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Old 03-28-2021, 10:43 AM   #1
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Ford E450 School Bus Roof Deck.

Hi Everyone,

I am new to the skoolie movement (been watching videos forever but just recently bought a bus). I now own a 2003 Ford E450 School Bus. I am looking to build a small roof top deck, and I am trying to figure out where the supports are through the roof of the bus. Is there a way to determine the location of the ribs via the exterior of the bus?

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Old 03-28-2021, 10:46 AM   #2
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A picture of my bus for reference...

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Old 03-28-2021, 11:50 AM   #3
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC1000 HandyBus
Engine: 5.9L 24V-L6 Cummins ISB
Rated Cap: 26 foot
Is that an all-fiberglass roof, or are there rivets up there? The rivets will tell you where the ribs are. Likely the ribs are like other buses, and match the pillars between windows. Or check for rivets on the interior ceiling.


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Old 03-28-2021, 11:51 AM   #4
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Year: 1999
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Rated Cap: 26 foot
And tell your insurance company and the vehicle inspectors it is a luggage rack, not a roof-deck.
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Old 03-28-2021, 12:54 PM   #5
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Your insurance company is likely to say, no decks, no racks, no wood stoves. It’s best to know up front.
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Old 03-28-2021, 12:59 PM   #6
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have the hand rails fold down like a top for the luggage rack.
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Old 03-28-2021, 03:55 PM   #7
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I'm not worried about insurance as I already have the bus insured. I'm more worried about determing #1 Whether the bus is a fiberglass shell (it was a school bus and not a shuttle bus). #2 Finding the ribs to attach the roof deck to, OR am I better to use the dividers between each window as a support? Thoughts?
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Old 04-02-2021, 02:47 PM   #8
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the ribs and the window dividers are in the same location just interior vs exterior. its really just a matter of how you affix the legs to the bus which depends on the width of your deck any way you come up with youll want to do this before you build out the interior so you can bolt it though the hat channel securely
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