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Old 08-30-2009, 07:20 AM   #1
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building a slide-out and window question

Two questions for the group today...

1) What do you do with all the windows you remove before skinning the side?
After the fuel pump is fixed, I'll be to the point where I can remove the rest of the interior sheet metal, remove the windows, and start paneling the side. But I'm concerned with what to do with all that glass and was wondering how other folks disposed of the stuff.

2) I've seen in the gallery, "A bus with no name yet" built a slide-out on the back. Has anyone else gone the slide-out route? If so,
a) how do you keep the weather out of the interior when the slide-out is open?
b) What kind of gasket material is used?
c) Is the slide-out still working well or has time made it more difficult to pull open?


The second question was prompted after visiting a local RV dealership that had a cargo-trailer with two slide-outs opposite each other. That configuration really opened up the space and looked fantastic. But I'm concerned with the weather tightness of such a setup. Especially since I doubt I'll be on level ground very much.
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Old 08-30-2009, 12:15 PM   #2
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Re: building a slide-out and window question

What I've seen on an increasing number of travel trailers that I think I would like to incorporate is not a slide, but a fold out bed section, not unlike a popup camper. The bed, when vertical, comprises part of the wall, but you fold it down and heavy canvas creates the walls around it. I think something on a larger scale than that could easily be constructed as floor space. The disadvantages are that you now have canvas walls instead of something heavier, but I think the design would be infinitely easier to make weatherproof and a giant hinge and some bracing is probably a whole lot easier to engineer for the long term.
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Old 08-30-2009, 12:18 PM   #3
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Re: building a slide-out and window question

I have to agree with Smitty here, I think a slide-out would be a huge potential for trouble.

On the other hand, adding cubic footage is very tempting.

I've decided not to go the slide-out direction myself. Of course, I'm doing a roof raise, and that'll add some cubic footage on its own, just not much in the way of square footage.

I really like the way reprobate's slide ended up. I believe they did a good job and won't have weather issues with it. But it seems to me you end up with a large heavy box on sliders of some kind regardless of how nice a job you do. Sliders need maintenance. The seals will need maintenance. You'll have to insulate that box at least as well as the rest of your conversion. If the box is too big, you need mechanical assistance to move it, and that also needs maintenance. And even if you do an excellent job of sealing it, will it hold up to the high winds and heavy rain you might experience in some places? Or will it have areas where insects or rodents can gain easier entry into your bus?

As for your windows, you could try calling your local bus maintenance yards and asking them if they're interested in your windows. Barring that, you could post them on craigslist. Or, you could dismantle them into components (aluminum frame, and glass), and recycle the glass and take the aluminum to the scrap yard for a few bucks. You could also post them here in case someone might need one or two.

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Old 09-05-2009, 12:33 PM   #4
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Re: building a slide-out and window question

Hello all, been awhile... you know how it goes.

Slide outs are somewhat complicated. In fact we have decided to leave it at one in ours, to save time and money. But I am glad we did the one. It wasn't entirely easy and we aren't finished it yet but I think its going to work. We used industrial drawer guides rated for 500 lbs each, five sets of them. For the seals we are using conventional rv slide seals. Their cross section looks like a T with the stem being a flap that gently rests on the surface of the slideout and the cross bar being two separate bulb seals. I'll post a picture of one. The seal is then attached to a metal fin that has to be welded to the inside of the slide outs frame. I have to say that the extra room the slide gives to the interior is amazing. At least my wife can now work out in the living room. I like it when she is all fit and... well you get the idea
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Old 09-05-2009, 10:02 PM   #5
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Re: building a slide-out and window question

Great looking slide! How do you secure it while it's out? How will it be locked into place while traveling? What goes in that particular space (table, desk, etc)?

Questions, questions. I like the industrial roller design. That coupled with the tubing design on the floor (from another bus) would appear to be plenty of reinforcement. I'm thinking of creating an arched roof section, though. The idea being the arch would give less places for water to pool. Gotta do a LOT more thinking about the whole execution though. Back to the drawing board!
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Old 09-05-2009, 10:53 PM   #6
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Re: building a slide-out and window question

I am thinking sliding bolts of some kind. To be honest I haven't thought it out completely yet. There is a massive window in the top of the slide wall spanning from one side to the other. The slide will basically house our queen size futon. Its a bit of a monster so hence the need for the slide. The roof of the slide is sloped away from the bus, this is important as you mentiond. Arched would be cool. I bought the industrial drawer guides at http://www.leevalley.com/hardware/page. ... 43616&ap=1 turns out they are 400 lb slides.
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Old 09-06-2009, 01:02 PM   #7
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Re: building a slide-out and window question

I actually welded the slides to the frame of the bus first, before I had even started to consider the actual "cage". So I first welded them to the sides of the openings then built the cage onto the slides. I started with the side walls of the cage, then installed the upper and lower crossbars. Once the outline of the cage was welded in place I welded in the angled bracing, which I actually have added to since the pictures above were taken. Doing it this way ensured that the cage fit within the frame. There is very little clearance between the cage and the frame, 3/4" I think. My only concern with the whole deal is how it will react when the bus starts flexing as in moves over uneven ground. I am beefing up the whole area with angled bracing carefully placed around the opening but who knows until you try. I have been warned against cutting a massive hole in the side of the bus, and when I did it I knew it was taking a risk. So I guess its a bit of an experiment. But after driving it around the yard many times to move it and going over a few humps it still functions well. We will just have to wait and see. I am also using the same slides to allow my generator, propane tanks and other underbody storage items to roll out like a drawer for easy servicing.
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