I worry they will work themselves loose if you drive thousands of miles per year, even worse if you plan on storing lots of heavy things on the roof while driving.

The center legs on the deck look to be connected over the main internal frame (roll bar) of the bus and it would be possible to drill holes all the way through the 2x4's into the inside of the bus so you could put add some 3/8in bolts for strength.

I am not sure if your front and back legs are in such a position for the additional bolts.

It also looks like your horizontal supports and sitting right on the roof, I wonder if people walking on them will cause a constant up/down flex in the roof, even if only 1/8 inch, might hasten the loosening of the water proofing of the roof, but this might not matter since you seem to have it pretty well sealed on the high arch part of the roof.

The bottom of my rack sits 2 inches above the roof ridgeline, my verticals were 42 inches tall so they would reach halfway down the windows so I could put 2 bolts in about 12 inches apart.
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Old 07-20-2016, 08:44 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Oregon
Posts: 18
Year: 1974
Engine: 432 V6 Slanted 60
Did you caulk around the windows? I'm trying to figure out the best way to seal around them to prevent water dripping down into my side wall insulation.
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Old 07-20-2016, 09:22 PM   #10
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 5,575
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Don't use household caulk. Use automotive "Seam Sealer". Paintable urethane, tough and remains flexible for 6, 412 years.
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