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Old 07-28-2018, 08:07 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
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Location: North Pole, AK
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Year: 1998
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Chassis: International 3000
Engine: T444e
Cut off bottom step

Ground clearance:
Bottom step - 10 inches
Front bumper - 15 inches
Fuel tank cage - 19 inches
Back bumper, muffler, skirt, etc. - 20 inches

That step keeps bottoming out and I find it extremely aggravating. The second step has an 8" rise (18" above ground).

I've been playing around with cutting off the bottom step, but 18" is a little too high for my 2 year old or my corgi and might irritate my wife.

RV steps seem to come in 3 main varieties:
1. Pull out steps that don't save you anything on ground clearance - they just slide out of the way
2. Fold-up steps that block the entire doorway until you fold them down.
3. Scissor steps that look like a horrific pinch hazard for kids and possibly unstable or prone to jamming (plus expensive)

Anybody done anything like this? What did you do? How did it work out?
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Old 07-28-2018, 08:44 PM   #2
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Firstly buy a step stool suitable for the whole gang when you cut the step out.


What if any damage is there from bottoming out? Did it do anything to the door or door frame?



Put a pic up of the doorway and steps. Make an elevator that drops to the ground but comes up to make your new first step. Weatherproof it to keep debris and snow, ice out and that can just be a variable height electric step.


Would like to hear other ideas too, thinking up my design now. Mine will have a ramp also for certain purposes but hides away when not in use.


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Old 07-28-2018, 09:14 PM   #3
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They make a hide away step for pick up trucks that go back and up when they retract for ground clearance. Open automatically when you open the door. Adapt one to the bus.
I just checked and they are pricey ($1000).
As I recall, my Airstream M/H had a step that retracted up automatically
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Old 07-28-2018, 09:46 PM   #4
Skoolie
 
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20180728_175250.jpg20180728_175257.jpg


I have a small amount of damage from bottoming out - you can see a little dent at the front.

Welding shop said $400-600 to cut off the bottom step and weld a new piece of metal across even with the other step, which seems a little high.
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Old 07-28-2018, 09:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biscuitsjam View Post

Welding shop said $400-600 to cut off the bottom step and weld a new piece of metal across even with the other step, which seems a little high.
Just a tad.

$7 for cutting wheel for my angle grinder, approx $20-30 for the steel plate from Metal Warehouse (can't remember exactly).

I bolted my plate in, then tacked the front edge to the tube stock spanning the old doorway.
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File Type: jpg plates.jpg (147.9 KB, 17 views)
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Old 07-28-2018, 10:28 PM   #6
Bus Crazy
 
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Do you have the tools and time to do it yourself?

Maybe extend each step towards the door. Enough that you can just close the door. Cut the bottom landing out and have a hinged, folding step, board or metal bottom step. Support it with a piece of angle iron when where it sits on the opposite wall. One wall being the heater, the other the side of the stairs furthest from the front heater.
The hard part will be keeping the outdoors, outdoors..but the entrance will be higher and may not bottom out.

You may need airbags upfront, some lift would be better than none.


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Old 07-29-2018, 01:47 AM   #7
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You may want to take a long look at your set-up. It seems that removing the step leaves the door bottom next in line to be damaged by bottoming out.


My thoughts are that you may have a suspension issue. hese busses are designed to NOT hit stuff (such as speed humps and curbs) with the frame under normal use. I would think that the bottoming out is a sign of other needs, not the stairs. Besides, 10 inches alone is a high step. 18 is extreme, even for me and I am in decent shape,


Seriously, look at your first picture, The bottom of the door is at about the same height as the bottom step. I believe the step and structure holding it up are keeping your door from receiving damage from the bottoming out.
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Old 07-29-2018, 02:16 AM   #8
Skoolie
 
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I will replace the door regardless of whether I choose to cut off the step.

I may have a suspension problem. I'm not sure what normal is for a bus, but it's very bouncy. However, I am bottoming out on dirt and gravel roads, not on pavement. Alaska would be pretty boring if you only stayed on paved roads.
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