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Old 11-30-2004, 10:49 AM   #1
Ron
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Building Storage Bins

I keep looking at all the space available under my bus and want to install some storage bins along the sides. Has anyone got any really good ideas how to proceed? I don't want to spend a fortune but also don't want to fabricate something that will rattle like hell and have the doors fall off. Any and all ideas are welcome and much appreciated.

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Old 12-03-2004, 12:34 AM   #2
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Hi Ron,

Look at the boxes Michael (Soused Moose) installed on his bus Latcho Drom on his webstite at http://www.mobilehomestead.com; he used some hell-for-stout boxes made for semi's. And Vern1 made some storage units under his bus Bruin Gilda; you can see them at http://www.pettypb.com/bus.
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Old 12-03-2004, 12:17 PM   #3
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I picked up my Steel Boxes from Highway Products ….good quality stuff for sure.
They also have ‘Box’ hangers that make it easy to attach them on the underside of the rig….

Here’s their website URL
http://www.highwayproducts.com/index1.htm

Ron…Here’s a few pics of the boxes before I installed them that might give you an idea of their size

http://www.mobilehomestead.com/newbus/n ... oxopen.JPG

http://www.mobilehomestead.com/newbus/n ... uckbox.JPG

http://www.mobilehomestead.com/newbus/n ... ckbox1.jpg

Michael
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Old 12-03-2004, 12:46 PM   #4
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Looks like more money than I want to spend on a box right now though..
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Old 12-04-2004, 08:46 PM   #5
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Thanks a lot. Both of these solutions have given me some really good ideas.
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Old 03-30-2005, 12:12 AM   #6
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Currently on my pickup I have a full-length 2-door side work box I salvaged from a auto boneyard, came off a plumbing truck.
$35 for the box, $20 for a new pair of keyed-alike (KA) cylinders, sandblasting ($10 for media and a friend's blaster) and another $12 for spray paint made it good to go. $77 total.

Or I could have bought it new for $ 380......DUH!

Check bone yards for boxes you might use. Many trucks have them, although you may have to search for one in repairable shape.

I've even seen some decent ones in aluminum.

I've learned a trick for derusting steel parts using simple tech. Anyone interested? You need a large container, warm water, washing soda, a battery charger and a hunk of stainless steel for an anode.
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Old 03-30-2005, 09:57 AM   #7
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Pretty simple in the essentials, it's anodic derusting or reverse electrolysis.

Take your rusty steel part. Clean and degrease it VERY thoroughly.
Grind, wire brush, or otherwise remove all loose rust and scale.

Place it in a PLASTIC container, which can be a bucket, large tote, I've even seen a bed of sand lined with heavy plastic sheeting.

Fill the plastic container with warm water, and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of WASHING SODA (cleaning aisle, next to laundry detergents) per gallon of water, stir well.
Place the NEGATIVE clamp of a battery charger on the iron part (make good contact), and the POSITIVE clamp on a large piece of STAINLESS STEEL.

MAKE SURE THE METAL PIECES (steel and SS) DO NOT TOUCH!

When you plug in the charger, the current from the iron part to the SS carries dissolved atoms of Iron Oxide with it, which drops off in the solution. Running the operation will over time leave a black iron finish behind, ONLY dissolving the oxide.
You will see a foam of fine bubbles rise from the part and/or the anode(s). That means the system is working.

NOTE:
The rust will be removed in line-of-sight with the SS electrode, ONLY. Move the SS anode occasionally to get more coverage, or suspend more SS anodes around the part, again NOT in contact with the iron part. All SS anodes should be connected with jumpers.

NOTE AND DANGER WARNING:
This process ALSO generates Hydrogen Gas, an explosive substance. Do the process ONLY in a well-ventilated area, away from sparks, pilot lights, etc. Disconnect the power from the charger BEFORE disconnecting the battery clamps, avoiding a potentially dangerous spark and explosion. I use a fan to disperse the gas......

NOTE:
any pot metal, aluminum, plating, other metals will discolor, or even DISAPPEAR due to the process. Don't try derusting the pitted door handles on your '49 Hudson Hornet, they will go BYE-BYE!

NOTE:
the process will also remove some paints.....found that out doing the wheels of my F-150, which was OK anyway as I was planning on stripping them for repaint. If the paint came off, it was probably loose anyway....

NOTE:
the process does NOT dissolve good steel, but it acts kinda strange on cast/wrought iron. ALSO, if you find more pits/holes in the steel than you thought when you started, it's because the rust was removed, NOT good steel. The pits were already there.
The steel will come out a black or dark gray color from the process.
Wash it off THOROUGHLY, and DRY QUICKLY with a hair dryer or heat gun to prevent rust re-occurring. Use a GOOD rust preventative primer, followed by THIN coats of the finish paint.
POR-15 is good stuff, used it with a friend to restore his '86 Jeep.

This derusting process is used commercially by a company called Redi-Strip, they do everything from Disneyworld's trash cans to the Space Shuttle door.
They even do entire cars in giant tanks, for car restorers.
The process will NOT affect rubber or wood, though the wood will absorb some water and may swell or crack.

One guy made a bed of sand, carved the sand into the shape of his Camaro frame, lined it with plastic sheet and derusted the ENTIRE frame with the process, INSIDE AND OUT. Yeah, it took a while, and he had to replenish the solution from time to time, but it came out pristine, without sandblast stress or work-hardening.

One other nice thing about this is assemblies that are bolted and rusted together can probably be disassembled after the process. You may find hidden rust after disassembly, so just dunk it again.

Do a Google search on reverse electrolysis.
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Old 03-30-2005, 05:52 PM   #8
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Cool trick

Cool trick with the electrolysis. If the truck box could hold water (or be plugged to do), you could use it as the container for the SS, at least when cleaning rust from the inside of it.

I saw a website in the last day or two about building your own watertight truck boxes from plywood. Basically the guy used a plywood box and the tack and tape fiberglass technique to construct plywood truck boxes using epoxy resin. If you wanted to be cheap, you could use polyester resin like they sell at the auto stores for fiberglass repair, $15 per gallon or so. I've used it on paddles before, and it works reasonably well.

A plywood truck box (especially one under the bus, or built in to the side) wouldn't show. If you wanted to make it look "heavy duty", you could buy a small sheet of diamond plate like they sell at Home Depot or Lowes, and you could bolt that to the plywood lid of the box, even install the lock assembly through a hole in the diamond plate.

A 3/4" sheet of plywood could make a couple of small truck boxes, or at least one big one for about 10% of the price of a steel one. As long as you waterproof it, it would probably last for quite a while, and as long as you're not prone to banging it between the bus and things, there's probably not much you could do to hurt it.
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Old 04-01-2005, 02:12 PM   #9
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wood V.S. steel boxes

With 3/4 CDX ply running WELL over $20 a sheet, the used steel boxes in boneyards are very attractive to me, cleanup/derusting included!

I'd worry about the strength of any wood box mounted on the exterior of my rig-to-be, you can only do so much with wood sheet goods in a structural design, especially a HANGING design. Joint design and construction would be critical, even with a good fibreglassing. I'd also worry about delamination of the glass with exposure to humidity.

I admit the wood does give some noise/temperature insulation. Not much, but some.
INTERIOR boxes are another matter, and wood is OK by me for that.

My $0.02
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Old 04-02-2005, 12:33 AM   #10
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Thoughts on wood

I agree that wood ain't cheap. Locally 8' 2x4s are over $5.00. One source of cheap plywood that I'm looking into is the seats from my bus ("my bus" - woohoo!).

As far as hanging wooden boxes beneath the bus, I was thinking about using that perforated steel angle iron and some all-thread you find at home improvement stores, rather than trying to attach the wood directly to the bus. Of course, add up construction time, fiberglass resin & fiberglass, angle iron and all-thread, and a used steel truck box starts to look like a bargain.

Hmmm...I wonder how tack and tape would work for building cabinets....
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