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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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Old 04-04-2013, 02:34 PM   #11
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Re: Roof deck

Well we had a propane detector and either it malfunctioned or the leak (under the counters) was contained enough that the detector didn't catch it. the previous owner had removed the gas hot water heater and installed a electric one. Mr brilliant during his conversion didn't cap the propane line. I didn't catch it because after he converted it he built added storage racks under the cabinet and it hid the pipe. We got to use the camper one time and it almost killed us. Then insurance slapped us in the face and didn't give me hardly anything for the camper and didn't pay half of the medical bills. Thank God that my wife has recovered mostly. I learned some important lessons that day. The first is that I value my wife over anything, propane is very unforgiving, Breathing in flaming liquid propane hurts like hell as it burns your airways, trying to be tough / stupid because your wife is hurt and not getting checked out will lead to serious hospitalization. and Insurance companies suck, and Skoolies are defiantly the way to go. Oh also, firemen will steal your Jack Daniels. LOL My wife during the blast covered our daughter with her body and my daughter received only singed hair. My wife was badly burned and for a short time waiting for the ambulance, I thought I had lost her. I'm excited to build my Skoolie but I'm defiantly doing it smart, and I'll check everything over and over and over. lol. I'm getting a lot of ideas from your build Roach......
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:40 PM   #12
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Re: Roof deck

glad to have ya'll around still (seems like PO would be held responsible for that stupid crap)
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:18 PM   #13
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Re: Roof deck

Quote:
Originally Posted by badasp118
I'm getting a lot of ideas from your build Roach......
Happy I can be of help, but almost all of the ideas in my build came from other people's builds.

After hearing your story I'm going to have a good look at my propane system.
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Old 04-05-2013, 03:26 PM   #14
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Re: Roof deck

It is good that you did not die in a burst of fire. Glad to hear that your wife is healing.

I have been a fan of propane devices for many years. I do, however, perform periodic inspections on all my lines with soapy water to check for any leaks.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:28 PM   #15
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Re: Roof deck

I'll defiantly advise anyone using propane to have a detector and have it in the area of your stove, etc! I still shudder to think how close we came to death, and the sight of the flesh dripping off my wife's legs is something ill never forget. She won't even set foot in a camper now, but has shown a lot of interest in the bus, Since i promised her no propane. I'm going to get a small microwave and to be honest I love campfire cooking so it will be no big deal. She said she will go camping with us since I'm installing no gas! I consider it a win!
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:13 PM   #16
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Re: Roof deck

sounds great!!

Only propane I have is for cooking outside or on the table when present of course...I don't trust the fridges and heaters

good luck and God speed on your adventures
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