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Old 02-16-2009, 01:59 PM   #1
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Shortbus roof rack question

I am getting ready to add a roof rack to my '91 GMC shortbus. I will be welding steel angle for the frame and railing, and 1/4" aluminum sheet fort he decking. It will need to support up to 4000 lbs. Any suggestions on what size angle to use?
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:14 PM   #2
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Re: Shortbus roof rack question

Water tank for showers, beer kegs for people and people in lawn chairs drinking beer.
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:44 PM   #3
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Re: Shortbus roof rack question

To answer your ealier question. There will be (5) vertical supports on each side and (7) horizontal supports under the floor. The width is 8'-2" and the length is 10'-2". The floor supports will rest on a piece of flat running the length of the roof. I was planning on using 1-1/2" angle iron. Does that seem reasonable? Or should I be using square tubing?
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Old 02-22-2009, 12:26 AM   #4
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Re: Shortbus roof rack question

What I have done in the past is to use angle stock on the roof of the bus, with the open side along the roof line in such a way so that the right angle of the stock is basically flat, and i welded it straigt to the existing sheet metal of the bus in a stitch fashion; or if you didnt think that was enough i'd add some bolts through the rib structure of the bus (about every 2 feet i believe), then i would use square stock ( i like it because its easier to work with, looks better, and provides better attachment/strength points) as the framework. 1/4 inch sheet stock seems pretty thick to me, even if it is aluminum. I cant imagine this rack will have anything near 4000lbs on it unless you happen to roll the bus; even if every square inch was taken up with kegs, and then people were on top of them (hey it could happen!).
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Old 06-24-2009, 01:26 AM   #5
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update!!!

So hows everyones racks coming? I'm currently in the proccess and will keep everyone up to date. Big thanks to all the lifers here. Your input keeps me from sleeping at night! LMFAO! pics coming soon JUSt for knowledge of the site. EZ
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Old 06-24-2009, 10:39 AM   #6
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Re: Shortbus roof rack question

I am currently building the rack and it should be finished in about 1 week. I used the BAT bus design and made the rack modular so that it can be bolted together (for easy removal if necessary). The top rack is going to be 8' X 10' and will be made from 1-1/2" square tubing, with 42" high railing all around, and the rear patio will be 4' X 8' and will be made of 2" sq. tubing. The deck material will be 3/4" outdoor plywood. When finished I will post photos and the plans. Total material cost will be about $750.
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Old 07-02-2009, 04:59 AM   #7
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Re: Shortbus roof rack question

Half finished Building mine outta 2" tube steel .120 wall with 1 1/2 .25 wall angle trusses. Gonna use 1 3/4 electrical conduit for the safety rail posts. That way they'll slip into the roof supports. Then drill them out and feed wire rope the the holes. This keeps the weight way down. Decided against Bat idea cuz the angle iron attachment looks cheesy to me. Going with, someone correct me if I'm wrong but egg crates roof mount style. Personal preference. I'll post some pics soon as I figure out how.
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