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Old 03-26-2013, 04:03 PM   #1
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Roof deck

My son wants me to build a roof deck on my fiberglass eldarado aerotech. I think it will have the added benifits of cooling the roof by providing shade. my questions are do you guys think the fiberglass will be solid enough for a light roof deck that could actually be used? just looking for input, and don't mind constructive critisism! thanks.....
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:18 PM   #2
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Re: Roof deck

it might work for a while but it will fail eventually. Thats just my opinion. The stress on the FG from the deck will cause cracks and leaks.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:39 PM   #3
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Re: Roof deck


Hey, welcome to the forum.

I wonder if these vehicles have a steel framework inside the fiberglass? You might start the investigation by looking for that. Maybe you can remove some interior panels to look? If there is a school bus type inner structure, it might be realistic to attach a deck to that, with minimal loads carried by the fiberglass.

Just brainstorming here. See what you can find out.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:44 PM   #4
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Re: Roof deck

Could you build a frame that stretches over the bus and is supported on the front & rear bumper supports where it bolts to the frame)? Is this for supporting multiple people or just to provide shade (tubular frame with commercial grade shade cloth attached to the tubular frame)? If just for shade, I think that might be doable. To support people, then I don't think so.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:47 PM   #5
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Re: Roof deck

My 2000 Aerotech doesn't have any steel supports in the fiberglass that I've found. The outer FG skin on mine is about 3/32 to 1/8" thick and the inner skin is a bit thinner. If I was going to bolt anything substantial to the roof I'd drill clear through the body and bolt the rack down with decent sized washers and nylock nuts on the inside. You don't want that deck flying off and smashing who ever's behind you. If water gets into the fiberglass sandwich it will eventually delaminate so be sure to use lots of sealer when mounting your supports.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:05 PM   #6
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Re: Roof deck

Here's a picture of my water heater cutout showing the construction of the body. There are inner and outer fiberglass skins with a cardboard-like separator fiberglassed in between. It's pretty strong. The white fluffy looking panel on the inside is a rigid insulation panel.

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Old 03-27-2013, 11:57 PM   #7
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Re: Roof deck

Is that a wood 2x4 in the sandwich, about 2/3 up? If so, and a bunch of them can be located at the roof, bolting thru those might be acceptable for a light deck load. But so hard to say.
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:06 AM   #8
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Re: Roof deck

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elliot Naess
Is that a wood 2x4 in the sandwich, about 2/3 up? If so, and a bunch of them can be located at the roof, bolting thru those might be acceptable for a light deck load. But so hard to say.
It is wood but not a 2x4. More like a 1x2 (actual measurement). The chair rail was screwed into that wood. I took my emergency roof hatch out and didn't see any wood up there but there MAY be some wood laminated in closer to the walls. My air conditioner condenser was bolted to the roof so there had to be some confidence in the roof strength.

You could drill some small holes through the inner ceiling and see if there's anything behind the FG skin up there.

The "cardboard" looks like some sort of paper or plastic that's been resin soaked and bonded to both of the outer fiberglass skins.

I thought about the body's fire resistance for a bit then realized that nearly everything I put inside that body would burn way easier than the body would. Not much point worrying about it.
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Old 03-30-2013, 01:25 AM   #9
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Re: Roof deck

Well it feels pretty solid when I walk I. it and I'm a big guy. but I think you guys are right. Roach, our buses are very similar. I guess I could get off my lazy ass and drive out to eldarado and ask someone since they are only 3 miles from here. Its funny though, I have the original sales brochures, bills of sale, etc for the bus and they lie in it. they say that the floors are are a laminate of steel, then insulation, then plywood. But I found only a layer of plywood. but its in excellent shape! one of the perks of buying from the school I work for is that I know its history and its been very well maintained! Plus the hundred dollars I payed for it! I guess ill forget the deck idea and just insulate the roof well. Roach I have been following your build and its provided alot of insperation! My bus however will be more of a mobile bunkhouse than camper. no water, or gas. Our stick and staple exploded on us two years ago almost killing my wife, my daughter, and myself! so we are going to stick with BBQ grills and outside campfires. lol
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:18 PM   #10
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Re: Roof deck

Dayam! what caused the explosion?

A propane detector was one of the first things I bought when I first started picking up bits and pieces for my build.
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