View Poll Results: Whats under your bus?
Nothing yet, nothing planned. 0 0%
Nothing yet, eventually something. 5 14.71%
Just the fresh/grey/black water tanks. 8 23.53%
A genset 7 20.59%
An AC/heater unit for thru floor heat 0 0%
My batteries 6 17.65%
Some externally accessible storage. 6 17.65%
Some storage accessible from inside the bus. 2 5.88%
I have a sunken floor for more headroom in parts! 0 0%
Voters: 34. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-27-2009, 08:58 PM   #1
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What can/did you put UNDER the bus? (tanks, storage, etc)

Curious about the basement now. Since raising the roof is so hard i'm wondering if lowering the floor is any kind of option in part. I assume the driveshaft goes down the middle and is fairly close to the floor of the bus, but is there any reason you couldn't lower the floor on either side of the drive shaft putting in anything from sunken storage accessible from inside the bus to an actual walking area or sunken shower to get a little more headroom if you have one of those "barely 6ft inside" busses?


Whats under your bus? Did you put your tanks there? Or storage accessible from inside? Or storage accessible from outside? Or nothing yet?
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:12 PM   #2
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Re: What can/did you put UNDER the bus? (tanks, storage, etc)

How LOW can you go? Floor drop ideas

Basically, you can do anything you have the skills to do. Providing you don't exceed the 40'Lx102"Wx13'6"H federal highway limits that is. Yes, I know there are places where you can go up to 45'L or 14'H or otherwise exceed those numbers, but then you limit your geography.

Honestly, I think raising the roof or a section of the roof is just as much effort. Of course, there's always the option of doing both. That would be really cool.

jim
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:25 PM   #3
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Re: What can/did you put UNDER the bus? (tanks, storage, etc)

Thanks for that link, I missed that thread. :)

Well "the skills to do" is it - I dont feel comfortable removing the entire roof of my bus and moving it a few feet up in the air to reweld it, I don't really weld at all. I'm comfortable cutting a couple of several foot wide and long "holes" in the floor in a few places though but I dont even think i'd do a full length dropped floor because it might compromise structural integrity.

I don't want or plan to cut frames, just drop parts of the floor around the frame whether for small standing height zones or for under-floor storage for stuff like my books. (dont want them flying off the shelves in a sudden stop or taking up room in the living area or being a weight up high)

I know I can go look at busses in person while i'm dreaming but I get school administrators wondering if i'm a terrorist eyeing their busses with a wierd grin on my face. :P So I try and ask those who know better. I just assume most busses are probably a ladder frame like most medium trucks but i'm not sure how wide the rails are or how much room i'd have for dropped floor without cutting rails. If it's normally like 5 foot wide frame rails inside the 8 foot wide bus i'll cancel the idea of a dropped floor though.

Basically I just want to know if I made a box under from outside the frame rail and driveshaft to the width of the bus, how wide of a standing room would I get - 12/18/24/or 30 inches? (I cant imagine it being more than 30 inches or framerails being closer than 36 inches) If I got somewhere in 24-30 inches i'll probably do it, otherwise i'd just consider it sunken storage.
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:37 PM   #4
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Re: What can/did you put UNDER the bus? (tanks, storage, etc)

Tomorrow I'll get out there and measure the frame rail distances on both busses for ya. I think they'll turn out to fall in the 30" to 50" range though. Looks a lot like a standard truck underneath the conventional bus.

I've never welded anything in my life. I've seen others do it. I tried once on a piece of chrome plated metal (that just wouldn't work), but never tried anything else. I do have a cheap welder though, and I have the will to learn.

I expect any real welder will look at my work when I'm done and wince. I'm fine with that. Yes, my bus will probably be held together with slag and rivets.

The important things I've learned watching others are that one shouldn't complete the circuit with ones body, one should put ones body between the thing you are welding and the ground as hot bits fall, and one should wear gloves and pants and boots, not bare hands and shorts and sandals. Also, watch out for making holes. And don't look at the pretty lights with your remaining good eye. Also, make sure there is a garden hose nearby and a fire extinguisher for when that doesn't work.

Many community colleges teach welding classes. If you aren't comfortable trying to learn on your own, you could always drop in and speak with the teacher about what you're trying to accomplish. He might just want to make your project a class project. Or, he might suggest that some of his students come practice on your bus for you. There are a lot of options there.

Good luck,
jim
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:16 AM   #5
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Re: What can/did you put UNDER the bus? (tanks, storage, etc)

Quote:
Originally Posted by baadpuppy
Tomorrow I'll get out there and measure the frame rail distances on both busses for ya. I think they'll turn out to fall in the 30" to 50" range though. Looks a lot like a standard truck underneath the conventional bus.
The grass is still damp and I'm feeling lazy, so I only measured the rear frame of the conventional style bus. The frame appears to be C channel, and the distance between the narrowest points at the bottom is 24", and between the widest points is 34". Behind the rear axle, there is virtually nothing under there but frame. It is a ladder type frame.

From memory, the frame rails on the pusher are quite similar.

On the conventional, you do have the transmission and driveshaft between the engine and the rear axle which limits what you can do between the frame rails there. There is the fuel tank on one side between the frame rail and the skin (and well protected). There is also the battery compartment on the other side (on mine at least).

On the pusher, you have the entire rear basically being used by engine and driveline with very little room to add anything. Forward of the wheels, between the frame rails, there are all the air lines and power steering lines and throttle and brake linkages, etc etc. Basically, that space isn't really usable, unlike what you might think.

On mine, on the passenger side there is the front door and steps, then the front axle, then the fuel tank, then the undercarriage storage box which is big enough to store a few bodies and will hold my primary house battery bank, then the rear axle area, then the air intake area. On the driver's side, there is the fuse and power distribution panel, then front axle, then big empty space, then an empty battery compartment, then the spare tire bay, then the rear axle, then the chassis battery compartment, then radiator.

The spare tire bay slopes, so isn't really useful as it is for a storage bay, but I plan to make it flat and use it for more storage, or perhaps for a second house battery bank. The secondary battery compartment has a rusted slide in it, and I haven't decided what to use it for yet.

I do plan to have a swamp cooler and an AC compressor under there some where, and it'll probably both be on the street side. The spare tire area might become that instead of a battery bank.

The trailer will be my primary place to store things I need access to from outside. I do plan to have at least one pass-through compartment from the outside to the inside though. I also have to make sure to save room on the street side for shore power/water/sewage hookups.

Anyway, I hope this helps in some way.

jim
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:04 PM   #6
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Re: What can/did you put UNDER the bus? (tanks, storage, etc)

So far, the only thing under my bus is me Luck would have it, there is a couple foot of ground clearance. That gives my Bear Belly enough room to navigate and plan. HEY, I did'nt say beer belly!
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Old 05-28-2009, 04:30 PM   #7
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Re: What can/did you put UNDER the bus? (tanks, storage, etc)

welding is 5% knowledge and 95% practice, go to the local welding supply place and talk to the counter salesperson they should have several good instruction manuals available, probably the most user friendly ones will be from the welder manufacturers like miller or lincoln. the salesperson should have a fair amount of knowledge and be able to be helpful, they will also be able to point you to a competent welder in your area that might be willing to mentor you.
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:11 PM   #8
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Re: What can/did you put UNDER the bus? (tanks, storage, etc)

having finished removing all but 4 seats this evening, I can say that between the frame rails there is the exhaust pipe and the drive shafts and universal joints (multiple ones of these). That still leaves some room for play, but not for dropping a floor necessarily.

I took a few pictures this evening. Here ya go:







hope this helps,
jim
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