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Old 03-29-2015, 10:09 PM   #21
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I did what Nat suggested I took 3/4 in ply wood but cut it in 3in strips & screwed it to my ribs
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Old 03-31-2015, 12:25 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taskswap View Post
Also, this site has one annoying piece, it's hard to pick up threads where you left off. You can get to New Posts but you have to choose whether to start with the first or last page. I wish it could just give me a link to continue each from what I'd seen before.
You can do that. Anytime a thread has new posts, you can click the little down arrow in front of the thread title ("A" in the attached image). You can also go directly to the last post by click the right arrow next to the name of the last person to post ("B" in the attached image).
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Old 03-31-2015, 11:39 AM   #23
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Thanks, PDBreske. I do that today, it's just a lot of clicking. Not much that can be done about it though. Browser manufacturers have locked down the ability to open multiple links from one click (ad vendors were being jerks).

Latest update: I was all set to do a slide-out room, but we're now debating whether it's necessary. We really want to get going, and that seems like one of those things that could snowball on me. My fab skills are pretty decent but nothing like nat_ster's or Vlad's. The mechanicals aren't that big of a deal, I'm just thinking over all the little details: sealing, having a topper to keep crap off it (a struggle with our current camper slide-out), making it look nice when retracted, etc. It seems like it could add as much as 30-40% to the build time, to do it right. (And I'm a do-it-right-or-don't-do-it guy.)

As a backup plan I'm considering a murphy-style couch/counter setup, like this:



Imagine the bed is the couch, when it's down. When up, it's just that table (no seating underneath - we'd have stools along the counter). We camp a LOT so we know our styles/needs pretty well, and I don't think we need a dedicated dinette. It takes a LOT of space to seat 5-7 people. We hardly ever eat inside our current camper - we set up a screen room and often even eat there when it's raining. We all have crazy schedules so "sitting down to dinner" as a family is just not as common for us.

I'm thinking this would give us the best of all the worlds: a couch when we want it, a table when we need that, and I could even make the table fold so the kids have floor space to play when it IS rainy (to us, play space is more important than the eating space - our kids are younger, still).

Any thoughts?
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:54 PM   #24
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New brainstorm: I've seen a bunch of people doing back decks but I'm more interested in something on the side, around the front door. Anybody done anything clever there? How much structure is available to support something?
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Old 04-11-2015, 09:55 AM   #25
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Fold down expanded metal deck 4 feet wide?

Nat
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Old 04-11-2015, 10:14 AM   #26
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Saw pretty much what Nat is describing on a bonafide "Hippie Bus" back in the early seventies. Had about a 2" square steel frame that ran from the rear wheel well all the way to the door that was braced against the frame for extra support. Theirs ran from the bottom of the body up to near the top of the windows and was at least six feet deep and supported on steel cables. When parked, they dropped it down, ran out a homemade canopy over it and made & sold hand crafted moccasins and boots at festivals and such. Also had a few fold down supports that rested on the ground as I recall.

To this day I still regret not buying the buffalo hide knee highs that had buffalo nickels for lacing. Very groovy. And so was their psychedelic paint job.
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Old 04-11-2015, 10:44 AM   #27
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That's kind of what I was thinking - something that folds and is supported by cables. I figured a lightweight aluminum expanded deck would be durable enough, would let dirt and crap fall through, and would never rust.

What I can't figure out is where I'd want to mount it. I want it at the front door where you come in. But I don't want it to BLOCK the front door - it'll be folded up while driving and I don't want it to obstruct the exit. I keep poking around for pictures of what others might have done and it doesn't seem like a common thing.

What I'm thinking at this point is I'll make it completely removable. I'll include a slot for it in the storage bays, and rig up two stout bolts as "pins" that it can mount on against the chassis. Two more above the door would support the cables. It's not as fast/elegant as something that just folds down or slides out, but probably a lot more aerodynamic...
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Old 04-11-2015, 11:23 AM   #28
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I thought of the same thing, a deck and then fold down a couple side "gang planks" and use them for cleaning roof and tying down kayaks and stuff

decided recently to go a "different" route

I saw a big expo type truck that had maybe 8 differnet ht "steps" that folded down they were maybe 2 feet wide and 2 ft long, like a giant stair case around the sides
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Old 04-11-2015, 11:48 AM   #29
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Somewhere in the back of my head I had envisioned something similar on the side using a slide out "drawer" for the deck. It would be attached to the frame rails and use barn door track for the "slides". Could probably be self supporting if only 4 feet wide, or wider with drop down legs on the outer end.
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Old 04-11-2015, 04:57 PM   #30
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I would hinge it off the side either at floor height, or at the bottom of the storage box height. Storage boxes on mine will be 12 inches from the ground.

With my midship door, the deck will swing down to the same height as the floor of my bus. The stairs will be folding, and built as part of that deck.

Due to the height of my bus, I can go 8 feet wide.

Cables will be attached at the strongest point, just above the window openings, where the headers run inside. Cables and pull points only need to take the weight of the deck, not the people.

I would only mount pulleys at the top and keep the two small hand winches at the bottom for simple access.

Fold down legs that telescope would be needed to support the far side.

If or when I add a soft awning, it will need soft sides that drop down to make a room.

It would also need water tanks that can be filled for weight at the outer corners of the deck. This would keep the soft structure from blowing away in the wind, but prevent having to haul extra weight around.

I won't be building mine till at least next summer. Outer shell and inside are my goals this summer.

Nat
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