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Old 07-21-2013, 03:31 PM   #1
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Making Holes in the Bus, advice, tips, tools, help!!!

why do i have to put a hole in my nice bus skin? i don't want to. that one fear has slowed my progress to a snails crawl. shortly i need to add a side water fill, black tank roof vent, grey tank vent, bathroom vent, and stove vent. probably a few others i'm not thinking of now.

what say'eth the expericenced hole punchers? this is something i don't wish to screw up.

hole saws? skill saws? sawzalls? plasma torch? what is the recommended tool? cut from outside in? inside out?

all help appreciated!!!
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Old 07-21-2013, 04:11 PM   #2
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Re: Making Holes in the Bus, advice, tips, tools, help!!!

I would say hole saw. Its clean and nothing jagged. That would be my take. Unless your going to weld in a steel pipe in some cases but that's my take. Im the same way Im always worried about leaks regardless of where its drilled in the bus
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Old 07-21-2013, 04:50 PM   #3
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Re: Making Holes in the Bus, advice, tips, tools, help!!!

I've cut some big holes in the sides of my vans over the years and used a sabre saw each time. Used a drill to make a starter hole then cut the rest with a metal cutting blade. If you can, leave a radius at each corner to avoid stress cracks. Hole saws are great for round holes but the sabre saw will work for those too.

Like the carpenter's say, measure twice, cut once.

You forgot about the electrical plug-in, the roof air conditioner, the battery tray slide out and the roof hatch for the automatic weapons.
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:28 PM   #4
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Re: Making Holes in the Bus, advice, tips, tools, help!!!

I hate putting holes in the bus, but when I have to I use a hole saw, or grinder, jig saw etc, depending how big and whats it for. I have put no holes in the roof, my vents are on the sides
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:37 PM   #5
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Re: Making Holes in the Bus, advice, tips, tools, help!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by roach711
. . . and the roof hatch for the automatic weapons.
You must live waaay too close to Detroit.
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Old 07-25-2013, 09:33 AM   #6
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Re: Making Holes in the Bus, advice, tips, tools, help!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbstewart
I hate putting holes in the bus, but when I have to I use a hole saw, or grinder, jig saw etc, depending how big and whats it for. I have put no holes in the roof, my vents are on the sides
gbstewart

been thinking about that...... and looking at your thread.

can you show a pic of your tank vent? i cant seem to find that part of the thread.
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:43 AM   #7
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Re: Making Holes in the Bus, advice, tips, tools, help!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbear
Quote:
Originally Posted by roach711
. . . and the roof hatch for the automatic weapons.
You must live waaay too close to Detroit.
You can never be far enough away from Detroit.

Actually, the Detroit area is like two different universes. The inner city neighborhoods are burned out, boarded up ghost towns where the gang bangers will shoot you just for looking at them the wrong way, while just a few miles away the suburbs are like main street USA. Hard to imagine a greater contrast.

Note to NSA spies: I do not, in fact, have any automatic weapons in my possession or mounted on my bus.
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:08 AM   #8
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Re: Making Holes in the Bus, advice, tips, tools, help!!!

We have a single vent in the roof for the black tank. The grey tank willmbe on the same side as the black tank and will tie into the black tank vent. The fresh tank vents under the bus. We do not have a bathroom vent. We kept one of the original bus windows and adjusted the toilet/sink section to fit around the window. We cut down one of the original bus windows to make it narrower and it is in the shower stall. The range "hood" is a thru the wall Ventline vent like what they used to put in mobile homes many decades ago. Our water hose threads thru the bottom of the doored water bay . The sewer hose is also thru the floor of the water bay. This bay will have a vent in it so the heat system will blow warm air in to keep thawed during the cold winter. I lost a crappy RV gate valve to an overnight freeze in South Georgia (100 miles from the FL-GA state line) and it was the black tank. I don't want to do that again. So we require heated water bay and ball valves that are inside the heated bay. The electrical cord runs thru the floor of the electrical bay. Running everything thru the floor of the bays allows us to keep bay doors closed and we can cut a piece of foamboard to fit the holes the hoses/cables thread thru preventing pests from taking up residence.
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:12 AM   #9
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Re: Making Holes in the Bus, advice, tips, tools, help!!!

Forgot....
I want to add a couple solar/battery vents to the roof. Other than that, we prefer to have as few holes in the roof and we prefer to have no carbunkles up there either. Personal preferance.
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:47 AM   #10
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Re: Making Holes in the Bus, advice, tips, tools, help!!!

my first hole is coming up... the toilet flange. then followed by the black tank vent, stove vent, water fill, outdoor shower....

so trying to find as many pics and help as possible......just don't want to make an avoidable mistake with all your knowledge . i'm guessing i got a week before i have to cut the bus.
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Old 07-25-2013, 12:07 PM   #11
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Re: Making Holes in the Bus, advice, tips, tools, help!!!

Butyl tape is a good choice for sealing roof vents and such. Stick it to the base of the vent flange covering the screw holes then screw your flange down snug. A little caulk covering the screw heads isn't a bad idea.

I don't like roof penetrations either, but over the years the ones I've done haven't been a problem.
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Old 07-25-2013, 12:33 PM   #12
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Re: Making Holes in the Bus, advice, tips, tools, help!!!

any pics appreciated!!!!

post em if you got em

thanks
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Old 07-25-2013, 06:20 PM   #13
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Re: Making Holes in the Bus, advice, tips, tools, help!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by turf
Quote:
Originally Posted by gbstewart
I hate putting holes in the bus, but when I have to I use a hole saw, or grinder, jig saw etc, depending how big and whats it for. I have put no holes in the roof, my vents are on the sides
gbstewart

been thinking about that...... and looking at your thread.

can you show a pic of your tank vent? i cant seem to find that part of the thread.
sure can ill take some in the morning, its a simple system, I used pex line off the top of my black tank then up the side of the wall in the bathroom, and out the wall, I also have a tee in the line at the tank with a extra valve I can open if I think I need more air when dumping, but I don't have to use it the tank dumps fast and I haven't gotten any smells from the vent, and we use the bathroom all the time, I had the grey water tank tapped into it as well using pex, but this year I changed the grey tank vent to just point out over the side and down using pex line, when the tank gets over filled (only happened once) it comes out the vent, when dumping the grey tank you can hear a bit of gurgle from the kitchen p trap, but it drains out fast, in any case I have never had any problems with this set up, 4-5 days boondocking don't get any smells, I always do good flushes when I dump. and best of all no holes in roof
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Old 07-25-2013, 06:27 PM   #14
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Re: Making Holes in the Bus, advice, tips, tools, help!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by turf
my first hole is coming up... the toilet flange. then followed by the black tank vent, stove vent, water fill, outdoor shower....

so trying to find as many pics and help as possible......just don't want to make an avoidable mistake with all your knowledge . i'm guessing i got a week before i have to cut the bus.
I just used a hole saw for the toilet flatornge and the black tank is right below the toilet , 3 inch hole I think, I have a connector on the black tank that the toilet flange screws into, then a couple of screws to hold the flange on the floor good set up, just make sure when you drill out the hole you clear any cross beams
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Old 07-26-2013, 11:10 AM   #15
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Re: Making Holes in the Bus, advice, tips, tools, help!!!

turf
I posted my set up on my thread, this way I wont have to keep reposting
gbstewart
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5931&start=225
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Old 07-26-2013, 02:27 PM   #16
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Re: Making Holes in the Bus, advice, tips, tools, help!!!

When making a fairly small round hole, then of course a hole saw will be optimal. For most other things, I have found that my angle grinder is the most useful all-around metal cutting device I've ever owned. You can go through steel, thick and thin, and it doesn't matter what is behind that metal. So for a double wall, you don't have to worry about breaking a blade on the inner wall. Also, no need to drill holes for a sabre saw to get started, just draw your lines out with a marker and plunge in. Plus, it's fun to make all those sparks! Ooooh! Ahhhhh!
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Old 07-26-2013, 02:37 PM   #17
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Re: Making Holes in the Bus, advice, tips, tools, help!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel Dan
When making a fairly small round hole, then of course a hole saw will be optimal. I have found that my angle grinder is the most useful all-around metal cutting device I've ever owned. You can go through steel, thick and thin, and it doesn't matter what is behind that metal. So for a double wall, you don't have to worry about breaking a blade on the inner wall. Also, no need to drill holes for a sabre saw to get started, just draw your lines out with a marker and plunge in. Plus, it's fun to make all those sparks! Ooooh! Ahhhhh!
I'm with you on the angle grinder and sparks. I use it to cut everything.
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:13 AM   #18
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Re: Making Holes in the Bus, advice, tips, tools, help!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbstewart
turf
I posted my set up on my thread, this way I wont have to keep reposting
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viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5931&start=225

very nice set up!

after taking a closer look at the photos..... i really like the pex. the grey water tank looks like a good idea.

i was contemplating an 1 1/2" abs vent through the floor and roof, the small pex sure looks easier to work with.

how large a pipe is that? i've never worked with pex but am about to for the freshwater.
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Old 07-27-2013, 02:41 PM   #19
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Re: Making Holes in the Bus, advice, tips, tools, help!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by turf
Quote:
Originally Posted by gbstewart
turf
I posted my set up on my thread, this way I wont have to keep reposting
gbstewart
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5931&start=225

very nice set up!

after taking a closer look at the photos..... i really like the pex. the grey water tank looks like a good idea.

i was contemplating an 1 1/2" abs vent through the floor and roof, the small pex sure looks easier to work with.

how large a pipe is that? i've never worked with pex but am about to for the freshwater.
I used 1/2 with sharkbite fittings, that's what I had on hand, you can get pex in 3/4 and maybe larger not sure on that.
Like I said before this works very well for me and I am very happy with it.
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:16 AM   #20
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Re: Making Holes in the Bus, advice, tips, tools, help!!!

We used 1/2 inch PEX.
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