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Old 07-28-2021, 07:19 PM   #1
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2016 Ford E-450 6 Window Shuttle bus

I am completely out of my depth here. Husband is in a wheelchair and hospital bed and clock is ticking. Determined to get us both out and about. RVs are cardboard in my eyes, after driving FIL in his $Quarter Million Class A twice a year. Husband is tall enough to have his face in the ceiling of a typical wheelchair van. So I bought a shuttle bus with 8.5ft ceiling height (I am told. Fly to where it was sold in a few weeks to pick it up. Fleet vehicle, excellent maintenance, friends near there checked it out for us. It had a front lift, which I wanted. Harder to find, but husband can be secured near me vs. the last two rows of the bus. I have a hard time hearing him when i am standing at his bedside, I would NEVER be able to hear him 15 ft away.

I knew the shuttle (bus) was fiberglass. I did NOT know that it was just molded fiberglass with no frame. I needed the strength of the bus to attach patient lifts to the wall or on the ceiling to move him from his bed to his wheelchair to the shower to the table, maybe to a recliner. I lifted him for years with spinal disease and while i got stronger, my spine collapsed anyway. So lifting him is no longer an option. It HAS TO BE done mechanically. I discovered the frome issue AFTER I purchased the bus. It is done. So I need to reinforce the shell with a frame I can attach to the chassis. I have looked at Aluminum extrusion (80 20) and Unistrut. 80 20 has clear advantages with all of the things that can be attached with their systems. Unistrut appears to have the same ability to attach to it but with bolt holes vs. specific ....what should i call them? Attachments?

I am going to put a hospital bed in the bus, I think. He is in one now and I either make a bed that he can use a remote to lift his head and feet or i put a hospital bed in. Putting a hospital bed in is easier but I need a place to sleep and i need to power the hospital bed.

I am in my mid 60's and he is in his mid 70's. He has had MS for over 40 years, and it will probably be an infection that takes him. Unless I fail to build a sturdy bed or fail to attach his bed firmly to the chassis OR build inadequate securement to keep him in his bed if I come to a screeching halt. I am hoping for a fair amount of input from you guys to keep him from catapulting out of his bed with sudden movements. Please.

We have most of the tools that I think we will need to do this. Table saw, mitre saw, planer, high oscillatory multipurpose cutter (hand tool), drill guns, drill press, power screwdriver, clamps, contour guage, multiple angle forms and measuring devices. We are more inclined to screw something in than nail it. I have a craftsman nail gun around here, somewhere, but would rather screw everything in. I have helped my father and husband build many things over the years (I suppose that is akin to staying in a holiday inn in terms of expertise) and when husband couldn't tell if something was square, i would come outside and show him how to check). I have the brains, I have the tools and i have zero experience. That's not quite true. I was a bricklayer after highschool and we would frame up walls on some projects. I did that for a year and loved it. But not too many girls were hired to do that kind of work 40+ years ago and when I started a family, I moved to medicine (yes, and college) for a steady and secure line of work where women were allowed.

I had a solar expert, when I asked about the ability to power a hospital bed, say 'the question isn't can I but SHOULD I?' I have spoken to his doctors, his therapists, my doctors and no one has suggested that I should not do this. His dad and his sister have questioned this decision but their idea of involvement in his care is sideline observation with scorecards. Their concerns have been acknowledged and dismissed. They think he should be in a nursing home. I think they are better suited for that environment and encouraged them to relocate to one they thought he would do well in and report back in 6 months. They weren't amused and I wasn't joking. You can ask any question you like (within reason) and I will answer if I can. But if you sincerely believe that I should not do this and your feelings are strong enough that it prevents you from responding on topic, I will allow you to chew me out once. Then let's put it to rest. I know how to care for him and will continue to do so. He is fading. He watches movies all day and he has seen his favorites numerous times. His brain and his thinking are intact. He is very weak. He can lay in his bed and watch MIB 25 more times or he can lay in his bed and watch the countryside and see the Grand Canyon, the Colorado Monument and Black Canyon or Yosemite or any festival he wants to see. He wants to do this and I think I can make it happen.

As an intro, this is overlong. I promise not to talk as much for the remaining posts. Unless it is REALLY funny!

My first of 2,317 questions are:
1-what thoughts, experience and suggestions do you have regarding adequate reinforcement of the bus shell? Something that can handle the torque of lifting 250+ pounds? 80 20 vs Unistrut vs anything else that I might not have considered?
2-i have forgotten how to calculate the solar requirements of specific devices. I will use DC as much as is possible but you cannot get a 12V hospital bed or alternate inflating mattress. To my knowledge but if anyone knows different, I am all ears.
3- Alternative building materials? Just my luck to start this project after lumber prices shoot through the roof. He wants a log cabin look. I don't, but I can do a lot of that with doors and countertops and use more affordable (if sturdy) materials at the core. I have some pallet lumber that i planed down and can do more. An entire bus? If I have to but it won't be long enough for framing and such.

Thanks for listening, and I am ANXIOUS to hear from any and all of you.

Thanks!

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Old 07-28-2021, 07:28 PM   #2
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Good on you for wanting to keep him happy in his twilight years.
A portable "Hoyer" style hydraulic lift might be an option in case you can't secure overhead rails for a hoist?

Anyhoo, good luck on your project and post pics if you get into rehabbing the interior to accommodate him...
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Old 07-28-2021, 08:56 PM   #3
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I haven't the foggiest idea how to attach a photo and hope you folks will instruct me when the time comes. Exaggerating, again. I see a picture icon at the top of this text box. Would that be the avenue to insert a photo? I have seen multiple photos attached to a single post so am fairly confident that is a possibility. I do have a hydraulic patient lift, and that is the kind of lift I am referring to. I can keep one and roll it around the bus, BUT it has 2 cast iron 4 foot feet. I have stubbed my toes on the lift, his trapeze (also cast iron), the 12in per foot rests on his wheelchair and another thing, OH, his special tray/shelves/storage unit on wheels so often that I cannot explain how I managed NOT to break every bone on my foot is beyond me. As the bus interior is smaller than his room, I was hoping to mount the central bar of the lift(s) as well as the trapeze to the walls of the bus in a slightly larger "tube" so they can swivel if needed and i can actually walk with minimal injury. They also have "portable" patient lifts the are slightly smaller than this one and if i attach on at the head of his bed, one at the shower and one at the front if i get him a special comfortable chair (recliner-ish) beside me. It is that hope that is at the base of building a sturdy frame against the shell of the interior to lend the build the strength it needs to hold the lift and trapeze to the walls and eliminate the man-eating feet that would quickly multiply if left unattached and take over every inch of the bus floor.

The box interior from behind the driver will be 8ftx15ftx8ft high. Although, even though I was told the interior width of the bus was 8.5ft, I thought the maximum width of a highway legal vehicle was 8ft without an escort and permits. So maybe the interior is less than 8.5ft and maybe I am mistaken about the laws. Maybe both?

Thanks!
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Old 07-28-2021, 11:09 PM   #4
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If you want to upload pics directly, click the paper clip and a little window will pop up. Click a "Choose File" button for each pic, browse to it, and then click the "Upload" button and wait for them all to show up in the "Uploaded files" section. Then close that little window, come back to this text box on the main window, then click the down arrow next to the paper clip. You can then add the pics one at a time from the dropdown list, or click "insert all" to put them all into your post at once.

If the pics are JPEGs, some of them will probably be posted sideways or upside-down. The easiest way I know to avoid this is to convert the pics into PNG format first. But don't worry about it if you don't feel like doing that - my head is on a sort of hinge thing so I can view them either way.
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Old 07-28-2021, 11:12 PM   #5
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One thing to consider is that you don't really need to reinforce the framing for the entire bus body. You can build simpler supporting structures only where you need to actually suspend lifting equipment, like over the door and over the bed.

I have a bunch of angle steel sitting in my shed doing nothing right now. If you're ever in the vicinity of Philadelphia, I'd be happy to weld up some supporting structure for you.
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Old 07-30-2021, 05:14 PM   #6
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It is really nice of you to offer that. I jumped up to see if I could do that when I pick it up, but is is 5+ hrs from where i will be. I might be able to pull it off, next time through. How would you do that? Open the floor and weld it to the chassis?

I am serious about how kind that is! And i might just roll in someday soon!
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Old 08-11-2021, 07:29 PM   #7
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Need a “race car roll bar” welder to step up...
They’re set up to notch & weld tubing to pretty high standards!
Imma shoot an email to a buddy of mine in Florida.
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Old 08-11-2021, 08:30 PM   #8
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I originally got my bus to transport my dad to the doctor and hospital because the insurance-supplied transportation was unreliable. At one point I thought of doing one last run with him. Unfortunately we ran out of time.

One of the limitations with a hoyer lift is that there isn’t enough overhead space to operate it.

I think a really good solution is to build the roll cage as another poster mentioned and mount a winch onto it. I think that you could have that just be stationary so that you just move the bed and wheelchair from side-to-side maybe? Alternatively put that winch on some rollers.
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Old 08-11-2021, 10:50 PM   #9
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Max height for a vehicle is 13’6 so your shuttle very well can be close to 8 and a half inside.

What about a loadable bed? I don’t know if your shuttle has a rear door, many do but similar to an ambulance bed where it is designed to be minimal physical strength to load and unload. The wheel chair lift can be used if he wants to be in his chair but the loadable bed can be used if he wants to be somewhat flat while travelling. Those type beds lower and raise as well so might make it easier for a lift inside to work as you don’t have to lift him as high as a normal hospital bed but can raise him after he has been tucked in. They are adjustable as well for back and maybe even legs ..

My neighbor weights close to 300 lbs and I watch the ambulance men load her pretty easily and most times she is sitting up on it.

Just a thought ?
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Old 08-12-2021, 01:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maobfh View Post
I have looked at Aluminum extrusion (80 20) and Unistrut. 80 20 has clear advantages with all of the things that can be attached with their systems. Unistrut appears to have the same ability to attach to it but with bolt holes vs. specific ....what should i call them? Attachments?
I think that the 8020 has "T slots" for "T nuts" and is very expensive.

First off, let me say that I think that this a noble goal/aspiration.

I know that this is going to sound terrible, but there is already a system set up to handle this problem. It involves an overhead trolly and has turnouts that are similar to the way that a railroad track changes tracks. It is used extensively in manufacturing to move stuff down an assembly line, in paint booths, and in butchering facilities to move product around. It is also used to load/unload carcases in reefer trucks (might be a good source for a cheap used system). Just mount a sling attached to a small electric hoist instead of a meat hook. The floor is kept completely clear.

If you could find some used trolly system, maybe at an auction, and get a steel fabricator to weld up a frame to bolt to the bus frame down the length of the bus with turns for the shower, bed, etc.

If you can't find a ready-made trolly system cheap enough, then one could be made using pipe or I-beams (there are trolly systems based on both) in a straight line front to rear of the bus. Then place a shower pan under it a one point (permanent or portable and roll the bed under it to transfer the husband as needed. Etrack can be installed on the floor as needed to tie the bed and wheel chairs down, same as used in a handicap bus.

I think that it may be possible to get some or all of this paid for or donated.

As far as the electric bed goes you probable could modify the electric motors attachments so that 18volt electric drill motors could be used to power the bed and use 18v batteries and switches, avoiding a lot of the complexity and cost and it would be portable. Makita, would be my choice




Good luck
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Old 08-13-2021, 11:08 PM   #11
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I don't know if this will help you with the costs, but what I've been doing is scanning offerup and craigslist for free plywood and insulation. This might not be relevant if you don't live in a major city, but out here in LA we've been able to pick up a ton of really good quality plywood/2x4's just by keeping our eyes peeled and leaving immediately when we see the posts.
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Old 08-16-2021, 11:57 PM   #12
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Ha. In-laws can tell you all about their effin the nursing home, when you call from the road.



The "Unistrut Trolley Systems" are used to move patients in hunderds of hospitals (& private homes). The strut can be made cuved, with or without holes or slots. Attached fixed or movable.

For a fiberglass shell, consider building a "freestanding bridge crane" (similar to the NOMAD, by EMH), but built less expensively using Unistrut. I hope our collective ideas, pictures & keywords help you to find a solution.

Unistrut Patient Lift System:
https://www.unistrutohio.com/unistru...t-lift-systems
Attached Thumbnails
108edf3ad160a49b2644b3e233411034.jpg   Unistrut-Trolley-Image.jpg   Ways-of-curving-unistrut.jpg   wardell_DSC2260-bewerkt.jpg  
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Old 08-17-2021, 05:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeMac View Post
Ha. In-laws can tell you all about their effin the nursing home, when you call from the road.



The "Unistrut Trolley Systems" are used to move patients in hunderds of hospitals (& private homes). The strut can be made cuved, with or without holes or slots. Attached fixed or movable.

For a fiberglass shell, consider building a "freestanding bridge crane" (similar to the NOMAD, by EMH), but built less expensively using Unistrut. I hope our collective ideas, pictures & keywords help you to find a solution.

Unistrut Patient Lift System:
https://www.unistrutohio.com/unistru...t-lift-systems

thanks for the research, I did not realize that there was an "off the shelf" solution. The 4 wheel trolley deign is similar to an over head crane trolly, only lighter. I'm thinking skate bearings or skateboard wheels might work for a DIY.



Actually, this is very similar to a sliding metal door system for a shop that I built utilizing garage door cable pulleys for the wheels, as a consequence, my system did not have as good of bearings/wheels and would not be as smooth or carry as much weight and did not have a way to make curves. My track was plenty strong, but the 4 door trolly systems only cost me less than $30 at Home Depot for the pulleys (the metal was all recycled) and about 2 days labor to build and mount.


PS... after looking thru the Unistrut site, this looks very doable and not too expensive
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Old 12-27-2021, 10:42 PM   #14
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The bus ceiling is a good 18in taller than the den so height is not an issue in this bus, fortunately.
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Old 12-27-2021, 11:25 PM   #15
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Thanks for all of the discussion!!

[QUOTE=kidharris;449393]I think that the 8020 has "T slots" for "T nuts" and is very expensive.

First off, let me say that I think that this a noble goal/aspiration.

I know that this is going to sound terrible, but there is already a system set up to handle this problem. It involves an overhead trolly and has turnouts that are similar to the way that a railroad track changes tracks. It is used extensively in manufacturing to move stuff down an assembly line, in paint booths, and in butchering facilities to move product around. It is also used to load/unload carcases in reefer trucks (might be a good source for a cheap used system). Just mount a sling attached to a small electric hoist instead of a meat hook. The floor is kept completely clear.

If you could find some used trolly system, maybe at an auction, and get a steel fabricator to weld up a frame to bolt to the bus frame down the length of the bus with turns for the shower, bed, etc.

If you can't find a ready-made trolly system cheap enough, then one could be made using pipe or I-beams (there are trolly systems based on both) in a straight line front to rear of the bus. Then place a shower pan under it a one point (permanent or portable and roll the bed under it to transfer the husband as needed. Etrack can be installed on the floor as needed to tie the bed and wheel chairs down, same as used in a handicap bus.

I think that it may be possible to get some or all of this paid for or donated.

As far as the electric bed goes you probable could modify the electric motors attachments so that 18volt electric drill motors could be used to power the bed and use 18v batteries and switches, avoiding a lot of the complexity and cost and it would be portable. Makita, would be my choice”

This was what I initially planned to do and the link to Unistrut systems was incredibly helpful! My biggest challenge for this is determining how much weight the ceiling can hold (if any) and how to reinforce it without creating obstacles for him to try to get past. Since every question I have asked, thus far, has been understood perfectly, I appear to be in the right place and thank you all for that. The Craigslist and Offerup suggestion is also helpful and I have been looking for wood but had not thought about checking for insulation and the other. I typed up a pretty long reply to everyone after signing in and it took me to an error page saying I was not signed in. I signed in twice and it seems to have taken but the initial response is gone. Oops is all I can think to say about that and from now on I will copy any post before I hit SUBMIT.

Any budget savings tips and suggestions are VERY helpful. He has been in the hospital 3 or 4 times since I initially posted and no chronic disease is cheap in the US. Usually, if you are selling something for medical or disability needs, people tack at least one extra zero to the end of the number and feel justified with a captive audience. It’s disgraceful. I priced a conversion of a canal boat in the UK to add a gate to the stern that would drop down as a ramp, door widening and a wheelchair lift as well as a roll in shower and the entire job was around $6,800. There is no way you would get a quote like that, here in the states. I contacted Jackery to see if I could get a break on pricing or any kind of equipment donations and get a very kind’it sucks to be you’ response and a suggestion that I enter some of their contests and try to win when next they host one. My initial thought was to put company logos on a wrap on the bus as well as take it with him to different tiny house festivals and handicap conferences because there are a lot of people who would love to do this very thing and would be very interested in how we accomplish it. He is very social, he is all there mentally and though he would need to rest a few times every day, he would love to (and be very good at) showing it to anyone who wants to see it. I still think it is a good idea but if I can’t get help from any of the companies, why use their systems and sell them for them? That sounds incredibly entitled and I need to think about that. Am I behaving as if everything should be given to me? Or should I move forward to design my own systems where I can? I don’t know, yet. If we had standard pricing like the UK, but frankly I might have given the wrong impression and I only contacted the one company. It was really the one I wanted but there is a new box by Delta that runs circles around the Jackery. I have seen it several times on Modern Self Reliance YouTube channel.

Here’s another overlong post. I need to work on that! I will create a new post with pictures and a few comments tomorrow when I am sitting at the hospital. The dog wants my attention at the moment. Thank you Everyone for being so helpful already after just one post. You rock!!!
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Old 12-27-2021, 11:51 PM   #16
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I think what you're trying to do is awesome. And I know exactly how you feel & why you feel the way you do about 'rehab' facilities. I feel for you, and wish you nothing but the best.

That being said, alone and at your age, in your condition, and more than anything with the burden you're already bearing caring for your husband... are you sure this is a reasonably achievable goal? The work in converting a bus, even without the ammenities you require, is enormous. The time required is generally measured in months if not years for people half your age with large social circles of equally abled-body friends and relatives. Read through these forums and my experience echoes that of everyone else ever who's gone down this path... it's WAY more involved that you ever imagine. It always takes much longer, it always costs much more, and it's always way more struggle than you ever imagined it would be.

If I were in your shoes, and had the financial means, I feel your time would be better spent finding a buyer for your bus, and a seller for a used medical van / ambulance / fire vehicle... something that was already outfitted with the necessities of transporting your husband safely right from the get-go. Something that someone else converting it would be throwing out, but you want to keep. Preferably something with regular and stringent maintenance intervals (because breaking down on the road with your husband in his condition would be the ultimate in suck). It will STILL be a lot of work to convert if living out of it rather than just moving in it is your goal. But at least you'll have a safe foundation to start upon. And maybe a little less real estate to have to work with.

Just my .02. Again, best wishes to you and your husband. You're obviously a wonderful person & deserve the best.
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Old 12-29-2021, 11:41 AM   #17
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Am I sure? Well, sure!

It is only fair that I address the elephant in the room, having found several people who are willing to loan me their knowledge and suggestions to make this happen. This will sound heroic or similar but it is not a question of “Can I?” A better question, and the reason I jumped on this site was to answer “How can I?”. I am not a big believer in “I can’t “ and people who worked for me and my kids learned fairly quickly not to go there with me. I don’t know how to do several of these things and initially I tripled the time that most people take and allowed myself 3 years to get it done. I don’t believe that I have that luxury and so will not be building as much as I can get away with. First, let’s talk about this bus vs. an ambulance. This bus is significantly lighter and smaller than my license will allow and that the engine and chassis is capable of carrying/pushing/stopping. I have the ability to multiply its current weight 4x’s. I expect to double the weight and am absolutely okay with overkill. Currently it has 4 access points: the front driver’s door, the standard bus step entry, a wheelchair lift/ access door and a wider rear door. The wheelchair lift and its access point is industrial in build and size. Overkill. The bus was modified for the city/town of Hartford Connecticut and was over insulated to address the extreme temperatures of the NE Coastal region and their frigid winters. It was a wheelchair transit vehicle for the city and can currently accommodate and secure six wheelchairs with the users secured in their chair and a couple of friends/family for every wheelchair passenger. If you watch a first responder load a patient into an ambulance, you will notice that the stretcher is wheeled to the back door of the ambulance and the EMT will press a lever on the bottom of the stretcher frame with his foot until the stretcher is at the correct height above the floor of the ambulance and will then push the stretcher past the floor, collapsing the front legs. He/she will continue to push the stretcher in and the front legs, having collapsed into shorter gliding supports, will slide/roll forward. When the back legs reach the floor of the ambulance, they will collapse in the same fashion and the stretcher will be slid into the center of the ambulance box with room to walk around the patient and stretcher. There is no lift in or on the ambulance to load a patient and the ambulance has neither the room nor the capability to load and transport a power wheelchair. They do what they are supposed to do and are awesome machines but poorly suited for a wheelchair user. Some ambulances do have a side door which would give me access to the back and a very few have egress from the driver area to the patient area. There are a few very able individuals who have completely stripped the ambulance interior and built stunning RVs but one of the major selling points of an ambulance are the storage facilities. I would hate to rip them out but I would have no choice if I wanted comfortable living quarters. I looked very hard at ambulances because of the storage, the awesome electrical systems (many now remove the inverters, batteries, charge controllers and electrical schematics before selling the vehicle). The 3rd MAJOR selling feature of an ambulance is that quite a few are super duty four wheel drive. I had a hard time scratching an ambulance off my list but it is just not practical for a wheelchair user as well as a partner.

A lot of the builds that people will do are becoming less attractive with current time constraints. His bed, at least, will be a regular fully electric hospital bed. I am undecided about my bed and do not feel pressure to make a decision at this juncture. I may build a Murphy bed that will connect to his bed, or a simple platform bed or a commercial bed. I initially wanted to put a king size bed with the ability to raise and lower the heads and the feet separately but they are cost prohibitive and you cannot raise the height of the bed. With 6 wheelchair securement stations, I have 24 anchors plus 4 more in a box. I will make use of the anchors to stabilize additional furniture that I will add.

Having trouble uploading pictures as the selection only wants to consider document files. Sigh
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Old 12-29-2021, 11:51 AM   #18
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Coachwork: Ford
Chassis: E450
Engine: Ford V8 or V10 Flex Fuel
A few photos of the Gimp Mobile

Only one file converted to a png but then it disappeared. Sorry for the sideways photos. I will find a file converter and try again on a later date.
Attached Thumbnails
81F30BBE-B04D-4803-9527-B6C3E75BEB63.jpg   ADA3FA85-DA1E-48D3-BFC5-43E87FF6D6EF.jpg   57AA42FC-6C4D-4380-B291-F4F5C1B06276.jpg   489CC6B6-8329-4E1D-82B0-5DFE4D697127.jpg  
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Old 12-29-2021, 01:43 PM   #19
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: SW USA
Posts: 2,064
Year: 2003
Coachwork: IC / Amtran
Chassis: CE300
Engine: International T444e
Rated Cap: 23
Well, I'd have to admit I admire your reasoning & decision-making as much as your resolve in giving your other half as good a life as possible. You've obviously done your homework (and then some).
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Old 12-30-2021, 02:04 AM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: East TN
Posts: 19
Year: 2016
Coachwork: Ford
Chassis: E450
Engine: Ford V8 or V10 Flex Fuel
Thanks and some specific questions:

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHubbardBus View Post
Well, I'd have to admit I admire your reasoning & decision-making as much as your resolve in giving your other half as good a life as possible. You've obviously done your homework (and then some).
Thanks for the vote of confidence. I am an obnoxious tire kicker and have been researching and kicking this around for a couple of years. He was afraid to move forward with it and kept finding reasons not to. It took me almost a year to figure out that he was afraid of the cold and heat and discomfort and feeling like he would have to live night and day in a wheelchair. Once I figured it out and sat down and mapped it out, he was fully onboard. As luck would have it, this bus came available in Boston and I would not consider a wheelchair lift at the rear of the bus. While they are very popular for a night breeze next to the bed, building the accommodations in the bus and having to leave a wide path for the entire length of the bus seemed impossible. I suppose I could sleep under the bus but I am NOT that kind. EFF THAT!!!

I can’t tell you guys (and gals?) just how much I appreciate your comments! It is such a relief to get reliable responses so quickly after spending a couple of years asking questions on different Van build and skoolie build videos and getting no response or a response completely unrelated to my questions. I feel like I have been living in a foreign country for a couple of years, trying to use the local language and then stumbling upon a table of English speakers who live in the next village. What a relief! So thank you a thousand times for your willingness to advise. I hope I haven’t worn you out already! Thank you!

Above, I posted 4 pictures, though the lift picture is just a chunk out of the original shot. I will resize it and convert it and repost if anyone is interested. The top picture of the 4 is a shot standing at the “wall” behind the driver’s seat and looking down the length of the bus to the rear door. There are 2 questions in that picture:
1- There are 2 ‘rails’ that run parallel to each other down half the length of the ceiling. I am guessing that they are hand rails and have not really tested their weight limits. They feel pretty solid but I will need to hang from them and see if they remain solid after I grab hold and lift my feet. I will report back after I try. If they can hold me and remain solid, how useful would they be in helping to anchor the Unistrut trolley lift system to the ceiling? I have read that I will need to GLUE the framework/studs and build from there. Is that correct? I see lots of adhesives that they claim can lift a ford with a crane and move it onto a butte with only the button sized hook that they glued to the roof of the truck. Impressive commercial but don’t think I would try a trick like that with my husband. What do you guys think?

#2- on the same picture, scattered on the floor are groups of chrome circles. The circles are in groups of four, for four point restraints for each wheelchair. Some may show 6, but 2 of them match up with 2 more opposite the other 2 that are mounted with a group of 4. Oh please, I hope you followed that! Sorry for talking in circles (Pun intended! :big grin: The chrome circles are the bottom anchor section of the Q’straint Slide N Click Wheelchair restraint system. The other part of that system is the part with the hook that you lock onto the circle and then clip the hook to a O ring that is built onto each of four corners on the frame of the wheelchair. If you search the system, you can see pictures of the top section or hook section of the system. I bought 4 of the anchors, both top and bottom and am thinking I will purchase more of the top hooks and anchor each piece of furniture that I don’t build in to the build. I also think I will remove any wheels attached to any furniture that I bring in, like his hospital bed. I would like to hear what you guys think of THAT idea and how/what you might think would be a better method to stabilize the furniture pieces. (Would you be surprised if I told you that one top anchor with the strap and hook goes for $225.00 new from the manufacturer? Just one piece, not the group of four. Though you CAN get them used on eBay for from $125-$200.00. Do you really think that is a reasonable cost? Another example of disabled in this country paying out the kazoo or wazoo for a piece of medical or disability equipment. Now THAT really chaps my hide!).

I really do appreciate and NEED your feedback! I am not blowing smoke! There is no way I will be able to figure this out AND build it out without your feedback! Not in the time frame I am aiming at and not without some dangerous accidents to figure out that I should have done something a different way. I truly don’t but I also don’t want to wear you out with questions. I have about decided that I will start out putting in as many ready made pieces as I can get away with and afford and then build individual sections here and there as I can and sell or give away the pieces I used until I can build it how I want. If you have any other suggestions on how to do this quickly and keeping him hearty and whole, I am all ears! I had also narrowed the flooring down to 3 different options and then realized that I can’t remove or cover the floor anchors. I am really disappointed about that but it would cost me a grand plus the new flooring and possible labor if I sacrifice the existing anchors. So on top of starting out with several ready made furniture pieces, I am going to have to stick with the black rubber flooring. Oooh, it’s going to be a BeeYOUtifull bus! The girl in me is crying crocodile tears but I don’t think husband will care. Until his family walks in with their magnifying glasses and score cards. Can’t wait! And I wrote another novel. I am really not bored OR lonely and I do know how to shut up. There are just so much to learn. And there is no point in even bringing up any potential rust that I won’t be able to expose or treat. Maybe I need to do the floors the way I am going to build in pieces. Buy 4 bottom anchors as I can, then rip up that much of the floor, deal with any rust I find, insulate, install the flooring and then add the four bottom anchors as I go. Sorry. Shutting up now
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