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Old 09-21-2016, 09:53 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: North CT
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Year: 1996
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Using the deck as a new roof for the bus

Hi Guys

Ok - So my new idea is this..

I wanted to add a deck to my Skoolie anyway, so my question is, it is possible to use this as my new roof?

As this would be properly and structurally welded to the steel frame.
All I would be doing different is to simply remove the original roof.
Equals more headroom and less weight.

Do you think this is an option?
Of course I would have to box it in, insulate and waterproof it. But I would then have a taller stronger lighter bus. With the ceiling height (8') I want and it would also be flat and not rounded.

I welcome any feedback or comments

Thank you
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Old 09-21-2016, 11:38 PM   #2
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I don't see any reason not to do it. . . I mean, why construct a watertight but not-so-strong roof to keep the water out, then build a second, stronger, deck, right above it?

Structurally speaking, the deck should require more support then a plain old roof, so I think you'll be fine.
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Old 09-21-2016, 11:53 PM   #3
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Location: Sarasota, Florida
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Year: 1995
Coachwork: International
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I'd be very stoked to see this done.

Bus designers did make a curved roof for a reason though (safety). And I'm sure there's a reason people haven't done it on a skoolie yet. Older rvs with flat roofs are notorious for leaks and pooling water. But they're also not generally made like a tank of a bus.

I think a roof raise that people do just barely messes with the original structural integrity. But, messing with the whole structure of the ribs like that sounds scary.

With the right time and money any things possible. Buying a transit bus may save you some of both. But, that's not nearly as cool as those plans man
Nowhere Fast - Sarasota, Florida
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Old 09-22-2016, 10:05 AM   #4
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The roof bows are very important to the structural integrity of the bus itself. I would caution against, but I'm sure some other arm-chair mechanical engineer will come in here and contradict me soon anyway...
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Old 09-23-2016, 09:17 AM   #5
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: North CT
Posts: 48
Year: 1996
Chassis: B600, 545 Allison Auto
Engine: Cummings Dimple Block 12Cyl.
Rated Cap: 70
Hi Guys

Thank you for your feedback.
Some very valid points - thank you!

I have been looking into this and I would definitely add large cross sections in the corners at the strongest angle of support.

This would tie the whole structure together and combined with the decking floor and internal roof be plenty strong enough.
I plan to use a twin frame structure (with insulation in between)
With the twin parallel tubes joined for strength. If they are 3" apart this would give the strength of a much larger rib section than the original.
I also plan to cross brace internally as well from corner to corner.
I design complex and lightweight, but strong systems and to me this construction should be at least as strong if not stronger.

But as always I bow to experience and if anyone can see a hole in my plans I would very much like to hear from you...

I wish I could post pictures as you would see my roof frame/deck idea is a cross braced twin tube system with corner braces.

One of the main reasons I fancy doing this apart from the much needed headroom (I am 6'3") is I can keep my windows where they are and go up above them.
Re the flat roof, I plan on being able to angle areas - for Solar and Snow.
The deck would be just above a lower roof which would be angled to allow water to run off it to the sides.

Thank you!
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Old 09-23-2016, 09:38 AM   #6
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The arch that is present in nearly all school bus roof structures is a critical roll over design component. And the strongest of these feature a continuous, one piece rib...not one that is bolted or welded. Not saying that something could not be engineered to equal what is there, but it would definitely be tricky and probably far more expensive than simply raising what is already there and proven.
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Old 09-23-2016, 05:25 PM   #7
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: North CT
Posts: 48
Year: 1996
Chassis: B600, 545 Allison Auto
Engine: Cummings Dimple Block 12Cyl.
Rated Cap: 70

That makes total sense re the rolling - but if I am ever unlucky enough to be in a roll I will probably be killed by a fridge freezer and cooker first
This is one of the reasons I want to reduce the upper weight and lower my CofG

How did Buses like this keep the structure?

Thank you!!
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Old 09-23-2016, 06:04 PM   #8
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that's easy back in the ice age they didn't drive them. A deck on the top is still pretty cool. Plus its more storage.
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