It looks now like we're going to go with a standard aluminum ladder, with a bike rack option. The bike rack, with either bikes or chairs locked to it, should easily deter anyone with a casual interest in the roof deck. More on the deck later - we've bought supplies, and are finalizing plans, but don't really have anything to share.
First off, check out this mouse damage:
It's only damage to the insulation, though they got in through a small rust hole a bit lower. That has since been treated and sealed.
I've been reading the forums here for nearly six years, and somehow never noted the struggle with chair rail removal. The wall between the chair rail and the windows came off very easily once we removed the rivets. This was not the case from the chair rail to the floor. I completely missed this thread
, and somehow glossed over this detail in
. Take note: the chair rail does not stop at the floor! It bends down under the ribs, and below the floor.
We learned this the hard way by brute forcing our way into it. We went ahead with an angle grinder and sawzall and cut out much of the chair rail. The three strips of metal still attached to the ribs in the photo below actually have small spot welds that I couldn't see before cutting.
Anyway, that's what we're working on at the moment. We're going to have a real clean slate to start building on when we're done here.
And a question for you folks - at the front of the bus in the first roof panel, there is a small vent whose purpose I don't really understand. There was only fiberglass insulation and the permeable screen-like sheet metal up there with it. It never leaked, and it doesn't look like any water or bugs got in, but there it is. Will I need to keep this vent open? What was its function?