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Old 09-26-2019, 06:18 PM   #1
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Back deck idea

So I have an idea, and I like to think that nearly everything has a solution... so give me your thoughts @BlackJohn

I'd like to have a back deck on my bus as opposed to one on the roof so that my dog can hang out with me - I like to be outside, and I like to have her with me. (and I know I could bring a chair out onto the ground, but this is intriguing to me)

My thought is to have composite boards as a deck (I think they're lighter, and of course more eco) on the back of my bus with a winch to lower it level with the back door. I made (another) nifty image (I know, a very lame image), but hopefully it'll help me explain.

I realize I'll def need to have 1-2 boards that'll fold down/up to make sure the brake and turn signal lights are showing, plus I might want (or am required to?) have the windows exposed (even though I can't use them bc there will be walls in the way of my view?!)...

But that's why hinges were invented, right? Plus, I believe this would be more aerodynamic than a rooftop deck... better gas mileage but not the rooftop view... which might make it not worth it in the end. (I'm referring to boards 3, 5, and 7)

I'm just playing around with this idea... entertain me
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Old 09-26-2019, 06:52 PM   #2
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Doesn't seem too practical in terms of not covering up the windows or the lights. Maybe you could do the standard short steel deck sticking out the back like a lot of people do, then carry a larger folding wooden deck that could be anchored to the permanent steel deck.
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Old 09-26-2019, 07:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
Maybe you could do the standard short steel deck sticking out the back like a lot of people do, then carry a larger folding wooden deck that could be anchored to the permanent steel deck.
That's an idea we've been kicking around. Thought about using one of those fold-down cargo holders with wood decking over the top to make it a little wider so we can reach our ladder. Maybe have a pocket between the wood and steel deck for a little step stool.
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Old 09-26-2019, 07:08 PM   #4
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FYI- a treated 12' x 5/4 x 6 board will weigh just under 14lbs. The same board in composite is almost twice as heavy at 27.5lbs.
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Old 09-26-2019, 07:22 PM   #5
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I think its a cool idea.
Might be neat to hook to some kind of winch so you could lower from the inside.
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Old 09-26-2019, 07:35 PM   #6
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Ever see those stepvans with the huge lift decks on the back?
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Old 09-26-2019, 08:51 PM   #7
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Wow, you guys are the best!

@o1Marc, I totally assumed wrong, thanks!

@MambaJack - exactly, a winch to lower it... let me know if you want to kick this around together

@Danjo - I hadn't of that, but perhaps a platform kinda like those....

@Drew Bru - same with you (and MambaJack) - if you want to kick around ideas together... let me know

@musigenesis, I'd forgotten about those shorter decks, and I see your point on practicality... I'm just not a very practical woman... maybe I can make this work, maybe not. I was thinking the wood planks would be cut and on hinges so that they fold in and lock while driving - exposing the windows (if nec) and the required lights. Then, when parked, fold them back out, lock into the straight board mode, and lower with winch. Wah-la... a deck off the back.

Put a couple poles in for a hammock, hook my pup up bc she's a runner, and enjoy the view. You could even have a little tv on a swivel, extended arm thingie so you could bring it out and watch a movie... however, nature is the best show

Thanks again, everyone, I don't even have my bus yet - but nearly the whole thing is planned LOL. I even have a few things... wood floors, tile for the bathroom (all for sixty bucks!)

I am SO excited to start working!
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Old 09-26-2019, 08:54 PM   #8
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@danjo
I wonder what these things are called (the raising and lowering mechanism on the back of those trucks):
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Old 09-26-2019, 09:13 PM   #9
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Rear windows are not required. Box trucks dont have them and there's many Ford E-series Van's that do not have rear windows. Look into a camera system that duals as a rearview 'mirror' and backup camera. I've read the wireless kind are unreliable, prob more so through a big metal box.
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Old 09-26-2019, 10:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shannon Elhart View Post
@danjo
I wonder what these things are called (the raising and lowering mechanism on the back of those trucks):
Thatís a Tommy Lift. You could maybe find a used one. A new one would cost big bucks.
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Old 09-26-2019, 10:32 PM   #11
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"so give me your thoughts @BlackJohn"


Well Ms Shannon, with your idea I see obstructions I wouldn't care to see while I am on deck so to speak. Winch cable, pulleys etc.
Like the hinge idea.
I am basically at this very point in my build. Going to have deck frame extend from under the bumper an unknown distance right now. I need a step anyway at the back door, (my rear end) of unknown height at present.
The deck planking would be 2x10's hinged together but store in a position on the smallest dimension, their sides I guess. I figure 6 or 8 of these would give me enuff for a couple of lawnchairs. And wouldn't block any lights or licence plate visibility dang it! Not to far to the ground if I happen to walk off the end for some unknown reason, hate falling flat on my face...
All in design stage right at this moment, need steel and a welder.



So what do you think of those apples Ms Shannon?
Any pics of your dog?



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Old 09-27-2019, 12:19 AM   #12
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Super easy to mount the lights on the bottom of the deck so they're in the right spots when the deck is folded up.

The winch cables (12v boat trailer or atv winch is cheap) would double as a safety rail of sorts when the deck is lowered.

I wouldn't personally do it but I think it would be very easy to do.

It also solves the 'problem' of locking the back door -- assuming the winch control is on the inside...
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Old 09-27-2019, 02:41 PM   #13
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@blackjohn, thank you for filling me in on how you're covering your rearend ;) I thiiiiink I am following you, but I'd love photos when you're done. I am intrigued!

@banman - omg, brilliant! Thank you - that is so true, and would be really interesting to try to design!

And of coooouuurse I have a photo of my buddy, Lola!
(not sure why it's posting sideways)
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Old 09-27-2019, 04:23 PM   #14
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Seems your security system is complete with L O L A around too Shannon.
You should write a song with that name, ohh wait..
I'm flattered you are interested in my rear end, pis before and after are totally possible. I give personal tours too, lol. Just building a rounded roof now to cover the porch, toughest part yet of my build. Makes me head hurt and a real pain in the rear!

I could be building your bus, getting mighty tired of it all.
John
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Old 10-01-2019, 11:29 AM   #15
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That lift gate would be so cool for loading 4 wheel n bikes
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Old 10-02-2019, 08:43 PM   #16
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Iím late to the party as usual.
Good idea. Iíve built two rear decks and working on a third rear deck. It will go up and down with a boat winch cable and also function as a ramp if lowered all the way.
Long ago I built a deck that slid out of the frame channel. Essentially the rear bumper slid out with a deck. It was pretty effective. But I never did make a motor drive for it and pulled it out manually. Wasnít that difficult on a step van. A big bus might need motors. .
The first one was a small fixed deck with corners removed to reduce hitting objects.
I would consider building a hinged deck from aluminum also. The hinged deck Iím building is steel as thatís what I had but itís heavy.
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Old 10-03-2019, 08:00 AM   #17
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a similar train of thought with the lift gate, poke around the salvage yards looking for an enclosed trailer with a ramp vice barn doors.



you could then either keep the cables and rewind mech, or remove them and have a fixed winch on the bus to move it up and down and then remove the cable once in the down position, providing you've setup some legs to support it.

just a thought
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Old 10-03-2019, 07:31 PM   #18
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I've had something similar in mind for my bus. It will be a welded steel frame with probably Trex decking, unless I can find something lighter and stiffer. But I will be adding a backup camera up high, so I'm not worried about the windows, and I plan on mounting my tail lights onto the bottom of the deck, so they're oriented properly when in motion.
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Old 10-04-2019, 02:35 AM   #19
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I saw this at an RV dealer south of Fort Worth, TX in a little town called Alvarado:


20180801_135559.jpg

20180801_135550.jpg

20180801_135538.jpg
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Old 10-04-2019, 09:37 AM   #20
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Quote:
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I saw this at an RV dealer south of Fort Worth, TX in a little town called Alvarado:


Attachment 38188

Attachment 38191

Attachment 38192

Working festivals and such in British Columbia, I have seen 1000's of redneck home built variants of that.
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