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Author Topic: Slide outs  (Read 2576 times)
Cary and Don
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« on: April 22, 2006, 11:34:16 PM »

Hi all,

We are planning on at least one slide out in our Neoplan we are starting.  I was wondering if anyone has any plans or suggestions on mechanisims for an above floor slide.  We have read all the books out there, but these are pretty general in nature.  A good starting point.  Reinforcing the body seems pretty straight forward with the bus.  We just don't want to get into the bays.  The slide will hold the sofa, end tables, and kitchen cabinets. The fridge will be across from the slide. Cary
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1973 05 Eagle
Neoplan AN340
Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
1989, MCI 102C3, 8V92T, HT740, 06' conversion FMCA# F-27317-S "Wife- 1969 Italian/German Style"
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« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2006, 05:53:17 AM »

Cary,

Welcome to the New MAK BBS,
I think if you contact one of our members "BJW" you will find his bus "GUS THE BUS" with 3 slides!
Look hin up in our members section. And GUS is on our first page in POST YOUR BUS PICS HERE section!
Hope this helps!
Nick-
« Last Edit: April 23, 2006, 06:03:21 AM by Nick Badame Refrig. Co. » Logged

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Clarke Echols
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« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2006, 04:14:15 PM »

I don't like to throw cold water on anyone's ideas, but having spent a lot of hours doing structural analysis, and having spoken with the engineers at Marathon Coach, I have some input for you:

When Marathon creates a coach with slide-outs, the bodies from Prevost are already built with the slide-out openings in place.  There is a lot of special framing that goes into the body, and it is engineered from the ground-up for slide-outs, including extensive road testing.  Unless you are a very competent structural engineer who understands the effects of road shock and other factors while under way, the reaction of braking moments created by the front and rear axle under normal and emergency braking, and other such influences, I would advise you to steer clear of slide-outs.  I designed a bus from the ground up, and after I had nearly completed the basic structure, I happened across a Prevost brochure showing the naked skeleton before skinning.  The similarity to my design, while comforting, was a complete surprise.  I knew then that I was on the right track.  But having built a bus from scratch (not on the road yet, and may never be due to various reasons that have nothing to do with safety or design), I would be very reluctant to take an existing design and modify it for slide-outs.

With a truck frame, as in sticks & staples motorhomes, it's a simple matter because there are two heavy frame rails running the entire length of the chassis, and the motorhome is essentially a box placed on top of those frame rails.  Such is not the case in a commercial bus of the MCI/Eagle/Prevost variety.  Their designs are totally different from the "truck" chassis used for sticks/staples and school buses.

Just get a good 102" bus and convert it.  You can manage quite comfortably without the slide-out.

Clarke


Hi all,

We are planning on at least one slide out in our Neoplan we are starting.  I was wondering if anyone has any plans or suggestions on mechanisims for an above floor slide.  We have read all the books out there, but these are pretty general in nature.  A good starting point.  Reinforcing the body seems pretty straight forward with the bus.  We just don't want to get into the bays.  The slide will hold the sofa, end tables, and kitchen cabinets. The fridge will be across from the slide. Cary
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Ednj
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« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2006, 06:43:25 PM »



  I was wondering if anyone has any plans or suggestions on mechanisims for an above floor slide. 
>
>
While I agree with Clarke,
When I was in Elkhart Indiana, I saw slide hardware at all the salvage stores.
So it’s pretty easy to find the parts, You just have to know what you are looking for.
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« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2006, 08:46:59 PM »

If you want a slide out, do it!!  There are plenty of slides out there on converted coaches and  I have not heard of one of them splitting in half yet, but yes it has to be done right & carefully with lots of planing.  Dave Galey's book on slide outs has all the numbers and I had them checked.  If you have a Prevost use the monocoque structure directions, I put two in my Prevost.  The manufacture of course will not touch this issue with a ten foot pole, (liability) and I don't blame them.  I did not want to get into the bay's also, so I built my own mechanics (x frame) as the manufactures won't sell to us for obvious reasons (liability).  If you want some pictures of what I did, email me and I will be glad to send you some.  The slideouts added almost 25% to my rig and I love them, and they do need lots of maintenance if built right.

Ray D
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DrivingMissLazy
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« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2006, 11:46:58 AM »

Seems like Cary was talking about a slideout in a Neoplan. Anyone have any knowledge of their construction?
Richard
« Last Edit: April 24, 2006, 12:23:12 PM by DrivingMissLazy » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2006, 12:44:45 PM »

Hey Cary,

Before I go any further, I would always say to anyone thinking about slides, ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS!  It is something that CAN be done.  Smiley   I have never found a thing that is impossible if only you put your mind to it.  The great thing about this board is there is a wealth of experience and information that can save immense amounts of time, money and frustration, not to mention the encouragement you sometimes need to succeed. 

I have seen many designs and taken a lot of time engineering various slide mechanisms.  I found many parts available at surplus that can be used, but be very careful on what it is and how you use it.   It took me a considerable amount of time and effort to decide the best approach for adding a slide-out, or two…or three to Gus.   “Reinforcing the body seems pretty straight forward” is exactly what I thought until I did the math.  I found out that there is more to it than just adding extra steel….at least considering weight and protecting the existing structure from changing loads etc… It is possible, but I just strongly suggest caution, but add a slide…its great!   Grin

I DO agree with Clark that I wouldn't suggest just "adding" a slide without understanding the multitude of forces a bus will see through its life.  You can’t design every situation to the “Nth” degree, but you should consider adding safety factors when designing anything, otherwise you could have other issues down the road.   I try to use a minimum of 20% safety factor to what I design.  It depends on the circumstances, though.  It helps to very familiar with material properties, material compatibility, stress, dynamic loads, harmonic vibration etc, and read up on automobile specific environments (braking dynamics, acceleration, chassis torsion, etc..)   There is some great data that Ford, Saab and a few other companies.  Though these were developed mostly for cars, it gives insight as to what to consider when re-designing a bus chassis.  The big guys (Prevost and MCI) spend incredible amounts of time and money to assure the structure is not compromised, but they have boo-koo bucks and a staff of engineers.

When I designed Gus, I originally thought you could take a monocoupe and just add stiffening to the chassis.  It quickly came to be the fact that if you add enough stiffening for what you are needing, you wound up adding a ton of weight and possibly compromise the existing chassis members (i.e. cause structural problems elsewhere in the bus).  This fact was found to be somewhat true when I met a gentleman that had one slide (13 foot) added to his MC9 and his bus was over 43,000#.  Gus is only 31,000#.  Now in all farness, this guy’s bus was completed, with interior and Gus, when last weighed, was short the ceiling, cabinets and tanks.  The genset, frig and seats were in him though.   The remaining interior is slated to weigh less than 3000#; still a far cry from the 12,000# difference of the other bus’ weight and that is with Gus having three slides, not one.  The only reason for the weight difference, that I could figure, was that his chassis was added to for reinforcing verses redesigned and built from the chassis up.  Gus was built from the chassis up and without aluminum sides, but rather steel and stainless depending upon location and environment. 

Several things that reinforcing does that is sometimes not always realized is it may shift loads to members of the chassis structure that were never meant to carry the loads the new modification makes them experience.  This is because the structure modifications may change the entire truss/shear panel system.  An easy example of this is taking a simple truss bridge and removing a single cross member.  If the wrong one is taken, it can make a remaining cross member shift from a compressive load into a tensile load…and trust me, not a good thing.   Cry  The bridge could collapse, or fatigue prematurely. I’m not trying to scare you, but  it’s just something to consider, as I am not familiar with a Neoplan’s structure enough to give any suggestions to you on your design without a lot of number crunching.   In order to get the reinforcement you need, you may have to violate the bay, but that shouldn’t detour you from your ultimate goal.  It really doesn’t have to be a huge impact to the bay if done properly. 

I applaud your want to add a slide and hope you pursue this.  It is a great addition to any bus and a rewarding accomplishment.  I look forward to hearing about your progress.  Never let anyone tell you it “can’t” be done, because most anything is possible…I hope this helps in a little way.  If you have further questions, please let me know.
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BJW
Gus the Bus
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Cary and Don
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« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2006, 09:58:51 PM »

Thanks for all the information.  We plan to use the existing window openings to size the slide.  There is a header over the windows and the top of the window opening frame about ten inches below the header.   We had thought to cover this with a plate for extra structure.  We could then add extra bracing under the floor in the bay areas.  We were thinking of the slide being the size of three windows.  That could hold the sofa, end tables and some of the kitchen cabinets. It sounds llike our next vacation needs to be in Elkhart, Indiana.  Cary
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1973 05 Eagle
Neoplan AN340
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