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Old 11-02-2004, 03:30 PM   #1
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Mobile garage

Hi I wanted to know is it possible to take a bus and convert the back into a garage?

I'm trying to get a bus to convert and I want to know is it possible to take the back 20 feet or so and turn it into a storage space for a small car (saturn sedan) has anyone heard of someone doing this? Would it effect the frame\ suspension?
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Old 11-02-2004, 05:09 PM   #2
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Yes many people have done this it can be done as elaborate as any other car hauler. You can even do both open and eclosed car stalls and some even have garage doors in the rear:




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Old 11-02-2004, 08:12 PM   #3
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can anyone provide more detailed specs? espeicailly what kind of work was needed to do at the edge to support the weight and ramp matierial..
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Old 11-02-2004, 11:34 PM   #4
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Thank you so very much This has been incredibly useful. I hadn't considered open. I probably would go close so I could use the space over my little saturn as storage or as sleeping space


Again thank you so much, this really makes me much more optimistic about my ideas.
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Old 12-02-2004, 11:18 PM   #5
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Since my bus was pictured above I figured I should reply

Go here for more info and conversion pictures.

I don't really have any detailed specs. We never really had much of a design written down...we did most designing as we went. The good this is that with a Saturn you wouldn't have to do anything with the roof. That part was ALOT of work. The ramp was made out of 2x3 steel tubing:



I had to make it pretty strong since my Scout weight around 5000 lbs. I slipped in 4x4 piece of steel tubing in place of the original piece that ran across the back (inbetween the frame and the floor). The ramp hinge is welded to that. The big issue with hauling a car is the angle of the ramp, you'd need ramp extensions so you don't hit the front bumper or get high centered half way in. Weight isn't and issue even with my heavy Scout. No frame or suspension modifications. The bus suspension actually gives a little with it in there and there's no adverse effect on handling. Don't underestimate the strength of a bus!

Chad
'88 Blue Bird
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Old 12-03-2004, 07:23 PM   #6
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You have the first conversion that is almost 100% identical to what I want to do.

HOw tall is the Scout?
How is the Scout wide?
How tall was the buss roof in the center to begin with and after?
What size tubing was used to construct the bus walls and roof frame?
What thickness aluminum sheet was used to skin the bus and how was it secured?
Do you plan to install a bathroom/shower?


I have thought that the buses are 6 and 1/2' tall in the center on the inside from the factory and my pathfinder is just under that, but now that I have seen someone replace the whole roof and see it looks nice it seems like there is hope or that it might be a possibilty.

AWESOME JOB!!!
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Old 12-06-2004, 10:16 AM   #7
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My Scout is about 6' 2" tall and around 6'+ wide. Originally the bus was around 6' tall in the center and considerably lower towards the sides. My Scout isn't rounded like the bus roof so fitting inside was going to be a problem. I'm 6' 2" so I couldn't even stand up in the center. Since the front wheels of the Scout park on top of the rear wheel wells of the bus that raises the front of it another 9". I do know of Jeeps fitting inside a bus but they are shorter and probably narrower. As you can see by the following picture it sits pretty tall in the bus compared to the original roof.

(click to see larger version)

Even smaller tires weren't going to get it to fit under the roof. I believe we raised the roof to 7' to give enough room. The walls and roof were reconstructed out of 1"x2" steel. The 1x2's were bolted inside the existing wall/roof supports. We purchased a lot of steel and I was glad we did it before the jump in steel prices. The outside of the bus was initially covered in 1/4" plywood for rigidity and then that was covered using 24"x50' rolls of prepainted aluminum trim coil (thin stuff) from the local home improvement store. It's held on with contact adhesive (no ugly rivets or screws showing). I'm not sure how well this is going to work in the long run so I'll have to wait and see.

Right now I have no plans for a bathroom. I know how I could probably fit one but I'd loose access to the back. Eventually I may decide to do it.

Just remember, building a new roof is no easy task (not to mention finishing the inside). Once is enough for me.
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Old 12-08-2004, 01:39 PM   #8
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Sorry I didn't respond sooner, (computer stuff) Thanks so much for all the information, I'm thinking about doing something similar to what you did (no roof raise though) but putting my bed over my saturn, the antennae is the tallest thing on there and I can unscrew that so I should have two feet for sleep and storage space (I'm distinctly not claustrophobic) looking at yours I feel confident that mine will work
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