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Old 09-18-2019, 11:17 PM   #41
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This might help I don't know if you know it or not but the screws are not a Phillips screw it is a square drive screw so if you get an impact drive and a square bit I think it's a number 2 square bit they we'll come out, all of my ceiling panels were screwed in and I zipped them right out, it looks like a Phillips but it is a square drive I assure you. Hope that helps.

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Old 09-19-2019, 01:36 AM   #42
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A school bus roof is an awesome thing. Very strong, smooth, shiny, easy to clean, fireproof, rot resistant, mold resistant, did I mention very strong? Same can be said for the side walls. When you remove the interior skin you are significantly weakening the structure of your own personal roll cage. Nothing you replace it with will be as safe and sturdy as the original. Whether you are driving down the highway or parked under some trees. you might want to think about that.

The bus is engineered to provide safe transport for children in todays crazy traffic. The ceiling does not have boards and bookshelves attached to it because these things will become dangerous missiles in an accident. The floor is bolted solidly to the coachwork and will not fall on your head when the bus is upside down. The windows, doors and roof vents are multifunctional assuring safe egress after an accident.

There is this widespread perception that we have to destroy the structural integrity of the bus to own a "proper schoolie" I couldn't disagree more.

I bought a bus because it was precisely what I was looking for, a high clearance vehicle, tough and durable to drive and camp safely in. I have to stoop a little because the ceiling is only 6 feet tall but that would be amazingly tall in a passenger car or a tent! Also if the bus were taller it would certainly restrict the campsites I can use.

My best advice is to drive your bus until you are really comfortable with it, by then you will know what modifications you want/need and how much time and effort you are willing to sacrifice.
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Old 09-19-2019, 04:40 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Free Bird View Post
A school bus roof is an awesome thing. Very strong, smooth, shiny, easy to clean, fireproof, rot resistant, mold resistant, did I mention very strong? Same can be said for the side walls. When you remove the interior skin you are significantly weakening the structure of your own personal roll cage. Nothing you replace it with will be as safe and sturdy as the original. Whether you are driving down the highway or parked under some trees. you might want to think about that.

The bus is engineered to provide safe transport for children in todays crazy traffic. The ceiling does not have boards and bookshelves attached to it because these things will become dangerous missiles in an accident. The floor is bolted solidly to the coachwork and will not fall on your head when the bus is upside down. The windows, doors and roof vents are multifunctional assuring safe egress after an accident.

There is this widespread perception that we have to destroy the structural integrity of the bus to own a "proper schoolie" I couldn't disagree more.

I bought a bus because it was precisely what I was looking for, a high clearance vehicle, tough and durable to drive and camp safely in. I have to stoop a little because the ceiling is only 6 feet tall but that would be amazingly tall in a passenger car or a tent! Also if the bus were taller it would certainly restrict the campsites I can use.

My best advice is to drive your bus until you are really comfortable with it, by then you will know what modifications you want/need and how much time and effort you are willing to sacrifice.
Just wanted to say AMEN! I se so many tearing the bus apart to make a "proper skoolie" I live in buses because they are buses. I don't want to remove the engineering that drew me to them in the first place back on the 80s.
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Old 09-19-2019, 04:55 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
The main issue is headroom, there's little as is. If you plan on living in it, insulation done properly is a must. Lowering the ceiling height is just not an option if you want space. Add 2" insulation on the floor and another on the ceiling and you've lost about 5-6" of headroom. If you want to build a proper Skoolie and you gone through the process of gutting a bus, it just stand to reason that you would do the extra steps at this point when it easy to do.
Perhaps you have an idea of what you believe a "proper skoolie" is and needs to be. It may not be the standard for all of us. As I mentioned earlier. Ruth and I live in our bus in the desert in New Mexico. We are parked in the sun all the time. We moved from bus with no wheels to one we could drive. Same desert. Same sun. Reasonably comfortable without tearing out the ceiling in either bus. We do get a bit of cold in the winter and we stay plenty warm. We insulated where the most heat is transferred. The Windows. We insulated the walls and floors. But the floors from underneath. No loss in head room
I'm 6' even and happy with my headroom. I like my bus ceiling the way it is.
Our proper skoolie serves as our everyday house and car. It works for us and we love it the way it is.
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Old 09-19-2019, 06:54 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock-N-Ruth View Post
Just wanted to say AMEN! I se so many tearing the bus apart to make a "proper skoolie" I live in buses because they are buses. I don't want to remove the engineering that drew me to them in the first place back on the 80s.
You can avoid the whole issue of the structure being weakened by not allowing anyone to ride back in the modified part, which nobody should be doing anyway without properly anchored forward-facing seats with shoulder belts (something almost nobody does).
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Old 09-19-2019, 06:56 AM   #46
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The floor is bolted solidly to the coachwork and will not fall on your head when the bus is upside down.
FWIW on typical school buses the floor is clamped to the chassis rail and is intended to slide in a collision.
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Old 09-19-2019, 08:33 AM   #47
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My wife and I just started this process also, and it has been more overwhelming than we thought it would be also. But we look at our goals in life and what we want to accomplish with this bus build and it makes it easier to stay positive. Our bus has screws all over it, including the exterior so I know how annoying taking screws out is as well!! Hang in there you got this!
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Old 09-19-2019, 10:14 AM   #48
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I had rivets to deal with. The rivets in the walls were very easy to deal with, but the larger, tougher rivets in the ceiling were not easy to deal with.

So I think people with screws are lucky, but they still complain.
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Old 09-19-2019, 10:31 AM   #49
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Its so much more work drilling UP instead of DOWN! Had to put four half inch holes in my truck's frame to put in a hitch and man I was exhausted by the time I was done.
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Old 09-19-2019, 10:42 AM   #50
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Yeah, it is, and it's impossible to lubricate the bit properly too.
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Old 09-19-2019, 05:14 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Free Bird View Post
A school bus roof is an awesome thing. Very strong, smooth, shiny, easy to clean, fireproof, rot resistant, mold resistant, did I mention very strong? Same can be said for the side walls. When you remove the interior skin you are significantly weakening the structure of your own personal roll cage. Nothing you replace it with will be as safe and sturdy as the original. Whether you are driving down the highway or parked under some trees. you might want to think about that.
How did you determine the removal was "significant"?
How do you know what I replaced on the walls will be less safe or sturdy?
How much integrity is needed and how much is built into the bus?
How much significant weakening was there?
How much integrity was left after the change?

I doubt you can answer any of these question to back up your theory.
Without numbers to back it up ,claims that what we do weakens the bus are completely unfounded.
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Old 09-19-2019, 05:26 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Free Bird View Post
A school bus roof is an awesome thing. Very strong, smooth, shiny, easy to clean, fireproof, rot resistant, mold resistant, did I mention very strong? Same can be said for the side walls. When you remove the interior skin you are significantly weakening the structure of your own personal roll cage. Nothing you replace it with will be as safe and sturdy as the original. Whether you are driving down the highway or parked under some trees. you might want to think about that.

The bus is engineered to provide safe transport for children in todays crazy traffic. The ceiling does not have boards and bookshelves attached to it because these things will become dangerous missiles in an accident. The floor is bolted solidly to the coachwork and will not fall on your head when the bus is upside down. The windows, doors and roof vents are multifunctional assuring safe egress after an accident.

There is this widespread perception that we have to destroy the structural integrity of the bus to own a "proper schoolie" I couldn't disagree more.

I bought a bus because it was precisely what I was looking for, a high clearance vehicle, tough and durable to drive and camp safely in. I have to stoop a little because the ceiling is only 6 feet tall but that would be amazingly tall in a passenger car or a tent! Also if the bus were taller it would certainly restrict the campsites I can use.

My best advice is to drive your bus until you are really comfortable with it, by then you will know what modifications you want/need and how much time and effort you are willing to sacrifice.
Removing the sheet from the ceiling removes some amount of shear strength, but how significant is it?

Have you inspected how an RV is constructed? Consider the difference in hat channel/sheet metal shell construction as compared to a Winnebago’s 1”x2” wood frame.
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Old 09-19-2019, 05:51 PM   #53
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Insulation values per inch of insulation,

Fiberglass 3.14
foam board(styrofoam) 4.0
foam board polyurethane 5.0
spray foam 3.6 open cell

If you have no insulation of course taking down the ceiling and insulating would be worth it. But if there is insulation taking it out and putting something else in and keeping the thickness the same is going to make very little difference. I do not understand why so many believe that they have to pull off the ceiling for so little gain.

I removed a few panels in mine to add metal supports for the a/c and found 2" of good condition fiberglass, so I left the rest of the ceiling as it was.

Windows have an r value of something like .5, so this is real big loss. Blocking off unused windows and adding insulation there will be a much bigger gain.
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Old 09-19-2019, 06:02 PM   #54
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I do not understand why so many believe that they have to pull off the ceiling for so little gain.
An important reason to remove the ceiling is so you can add a thermal break between the roof and your ceiling, not necessarily just to increase the thickness of your insulation.
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Old 09-19-2019, 06:24 PM   #55
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I'll chime in here. When someone says if any construction element is removed it will weaken the bus, that is, of course, true. The real question is, how much it will weaken the structure of the bus.

But when someone says something like removing the wall and/or ceiling paneling and replacing it with something else that's not quite as strong will serious impact the safety of your bus, what they are really saying is that it was only marginally safe in the first place.

In the case of schoolbuses, that's simply not true. Schoolbuses are possibly the safest class of vehicles on the road. Generations of engineers have worked to make schoolbuses as safe as possible. And much of this level of safety has been accomplished through the concept of redundancy.

Redundancy in engineering is basically the idea that the more components that are devoted to the same or similar tasks within the system, the stronger the system will be because if redundancy is high, then you can have a component or two fail without having complete system failure.

Doing a web search for either Redundancy (Engineering) OR Redundancy in Engineering will provide lots of info on this topic.
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Old 09-19-2019, 06:34 PM   #56
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I completely agree with the statements of "free bird".



I did not calculate the difference but the weakening is very significant.



Compare it to the strength of a hollow core interior door and pull one of the outer layers of. Or take a card board shoe box and twist it .. put the lid on it and tape it around the seam and twist it again.


If you can or want to live with the reduced strength is up to you individual needs and requirement.


The word significant in reduction in strength from the original construction is warranted.
That does not mean that there is not enough strength left for your goal or mission.



Later Johan
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Old 09-19-2019, 06:42 PM   #57
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I think it weakens it a good bit because the inside and outside panel with frames between them make a sandwich that is in effect a stressed skin panel. This is assuming the inner panel is not put back on and is replaced by a wood ceiling. If the original panel or a new panel of similar gauge is put back on using as many fasteners then the strength should be about the same.

Of course as long as we do not roll over it becomes academic....
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:01 PM   #58
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I thought about making a YouTube channel for my bus build. But realistically no one would want to watch it.

It would be just me, a regular dude, in a dimmly lit bus, trying to install a sink into a hole that isn't quite the right size, swearing and dropping tools for 90 minutes. For months my channel would have video's where basically no progress is made or sometimes progress is negative. The only way you would know that time has passed is the pile of PBR cans in the background grows bigger with every video.

Who would want to watch that?
I would.
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:29 PM   #59
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Quote:
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I completely agree with the statements of "free bird".



I did not calculate the difference but the weakening is very significant.



Compare it to the strength of a hollow core interior door and pull one of the outer layers of. Or take a card board shoe box and twist it .. put the lid on it and tape it around the seam and twist it again.


If you can or want to live with the reduced strength is up to you individual needs and requirement.


The word significant in reduction in strength from the original construction is warranted.
That does not mean that there is not enough strength left for your goal or mission.



Later Johan
What criteria did you use to come up with the conclusion the reduction in strength would be "significant". What most people don't understand is when designing a bus they decide on a safety factor. They do not build them to this standard, they build them to 150-200% over the safe factor. When we build one out I doubt we are weaking it by 50% ,which would bring it in the safe range. Nobody has any data to back any of the claims being made here, it's all wild ass guessing. I would not be surprised if removing the ceiling metal takes the structure to less than what is needed.
Keep in mind we are only talking about an issue that would arise in a rollover. Of the 10's of millions of buses out there, how many have actually rolled and failed?
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:34 PM   #60
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Well I guess, I gave you two examples to try and wrap your mind around it, if that is not enough for you then I tell you it is 31.


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