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Old 09-10-2018, 03:29 PM   #1
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Roof Deck on Shuttle Bus - Possible?

I am venturing to see if this is possible without adding additional metal framing. 2004 E450 Startrans. I have climbed onto the roof via the Emergency hatch and it is "somewhat" stable. I plan to put solar in front and a wooden roof deck in the rear.



This is what the front looks like beneath the inner shell:
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Old 09-12-2018, 07:01 AM   #2
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Bolt the roof deck to the steel ribs.
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Old 09-12-2018, 02:02 PM   #3
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School buses are designed to survive rollovers, which implies a roof that is much stronger than necessary for driving right-side-up. The massive weight difference between a shuttle bus and a school bus is largely because of federal requirements for strength.

On the topic of mounting a roof desk, I'd start with a no and find things to convince me otherwise. Especially if you're considering keeping cargo on it while driving. Normal bumps in the road amplify the weight applied in a direction that it was not required to be strong. if the shell is fiberglass and you have flex, that leads to stress marks and ultimately cracking.
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Old 09-12-2018, 08:35 PM   #4
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My insurance company specifically asked if I had a roof deck and wouldn’t insure my shorty until I had proof that I didn’t have a deck (they thought my solar panels were a deck). I’m new so I hope this is a proper subject to bring up.
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Old 09-12-2018, 08:49 PM   #5
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I have heard companies wonít insure for a roof RACK. But this is a deck, not to be used unless parked. Was there any distinction in that with the insurance company?
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Old 09-12-2018, 09:29 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jonbobshinigin View Post
I have heard companies wonít insure for a roof RACK. But this is a deck, not to be used unless parked. Was there any distinction in that with the insurance company?
Who said not to be used unless parked, you or the insurance company? I'm sure the biggest concern with insuring a deck on a bus is because they associate these as party buses and are worried drunk people will be falling off a roof deck with no railing.
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Old 09-12-2018, 10:18 PM   #7
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I'm sure the biggest concern with insuring a deck on a bus is because they associate these as party buses and are worried drunk people will be falling off a roof deck with no railing.
Really? Got proof of that? 'Cause two of the insurance companies I spoke to nixed the idea due to it raising the COG even more on an already narrow axle width.
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Old 09-13-2018, 04:46 AM   #8
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I have heard companies wonít insure for a roof RACK. But this is a deck, not to be used unless parked. Was there any distinction in that with the insurance company?
Unfortunately much of the communication was verbal and I do not recall the exact wording (whether deck or rack).

I never had any discussion with them about the distinction between deck or rack.

They were very picky and needed many pictures of my solar panels before they would insure, to prove they were panels, and to prove they were really installed on MY bus.

This was National General through Good Sam.
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Old 09-22-2018, 04:19 PM   #9
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Call Startrans the manufacturer and ask them about roof & side wall weight loading's as far as the installation of a roof rack, solar panels, deck or a platform is concerned. You will probably be surprised how low a weight loading Startrans will have for this vehicle if any recommended roof load at all.

Yes vehicle stability plays a big part in recommended if any roof loading capacities. After all you don't want you rig to tip over!

Given the fiberglass structure of the roof shell, the flimsy steel roof beams, a 2x8 for support and possibly flimsy steel sidewall beams used in their builds I'll bet Startrans answer is NO to any roof loading at all!

The one possible exception to roof loading might be for Emergency Evacuation of the vehicle which at that point nobody cares!!!
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Old 09-22-2018, 04:46 PM   #10
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A school bus could hold a couple people on top though because it is stronger right? I want to keep my bus parked in the woods most of the time having a non permanent deck set up would be cool
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