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Author Topic: How strong is a MC9 roof? Strong enough for a roof deck?  (Read 3648 times)
bowmaga
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« on: May 13, 2008, 07:38:36 PM »

Eventually I am going to build a platform for my roof of my MC9 and wonder how tough it is?  I haven't tried yet, but can you walk across it, as is, stock, without damaging it?  My plan is to build so its not noticeable, or at least not as noticeable.  I'd like to somehow use fiberglass or aluminum for the sides and blend it into the roof so that from the ground you can see any of my roof deck structural.  Can I bolt down to the existing roof framing members?  I have some crazy ideas, like using air bags to lift the platform off the top of the bus 8-12" to give us some more height.  Being that this bus seems to run off diesel and air. I thought why not complicate things with a few more air items.  But I think its possible.  I have the design about done.....just haven't figured out my mounting points on the roof quite yet.  Just starting my thought process.

Greg.
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Greg Bowman
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2008, 08:19:49 PM »

Greg, can't answer the roof questions...however please design the ladder to go up there with a lot of safety in mind.
For example, if there will be folks going up there drinking...they have to get down too...if the are old...they have to get up and down it too!  I don't know what the answers are...however I wanted to throw that out.  (Take it from someone that has read a lot of depositions...they can be your best friend...however if they get hurt...)

Jack

PS...I had to get on out S&S last fall to put the cover on...it is only 10 feet off the ground and it was scary!
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2008, 08:52:24 PM »

You could do the polka with a herd of elephants on an mc9.
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2008, 10:37:30 PM »

The owner of R&M Fiberglass (they make the bus caps) has or had a MCI 9 with a roof platform on his bus and had made fiberglass parapets on each side of the bus that had a lip on it for the platform deck to sit on. Maybe phone and see if they have a kit.
Ron
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JohnEd
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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2008, 12:01:25 AM »

There is a ladder that folds up close to the ceiling.  It looks to be a mere 3 inches thick when up but is 5 inches wide when down and it has steps that look to be 4 inches wide.  There is a hatch at the top when you lower the ladder.  One of the slickest things I have ever seen.  It is on Gumpy Dogs site or one of the other elaborate bus conversion history pages.  Sure hope someone chimes in and gives you the correct address.

HTH eventually,

John
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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2008, 01:27:48 AM »

There is a ladder that folds up close to the ceiling.  It looks to be a mere 3 inches thick when up but is 5 inches wide when down and it has steps that look to be 4 inches wide.  There is a hatch at the top when you lower the ladder.  One of the slickest things I have ever seen.  It is on Gumpy Dogs site or one of the other elaborate bus conversion history pages.  Sure hope someone chimes in and gives you the correct address.

HTH eventually,

John

I'd be interested in knowing more about that ladder, as I am currently thinking about the design for one for my bus. I had given up on the idea of a roof deck ages ago, as there was nowhere to put the ladder that wouldn't always be in the way when it was down - but then I realised quite recently that I can have one right at the front of the bus, facing the main entrance door and immediately beside the driver's seat in such a way that it ideally positioned and yet doesn't consume any usable space at all. Even the roof beams are perfectly positioned to facilitate a roof hatch there, and when not being used the ladder can fold up into the space between the ceiling and the front cap (the way my roof was raised is such that the roof over the driver was left unchanged, but there will in due course be a fibreglass cap above it).

As far as the strength of the roof is concerned, I'm such the structure of the roof on most, if not all, buses is strong enough, but mine for one is only covered with a thin aluminium skin which would certainly dent if you walked about on it

Jeremy
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2008, 04:56:44 AM »

Of course there will be drinking!!!!  Is there anything else to do on top of a bus?  As for safety....I can't really do much more than a ladder, as on all the busses.  We had good railing around the skoolie platform, so when you got to the top, you had something good and strong to pull yourself up.  We plan to do the same here, but the railing will be a fold up type deal, and safety pins to bolt in place while up and to lock down for travel.  The ladder i was considering a 2 piece deal that could be removed and stored.  A bottom 5'-6' section that had flange cups bolted to the bus, and then the ladder slid into these flanges and safety pinned in.  Same with the top section, but it could be mounted to the top and along with a spot in the rear.  That way its not mounted on permanently...part of the camouflage of the roof deck.  I never thought about going up through the inside....interesting.  I'd like more info on that for sure.  If anyone else has any pictures of their roof platform or info on ideas...again, I like options and other peoples thoughts.

thanks, Greg.
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Greg Bowman
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2008, 06:15:51 AM »

I think if I was taking on a project like yours, I would be inclined to build it out of the 80/20 extruded aluminum stuff.  (See link:    http://www.8020.net/      ).   Being aluminum, the stuff is strong, lightweight, good looking, and weatherproof.  Not necessarily cheap, however.  It is easy to work with, and with all the different parts they offer, you have lots of flexibility. 

I've thought about using it to organize my storage bays, possibly with a slide out.  I've also considered redoing my holding tanks, and the 80/20 stuff would be used for the support frame.

Not to hyjack the thread, but have any of you guys ever used 80/20 as part of a bus project?
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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2008, 10:52:22 AM »

something like this? it was very strong...all Aluminum, had fold up railings and a collapsable aluminum ladder that was kept in a baggage compt.
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bowmaga
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2008, 12:13:50 PM »

that's a possibility, but mine is going to be longer...much longer...like 26'.  My first thought before I got the bus is that's how i was going to do it.  Straight up from the top of the windows with flat structural that i could cover with fiberglass or aluminum.  It may still be the way i have to go.  I started thinking that something 4' wide down the center of the bus would look nicer on top of the bus.  Then i could take fiberglass and curve it down to the roof and over to the sides.  Just a lot of different thoughts and ideas.  I'm just not sure how this would look from the back of the bus forward.  I was hoping to make it not look to hillbilly.....even though I'm a hillbilly.
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Greg Bowman
1979 MCI MC9
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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2008, 12:29:14 PM »

wiht the relatively flat roof of a 9 I think you could go to 7' wide then fiberglass al sheet metal down to the windows to blend it.

fron t you just bland in at a moderate angle the back you coule leave open and dhave some cool lightening holes on the rearmost crossmember

the ladder can be easly made to be collapsable/disassemble and assemble with pins
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« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2008, 12:39:08 PM »

Don't forget to plan for air conditoners, antennas, vent stacks, roof vents etc under that deck!

Good luck with a cool idea!
Glenn
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Glenn Williams
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« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2008, 01:19:21 PM »

All of the same answers plus do not forget to include some way of employing a sturdy waist high (or higher) railing/falling off restraint that will sorta prevent very happy "roofers" from falling off the roof.  Smiley Smiley Smiley
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Dreamscape
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« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2008, 05:30:39 PM »

I saw Craigs ladder a couple of months ago, it's pretty neat.

I'm not sure where it is located on his web site.

Here is the link, http://www.gumpydog.com/bus/

I also have a picture of the MCI that Richard from R&M Fiberglass built, not sure if is shows what you are looking for. If it's there, you can't tell from the ground. I think I remember a ladder from the inside in the bedroom, not sure though.



Good Luck,

Paul
« Last Edit: May 14, 2008, 05:37:29 PM by Dreamscape » Logged
bowmaga
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« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2008, 06:26:28 PM »

now that's what I'm talking about....that r & m bus is somewhat what my first idea was but I didn't think it would look very good.  I just changed my mind.  I'm pretty sure, mine is not going to look that nice....one - I don't own my own fiberglass company....and two, I probably can't afford to make it look that nice....but I will make a damn good attempt at it.  We need a platform for the races, cause we camp in the infield, and there is nothing better than watching the race from on top of your own bus.  Plenty of room, beer, food and easy access to the bathroom.  With the coach bus being a foot taller than our skoolie, it will be even better.  At MIS we are in turn two and can basically see the entire track while they are racing except when the dive into turn four and then new granstands behind the pits block the front straightaway.  This height will make it much nicer and if i can fab up the air bag system, will get maybe another foot higher.  What i like about that R & M, is that i can put a platform that raised entirely inside that outer skin around the top and have it raise out of it.  if that outer parapet was 6" higher than the platform, it would hide all the fold down railing and everything.  I'm going to try to find as much out about that bus as I can.  I see he had is for sale....I wonder if it sold and where it went.  Here's are plan....might lose the flames...but they look good on paper...although we had her going 75 this past weekend, so the flames might stay!!!
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Greg Bowman
1979 MCI MC9
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