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Old 02-13-2019, 06:31 AM   #241
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Originally Posted by desertfather View Post
might have to go all the way through the ceiling and have bolts sticking into the interior. :/ Gonna have to think about that, and whether there are any decent alternatives.
Carriage bolts might work for that situation, the heads are pretty unobtrusive. The nut and lock washer would be on the outside of the bus.
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Old 02-13-2019, 09:15 PM   #242
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I haven't taken the ceiling skins off (and don't plan to), so I don't know, I might have to go all the way through the ceiling and have bolts sticking into the interior. :/ Gonna have to think about that, and whether there are any decent alternatives.
I had to go through the flanges because the my new ceiling is going against the ribs. Even with your ceiling still in place, you could still hit the flanges......just use the rivet lines on the roof instead of on the inside ceiling.

My joists are 54" apart, which leaves the bottom of the deck boards about 1 3/8" above the roof. You might be able to increase that span to 60".

And there are plenty of folks who've bolted their roof supports to the outside of the window pillars.
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Old 02-14-2019, 09:07 AM   #243
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I had to go through the flanges because the my new ceiling is going against the ribs. Even with your ceiling still in place, you could still hit the flanges......just use the rivet lines on the roof instead of on the inside ceiling.

My joists are 54" apart, which leaves the bottom of the deck boards about 1 3/8" above the roof. You might be able to increase that span to 60".

And there are plenty of folks who've bolted their roof supports to the outside of the window pillars.
Hmm, OK. Maybe I'm not understanding; I figured that even starting outside running bolts through the flanges of the ribs, you'd have to get at the ends of the bolts once they popped through on the inside of the bus, so you could fasten washers and nuts. Since your old ceiling is off, you can do all that and then put a new ceiling over it and the bolts aren't sticking through. My old ceiling is still on, so I don't know how I'd put fasteners on the bolts without punching the bolts all the way through the ceiling skin. But I might be missing part of what you were saying!

But DrewBru's idea of going from the inside with carriage bolts is a good one, in any case. And I hear you about bolting roof supports to the window pillars; I just don't like that look quite as much. Your roof deck is pretty low-profile and I want to go for something like that. Or something like this, although these folks just used self-tappers and I don't think I would be comfortable with that: https://www.ferntravels.com/blog/201...top-deck-build

I'll let you know what I end up doing -- thanks for showing how you did this.
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Old 02-14-2019, 09:47 AM   #244
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Your roof deck is pretty low-profile and I want to go for something like that. Or something like this, although these folks just used self-tappers and I don't think I would be comfortable with that: https://www.ferntravels.com/blog/201...top-deck-build
I agree with this....I hate the look of the pillar-mounted deck supports and love the low profile look of the Busted Flush deck. And I, too, wouldn't trust self tappers. I'm considering using carriage bolts or Blind Bolts or Box Bolts. I used Blind Bolts to secure the solar panel supports and so far, so good. They're a bit pricey, but much safer than self tappers.
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Old 02-14-2019, 12:43 PM   #245
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I agree with this....I hate the look of the pillar-mounted deck supports and love the low profile look of the Busted Flush deck. And I, too, wouldn't trust self tappers. I'm considering using carriage bolts or Blind Bolts or Box Bolts. I used Blind Bolts to secure the solar panel supports and so far, so good. They're a bit pricey, but much safer than self tappers.
large diameter self tapping screws hold remarkably well - added security can be achieved by spreading the holding area out - by using flat stock of a suitable width and gauge long enough to put 4 - 6 screws through with a tab welded on the flat stock to fasten the roof rack to, it would hold tons of stress
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Old 02-15-2019, 09:01 PM   #246
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Hmm, OK. Maybe I'm not understanding; I figured that even starting outside running bolts through the flanges of the ribs, you'd have to get at the ends of the bolts once they popped through on the inside of the bus, so you could fasten washers and nuts. My old ceiling is still on, so I don't know how I'd put fasteners on the bolts without punching the bolts all the way through the ceiling skin. But I might be missing part of what you were saying!
Not so much 'you missing' as me 'incoherently explaining'.

I would propose exactly that......drilling between two rivets on the roof, through the flange, and going straight down through your interior ceiling. The roof skin is riveted to the flange, and the flange is part of the ribs that are riveted or welded to the walls and the floor, making them the strongest structural part of the bus. Bolting through the roof skin away from the ribs would be unsound....I consider bolting through the middle of the rib channel and coming out the bottom of the channel to be almost as unsound, because up on the roof, that 3/8" bolt is parked in the middle of a 1 1/2" wide channel, said channel spanned only with the roof sheet metal. In an emergency-braking situation, there's 9/16" of nothing but sheet metal on either side of that bolt, giving the bolt much more opportunity to rip through that metal when a 200-400 pound deck is being propelled by an unknown shearing G-force.

Spending most of my career as a furniture manufacturing engineer, i tend to look at worst-case scenarios and how to avoid them, so that's how i look at this. How much force/weight is needed to rip sheet metal? It's just conjecture without real-world testing, but I don't want to use MY bus as the guinea pig.

Also possible to just bore a 1 1/4" hole in your interior ceiling, to allow you to get a socket on the nut right under the flange.



Quote:
And I hear you about bolting roof supports to the window pillars; I just don't like that look quite as much.
It was just an option....I don't like that look as much either.
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Old 02-17-2019, 06:49 PM   #247
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Didn't quite finish the ceiling this weekend, but almost there. The open section in the center will be closed after i finish my wire runs and my new hatch.

And a big shout-out to the Mr. Heater folks.....this little 4000-9000 BTU propane heater is the bomb. Temps around 33-34 all afternoon, but on its 4000 BTU setting it kept the interior between 70-72 degrees.....about 10 degrees warmer than last weekend (in slightly colder weather), but then I've also got a lot more ceiling in place. Not too shabby at all for 80 bucks.
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:12 PM   #248
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I'm getting a lot of ideas from this thread. We're a ways away from buying our bus yet and we need all the ideas we can get. I love my little buddy heater. You can get dot approved, refillable one pound containers for it too. I just refill the disposable ones, I've never had a problem.
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Old 02-19-2019, 05:58 AM   #249
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I refill mine, too. I have, however, had problems doing it. I managed to overfill the 1 pounders twice. It's scary. They start to swell. I had to off gas them. When they were down to half I put them in circulation for use as a torch, then throw away the swollen tank. Be careful ��
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Old 02-19-2019, 06:22 AM   #250
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I refill mine, too. I have, however, had problems doing it. I managed to overfill the 1 pounders twice. It's scary. They start to swell. I had to off gas them. When they were down to half I put them in circulation for use as a torch, then throw away the swollen tank. Be careful ��
Ouch. I think I'll upgrade to the DOT approved one pounders then. Not worth the risk.
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Old 02-19-2019, 06:32 PM   #251
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I love my little buddy heater.
This thing has far exceeded my expectations. I'm already planning to get another as a back-up.
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Old 02-20-2019, 10:24 AM   #252
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Any issues with condensation?
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Old 02-20-2019, 07:48 PM   #253
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Any issues with condensation?
Most assuredly, O wise one ....as soon as the inside temp got to 60, the lower halves of my windows fogged over. Definitely see the dehumidifier you mentioned being installed at some point.
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Old 02-24-2019, 06:58 PM   #254
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Modified the ladder storage rack over the couch and streamlined it a little, as well as finishing the trim on the ceiling. The board above the windshield is just a visual guide for cabinet length while I think about my end caps usage.....still haven't decided whether to add floodlights or just close off the old flashers.

Finished up the shelving in the rear of the bus.....upper shelf will be the base of my overhead cabinets, shelves between upper and lower window panes are to cover up the insulation on the inside of the lower panes. I'll add backsplashes later. Will also insulate the bottom halves of the rear windows and the lower door window.

And started work on my new hatch. Built a little tent over it because it was rainy today, and got the old hatch frame off and metal cut. Front-to-back opening will still be about 24", but side-to-side will expand to about 33". I was always bumping my shoulders on the old one, and since this will be my sole access to the roof, I wanted more room to operate while carrying stuff. The new hatch will also lock in place while open to become a kind of railing to hang onto while climbing and descending the ladder. I'll also make a screen to cover the opening while parked.
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Old 03-03-2019, 07:24 PM   #255
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Some good bus-time this weekend.......got my new hatch built, framed, and sealed. Also did some more work on the ceiling.

Cut down one of my old folding door hinges for this project. The hatch was made from 3/4" plywood and 3/4" planks, with a very thick rubber welcome mat sandwiched in between. On the frame, I used rubber weatherstripping everywhere wood met metal, and also used 2 tubes of seam sealer over all that. Maybe overkill, but if this thing even DARES to leak, I'm gonna cut the whole top off and use if for a watermelon bus. The opening is now 24" x 31", a huge improvement over squeezing through the factory 24" x 24".

Will let it air for a couple of weeks, then seal and paint the hatch yellow, and stencil on red lettering that states "WARNING ! SECURE HATCH BEFORE SUBMERGING !" just to confuse Big Brother's satellites.
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Old 03-09-2019, 06:30 PM   #256
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Well, it's rained almost every day this week, and all day today, and still no leaks from the hatch. I'm going to call it a success, and also a huge relief. I'll apply at least one more layer of sealant around it if I ever see the sun again.

Needed a door stop for my heater door, but couldn't find one 6" tall, so had to mount a 4" stop on a block that could rotate....does the job, but still looking.

And got my templates made for the overhead cabinets....will start on those this week. I'm going to glue and biscuit some whitewood planks into 2' x 2' squares, then shape them and cut out the openings for my mesh. Will use the same gutter guard wire mesh I used on my transom windows and my hood scoop.....should look pretty good when complete. I've got almost $600 in this ceiling, I want as much of it visible as possible.
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Old 03-24-2019, 07:07 PM   #257
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Was making good progress on my overheads, but lost an aesthetical debate with myself yesterday and dismantled about a third of my work. But, hey.....I only gotta do this once, right?

I did finish with the deck hatch.....bored out two railing brackets and epoxied in some weld nuts, and made a couple of threaded knobs. Open the hatch, screw in the knobs, and set the ladder. Now the hatch is sturdy enough to use it as a railing when ascending and descending, plus it won't get blown shut by the wind - that happened last weekend, and the hatch is heavy enough that it bent the barrel bolts about 20 degrees from the horizontal.

And did a little painting.....beautiful weather today.
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Old 03-31-2019, 06:25 PM   #258
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Didn't really trust those epoxied-in weld nuts for my hatch tiedown, so got another pair of railing brackets and tapped them instead. Feel a lot more confident that they'll hold that heavy hatch when it's windy out.

And finished most of the work on my overheads.....still need to finish trimming with the sisal and cosmetics, but I'm happy with the way they turned out.
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Old 03-31-2019, 06:28 PM   #259
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I love the overhead cabinets! They look great!!
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Old 03-31-2019, 08:28 PM   #260
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nice. looking great. love the overhead storage.
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