The other weekend I built a deck on the top of Buscephus. It is 8'W x 12' L, so it is just under half the length of the roof. That's plenty large enough for my buddies and I to sit around and drink beer. I will post pictures soon.
However, I have some questions. The first question is for anyone who has a deck already on top of their bus. I should've asked this before building mine, but what the heck. Have any of you had issues with the DOT, such as getting pulled over, cited, hassled, etc. due to your deck?
Has anyone had issues with overloading or exceeding the bus'es weight rating due to large deck add-ons?
Has anyone noticed significant differences in the bus'es handling/draft/aerodynamics after adding a deck?
And the last question goes for people who have built decks on their bus and who haven't. I have not added my side rails yet. I am contemplating building them on hinges, so they will collapse flat when traveling. When I am at my destination, they can be raised up, then locked into place on the corners where they meet.
This seems like a logical idea, but I think the hinges might compromise strength and rigidity.
Otherwise, I might build the side rails permanently fixed, making them very solid. I should be able to keep my clearance below 13', as I notice most underpasses are at least that high.
I looked at Steve's album of RAGBRAI buses from 2009. http://www.skoolie.net/gallery2/v/Skoolies/Ragbrai2009/
, and I see that most side rails appear to be fixed. And by the way, RAGBRAI is awesome, for those of you who are unfamiliar with it.