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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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Old 02-29-2012, 11:18 AM   #11
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Re: Wooden Roof Deck Problems?

The supports under the trex looks like 2x2's..
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:51 PM   #12
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Re: Wooden Roof Deck Problems?

Thanks for the pictures. I really want to build a full length deck on my bus, I'm trying to figure out a way to get some kind of insulation between the roof and the deck. Has anybody stuffed some sort of insulation in there?
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:40 PM   #13
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Re: Wooden Roof Deck Problems?

where did u fine them mounts?? metal brackets
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Old 02-29-2012, 06:56 PM   #14
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Re: Wooden Roof Deck Problems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chev49
The supports under the trex looks like 2x2's..
Nope, 4x.4. The trex is 2x6. The galvanized metal pipe is 1".

Quote:
Originally Posted by keith
where did u fine them mounts?? metal brackets
They are called Kee Klamps, made in the UK. Kinda pricey. Found at McMaster-Carr. At their site search on "structural framing fittings".
These are the McMaster-Carr part numbers for the fittings I used.
4936T91 Iron Slip-On Structural Framing System Rect Flange W/Closed End
4936T71 Iron Slip-On Structural Framing System Oval Flange
4936T64 Iron Slip-On Structural Framing System Adj 180 Deg Rect Flange
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:49 PM   #15
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Re: Wooden Roof Deck Problems?

Thanks for posting the pictures Sean.

Do you have the 4x4 attached to the bus roof in the center? If so what did you end up doing there? Thanks
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:01 PM   #16
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Re: Wooden Roof Deck Problems?

Quote:
Do you have the 4x4 attached to the bus roof in the center? If so what did you end up doing there? Thanks
Yes, trex was through-bolted to the roof, down the centerline. The 4x4 supports attached to that using angle brackets.

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Old 03-09-2012, 05:31 AM   #17
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Re: Wooden Roof Deck Problems?

Very cool ideas on the deck... I've worked with trex on customer's homes... It's a little on the heavy side but stands up to weather...
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:17 AM   #18
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Re: Wooden Roof Deck Problems?

Thanks for posting up the pictures Sean.
After looking at your pictures I'm going with the bolt through centerline setup like you did. Thanks again.

Not to hijack this thread but.... did you ever do any camping near Lake Mary? I live in Prescott Valley and plan to make a few shake down runs up the mountain and was thinking I saw a ton of dispersed camping down Lake Mary road. Any suggestions?
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:48 PM   #19
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Re: Wooden Roof Deck Problems?

Yes, follow signs for Ashurst Lake. Before you get to the developed campground there is a free dispersed camping area. I parked the bus at (35.032603,-111.438599, plug that into Google Maps for the loc) for a while. Nice spot.
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:52 PM   #20
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Re: Wooden Roof Deck Problems?

Got it! Thanks.
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