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Old 10-09-2018, 06:09 PM   #1
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Generator Box ground Clearance

I have a short school bus (4 window) We want to build a box under the bus to house a water tank on one side and generators on the other. There is approx 26-27 clearance from the bottom of the bus floor to the road. The stairs into the bus are 10 from the ground. Ive seen one web site that did a study on required clearances for ambulances and busses needed for most residential driveways (up and down) it recommended a minimum of 6 between the wheels. Does anyone else have experience with how close to the ground I can build a cage between the wheels?
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Old 10-09-2018, 06:53 PM   #2
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As high as possible. There are some campgrounds and many boon-docking sites that are fairly rough. Going over a 4" obstacle with 6" clearance will not necessarily have the outcome you are looking for and you can get high-centered or damage the box. The reason for this is if there is a slope on either end of the 4" obstacle, then that 4" will quickly become 6-9".

I come from the Jeep world where ground clearance is king. If you desire to ever go on rough roads, I would not go less than ~1/3 your tire height. That's an opinion so the hopes are that I don't get flamed for it.
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Old 10-09-2018, 09:28 PM   #3
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Pizote. I went with the same 33% guess when I built my genny and battery box between the axles on my 4 window shorty. I tried to find a driveway apron and an angle of approach that would hang me up--no luck in 15,000 miles so I guess I'm OK. Heleads, unless you do some serious off roading I'd think you'd be good sticking to the "Jeep Rule".
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Old 10-10-2018, 08:16 AM   #4
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Thanks Jack & Pizote.

Jack...on your 4 window bus conversion, what is the actual clearance that you have between the bottom of your box and the road? I think I can get my generator to fit in a custom box made box that leaves me 7" of clearance.
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Old 10-10-2018, 10:09 AM   #5
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I wondered the same thing building my box. If you stay on highway, you likely won't have issues with 6". Look at all the cars that get by with 4" or less. It's offroad where you'll run into trouble with washed out gravel roads and other obstacles.

Location is also a biggie. As said, 6 inches a few feet in front of the tire is more clearance than 6 inches centered between the wheels.

My steps are at 10", the bottom of the radiator for the generator sits at 12", the fuel tank supports(2" pipe) also sit at 12". I imagine I'll be fine.
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Old 10-10-2018, 12:03 PM   #6
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The wheel base on my shorty is about 13'. The box starts 7' behind the center line of the front wheel and is 2' long (wide?) and ends 4' in front of the center line of the rear wheel. The box clears the road by 9". Before you build your box with 7" clearance you might want to make a paint stir stick mock up of the face of your box and tape it to the side of your bus and go looking for some steep drive approaches. Hit the aprons at different angles and see what it looks like. My guess is that 7" isn't going to be enough clearance but I could be wrong. Jack

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