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Old 09-22-2021, 11:55 AM   #1
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Emergency hatch hinge broke

Pictures attached, I was opening my emergency hatch this morning for some venting. My son uses it to get up onto the roof, So ideally I would like to keep it.

If I were to replace the whole thing, I like the idea of using lexan to make a skylight, because the lighting factor is great. The left side of my bus has its windows covered by a board that I hang stuff off of. So that makes it kind of dark when my roof is closed.

Has anybody made a hatch out of lexan? I could use a fan, but just opening the vent makes it okay in my location. So I'd rather fix it.

But where I can get this fixed? Or where can I order the parts to fix it myself... It has wires going into it, so when I start my bus, if it's not closed and latched the alarm will go off. So, not being electrically minded, I think it'll be difficult to fix myself.

I prefer to fix it. This tape solution will work for a little bit, but I haven't started my engine yet... We shall see if I can drive without the alarm going off.
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Old 09-22-2021, 12:05 PM   #2
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Some have used boat hatches, pricey but are usually quality units.
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Old 09-22-2021, 12:39 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
Some have used boat hatches, pricey but are usually quality units.
I don't need to spend tons of money on this. Thus the duct tape. It seems that it's only the plastic part that's broken, and the functionality is relatively intact.

My brother-in-law gave me some polymer plastic that you could boil and then mold into something, maybe something like that could fix it more sturdily.
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Old 09-22-2021, 01:54 PM   #4
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Location: Cerrillos, NM
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I had the same thing happen, i think they’re not made for constant use. Eventually my back hatch did the same thing. You can try bus junkyards or maybe find someone that replaced them to save money but I found the original parts by googling the hatch manufacturer… and didn’t buy them because it didn’t seem worth it.

There are a few diy hatches on YouTube and if I recall correctly most of them eventually leaked… I think the boat hatches are the best solution. Maybe a marine salvage yard would be a good thing to look into.
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Old 09-22-2021, 05:30 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by rffffffff View Post
I didn’t buy them because it didn’t seem worth it.
Thanks! That's good to know. I think the duct tape will hold up for now. And eventually I'll consider replacing it with the best, non-leaking solution. Preferably with light, preferably with a fan. Eventually. Do those marine hatches open up wide enough that you can get through it? When I see them open they seem like they don't open all the way at 90°
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Old 09-22-2021, 06:28 PM   #6
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I also wanted a skylight but wanted to keep the hatch functionality at the same time, so I basically cut a square hole in the hatch and then screwed a piece of Lexan over it: It later broke slightly but it will be an easy fix.

Your current hatch is broken but it might be easy to source a replacement for it that you could do this with. The bus I drive for the school has your style of hatch and I really like the way they can be locked in a position a few inches up off the opening for ventilation. My hatch had a built-in separate vent but that came out when I cut the square opening in it.

You could also install one of the semi-transparent MaxxAir fans in your hatch in a similar way, giving you light and ventilation but still leaving you with roof access.
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