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Old 10-24-2015, 05:31 PM   #1
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Structural Integrity

Newb here, but learning a lot from this wonderful site and helpful community!

I've gathered that there is a high priority placed on trying to keep the structural integrity of ones bus when doing a conversion, makes sense, these things are tough let's keep 'em that way.

I just began demo and after looking at the seats and how they are attached, I would bet dollars to donuts they are a part of the busses structure. At least on my bus, one side is bolted to a rail about 12" high on the wall and the feet are bolted to the floor. They act like 26 braces (13 per side) between the walls and the floor, evenly spaced the length of the bus. While the arch in the roof is sturdy and keeps the walls at a right angle to the roof, it seems the seats provide bracing to keep the walls perpendicular to the floor.

Since the first step in demo is removing the seats, can't' help but wonder if we're also throwing out significant integrity with the steel frame seats?

Or I'm just an unedumacated newb overthinking this... Thoughts?

Personally, I'm not too concerned since I'm using my bus as a tiny house platform that will likely only travel once, from the build site to my property. (its essentially a self powered 30ft flat bed for less than I could buy an 18' trailer)
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Old 10-24-2015, 07:16 PM   #2
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Buses are overbuilt due to the precious cargo they are built to carry.
Almost every part is "structural". I can live with the "risk" of going without the seats or the metal paneling on the interior.
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Old 10-25-2015, 03:03 AM   #3
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lol
im sure they don't make the bus weaker. welcome. you going to scrap the whole bus body and build your tiny house or are you going to keep the roof? raise the roof?
i want to see someone cut the whole roof off and build something else--that would probably change the integrity of the structure quite a bit
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Old 10-25-2015, 05:53 AM   #4
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Good point. In all the years on this site, I think this is the first I have seen it mentioned that the seats are part of the structure. I guessing you are 100% ccorrect.
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Old 10-25-2015, 06:27 AM   #5
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Probably, but those seats were bad when I rode on them as a kid and they don't get better as an adult so they got to go. As far as structural strength goes I bet you could remove every other rib an not notice much of a difference under most conditions (not that I recommend doing that). Busses in general are ridiculously over built, school busses even more so.
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Old 10-25-2015, 08:34 AM   #6
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Thanks for the experienced perspectives/thoughts! I really didn't realize how overbuilt these things were.

Good questions Charles_m. I haven't quite decided yet... Right now I'm leaning towards raising the roof on the back 1/2-1/3 of the bus and putting a roof top deck (must have requirement) on the front portion. But plans change once you start digging in so we'll see. I'm 6'3" and need more head room somewhere. (originally thought of starting over from the ladder frame or just cutting the roof off and putting a house style roof on but learning how sturdy these things are it feels like a waste to throw all the original strength out the window)

My bus has some rust, that will probably influence my decision heavily. I'll post some pics when I have uncovered how bad the cancer is and solicit more feedback.


Thanks!
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Old 10-25-2015, 08:38 AM   #7
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Look at how the expensive RV's are put together and you won't worry about the integrity of a school bus...

Even Bluebird Wanderlodges aren't as strong as a school bus.
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Old 10-25-2015, 08:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Look at how the expensive RV's are put together and you won't worry about the integrity of a school bus...

Even Bluebird Wanderlodges aren't as strong as a school bus.
That's saying something, those Wanderlodges are held in high regard by RVers!
Learned the phrase "sticks & staples" RV on here and lol'd as I literally have factory original staples holding frail pieces of wood together on my Toyota RV!

Edit: I'm also jealous of your mechanical DT466! Simplicity rules.
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Old 10-25-2015, 08:56 AM   #9
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Yeah, simple is best, especially on a thin budget like I am!
At a quarter million miles, it runs like a dream and starts more quickly than my 2013 Subaru... which is the WORST mechanical item I've ever owned. Total garbage, I though much better of Japan before purchasing it. But that's a whole different subject!
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Old 10-25-2015, 11:20 AM   #10
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Up until sometime around the nineties or so, BB Wanderlodges were all built on exactly the same chassis and running gear as their All Americans.
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