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Old 02-26-2012, 10:40 AM   #1
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Wooden Roof Deck Problems?

Question for folks who built a roof deck using wood as the support structure across the top of the bus (driver to passenger side):

Have you experienced any of the following:
  • corrosion where the wood rests on the metal, or [/*:m:tyr5a0b0]
  • rot in the wood, or [/*:m:tyr5a0b0]
  • increase in squeaking while driving down the road as the wood & metal expand and contract at different rates?[/*:m:tyr5a0b0]


And... a question for everyone who has a roof deck:

If you could do it over again, what would you do differently this time?
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Old 02-26-2012, 10:21 PM   #2
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Re: Wooden Roof Deck Problems?

The wood supports on my deck are fine so far. They don't contact the bus body directly, but they are attached to galvanized steel fittings. If you're interested I can get some photos of various parts of the deck when the sun comes up.

Doing it again, I would build it smaller and/or with lighter materials. The Trex decking still looks great but is quite heavy per linear foot. I do like having the shade that it provides, so I would lean toward a full-coverage deck, but I would shoot for lighter material...aluminum decking or something along those lines. Maybe expanded sheet metal with a central catwalk for accessing stuff?
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:24 AM   #3
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Re: Wooden Roof Deck Problems?

Sean,
I'd be interested in seeing a few close up pictures, when you have a minute.
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:43 AM   #4
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Re: Wooden Roof Deck Problems?

Some of the expanded metal is pretty heavy, when you are considering using say, maybe, 200 sq ft of it. We use it for steps, and on tow dollies and trailers we make., but we use the stuff that has solid formed sides which gives it a lot of strength.
I need to build a deck for my bus for the solar panels which i am gonna purchase. I was planning on using treated 2x4's with marine plywood drilled with holes or something like that to mount the panels. My bus has two ribs on top of it, so attachment will be quite easy.
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Old 02-27-2012, 05:52 PM   #5
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Re: Wooden Roof Deck Problems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanF
The wood supports on my deck are fine so far. They don't contact the bus body directly, but they are attached to galvanized steel fittings. If you're interested I can get some photos of various parts of the deck when the sun comes up.
I actually did go back and search the forum for your thread when I knew I was buying the new bus. Your attachment system is the most unique and clean looking one yet. I really like it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanF
Doing it again, I would build it smaller and/or with lighter materials. The Trex decking still looks great but is quite heavy per linear foot.
I was really wondering about the weight issue of Trex. I know buses can handle the weight, but still. How is the Trex standing up to the desert sunshine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanF
I do like having the shade that it provides, so I would lean toward a full-coverage deck, but I would shoot for lighter material...aluminum decking or something along those lines. Maybe expanded sheet metal with a central catwalk for accessing stuff?
Full coverage is a huge bonus and a requirement as far as I'm concerned. The automatic shade is a must!

Thanks for the input, so far guys!
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Old 02-27-2012, 09:23 PM   #6
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Re: Wooden Roof Deck Problems?

Cool, I'll get some photos on Tuesday and put 'em in this thread.
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Old 02-28-2012, 01:41 PM   #7
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Re: Wooden Roof Deck Problems?

Deck status!

Here's the bus as she currently sits:


Overall view of the deck. The trex is holding up well as promised.


Galvanized fittings are rust-free, and no issues where metal meets wood






The cedar cross supports have a nice weathered look and are structurally fine:


For context, the bus (post-conversion) has spent its life in the southwestern US. For two winters it was in the mountains of New Mexico where snow is not unheard of, but the sun is pretty reliable about making a daily appearance.

It's a good deck and will probably look like the above photos for many years to come. Something that may work as a lighter decking material would be the composite decking that is hollow core.
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Old 02-28-2012, 01:43 PM   #8
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Re: Wooden Roof Deck Problems?

Any issue with it catching side winds in transit?
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Old 02-28-2012, 03:01 PM   #9
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Re: Wooden Roof Deck Problems?

I haven't experienced problems with side wind, but I don't drive it that often.

I imagine anything with this combination of profile and short wheelbase could be fun with a stiff crosswind.
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:33 PM   #10
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Re: Wooden Roof Deck Problems?

The deck still looks great. I am even more amazed to see how well the plywood window inserts have weathered over time too!
Thanks for the close-up shots.
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