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Old 07-11-2020, 07:56 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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How to hang undercarriage storage boxes

Hi Folks,
I want to fabricate some undercarriage storage boxes with some welded L-channel and riveted sheet metal for our skoolie.
I think that the best way to mount them under the bus is by hanging threaded rods, through the floor, connecting to some plate metal at the top, on the floor in the bus, and connecting to some 12 guage strut channel under the boxes.
The boxes would rest on the strut channel.
I would use L-channel on the left and right side to connect to the outer wall of the bus.
My wife, however, thinks that this is completely over-engineering and we only need to connect it "somehow" to the bottom of the floor, the frame of the bus behind and the outer bus wall. Welded, perhaps.
Any thoughts to help my bus and save my marriage would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
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Old 07-11-2020, 08:18 PM   #2
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This pic (from wwiding's bus):

https://imgur.com/YYskwh5

shows a simple way you can hang something from a cross-member by bolting to the flange, without going through the floor above. This is actually one of the clamps that holds the body down on the chassis rails, but the downward forces work in the same way.

You need the channel/washer piece that fits into the flange, which you can get here: https://midwestbusparts.com/index.ph...ducts_id=13218

There is a constraint here because only every third or fourth cross-member has these flanges; the rest are inverted c-channels spot-welded to the underside and you can't bolt into them in this manner.
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Old 07-11-2020, 08:30 PM   #3
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Thank you for your suggestion.
I'm not feeling so comfortable with the idea of hanging the boxes from the underside of the floor, but this is similar to my idea, so I like that.
Thanks.��
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Old 07-11-2020, 08:46 PM   #4
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I hung all four tanks under the floor using 1/2" threaded rod. The water tanks and the grey tank each use ten hangers, and the poo tank uses six. These hangers go through either thick structural steel body members that runs the length of the bus, or go through the frame rails' lower flange. What's important, and often overlooked, is how to control horizontal movement, because obviously the hangers only support purely vertical loads: the tanks sit inside frames screwed to the underside of the floor that positively prevent all fore/aft and sideways movement, so they are secured in all six possible directions. I'm also using this basic design to hang my electric air compressor and its air tank, as well as some other things. You should be able to hang your storage boxes this way, provided you also absolutely prevent any horizontal movement. The only thing I would do differently if I were to do this again would be to use stainless threaded rod instead of mild steel - anything below the floor can get wet, and stainless steel never needs painting.

John
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Old 07-11-2020, 09:41 PM   #5
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Thanks John.
Yeah, I was thinking about that too, but wasnt sure if I was over thinking it.
I really appreciate the advice
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Old 07-11-2020, 09:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael_Grumbach View Post
Hi Folks,
I want to fabricate some undercarriage storage boxes with some welded L-channel and riveted sheet metal for our skoolie.
I think that the best way to mount them under the bus is by hanging threaded rods, through the floor, connecting to some plate metal at the top, on the floor in the bus, and connecting to some 12 guage strut channel under the boxes.
The boxes would rest on the strut channel.
I would use L-channel on the left and right side to connect to the outer wall of the bus.
My wife, however, thinks that this is completely over-engineering and we only need to connect it "somehow" to the bottom of the floor, the frame of the bus behind and the outer bus wall. Welded, perhaps.
Any thoughts to help my bus and save my marriage would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
I would not recommend that you attached ridged to the bus chassis frame and the bus body as these are two independant systems and move differently. The bus floor framing and outer body work together. If you look at flat deck semi trailers with storage boxes they are on large L brackets bolted thru the frame only. That would work well to support your boxes behind the outer body skin. And you should not be welding on your frame. If you did the rod and strut method the front flange on the box could also be secured to the body skin with rivets or screws.
Good luck
Stay safe
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Old 07-11-2020, 09:46 PM   #7
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Thanks, Oscar1!
That's pretty cool.
I hadn't thought about that.
Much appreciated ��
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar1 View Post
I would not recommend that you attached ridged to the bus chassis frame and the bus body as these are two independant systems and move differently.
Exactly!

The chassis frame is stronger, more "permanent" than the bodywork/flooring.

But either way choose one or the other for each box, do not mix the two.
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Old 07-12-2020, 11:02 AM   #9
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mounting

attach to the body only.... or the frame only. A bus body will "wiggle" a little in relation to the frame. Not a big deal in the short term, but with time may cause some metal fatigue and cracks in sheet metal.

I would attach "mouth" of the box to outer skin. bolts. with nylock nuts. Stay away from from stainless steel. The stainless will cause the steel around it to corrode faster. Hot dipped galvanized use 1/4inch or smaller 3/16... and use one about every 2 or three inches...... yes it is more work. Dont mix metals. use steel. mouth attached to the outer skin should take quite a bit of force to tear out, I dont think you need any supports at the outer part, provided you box floor and mouth are sturdy.... best if you could do the floor and sides from one piece, a folded flange and sides.... the rear hanging supports ... make them like a \___/ the angle will help stop or dampen front to back movement. Or better yet If you use sheet metal as a hanger, even the sides of the box can go up all the way to the floor or floor ribs and attach. Look at how Unibody cars are built and think about attachements. Make the box the mount too. Do more than one job with the parts. CAD cardboard aided design.... mock it up with duct tape or sheet metal screws and cardboard or fiberboard.... I think I could make a cardboard box hold 50 lbs hanging from the side and floor. PLay with it. dont be in a rush.. also look around at what is out there already.. no need to reinvent the wheel if some body else did the hard stuff already...

hope this gives you some ideas to play with.

william
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Old 07-12-2020, 12:07 PM   #10
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I want to hang a box-shelf underneath my floor, hiding behind the lower body "wall". I want to to hold 3 heavy rolling floor jacks (3-ton models) and 4 stationary jack stands, plus maybe whatever else I can stick in there.


I want the box-shelf to raise and lower to the ground, so the floor jacks can roll right off and back on. Then I also don't have to cut doors into the lower sidewalls of the bus' body.


I can come up with all kinds of ways to hang a stationary box-shelf. How do I get one to raise/lower? I thought of using "scissor brackets" that are powered by either a motorized turn-screw (similar to the car-jacks that come with your car) or hydraulic powered struts that I can power with the wheelchair lift pump which will be directly above.


I thought of using threaded rod to hang the shelf-box. The rods could spin, and the box would go up and down. The rods would need lubed bushings, if not bearings, at the bottom (where they support the box), as well as above the floor inside the bus. I would use a castle nut with a cotter pin at the bottom. But (a) the threads would have to be wide for it to be practical for fast convenient use (like 2-3 TPI) and finding rod like that will be tough; and (b) the rods would have to stick up into the bus when the box was raised up off the ground, but as the wheelchair lift is just above, that may make the rods sticking up either insignificant or impossible, depending on measurements; and (c) the rods would have to be powered to spin from the bottom underside of the box, and that is impractical.


I thought of using 4-6 spare tire hangers like used under pickup truck beds, where you insert a rod above the rear bumper and forward to the hanger, where it engages with a pulley that coils a cable or chain on which the tire hangs. Uncoil, and the tire drops to the ground, coil and it raises up to the underside of the frame. With the box-shelf, I would somehow power these with a motor.


All seem like lots of work. In the end I will probable have a stationary box-shelf with doors cut into the side of the lower wall of the bus body.


Unless someone has a pre-fabbed link or a better idea.....
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Old 07-12-2020, 12:19 PM   #11
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image.jpeg

image.png
Here are photos of the truck mounts I was talking about, these will pack all the weight you need. The second photo is of a set that don't even need to be drilled.
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Old 07-12-2020, 01:23 PM   #12
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Hey William,
Thank you very much for your reply.
I don't have the tools to make a one piece from sides and bottom, but I'll keep it in mind.
Yeah, I was thinking that the sheetmetal will provide some support, so I appreciate that feedback.
Good suggestion about mixing metals, "cold enough to freeze the ball off a brass monkey", as we all know.
I like the mockup idea very much. Thx.
I did look around a bit for other prefab boxes, but the specs and prices make home fab much more desirable. Thx.
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Old 07-12-2020, 01:28 PM   #13
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Hey Oscar,
I really like those brackets.
But after reading about the body and the frame moving separately, I'm concerned that if I use these brackets and attach the mouth of the box to the bus outer wall, the box will eventually get wracked apart over time.
Thoughts?
Do people already do this with no issues?
--- I re-read your earlier post.
It looks like you already answered by questions.
Thanks again.
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar1 View Post
Attachment 46589



Attachment 46590

Here are photos of the truck mounts I was talking about, these will pack all the weight you need. The second photo is of a set that don't even need to be drilled.
Those are awesome! Where can you find them?

Thanks

John
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnbloem1974 View Post
Those are awesome! Where can you find them?

Thanks

John
Hi John
Search Byers storage for the bolt on brackets and Merritt equipment for the clamp on style
Cheers
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:39 PM   #16
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Can also get these types of brackets at Northern tools and Harbour Freight
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:46 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael_Grumbach View Post
Hey Oscar,
I really like those brackets.
But after reading about the body and the frame moving separately, I'm concerned that if I use these brackets and attach the mouth of the box to the bus outer wall, the box will eventually get wracked apart over time.
Thoughts?
Do people already do this with no issues?
--- I re-read your earlier post.
It looks like you already answered by questions.
Thanks again.
Hi Michael
I was thinking that I would mount the boxes on the frame brackets with the box flush to the body face with the body cut out just a little larger than the box then reinforce the cut out and trim with some type of edging. Was thinking something like this image.jpg
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Old 07-18-2020, 05:14 PM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Ware did you buy those brackets they look good
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Old 07-18-2020, 07:54 PM   #19
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Look for a truck salvage yard for square fuel tank mounts and see if they might not work for you
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Old 07-19-2020, 10:07 AM   #20
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Frame Mounted Battery Box

A friend of mine who is doing an outrageous bus mod welded up a frame mounted battery box that can slide out for easy access. It might be a bit of overkill for general storage, but it is worth checking out: https://www.instagram.com/p/CChwQZ4pISi/
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