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Old 01-31-2017, 06:55 PM   #1
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Raised storage floor - Crazy Idea?

So I have been looking at all of the different variables for plumbing and electrical on the bus. Looked at lots of conversion ideas for framing, insulation, and flooring.

Here is my idea, not yet fleshed out, but I think reasonable to achieve.

If we have a skoolie with ~8' of headroom - either a transit or bus with a raised roof, how reasonable would it be to design the floor system to hold all of my plumbing, electrical, fluid storage and maybe some regular storage.

I am thinking probably a 9-12" rise in the floor. This would extend the entire length of the bus, with all electrical and plumbing ran separately down the center of the bus and branching off from there. I would make the area down the middle readily accessible and the side portions less accessible, but not impossible to access.

My thought is that by keeping everything inside the bus, I reduce the chance of freezing and having to be concerned about making repairs if the weather is inclement. The bus will be 4 season so I want to make sure that I am not dealing with headaches as a result of cold.

I think that I am adding complexity in the install, but maybe I will reap the rewards later in maintenance?

Thoughts?

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Old 01-31-2017, 07:41 PM   #2
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My first thought is: For the amount of work involved, I would look first at Eagle, MCI, Prevost or VanHool for under floor storage. They come from the factory with LOTS!!
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Old 01-31-2017, 08:32 PM   #3
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This is definitely something I have considered, but my only reservation is that I want to be able to get as much ground clearance as possible. We are hoping to be able to take the bus into areas lower clearance buses cannot go. Also, most of those seem to be rear engine and we are pretty sold on a front engine for various reasons. I know many prefer rear engine, but for us it will be front.

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Old 01-31-2017, 09:05 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ourmefa View Post
Thoughts?
I have been pondering this exact same thing, Ourmefa. I'll be curious if people chime in. Just curious, how are you planning to be able to access this area?
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Old 01-31-2017, 09:08 PM   #5
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Unquestionably insane. I LIKE it! Let us know how it goes.
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Old 01-31-2017, 09:16 PM   #6
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Let me preface this with: I am not an engineer lol
Seems like you would be raising the roof and the center of gravity, then building higher and raising the center of gravity some more.
Just something to consider.


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Old 01-31-2017, 09:50 PM   #7
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This is pretty much how modern Class A motorhomes are built. Around 1990 or so Fleetwood (I think) figured out they could raise the floor about 10" and do exactly what your are proposing, put tanks, furnace, water heater, etc all below the finished floor. More storage below the floor, and above (no water tank in the kitchen cupboard for example) too. No wheelwells or other humps (like the top of a generator box) to work around either. There is typically heat blown down into the space, keeping the tanks and plumbing from freezing. Pretty much a win, win, win.
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Old 02-01-2017, 03:41 AM   #8
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Let me preface this with: I am not an engineer lol
Seems like you would be raising the roof and the center of gravity, then building higher and raising the center of gravity some more.
Just something to consider.


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I do agree with your assessment of increasing the center of gravity. It is something to be factored in to the idea.

I may still put make fresh and/or gray tanks under belly for this reason. There are adequate 12v warming solutions for tanks, and I would likely insulate and possibly passively heat for ultra cold circumstances.

If I do this, I would still want to make all but the first connection to the tank, inside the bus in the center channel. Easy access for shutoff valve in case of leak.

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Old 02-01-2017, 03:56 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by FuzzWantsABus View Post
I have been pondering this exact same thing, Ourmefa. I'll be curious if people chime in. Just curious, how are you planning to be able to access this area?
I am still looking at options, but the most likely scenario would be that I would build two boxes that run the full length of the bus.

Then, make removable floor panels that span the two side boxes. The drop in floor panels are made from double plywood with foam board between to give added weight and density. The floor access pieces would be resting on a frame component of the side boxes.

I would likely use some kind of magnet to be able to lift the panels out. Embedded magnets are awesome!

Eventually I would find a way to electronically "pop" the panels up. A simple spring and a relay controlled latch.

I will have sketches of the design idea very shortly lol, I am building everything out on the box this week. As much as I can anyway lol.

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Old 02-01-2017, 07:07 AM   #10
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I will have sketches of the design idea very shortly lol, I am building everything out on the box this week. As much as I can anyway lol.
Can't wait!! If you make it look viable and easy, I may well steal...Err...Copy....Your idea.
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