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Old 06-24-2019, 04:51 PM   #1
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Angry A Few Thoughts On Why A Bus VS RV

I am currently living in such busphemy.... So in my experience, I will lay out some major reasons to hold the line and build a bus rather than buy an RV.

As some have said already, build quality of an RV is mediocre at best.

Pre-built RVs are anything but efficient in their use of space, especially older ones.

Poor crashworthiness.

Expensive repairs and maintenance.

And the biggest and most overlooked issue:

Roof. Yes, roof.

Something I noticed in a Pace Arrow I purchased for a song years ago. I hadn't had a chance to even do much with the thing yet. When I turned the rooftop A/C unit on, the ceiling would become dark with ants. Since the thing had a FL title when I bought it, I assumed they were fire ants and veritably abandoned the damned thing where it sat, I wanted no part of a fire ant colony in my ceiling.

Since then I have taken up residency in a nearly identical unit. I have noticed a moderate to severe roof leak in recent months. Also, I've noticed ants crawling randomly, with whom I have dealt with on various terms. The Terro poison bait seems to work well, but not completely eliminated the problem.

A little investigation has revealed a colony of carpenter ants chewed through the wood trim on a rear vent hatch and come inside the roof to take up residency in the ceiling in similar fashion to the previous unit. Research shows that carpenter ants like to nest in wet, decaying wood. Interesting, as this RV had no damp, decaying wood until they burrowed into the wood trim.

I have known for some time that the leak source seemed to be one particular roof hatch, but did not connect the ants with the leak until recently. Now I have a good idea what those ants in the previous unit were, and how they came to be there. Perhaps these little bastards somehow know that their burrowing will set things in motion for what they want?

This is a strong argument for the solid-roof crowd... Just my $0.02
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Old 06-24-2019, 05:03 PM   #2
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Wooden ya know it...
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Old 06-24-2019, 06:20 PM   #3
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Carpenter ants love to nest in styrofoam. My old camper had the same problem in the roof. I did get a lot of use out of it, and it did make it until I had the bus ready to use.
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Old 06-24-2019, 07:25 PM   #4
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Your post is making me think about building my skoolie with no wood at all.
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Old 06-24-2019, 07:36 PM   #5
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Your post is making me think about building my skoolie with no wood at all.
That's kind of the point -- or perhaps carefully selected pressure-treated.
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Old 06-24-2019, 07:51 PM   #6
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No no nonono!
Do you know what kind of nasty toxic shite they treat the wood to, to make in unpalatable to insects, fungi, and mold?
That's why its called, "Exterior Grade," lumber. Some of that crap you don't want to touch with bare skin, lest it leach into ya!
Granted, I may be somewhat off the deep end on this topic.
Arsenic is no longer used in treated wood, except for industrial and agricultural applications. However, the close quarters and protracted exposure to the chemicals used, in a Skoolie environment, is considerably higher than any tests "proving" it's safety in household utilization.
So long as your wood doesn't get, and stay wet, and is of reasonable quality, you should be just fine and free from infestation, Festus!
But, if you opt for the pressure treated, do NOT use it for countertops or cutting boards. Best case scenario getting that crap in your food will defoliate all the beneficial bugs in your GI tract...
iMi dos centavos!
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Old 06-24-2019, 08:30 PM   #7
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I was actually thinking about HDPE instead of wood, along with light steel framing. But it might be easier to borrow a trick from my grandmother and park with my wheels in four little trays of water.
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Old 06-24-2019, 08:54 PM   #8
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I barked my shin on a piece of treated wood. In a short time it got very infected and had to be treated by a doc. Required surgery, sutures and antibiotics.

My last sticks and staples RV was a constant leak chase. When I got it I spent lots of hours on the roof digging out silicone (shudder) and allowing everything to dry before sealing properly. I then gave it a multi-coat sealer treatment, it looked great but soon it was leaking again.

Love our bus.....
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Old 06-24-2019, 09:22 PM   #9
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Cypress, and ceder are naturally bug and rot resistant, better choices then pressure treated. Must say that because skoolies have far better roof structure then a RV, that rot resistant wood is not really that much of a concern.
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Old 06-24-2019, 09:53 PM   #10
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I've seen the horrifying Jayco video where the Mennonites on speed build a camper in six hours (my favorite scene in the guy literally throwing the microwave into its cabinet), but those were older-style campers with sharp corners and corrugated sides. The newer Jayco trailers look to be of a different type of construction, with more rounded corners and smooth sides - I'm sure these aren't any better than the older ones, but does anybody know what the differences in construction methods are?
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Old 06-24-2019, 09:58 PM   #11
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They're now hiring the Amish..?
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Old 06-24-2019, 10:36 PM   #12
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I was actually thinking about HDPE instead of wood, along with light steel framing. But it might be easier to borrow a trick from my grandmother and park with my wheels in four little trays of water.
As long as there aren't tree limbs above you they can drop from. That's how these got in.
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Old 06-25-2019, 05:57 AM   #13
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Huh!
I didn't know that army ants had a Ranger division! Dang sneaky of those paratrooper pests, dropping in unannounced and unwelcome.
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:04 AM   #14
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That's kind of the point -- or perhaps carefully selected pressure-treated.
Wait isn't pressure treated full of gnarly chemicals?
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:11 AM   #15
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Wait isn't pressure treated full of gnarly chemicals?
PT lumber actually changed about 15 years to ago to become less toxic, but the chemicals now used (being copper-based) are highly corrosive to steel. This is why the fasteners usually used with it are galvanized or stainless.
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:11 AM   #16
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Yup.
I dove into the deep end on that subject earlier.
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:13 AM   #17
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PT lumber actually changed about 15 years to ago to become less toxic, but the chemicals now used (being copper-based) are highly corrosive to steel. This is why the fasteners usually used with it are galvanized or stainless.
The lumber we just got last week says that in California it will give ya cancer.
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:17 AM   #18
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As long as there aren't tree limbs above you they can drop from. That's how these got in.
I'm not actually going to park my bus in trays of water and I'm no ant expert, but I think ants in your place are only a problem if they can make it back to their nest, leaving a chemical trail that all the other ants then follow to the food source. If you were parked in trays of water, the scout ants could drop onto your bus but they still couldn't get home ("I'm not trapped in here with you - you're trapped in here with me!!!"). Maybe they've evolved balloon technology, I dunno.
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:18 AM   #19
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The lumber we just got last week says that in California it will give ya cancer.
Every product I've handled in the last five months seems to say this about Cali. I think I'm just going to avoid California to be safe.
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:19 AM   #20
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Given your history, I don't want to make light, but
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The lumber we just got last week says that in California it will give ya cancer.
Yeah, Prop 65 pretty much states that living causes cancer...
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