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Old 05-18-2006, 04:16 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 10
Good Roof Rack Plans?

While I'm sure I could manage to muddle my way through a roof rack with sufficient red bull and a hot glue gun, it'd be keen if someone had nice plans for a roof rack, or a visual walk through for their own installation.


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Old 05-19-2006, 06:35 AM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 39
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward
Engine: 5.9L Cummins Diesel
We built the roof rack and back deck out of 1.5" & 2" square steel tubing on our RAGBRAI bus. Pics are in the gallery at

If interested, let me know and I can send you the plans I used.
See my bus here
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Old 05-20-2006, 10:03 PM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 524
Year: 1993
Coachwork: AmTran
Chassis: IHC
Engine: Dt360
Rated Cap: 19
We used Trex for the walking surface, redwood joists, and 1" steel pipe for supports.

It begins here and continues through April.

Here's a picture, near completion:

Total cost was around $2k.

Good luck
Bus conversion/info here
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Old 05-22-2006, 11:20 PM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 9
if you would like to see an over engineered one...

...check out the pics of my bus. Made out of 2x2 steel and laid with 16' 2x4's. The steel was all scrap(overrun on a project) gotten cheap of a job site thru a friend. The decking has some local iowa history in that it was originally decking from Wakonda Golf and Country Club. It was snatched up for free when they were switching over from metal cleats to the plastic ones. If you look on the underside of the deck you can see all the golf shoe pock marks lol. We attached the deck to the pillars in between the windows.

We have had around 40 people on top with no groans at all (cept maybe the springs lol)

TonyC in Iowa
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Old 08-04-2012, 02:11 PM   #5
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 61
Year: 1990
Chassis: International
Engine: DT360
Re: Good Roof Rack Plans?

I'm in the process of making mine and am using 1"x2"x.0625" tube steel and 1x4 wood. I have 1 steel cross piece at every rib, supported by two legs about 1.5' in from the ends attaching to the top of the bus. Still figuring out exactly how to attach the legs (see other post), and I might run a length of steel down the ends, to cap the holes, and add extra rigidity. I will then have the 1x4s spaced 1" apart running lengthwise down the bus, connecting the steel substructure. I wasn't sure if 1x4 would be thick enough, but I bought a test piece, placed it on top of a couple supports at 2.5', and jumped up and down on it and it feels surprisingly stiff. I barely get any deflection. I opted for real wood over the plastic decking stuff, because it's quite a bit lighter, and doesn't sag. I'll post pictures when it's all done.

Edit: Steel was $160 new, and was enough for 10 cross braces. I haven't bought the wood yet, but I'm guessing about $100 to $150 for that.

And Tommybus: I'll see you on the playa!
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:16 PM   #6
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Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 784
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Genesis
Engine: Detroit
Rated Cap: 14
Re: Good Roof Rack Plans?

I used pressure treated lumber and built the deck just like a house deck.

The deck was initially held on with small L-brackets along the side, but I later added 10" L-brackets that were bolted completely through the roof.

I've driven a couple hundred miles since and the bus hasn't seemed to have any issues with this type of deck. It works rather well, actually.
See page 16 of my thread for more pictures and details.
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