The square footage of the short bus is not very impressive. I think at one point I calculated the interior to be about 96 square feet so I decided to build a rooftop deck to have a slightly larger footprint. I did some googling before starting on this portion of the project and stacked up a list of must-have features.
- Collapsible sides so that it doesn’t increase the overall height
- Cables with turnbuckles for safety
- Largest footprint possible without passing the edges of the bus
Bracing To the Roof
I used some basic joist hangers that I purchased from Lowes to take care of the curved roof. These were screwed into the roof with 1 inch self tapping screws.
Cross Bracing Deck Boards
For the actual deck board I used standard pressure treated deck boards from Lowes because I had a bunch left over from a tree house project. I left an overhang so that I could come back later and cut them to the proper length.
Pop Up Railings
Once the deck boards were cut to length I attached a 2×4 that ran the length from front to back. On top of this 2×4 I attached a few heavy duty hinges and another 2×4. This will be the base plate for the sides so that they will pivot down when not in use. The goal here is to create a low profile deck that doesn’t add too much overall height to the top of the bus.
The front railing is a metal gate that I found on the side of the road a few years ago. It fit perfectly and helped speed up the process as well as a it gave me a solid anchor to connect the two sides. The front railing is squeezed with a cable and a turnbuckle to lock all three sides together.
The back bracing is handled through a cable and turnbuckle with eyelets that are anchored into the deck and the railings. I’ll probably add a safety rope that runs across the back as a last safety measure.