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Old 07-31-2022, 03:44 PM   #1
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2 winches working in unison

Me and my dad recently bought a bus to make a schoolie and travel cross country riding dirtbikes. We are planning on cutting the back of the bus off so it can come down to 90 degrees and it can be like a patio, and we can lean some ramps on it and put the bikes in the back of the bus. Now for the part we needed some help with, we wanted to use two winches to let the back down and pull it up but we arent sure if we can wire two winches together to work in unison. If we cant we were going to resort to the garage door springs like on enclosed trailers.
Any help is appreciated!
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Old 07-31-2022, 03:57 PM   #2
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One winch

But two cables.

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Old 07-31-2022, 04:41 PM   #3
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simple solution yes.
walmart sells 1000lb winches for like 60$
battery 160?
but your intended purpose is to make easy on you and not have to lift the back of a hinged back of ass end bus up?
much less how to seal the back of the bus back once everything is inside?
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Old 07-31-2022, 07:41 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jolly Roger bus 223 View Post
simple solution yes.
walmart sells 1000lb winches for like 60$
battery 160?
but your intended purpose is to make easy on you and not have to lift the back of a hinged back of ass end bus up?
much less how to seal the back of the bus back once everything is inside?
Yeah the intention was to make it easier so we don't have to lift it up and down ourselves. Maybe hold a little bit of weight while we have it down as a patio, were putting legs on it as well to hold the majority of the weight. Were going to seal it with some weather stripping, it wont have to be completely water tight
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Old 07-31-2022, 09:31 PM   #5
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Put one winch on one side of the deck. Have a pulley on each side of the top. Then clip the hook to the other side of the deck. It will double the power of the winch like a snatch block and you won't have to sync two of them..
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Old 08-01-2022, 07:55 AM   #6
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Why not pick up a used tail gate lift. They're designed to do what you want.
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Old 08-01-2022, 10:59 AM   #7
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I wouldn't do 2 winches. You'd create the possibility of one getting out of sync with the other.

You can use 1 winch with 2 cables.

Or just rig up a pulley/transfer system and use 1 winch and 1 cable. Winch on one side, cable going to a snatch block on the platform, back to a pulley that routes the cable to another pulley on the other side, down to a 2nd snatch block on the other platform corner, and back up to the top where the hook connects to an anchor on the top.

You can get a 2000 lb winch from harbor freight with 50 ft of cable. That 50 ft just might be enough to reach it all.

I also wouldn't rely upon the winch to hold you. Create some legs you can drop down once the platform is open to support and stabilize the load.
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Old 08-01-2022, 11:14 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by fo4imtippin View Post
Put one winch on one side of the deck. Have a pulley on each side of the top. Then clip the hook to the other side of the deck. It will double the power of the winch like a snatch block and you won't have to sync two of them..
https://sciencing.com/combine-2-simp...s-6147271.html
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Old 08-04-2022, 11:02 AM   #9
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Why not pick up a used tail gate lift. They're designed to do what you want.
I agree.

I was just looking at heavy lift gates and they are very expensive! The further out you go from the bumper, the more lift capacity you need.

But even a used one will set you back a couple grand.

It would not work with the patio idea very well though. Just loading and unloading. You could even do it through the back door and save a LOT of work.

It is a little more KISS principle friendly than cutting off the back, hinging, and making it easier to open and close.

Will post on cutting the back off next.
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Old 08-04-2022, 11:24 AM   #10
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Cutting the back open.

I presume that you will be cutting the back off, and replacing it with a deck/door.

If you are going to use the back of the bus as the deck, you probably have already decided how to be able to tread across it without avoiding the windows.
It is not a bad idea, and the structure that you put down, could be the same as what you put expanded metal across, and that would allow you to see through the windows when it is up, and not worry too much about them when it is down.

One thing to consider is that the back of the bus was not designed as a deck, nor was it designed for tortional strength (yes the legs will help), but it was made to hold the back door in place, and the roof up. You might find that two adults and a motor bike or two is too much for it without adding a lot of structure.

Replacing the back with a lowering deck could anticipate those loads.

Just food for thought. ^

I have wondered what the back of my bus weighs. And I figure that is probably 30lbs of glass, 50+ for the door and easily totals 150 to 250 lbs. dangle some of that weight out 7ft as it gets horizontal, and that is a pretty long lever.

I have chosen to replace my back, instead of using it.

It will be more work, but I will know what I am getting. It will be purposely built for its job.

If you are not in a hurry, wait until I start mine and you can decide if you like what you see.
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Old 08-04-2022, 06:01 PM   #11
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If the bikes will fit through that door:


Build a deck out of steel border/bracing and expanded metal.
The deck hinges at the level of the bottom of the door.
Want to use the deck, lower the deck to that level. You could even have legs on the two outer corners.
Want to move the bikes in or out, lower the deck so that the outer edge is on the ground, move the bikes and go ride.


Far easier that cutting off the back of the bus.
As others have said, use a SINGLE winch.


For an example, though they only designed as a patio, can be seen on the OLOP channel on YouTube.


If the bikes won't fit through the door, it would be far easier to modify the door than cut off the back of the bus unless you aren't trying to keep the look of the back of the bus.
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Old 08-04-2022, 06:07 PM   #12
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There is a young guy that posted one or more videos about hinging the rear of his bus in order to be able to carry his jeep in it.

I wouldn"t have thought a jeep would fit but he got it in and the rear cap turned into a door.

If I can find the video I'll link to it here.

https://youtu.be/gTaKGuA9_KA
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Old 08-05-2022, 10:13 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Oldyeller View Post
There is a young guy that posted one or more videos about hinging the rear of his bus in order to be able to carry his jeep in it.

I wouldn"t have thought a jeep would fit but he got it in and the rear cap turned into a door.

If I can find the video I'll link to it here.

https://youtu.be/gTaKGuA9_KA
True!

I have looked at two of his videos, the second of the two is a little more clear and helpful. His bus is different than mine, and I did not like my options for where to cut it. I am too much of an engineer.

I wanted to keep the geometry of the parts where they were riveted together, but they do not mak a 0 thickness blade, and the rivets are hidden by the sheet metal so you cant drill them out. Because the thickness of the blade, I would have lost the mating surface (boooooo).

Sure, I could have destroyed it in the cut and put it back in like they did, but that is work that I would rather apply to exactly what I want.

His works, I love it!

My bus is older and has rounder corners. That added complexity as well, because I could not afford to loose any room inside. Long story shortened, I am not doing that.
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Old 08-06-2022, 09:52 PM   #14
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Why not pick up a used tail gate lift. They're designed to do what you want.
I like this idea. Most are made for something like 4k load. Just have to make the deck longer.
For better aerodynamics Id leave the roof full length on the bus.
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Old 08-07-2022, 08:27 PM   #15
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boat winches at lakes use a piece of pipe the width of the dock (your bus) and wrap cables around both the ends to raise the boat. Figure out how to turn the pipe slowly and powerfully and wrap your cables around each end (sprockets and chain). Stubs welded into the pipe with bearings on each end gets rid of most of the friction so it turns easily.
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Old 08-07-2022, 11:33 PM   #16
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boat winches at lakes use a piece of pipe the width of the dock (your bus) and wrap cables around both the ends to raise the boat. Figure out how to turn the pipe slowly and powerfully and wrap your cables around each end (sprockets and chain). Stubs welded into the pipe with bearings on each end gets rid of most of the friction so it turns easily.
Kind of like a garage door but without the spring and a motor added.
I think a couple of pulleys and a single winch would be simpler, lighter, and less likely to fail. PLUS there are a number of Skoolies out there that have already done it.
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Old 08-08-2022, 12:56 AM   #17
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what I had

lift gate one winch two cables.... and a bunch of pullies.

This was a fixed wheelbase peterbuilt... used to be an MRI truck. swallowed six formula racing cars and had a little space for toilet, shower, stove top, changing room at the front, sleeper then cab. I think a supertanker could turn tighter than this monster.

the rear gate had two cable that wound on one drum of the winch. the winch was mounted low on the wall. just above the bottom floor of the box. The cables had _ I think- like five turns on the drum and the ends of the cables were bolted to the drum. I wanna say 1/2" cable but maybe it was 3/8". It has been 15 years the last time I was in the box. Anyways. cables go up the wall and each cable goes over it's own pulley 90 degrees. The cables then go to the back of the box..... the winch was on the curb side of the box. The pulley at the end of the box for the curbside cable was about two feet away from the door. So when the door was shut, there was about two feet of cable just running off the pulley to the door ....

The driver's side door cable was below the curb side cable. The rear pulley for the second cable was at this odd angle so that the cable would go round the pulley and over to the dirver's side wall. The pulley on the driver's wall was again at this odd angle so the cable would go round the pulley and out to the end of the door on the driver's side. I think the winch was rated at 10 ro 12 thousand pounds... way over kill for what we were doing, but we had no secondary support method - the winch, a cable, a pulley, a bolt broke... it was not going to be pretty.

We did have to replace cables once after about ten years of use. The cars were about 1600 lbs and at times the center of gravity for a car was about three feet from the end of the lift gate. Three cars bottom and three cars top. 12 feet six inches for each car.

I have ben thinking about the set up we used... but it was built in the 1990's and we put the second set of cables on it around 2007. I could not remember until tonight how we strung the cable on the door....

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Old 08-08-2022, 10:33 AM   #18
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I was thinking about a platform that could do double duty as a deck and a motorcycle lift/hauling platform. I contemplated using cables and pulleys with a platform either hinged at the bus frame that would act as a ramp that I could drive the bikes onto then lift horizontally OR a way to have a platform go straight up and down on a track structure attached to the rear of the bus. I didn't think either would be an easy build given the nature of the sheetmetal bus body, everything would have to tie into the frame.

With a used tailgate lift you bolt it to the frame make electrical connections and you're done.

The really big issue I see with a frame mounted platform of any kind on our buses to haul motorcycles is the weight of the bikes. I run heavy weight motorcycles so 7 to 800 lbs. You better have it figured out before you start down the interstate with that kind of weight attached to the end of the frame or you could have a really bad day. The forces generated by bumps acting on the lever of the frame over the rear axle are probably more than we imagine.

Also, we've all seen videos (or real life events) where guys are trying to muscle or ride a motorcycle into a pick up truck bed. I never find those funny and I'd never try it. I made the decision to pull a motorcycle trailer behind the bus, it's a safer solution, doesn't require a build (other than drilling 6 holes in the frame - OUCH!) has the additional benefit of added hauling capacity and only adds 500+/- lbs. to the weight on the suspension of the bus. Since I already own a fully enclosed, all aluminum motorcycle trailer it's an easy decision for me.
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Old 08-09-2022, 01:32 PM   #19
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I made the decision to pull a motorcycle trailer behind the bus, it's a safer solution, doesn't require a build (other than drilling 6 holes in the frame - OUCH!)...
A mag drill can take the ouch out of your body when it comes to drilling holes in frames.
They will however make your wallet hurt just a little. Amazon has them for a couple of Benjamins.
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