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Old 03-07-2017, 01:46 AM   #1
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You need to build safety into your conversion

This last weekend a converted school bus was involved in what was basically a head on accident.

The driver of the other car died as a result.

The family in the bus survived but their bus was totaled.

It can not be stressed enough that as you convert your bus into a home on wheels you need to design and build things with the idea that at some point all of what is inside your bus may have to decelerate very quickly. As the negative g's attack everything in and on your bus you better hope it is all attached firmly to the body of the bus. The last thing you want is parts and pieces flying through the air attacking you or the chair on which you are sitting launches you out the windshield.

Washington man killed in crash on Highway 101 | KGW.com
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Old 03-07-2017, 10:13 AM   #2
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I been saying this all along... all appliances, seats, furniture, framing, A/C units, TV';s, etc need to be SECURED in these builds...

while a bus generally fairs well against a car in a crash, occupants can be killed from WITHIN!!..

and occupants may need to GET OUT quickly!!.. in a crash like this one.. lets say the beemer burst into flames.. your main entry door is automtically out of commission and fire would soon engulf your bus from the windshield inward..

those who remove roof hatches, safety windows, and block their back doors with a bed, would have a serious situation...

and to my first point.. if your stuff wasnt secured, you now have a mess of stuff to climb over as toxic smoke quickly fills your bus should their be a fire..

so ..
1. SECURE YOUR BUILD!!!
2. DONT DELETE YOUR EMERGENCY ESCAPES!!! if you are replacing with RV windows.. they are made with escape handles.. if you are keeping skoolie windows.. make sure some of them on each side are the emergency escape types...

-Christopher
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Old 03-07-2017, 10:52 AM   #3
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Well said, gentlemen. I think we all need a reminder that we should approach our build with safety in mind.

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Old 03-07-2017, 11:18 AM   #4
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thankfully the kids are alright, tragic story though.
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Old 03-07-2017, 11:18 AM   #5
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Agreed. That's why I'm utilizing the chair rails, existing seat holes in the floor, and leaving all methods of egress in place.
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Old 03-07-2017, 11:50 AM   #6
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I was in an accident in my Dodge 3500 a few years ago. I missed likely serious injury by inches......

A flying 40# bag of dog food came through the window and broke the headrest on the passenger seat.

I know it sound funny ha ha but it really did open my eyes to the danger of unsecured objects in moving vehicles.

I was shocked at the amount of energy contained in that bag of dog food. I guess f=m*v.....

If you have a refrigerator in your bus and the bus is going 60mph then the refrigerator is going 60mph. If the bus stops suddenly and the refrigerator does not.... You are screwed.....


OP - This is a subject that may not always get the consideration that it should.
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Old 03-07-2017, 12:22 PM   #7
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This is a great topic. Lots of us are first time builders and making this up as we go. I don't see very many pictures or details of how items are secured. Can I ask how people are attaching refrigerators, mattresses and other potential flying stuff?
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Old 03-07-2017, 12:30 PM   #8
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Can't begin to recall how many homebuilts I have seen that had sofas, tables, chairs and such sitting loose with no restraint whatsoever. And even more that had stuff like a fridge and even a full sized stove held in place with something like a bungee cord or two. Really?

Scary stupid when they hit the highway.
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Old 03-07-2017, 12:36 PM   #9
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Can't begin to recall how many homebuilts I have seen that had sofas, tables, chairs and such sitting loose with no restraint whatsoever. And even more that had stuff like a fridge and even a full sized stove held in place with something like a bungee cord or two. Really?

Scary stupid when they hit the highway.
Steve's Rules of the Road #2: Never follow someone with a mattress tied to the roof of their car...
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Old 03-07-2017, 12:55 PM   #10
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...The last thing you want is parts and pieces flying through the air attacking you or the chair on which you are sitting launches you out the windshield.

Washington man killed in crash on Highway 101 | KGW.com
This is a sad and macabre example that converted school buses can be safe for their passengers; the tragic outcome for the BMW's driver was a function of the other vehicle's mass, not its type or function.

I would guess that either the bus's contents were properly secured, or the people on board were just lucky - like PNW_Steve with his bag of dog food. A former Skoolie.net user asserted, "don't want bolt down furniture, I want maximum free space so things can be moved around, like in any home." I see no point in calling him out by name, especially since he apparently is not here anymore to defend his position, but I always thought this was a dangerous idea. He did not plan on frequent travel with the rig, but it takes only one road trip to...
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Old 03-07-2017, 02:22 PM   #11
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So I belong to a FB group where the owners of this bus belong. They built safely. The passengers were all belted in to Chevy Tahoe seats that were mounted to legs and bolted through the floor. That was my plan for my build and am confident now.


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Old 03-07-2017, 04:01 PM   #12
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As with my last build, this one will have a VEHICLE strapped to the inside rear. I strap it down pretty well, but that is my only real concern with the "flying projectiles". I would like to engineer a better overhead storage system - more to prevent side-to-side sloshing, than crash protection. And as always, safety comes third!
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Old 03-07-2017, 04:02 PM   #13
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I've seen a lot of sketchy stuff on FB.
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Old 03-07-2017, 04:12 PM   #14
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BMW vs bus interior: Notice the little items on the small shelf and even the stove stayed put, the proper use of an automotive quality seat created a barrier for the people.
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Old 03-07-2017, 04:33 PM   #15
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And as always, safety comes third!
haha "safety third" is my personal motto... That being said, everything in my rig is bolted down the floor, wall or both...
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Old 03-07-2017, 07:03 PM   #16
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BMW vs bus interior:
[jpegs deleted to save space]
At the risk of being redundant, we've all seen pictures of "professionally crafted" motor homes where little other than the chassis remained in one piece.
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Old 03-07-2017, 08:12 PM   #17
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At the risk of being redundant, we've all seen pictures of "professionally crafted" motor homes where little other than the chassis remained in one piece.
Yes, too many..One reason why we're here
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Old 03-07-2017, 08:40 PM   #18
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A bulkhead behind the travel seats is almost as important as smoke detectors, co detectors, a gun or two, and a fire extinguisher at every exit.
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Old 03-07-2017, 09:08 PM   #19
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A bulkhead behind the travel seats is almost as important as smoke detectors, co detectors, a gun or two, and a fire extinguisher at every exit.
Yeah a lot of folks go for aesthetics vs practicality.
I'll have a full wall behind the "cab".
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Old 03-08-2017, 07:48 AM   #20
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(snip) and a fire extinguisher at every exit.
As well as in the engine bay for us REs, and behind any propane appliances.
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