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Old 01-05-2017, 01:16 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 150
Storage compartments under bus and min height ?


I'm about to star making the frames an welding pieces for the storage areas that I will be adding to the bus and I'm wondering how big or tall I can make them.

What is the recommended safe min height you can have in the bus ? considering speed bumps, maybe gravel roads etc.

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Old 01-05-2017, 07:34 AM   #2
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: hills of sw virginia
Posts: 889
Year: 1996
Chassis: thomas
Engine: 8.3 cummins
Rated Cap: 11 window
depends on the bus, my re sits lower than a standard bus. how long is your wheel base? the longer the base the higher your storage needs to be so it doesnt bottom out on the r r tracks. go to a bus depot for your local school and do some measuring. good luck and post some pics
living in a bus down by the river.
my build pics
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Old 01-05-2017, 01:14 PM   #3
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Salt Lake City Utah
Posts: 1,633
Year: 2000
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: ISC 8.3
Mine has the engine in the rear too. Its original skirt was lower on the curb side and higher on the road side -- for improved appearance to the passengers, I guess? Or maybe it was dropped on the passenger side to match the bottom of the stairs and wheelchair lift at the mid-ship door?

After much fretting about ground clearance I finally realized that the center-mounted fuel tank in my bus has a clearance of 9 inches and some change. It extends from behind the front wheels to about two feet short of the middle of the wheelbase (I don't actually know my rig's wheelbase). It doesn't have any sign of having been scraped on the road, so there's at least anecdotal evidence that might be high enough. In addition to crowns in the road, think about curbs and medians. A low-hanging side skirt could hit something on the side when making a tight turn.
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Old 01-05-2017, 01:52 PM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 150
mine is a 22 ft bus short chevy 2002 bluebird on a 6.5 Diesel.

The tank sits in the middle between the chassis and is fairly high compared to the stairs.

I have seen RVs that are lower that my bus with storage that is why I wonder.

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Old 01-05-2017, 06:00 PM   #5
Bus Crazy
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Vacaville, Ca
Posts: 1,630
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Crown / Pusher
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
I would find what's the lowest point of the bus & not go below that, the front cross beam on my bus is 10in & I'm staying above that.
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Old 01-05-2017, 06:33 PM   #6
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 150
that is what I was thinking to do, is the safest option.
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Old 01-05-2017, 08:19 PM   #7
New2Skool's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Bemidji MN
Posts: 209
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Carpenter Body
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 65 to Zero. Folding Chair
I lowered the skirting of my bus when I redid the skin due to rust.
I measured out for the exact same underbody storage and had 19 inches tall, as wide as I wanted (willing to reform some support structure for the skin) and roughly 28 inches from exterior skin to frame on most spots.
I was going to fabricate the boxes myself but, I found some inexpensive steel and alumium tool storage boxes on google shopping section that would work just as well if not better. A 36" wide, 18" tall 24" deep steel box for about $180 and a 60" for about $400. Honestly, I am glad to be done with metal work, granted I have some left but nothing like I had to do this past summer.
I would much rather shell out money to just insert completed boxes and secure now.
So, it depends on your bus. I think originally the skin of my bus was only 9 or 11 inches below the floor line. So, that is your first step, slide under and start measuring. You can go from there.
D.L. Jones III
"The Independence"
98 International
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Old 01-05-2017, 09:23 PM   #8
Bus Nut
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Richmond Virginia
Posts: 932
Year: 1984
Engine: 366 Big block Chevy! :) w/ Stick shift
Hi Pepepito,

I just bolts a steel frame under the drivers side of the GMC for storage. Very excited to clear some space in here

Skoolie storage - Album on Imgur

This bus has a nice under stoarge on the passenger side, about 5 ft long, 2 high maybe 3deep. Plenty good for stuff i need but dont use often; cat carrier, bench grinder, some bike parts. So i just made this one the same height. Very excited to find some ply wood as all of this steel was a alley find and most of my materials are either alley finds or Craigslist.

I bolted this to the frame and floor because i ... had bolts, and also i read that bolts are good to the frame since a lot can flex and the steel is...
Good luck!
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Old 01-05-2017, 09:25 PM   #9
Bus Nut
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Richmond Virginia
Posts: 932
Year: 1984
Engine: 366 Big block Chevy! :) w/ Stick shift

Ha i finally figured out how to display a pic !

ps: I believe the bus in the picture is Christopher's old bus with a 454 bbc But don't quote me on that
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Old 01-06-2017, 12:51 AM   #10
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Salt Lake City
Posts: 31
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: Cummins 5.9 (24v)
Rated Cap: 66 Passenger
I am in the process of adding mine right now... First of 6 boxes, was mounted yesterday.

Looking at Diamond Plated boxes, I was not certain that they could hold the weight, I was going to put in it. As a result I am using the boxes to house a shelf that will be mounted to and hang from the frame, all within the diamond plate box. I used unistrut on the interior bus, drilled through the floor, through the box, and used a 35" in length of strut inside the box to pin the box to the bus floor. I will use all-thread connected to the in-box strut to create a hanging shelf.

I cut out the skirt to make room for the boxes, mine are 18x18x36 and they stick out about 3 inches below the skirt. This might be an issue but, we'll see.

Here is the first picture:
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File Type: jpg IMG_20170104_152056_597.jpg (784.5 KB, 38 views)
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