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Old 02-03-2017, 02:17 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
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Replace rub rails with...?

Has anyone seen rub rails replaced with something else?

I've seen a few different opinions on whether the rub rails on school buses contribute significantly to the structural strength of a bus or are just there to ward off nicks and dings to the panels. Either way, let's say I want to get rid of them due to the fact that no matter how nifty a conversion job you've done and how much effort you've put into the exterior, leaving the rub rails on makes the rig look like a school bus instead of an RV.

Has anyone thought of something to replace the rails with that would do the same job without looking so bus-like?

What I'd really like to do is replace rub rails with something else which will provide the same structural rigidity but with a different aesthetic. Ideally, it would also be something which would allow me to mount sensors within the center of the channel. Maybe a shallow trapezoid that could fit against the body in place of the rub rail? Something made from a pair of triangular metal tubes with a plate running down the center? I'm just tossing around ideas here. Check the attached illustration for an idea of what I mean.

I've seen some rails removed and some left, but I don't think I've seen anyone intentionally replace them with something else. Any ideas?
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Old 02-03-2017, 02:59 PM   #2
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I am planning to install some kind of additional channel around the exterior of the bus, but i have not settled on what yet. The goal will be to have 360 degree dimmable perimeter lighting around the bus.

There are lots and lots of different types of extrusions out there that could be both structural and functional for things like you have mentioned. I would look at display lighting components for LED strips - Here is a site that I have purchased from a good bit that has lots of different options - https://www.superbrightleds.com/cat/...using,60,3557:
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Old 02-03-2017, 03:03 PM   #3
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Here is something very similar to what you have described in your photo. You could insert plexi rather than clear or diffused material and put a one way mirror tint on one side. Might even be cool to insert aluminum strips or something like that and then have a channel that runs the full length of the bus for wiring.

I am planning something similar inside the bus along the top of the windows for lighting and hiding wires that are not in the walls.
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Old 02-03-2017, 05:30 PM   #4
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Cool idea

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