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Old 05-07-2006, 04:09 PM   #1
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Question about a rear deck

Anyone know what the weight capacity of a rear deck would be? I'm trying to figure out a way to haul my Yamaha Raptor (about 400lbs) & maybe some other "outside" stuff, so maybe 600lbs total.

I was thinking of installing a trailer hitch, but then making 2 additional rear mount points at the corners that a 3 prong'd rear deck could be attached. It would be held in with pins just like a trailer hitch receiver. Also it could have trailer lights installed & plugged into the trailer hitch connector.

It seems easy enough to make in my head, but I'm worried about the weight & the long overhang. I think it would be about 4' long since that's how wide my 4 wheeler is and as wide as the bus.

Anyone build something like this before?

Or I was thinking about maybe having some way to get ATV's on the roof. Like have a big deck up there & some long ramps. Has anyone done that before?

I don't want to cut a big hole in the side of my bus, so my only other option would be I guess to just pull my 5'X8' trailer. Which probably makes more since, but I was just wondering if anyone's done something like that before.
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Old 05-07-2006, 07:06 PM   #2
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check this out, I made it for a guy to carry a trowel machine on, it's 4'x4' I wouldn't hesitate to haul a raptor on it.

http://www.skoolie.net/gallery2/v/Skooli ... 4.jpg.html
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Old 05-23-2006, 08:49 PM   #3
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I should explain.......the gate on the back of this is 5' long, he backs the truck up to the trench around a new basement wall and drops the gate over the trench and uses it as a bridge to put the trowel machine in the basement. So that's a span of nine feet with a joint in the middle so most of the weight is hanging on the 2x2x1/4 tube that slips into the receiver. Hasn't bent yet!
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Old 05-23-2006, 11:30 PM   #4
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If you want I'll do the structural analysis on it....I have all the properties of various types of steel...

The biggest thing will be your point of attachment....I can figure out if the deck structure can hold up to it, but your attachment method will make a big difference. I'd suggest getting two 2x2 receiver tubes and welding them to the frame since they're rated at 500 lbs TW each (realistically that's more like 1500 total due to the factor of safety)

Let me know what dimensions you want and I'll figure out what thickness steel you'll need to support a given load without too much deflection. It'd probably be good to exercise my calculator after a semester off anyway...
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Old 05-24-2006, 01:13 PM   #5
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We just took a camping trip with Jason over the weekend and he has a new deck on his bus. I think I'm going to build mine the same way. He cut 2 small holes in his rear bumper where the frame rails end. Then he bolted 2 long pieces of c channel steel to the frame to basically extend the frame past the rear bumper about 5 feet. Then laid 2X6's across the steel and finished it off with a cross piece in the rear, with some trailer lights.

Here is a pic of Jason's rack



I like that idea because it's removable since it's just bolted on, and it seemed very sturdy. The ends of the boards were a little flimsily but that could be easily be reinforced. I think he said it is about 5' long (extended past the rear of the bus) and 7' wide.

I also still want to put a trailer hitch on the bus, so I'd have to make it so neither interferes with the other one. The lights on the deck will have a trailer plug connector so it's easily removable.
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Old 05-24-2006, 04:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_experience03
Let me know what dimensions you want and I'll figure out what thickness steel you'll need to support a given load without too much deflection. It'd probably be good to exercise my calculator after a semester off anyway...
Hey, can I take you up on that offer?

Our rear deck is here: http://seanf.smugmug.com/gallery/1329829

The 2 main members are 3/16" steel, 4' long.

The deck extends 18" from the rear bumper. The 2 bolts are at 2" and 22" from the end on the underside of the bus.

I'd want it to support about 450 lbs. The load would be centered on & between the 2 rails. Should I go to beefier steel? Need more info?

Thanks in advance --
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Old 05-31-2006, 11:14 PM   #7
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I called around for some [ channel steel; a 20' section of 3" is $55 and a 20' section of 4" is $67

I plan on (2) 7'-8' pieces which will bolt along the inside of the frame for about 3' and extend past the rear of the bus about 5', then I'll use the 4' scrap to square up the rear & provide a mounting place for my lights. The deck will be wood planks bolted across the [ channel steel.

Anyway do you think it's worth the extra $12 to get the 4" [ channel steel, or it that overkill and a waste of money?

My Raptor weighs about 400lbs, but I don't know what it's force (or G force or whatever you call it) would be bouncing down the road.
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Old 06-01-2006, 07:47 PM   #8
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I'm working on the numbers for you, Phill....I just need to find my mechanics of meterials bible with all the stel specs in it

Chances are the smaller stuff will be fine, but for the $12 why not just go with the bigger stuff? Weight really isn't a big deal in our rigs....Also, I might suggest either making sure your departure angle will be ok or mounting the deck with a bolt through a hole and then a shear pin of some type. In the long long ago when I was still in high school (call it 5 years) a 96 passenger TC2000 tried to leave the lot and ended up on the two front tires and the trailer hitch. He dug a huge groove into the pavement, the hitch had to be torched off, the trailer towed by a wrecker, etc....all while our football team taunted the opponents from International Falls (looooonnnngggg bus ride) after our victory. The hill wasn't even all that steep....

Just something to keep in mind. If you want to use something like a grade 2 bolt as a shear pin, I'd be happy to figure out what diameter you want for the given load. It pleases me to be able to use that post secondary education atleast once in a while....
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Old 06-01-2006, 09:29 PM   #9
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I've thought of the departure angle issue with the rack since I've bumped my tow hooks a few times. Both times were unusually steep angles to drive on.

I was thinking of putting the rack on the top side of the [ of the frame rather than the bottom. The frame is about 10"? or so tall so that will help out a little. Also I only plan to use the rack when hauling the Raptor so it will not be a permanent fixture. I've been working on the wiring the past few days, I'll probably get the steel next week.

Here’s a picture of the trailer light plug I installed yesterday, it’s just to the right of the Bluebird plaque on the rear bumper.

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Old 06-01-2006, 10:05 PM   #10
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Ok....I have to ask....what's that thing on the left side of the bus where the bumper wraps around? Is that a door or loose panel or something or am I just seeing things?
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Old 06-01-2006, 10:24 PM   #11
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I've put some pictures of my rear deck in the gallery. Pay no attention to the rust colored paint. I am planning to add rails and a step later. Oh ! and some real paint too. My opinion , don't skimp on the steel that goes into the framework. Measurements are 37" x 88 1/2"
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Old 06-01-2006, 11:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_experience03
Ok....I have to ask....what's that thing on the left side of the bus where the bumper wraps around? Is that a door or loose panel or something or am I just seeing things?
Thats just part of the bumper, I dont know why it sticks out a little like that. It's not loose or anything & it looks the same on both sides.
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Old 06-06-2006, 08:11 PM   #13
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Mine does the same thing. I looked at a few in a school fleet and they were the same way. ? - Richard
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Old 07-12-2006, 08:40 PM   #14
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I got the rack built over the weekend, and I'm taking the Raptor on a 4 wheeling trip this weekend.

I ended up with 3" channel steel, which I had them cut for me. Total cost was $70 & I had a friend weld it up for me. He works at a welding shop and had all the tools to do it right. He used a plasma cutter to cut the square holes in the bumper & the round holes in the frame for the bolts.

I'm loading up tomorrow night & leaving Friday as soon as I get home from work. I wonder if the insurance on the quad would cover it if it fell off the back of the bus?

I put it on there tonight just to try it out and me and my girlfriend jumped up and down on the back of the rack with the quad sitting on it; probably 750lbs bouncing on it and it didn't break, so I think I'll be good. I'll take pictures tomorrow when I load it up & it's daylight out.
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Old 07-13-2006, 08:44 PM   #15
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I tested it out tonight & it works great.







I cant wait to go riding this weekend. I'll take lots of pics. Oh yeah & if anyone asks yes those are lights on the rack not reflectors... nope not reflectors at all.

More pics of the rack here
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Old 07-25-2006, 04:54 PM   #16
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Here's a picture of Big Blue's newly constructed back porch, The frame is extended with 3x3x3/8 angle and the decking is recycled skid wood painted with rustoleum. The railing is 2x2 angle iron. It's all recycled material, so it has a bit of a "rustic" look, but the only thing I paid for was a gallon of paint and some new taillights.
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Old 08-05-2006, 02:11 PM   #17
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Here's a better picture of BigBlue's deck.
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Old 08-13-2006, 04:57 AM   #18
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Great information
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Old 11-14-2007, 11:49 AM   #19
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Re: Question about a rear deck

I like the idea of the back deck. I really like BigBlues. I plan on building one in the spring. How did Big Blue attach his deck?
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Old 11-19-2007, 05:01 AM   #20
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Re: Question about a rear deck

That's my old bus, I hope it's doing well in Iowa. I notched the rear bumper and bolted the 3x3 angle to the frame. the angles are on the frame like this #=frame a=3x3 angle

#### ####
# #
# #
#aaaaa aaaaa#
#### a a ####
a a


terrible representation, I hope it illustrates the point.
The entire unit could still be unbolted and removed if desired.
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