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Old 01-31-2017, 06:55 PM   #1
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Raised storage floor - Crazy Idea?

So I have been looking at all of the different variables for plumbing and electrical on the bus. Looked at lots of conversion ideas for framing, insulation, and flooring.

Here is my idea, not yet fleshed out, but I think reasonable to achieve.

If we have a skoolie with ~8' of headroom - either a transit or bus with a raised roof, how reasonable would it be to design the floor system to hold all of my plumbing, electrical, fluid storage and maybe some regular storage.

I am thinking probably a 9-12" rise in the floor. This would extend the entire length of the bus, with all electrical and plumbing ran separately down the center of the bus and branching off from there. I would make the area down the middle readily accessible and the side portions less accessible, but not impossible to access.

My thought is that by keeping everything inside the bus, I reduce the chance of freezing and having to be concerned about making repairs if the weather is inclement. The bus will be 4 season so I want to make sure that I am not dealing with headaches as a result of cold.

I think that I am adding complexity in the install, but maybe I will reap the rewards later in maintenance?

Thoughts?

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Old 01-31-2017, 07:41 PM   #2
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My first thought is: For the amount of work involved, I would look first at Eagle, MCI, Prevost or VanHool for under floor storage. They come from the factory with LOTS!!
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Old 01-31-2017, 08:32 PM   #3
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This is definitely something I have considered, but my only reservation is that I want to be able to get as much ground clearance as possible. We are hoping to be able to take the bus into areas lower clearance buses cannot go. Also, most of those seem to be rear engine and we are pretty sold on a front engine for various reasons. I know many prefer rear engine, but for us it will be front.

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Old 01-31-2017, 09:05 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ourmefa View Post
Thoughts?
I have been pondering this exact same thing, Ourmefa. I'll be curious if people chime in. Just curious, how are you planning to be able to access this area?
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Old 01-31-2017, 09:08 PM   #5
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Unquestionably insane. I LIKE it! Let us know how it goes.
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Old 01-31-2017, 09:16 PM   #6
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Let me preface this with: I am not an engineer lol
Seems like you would be raising the roof and the center of gravity, then building higher and raising the center of gravity some more.
Just something to consider.


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Old 01-31-2017, 09:50 PM   #7
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This is pretty much how modern Class A motorhomes are built. Around 1990 or so Fleetwood (I think) figured out they could raise the floor about 10" and do exactly what your are proposing, put tanks, furnace, water heater, etc all below the finished floor. More storage below the floor, and above (no water tank in the kitchen cupboard for example) too. No wheelwells or other humps (like the top of a generator box) to work around either. There is typically heat blown down into the space, keeping the tanks and plumbing from freezing. Pretty much a win, win, win.
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Old 02-01-2017, 03:41 AM   #8
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Let me preface this with: I am not an engineer lol
Seems like you would be raising the roof and the center of gravity, then building higher and raising the center of gravity some more.
Just something to consider.


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I do agree with your assessment of increasing the center of gravity. It is something to be factored in to the idea.

I may still put make fresh and/or gray tanks under belly for this reason. There are adequate 12v warming solutions for tanks, and I would likely insulate and possibly passively heat for ultra cold circumstances.

If I do this, I would still want to make all but the first connection to the tank, inside the bus in the center channel. Easy access for shutoff valve in case of leak.

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Old 02-01-2017, 03:56 AM   #9
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I have been pondering this exact same thing, Ourmefa. I'll be curious if people chime in. Just curious, how are you planning to be able to access this area?
I am still looking at options, but the most likely scenario would be that I would build two boxes that run the full length of the bus.

Then, make removable floor panels that span the two side boxes. The drop in floor panels are made from double plywood with foam board between to give added weight and density. The floor access pieces would be resting on a frame component of the side boxes.

I would likely use some kind of magnet to be able to lift the panels out. Embedded magnets are awesome!

Eventually I would find a way to electronically "pop" the panels up. A simple spring and a relay controlled latch.

I will have sketches of the design idea very shortly lol, I am building everything out on the box this week. As much as I can anyway lol.

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Old 02-01-2017, 07:07 AM   #10
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I will have sketches of the design idea very shortly lol, I am building everything out on the box this week. As much as I can anyway lol.
Can't wait!! If you make it look viable and easy, I may well steal...Err...Copy....Your idea.
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Old 02-01-2017, 07:25 AM   #11
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not crazy at all! in fact you should do it. when i built my subfloor it actually crossed my mind to do this i had just already planned so far ahead with it not in the floor that it was just too late. I'll show you a picture and its totally do-able. Just imagine this with about 6-9 more inches and you got what you're looking for. Seems like it'd work to me if you just made the connections accessible
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Old 02-01-2017, 08:00 AM   #12
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You might look into using computer room raised flooring to get your raised floor with removable floor panels.
The panels are typically 24" sq and heavy, but they do also make lightweight panels.
And sometimes they show up on auction sites and craigslist, etc.
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Old 02-02-2017, 08:26 AM   #13
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not crazy at all! in fact you should do it. when i built my subfloor it actually crossed my mind to do this i had just already planned so far ahead with it not in the floor that it was just too late. I'll show you a picture and its totally do-able. Just imagine this with about 6-9 more inches and you got what you're looking for. Seems like it'd work to me if you just made the connections accessible
Attachment 12150
Excellent!! Happy to see I am not the only one that has tried this! Curious, is this your bus?
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Old 02-02-2017, 08:36 AM   #14
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if you risse the floor and spring a plumbing leak how do you get to it to fix it?
-Christopher
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Old 02-02-2017, 08:36 AM   #15
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You might look into using computer room raised flooring to get your raised floor with removable floor panels.
The panels are typically 24" sq and heavy, but they do also make lightweight panels.
And sometimes they show up on auction sites and craigslist, etc.
I have actually been looking at raised floor tiles as an option. Looks like I can get them used for about $20/ea retail. Less if I go with used. I think I would probably build the whole floor structure out of steel angle iron as I will be putting tanks and such under and want something that will not risk the tanks becoming underfloor projectiles in a sudden stop or accident! Metal framing also will allow for longer spans with less obstructions.
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Old 02-02-2017, 08:48 AM   #16
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if you risse the floor and spring a plumbing leak how do you get to it to fix it?
-Christopher
My intention is to have the center of the bus be all removable panels. Plumbing and electrical will run from the center out to the sides of the bus where needed. The max distance from the center to the outside of the bus will be about 30-32" to the outside wall. I can reach about 25" and with the center channel open, I think I can probably reach the outside wall. I will purposefully place any connections closer to the center where possible. The sides will also be removable, but would be more perm than the center channel. I am working on the framing sketch as we speak. I will update this thread with the drawing shortly.


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Old 02-02-2017, 08:52 AM   #17
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accessing the connections is great, but I had a freeze situation recently where i had a nylon air hose crack mid hose... not all issues occur at the connections.. esp if something unexpected happens..

-Christopher
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Old 02-02-2017, 10:53 AM   #18
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Excellent!! Happy to see I am not the only one that has tried this! Curious, is this your bus?
yep! thats my bus.
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Old 02-02-2017, 11:11 AM   #19
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accessing the connections is great, but I had a freeze situation recently where i had a nylon air hose crack mid hose... not all issues occur at the connections.. esp if something unexpected happens..

-Christopher
My hope is that we will be able to keep this raised area above freezing in situations where that could be an issue. I will insulate the floor and ensure that some form of forced air is moved through the area when we are in heating mode. In warm mode, we will have a vent of some kind to ensure that moisture is not trapped inside the area by condensation, which hopefully with floor insulation, will not be much of an issue.
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Old 02-02-2017, 11:12 AM   #20
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yep! thats my bus.
some how I missed that in your build thread - will have to go back and look. Curious what your reasoning was for doing this if you did not run things through the raised portion? Insulation factor?
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