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Old 05-20-2022, 04:56 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Are these weep holes?

Are these weep holes? Should I leave them or cover/seal them up? The pictures are where the floor and the walls meet on my bus. I've sanded them down to clean up all the rust. My worry is that water, dirt, bugs, etc will come up through these holes and rot my insulation.


Any advise would be much appreciated.
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Old 05-20-2022, 05:02 PM   #2
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Considering the intended use of a school bus, I can see those holes being there to give water from the feet of 80 kids on a rainy day a way out of the doorway. But, considering your change in usage from a high density transportation machine to an RV, I think I'd plug them. It'd doubtful you'll be in and out enough on a rainy day to have to worry about a bunch of water in the doorway.
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Old 05-20-2022, 05:11 PM   #3
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These holes are all along the walls of the bus. 4 holes between each hat channel space. There was originally sheet metal riveted to the hat channels (I removed all interior sheeting to the frame) so these would have been sandwiched between the out side sheet metal and the inside sheet metal. Where the insulation was in the walls.


Sorry should have been more clear on where these are.
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Old 05-20-2022, 05:36 PM   #4
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I see. In that case I would leave them. Where you have a temperature differential you have condensation, and you want a way for that condensation to escape. I wouldn't worry about water or bugs getting in. You'd need to look from underneath but it's likely that the frame/body design would prevent water from splashing hard enough to get into the holes. But, you could glue a bunch of water faucet aerator screens from underneath and that would keep both water and bugs out. Make sure the glue doesn't plug the hole, and glue them from the bottom, not the top.

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Old 05-20-2022, 06:10 PM   #5
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I've thought about drilling holes on the other side of the chair rail to let water drain. Currently, there's a leaky rivet or two, but I plan on foaming under the window.
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Old 05-20-2022, 06:18 PM   #6
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Are we looking at the steel below the chair rail. Looks like the chair rail was cut off. No?

If you plan to have water inside of the wall, I guess you might leave them. We sealed every hole, seam & crevis to prevent convection. The place where warm air meets cold air will condensate. That's how rain forms.

Convection is every day. Not just when it's wet outside. Add a/c in warm days or heat in cold days. Same effect: the warm air cools and releases its excess water. Convection may collect more water (condensation), over time, than the accumulation of rain leaks. For most skoolies, leaving exposed holes, to release moisture, seems counterproductive.
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Old 05-20-2022, 09:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeMac View Post
Convection is every day. Not just when it's wet outside. Add a/c in warm days or heat in cold days. Same effect: the warm air cools and releases its excess water. Convection may collect more water (condensation), over time, than the accumulation of rain leaks. For most skoolies, leaving exposed holes, to release moisture, seems counterproductive.
This is actually an argument to leave the holes in the floor inside the walls. The condensate will form where the hot meets the cold, and that will be inside the wall where the insulation is. If there's no way for it to leave when it runs to the floor inside the wall, it'll soak into the insulation, the interior walls and under whatever floor is put in. A metal box is far less forgiving than a house in the same conditions and even then, a house air conditioner draws moisture out and runs it outside with a pipe.
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Old 05-20-2022, 09:44 PM   #8
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Not an "argument". Truth, educate, enlighten. Science has proven this. Not an opinion.

It a chicken/egg scenario. Fresh air brings more moisture with it. Try your theory by leaving the fridge door cracked for a little while. Make rain then let it drain. That's also how the freezer gets all that ice on the wall. Fresh warm air. Where will the condensate originate?
-Radiation? No
-Conduction? Minimal
-Convection? Yes

"Drain hole" it is not. Is there a slope? No. Just constant Convection. Convection causes condensate. All of those beads of sweat have to gather up to form a puddle deep enough to drip some of the Convection out. Meanwhile some of that moisture disperses into other porous materials, homogenously. Not directed toward a lateral hole. Water is not a bug, searching for an exit. It comes from the air and moves with it. It's physics. Not found in the inventive parts of our minds.

The local weather guy explains it pretty well. All that rain, from hot & cold air meeting. Maybe an hvac & duct installer can jump in on the science.

Did I mention Oxygen? Great for anything that grows? Mold, mildew but also rust (oxidation). Seal off the fresh air. This is important if the chair rail has also been removed. Is the chair rail removed?
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Old 05-20-2022, 10:47 PM   #9
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The chair rail is a major structural component in a bus of this type, since it is how the ribs are attached to the floor. With the chair rail cut away like this, the only thing holding the ribs in place is the fact that the ribs are riveted to the outer skin which is in turn riveted to the knees on the underside which hold the skirt (the portion of the outer skin which extends below the floor) in place. The ability of the wall to resist a side impact (or a rollover) is basically gone now. This is not a bus I would want to be riding in, although I suppose it's no worse than any RV.
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Old 05-20-2022, 11:23 PM   #10
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Yes the chair rail has been removed. I didn't know I shouldn't remove it. I saw all the rust down in there and so I cut out the chair rail so I could grind down and remove the rust. Once I got it cleaned then I started wonder if I should leave the holes so the condensation could get out or plug them. My instinct is to close all holes, cracks and gaps.



But now I'm scared, how screwed am I over removing the chair rail?
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Old 05-21-2022, 05:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MorningOwl View Post
Yes the chair rail has been removed. I didn't know I shouldn't remove it. I saw all the rust down in there and so I cut out the chair rail so I could grind down and remove the rust. Once I got it cleaned then I started wonder if I should leave the holes so the condensation could get out or plug them. My instinct is to close all holes, cracks and gaps.
Are you The_Scorpinator on reddit? That was a person who bought a bus where half of the chair rail had already been removed in this manner when he bought the bus and he was setting about removing the rest of it.

Quote:
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But now I'm scared, how screwed am I over removing the chair rail?
Well, I'm at least impressed with your effort - cutting it away and removing the rivets must have been an enormous amount of work.

Are you set up for welding? If I was in this situation, I would weld L-brackets to the ribs and the floor in front of them. This would restore some of the strength of the connection between the ribs and the floor.

I'd also seal up those weep holes. If they're factory, then they're probably there to prevent water from leaking windows from accumulating behind the chair rail. Better to seal the windows and prevent those leaks in the first place.
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Old 05-21-2022, 08:39 AM   #12
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The factory used a nine inch wide, heavy guage (11g?) steel angle in addition to several steel tube (seats) supports joining the wall to the floor. A lot of roll cage & floor joist have been cut from the wall-to-floor joints.

Maybe this prospective repair should be inspected by a third party engineer. For both safety & liability purposes. You cut it. Then you read these warnings. If you then roll it on public roads & someone gets injured by your modification.....
then it's not negligence or ignorance. It's informed malace. Do what you want, we all do. But we can't pretend we didn't know better when our viewing history is so easily accessable.
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Old 05-21-2022, 12:14 PM   #13
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I have a lot of 1 1/4" tube steel I can weld in between the hat channels. I'll do that at the base (floor level) and at the height of were the chair rail was. And cover up the holes. Thanks for the advise musigenesis, I appreciate it.
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Old 05-21-2022, 07:01 PM   #14
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I have a lot of 1 1/4" tube steel I can weld in between the hat channels. I'll do that at the base (floor level) and at the height of were the chair rail was. And cover up the holes. Thanks for the advise musigenesis, I appreciate it.
You probably don't need the upper replacements at the chair rail height - the outer skin and the rub rails will already be keeping the walls rigid. The lower ones you're describing (assuming you weld those tubes to the floor as well) will restore a lot of the strength of the rib/floor connection and leave you fairly healthy.

I second DeMac's suggestion about getting it checked out by an engineer.
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Old 05-22-2022, 08:33 AM   #15
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Maybe the diagram and assembly pix of Bluebird floor to wall construction will prove useful to you or someone else who's in the same situation.


(courtesy Nat_ster)

The chair rail does not stop at the floor. It bends down under the ribs, and below the floor.


Look long and hard at the chair rail in this factory assembly photo.

The chair rail supports the ribs to the floor, durring construction, prior to attaching sheetmetal to the ribs.


Ribs attach to chair rail only.

Without it, the bus body is being held down by gravity only. Same as Dorthy's house. Beware witch's. Move witch, get out the way....

You could actually lift the whole body and add a few inches beneath. Roof raise?
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