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Old 10-23-2008, 02:56 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
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Building Sleeping Loft - Advice ?

I was wondering what is the best way to build a sleeping loft on top of
a bus ?

We would like to do so without doing a full roof raise. There is already
an exisiting emergency exit hatch and we would like to just build a
small loft on top and then just cut the hatch opening bigger. We are
thinking simple and efficent both time and cost wise.

What would be the best way to do this, considering the sides are rounded
and we want to get as much room as possible ? Is there a way to build it
right up to the edge , or do we have to build it in a little to account
for the rounded corners ?

We would also rather use wood because it is easier for us and we can do
it in small steps rather than paying a lot to get someone out there to
weld. But if there is a good reason we should use meatal please let us

Initially we were going to do a vw on top but realized that finding, buying, towing and getting it up there will, in the end be harder for us than building it slowly with wood, which we can do piece by piece as our budget allows.

Any and all advice welcome.

~ Pixie
Enchanted Gypsy ~ Travel Diaries
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Old 10-24-2008, 12:57 PM   #2
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Re: Building Sleeping Loft - Advice ?

I would really think hard about the possibility of using some other pre-built structure to use on top of your roof. I know it presents issues but it really is a nice way to go. The structure independent of the bus has been previously engineered to be solid. A VW van is an idea but I have seen people use aircraft fuselages and the like as well. Perhaps a farmer friend with a tractor and a welder would be a good help. If you do build from wood then you need to design it VERY carefully. Wood likes to stay still and when you introduce the movements of a vehicle things could go very bad.

If I were forced to build from wood I would use 2X2 (actually 1 1/2 X 1 1/2) to build a box on top of the roof with all sides of this box slanted. So from each side it would look like a trapezoid. Then within these walls put 2X2 webbing in the form of many triangles (the strongest shape is a triangle). Use plywood to sheet in both sides of this structure with any joints in the plywood landing directly on a web or frame member. Insulate inside the wall with extruded or expanded polystyrene (extruded has better R value). Don't forget to put vapour barrier on the inside of the wall before plywooding. And Pixie, glue the ever living crap out of this thing. There is a glue called PL 400 meant for subfloor attachment and it is very strong, could also be called PL Premium. Every connection you make, glue it, even the connections to the steel part of the bus. Finish the outside by caulking all joints with a top quality paintable caulking then paint the thing with marine paint, at least two coats. This is at least how I would go about it. This should give you a structure that won't move too much and be weather sealed. Good Luck. If your ever in Manitoba Canada let me know, I would love to help.
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Old 01-16-2016, 05:13 PM   #3
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So, Pixie, guys added that loft ?
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