School Bus 101, long technical post

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Postby cullen » Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:03 am

i think it was mentioned earlier that adding a deck helps keep the bus cool.
so i was thinking of adding removable rails for it and add camo netting to the railing. and have it spread out into a larger area.
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Postby Elliot » Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:02 am

cullen wrote:i think it was mentioned earlier that adding a deck helps keep the bus cool.
so i was thinking of adding removable rails for it and add camo netting to the railing. and have it spread out into a larger area.


:D
This sounds like the very idea that I'm toying with.

To recap, it is well known that a double roof with air circulation between is a fabulous defense against the heat of the sun. Many Burners have already learned this first hand on the Playa. It is absolutely astonishing that "default world" homes and other buildings are not built this way in hot climates.

I envision a simple framework of steel or aluminum tubing that lays on the roof while driving, then folds up and out to support a shade cloth that is twice the size of the bus. The big challenge would be to keep it from being torn by wind. This would require diagonal supports down the side of the bus -- easy enough. And the cloth would need to have vents to let air pressure escape. Since a large tarp is difficult to handle, the venting could be accomplished by simply using several small cloths instead of one large one. It ought to be possible to design the folding framework so these cloths could all be snapped in place before the framework is swung into position, so the installation could be done while calmly standing on the deck -- or even the bare roof. Now all I need is $$$ for the materials!
:D
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Postby BAS » Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:51 am

Houses, at least up here in the north, do sort of have double roofs. That is, there is the roof, the attic, and insulation on (or, if it is "finished", under) the floor of the attic. There are vents which can be opened in at least some houses. Other houses the vents may be open year round, which isn't as good for keeping the house warm in the winter, but an easier arrangement. Just what I recall from a high school architecture class many years ago, plus being in attics every now and again. Now a full outer shell, such as the shade structure going all around the bus, that is probably not done mostly for cost-- of real estate, materials, and construction.
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Postby cullen » Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:03 am

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Postby Elliot » Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:59 am

BAS wrote:Houses, at least up here in the north, do sort of have double roofs. That is, there is the roof, the attic, and insulation on (or, if it is "finished", under) the floor of the attic. There are vents which can be opened in at least some houses. Other houses the vents may be open year round, which isn't as good for keeping the house warm in the winter, but an easier arrangement. Just what I recall from a high school architecture class many years ago, plus being in attics every now and again. Now a full outer shell, such as the shade structure going all around the bus, that is probably not done mostly for cost-- of real estate, materials, and construction.


:D
Indeed. Most houses have some minor form of "two roofs", in the form of attic ventilation. In fact, in my previous home -- a "standard" modern subdivision house -- I installed an electric exhaust fan and additional eve vents in the attic and achieved a noticable reduction in heat radiating down into the house.
But attic ventilation is just a drop in a bucket.

And as you point out, our society is too much interested in up-front cost and not enough interested in the long-term.

There DOES EXIST one type of proper double roof in the USA -- the kind that can be seen over some trailer-houses. This would seem to have come about from desperate need. I know -- because I live in an old trailer house myself these days!

Since you mention architecture, there is a nice double roof house featured in the book Off The Grid by Lori Ryker. The house is in Australia.

Cullen's drawing seem on the right track. The heated air must be able to move away on the slightest breeze, unhindered by any significent structural elements. And with the sloping design, the heated air will even generate its own "breeze", as it will naturally rise and exit to the left in the drawing.
:D
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Postby Sail Man » Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:01 pm

My Dad had a house built that he described as a passive solar design. It was basically a house within a house and the whole southern side, 2 floors worth, was a greenhouse. It's purpose was more useful in the winter, allowing light in where it would be warmed up and then circulated around the house, creating a warmer "shell" so that he didn't have to heat the main house as much. In the summer, the tree's, through the wonders of nature :) suddenly had leaves again, and blocked most of the light into the greenhouse.
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Postby gyre » Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:06 pm

Elliot wrote:
cullen wrote:i think it was mentioned earlier that adding a deck helps keep the bus cool.
so i was thinking of adding removable rails for it and add camo netting to the railing. and have it spread out into a larger area.


:D
This sounds like the very idea that I'm toying with.

To recap, it is well known that a double roof with air circulation between is a fabulous defense against the heat of the sun. Many Burners have already learned this first hand on the Playa. It is absolutely astonishing that "default world" homes and other buildings are not built this way in hot climates.

I envision a simple framework of steel or aluminum tubing that lays on the roof while driving, then folds up and out to support a shade cloth that is twice the size of the bus. The big challenge would be to keep it from being torn by wind. This would require diagonal supports down the side of the bus -- easy enough. And the cloth would need to have vents to let air pressure escape. Since a large tarp is difficult to handle, the venting could be accomplished by simply using several small cloths instead of one large one. It ought to be possible to design the folding framework so these cloths could all be snapped in place before the framework is swung into position, so the installation could be done while calmly standing on the deck -- or even the bare roof. Now all I need is $$$ for the materials!
:D

This is what attics are for.
Many people leave off the venting.
It is the most efficient use of solar power and the cost of not doing it is staggering in hot areas.
It is by far the most cost effective thing you can do to a house.
Adding one simple vent after putting in the intakes, my house temperature dropped 20 degrees at 5 pm on a sunny day.
Many homes actually peak at night as heat soak from the attic penetrates.
It took one month for the pay off for costs.
Cross ventilation works the same way, high vents and low intakes.
The worst configuration is windows at the same level.
You really don't need large windows if they are placed well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stack_effect
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_chimney
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_ventilation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windcatcher
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakhchal

Proper design uses hot air to power air movement and requires no wind.
Wind may be consistent enough on the playa to rely on most of the time.
Where you have differences in height, they should be used though.
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Postby gyre » Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:34 pm

What is most important is mounting openings at the lowest and highest points and using hot air to provide the power.
Only passive vents are required.
Most attics have vents at the same level, which does almost nothing at all.
The intake vents must not be too large in ratio to the outlets, but this is rarely an issue unless you use those tiny little ridge vents.
Bigger is better.
The goal is to reach outside temperature in the attic as rapidly as possible after nightfall.
You can easily tell how bad an attic is working by checking heat in the evening.

If you have fibreglas insulation, moisture reduction can make ventilation cost effective in the winter as well.
It is required here, as the moisture reduces the R factor.

Moving parts are not needed.
The "turbine" design is unnecessary.
All you need is a static vent to keep the rain out.
That's all the vent itself does.
The opening is what does the work, though if you can raise the height, you increase the stack effect.
Usually this forces a compromise in vent size though.

If you have gable vents, they usually need to be covered.
Evenness of ventilation helps too.
Layering over the underside of the roof with openings at the top and bottom creates additional stacks and a radiant barrier from heat radiated off the roof itself.
Reflectix is often used for this, though plywood works.
Cooling the roof typically extends roof life greatly.
This is a big payoff in itself.
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Postby Elliot » Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:39 pm

:D
Yep. From California to Australia to Tennessee -- this is all well enough understood -- by those who bother to understand it. Tons of books about it. Yet when I bought that brand new "mass produced" house in Sacramento in 1992, it had a black roof and bare minimum "code compliant" attic ventilation. Absolutely insane, and it is this kind of "It looks pretty so it will sell for a good profit" thinking that has led the USA to our current abuse of energy for heating and cooling.

And this... is one of the things that We Burners are tinkering with in Black Rock City -- the "experimental community" where we train our minds to think more in terms of the lasting effects of our actions. A shade cloth over a bus in BRC this year -- a million double-roofed homes coast to coast for the next generation of Americans.
(Wow... did I really write that? :lol: )
:D
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Postby gyre » Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:34 pm

Elliot wrote::D
Yep. From California to Australia to Tennessee -- this is all well enough understood -- by those who bother to understand it. Tons of books about it. Yet when I bought that brand new "mass produced" house in Sacramento in 1992, it had a black roof and bare minimum "code compliant" attic ventilation. Absolutely insane, and it is this kind of "It looks pretty so it will sell for a good profit" thinking that has led the USA to our current abuse of energy for heating and cooling.

And this... is one of the things that We Burners are tinkering with in Black Rock City -- the "experimental community" where we train our minds to think more in terms of the lasting effects of our actions. A shade cloth over a bus in BRC this year -- a million double-roofed homes coast to coast for the next generation of Americans.
(Wow... did I really write that? :lol: )
:D

Yeah, it's not new technology.
My Hunter Fan booklet goes into great detail on ventilation and I guess it was written in the twenties.
Fan still works too.

Here's Hawa Mahal, the Palace of the Winds.
It goes back a ways.

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Postby fciron » Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:35 pm

Elliot, to veer back on course.

I noticed that Cullen's drawing does not have a framework but is simply in tension. We used a similar technique to improvise shade for out kitchen last year and it was surprisingly sturdy.

That would save a lot of materials - weight and money- and could simply be unrolled off the top of the bus, bypassing some of the handling difficulties.
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Postby Elliot » Tue Dec 09, 2008 3:45 pm

fciron wrote:Elliot, to veer back on course.

I noticed that Cullen's drawing does not have a framework but is simply in tension. We used a similar technique to improvise shade for out kitchen last year and it was surprisingly sturdy.

That would save a lot of materials - weight and money- and could simply be unrolled off the top of the bus, bypassing some of the handling difficulties.


:D
Indeed, and that's pretty much what we did in 2007:

Image

That's a 40x60 tarp, and it is fastened to the white box trailer on the left, and to the stake bed truck -- except that we seem to be taking it down when the picture was snapped. The tarp is draped all the way to the bottom edge of the bus on the other side. If only we had had something to hold it up a couple of feet off the bus for air circulation! You can see a mid-point support which is a portable gazebo, and there are a couple of poles on the edges.

But I would like to make a self-contained system -- something that does not require any external attachment. Not as big as in the picture, of course, but in the range of ten to 20 feet out from the bus.

And let me tell you, that big tarp was too much to handle under any circumstances -- in fact, I have since cut sections off it.
:D
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Postby cullen » Tue Dec 09, 2008 5:46 pm

hmm no external? that might be more difficult. i was even thinking of just staking it to the ground.

but what if you copied a sail?
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Postby Elliot » Tue Dec 09, 2008 6:45 pm

cullen wrote:hmm no external? that might be more difficult. i was even thinking of just staking it to the ground.

but what if you copied a sail?


:D
Something like this:

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Postby cullen » Tue Dec 09, 2008 7:27 pm

Image
Image
a pully set up at the far end so you can bring the tarp or canvas in while you roll if from the top or maybe have a motor roll it for you
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Postby Elliot » Tue Dec 09, 2008 9:39 pm

:D
How about designing the framework so the canvas can be easily attached first with a bunch of carabiners, and then it all becomes tight when the framework swings into position -- a bit like an umbrella. Does that sound doable?
:D
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Tue Dec 09, 2008 9:44 pm

Sure does. Convertible car tops work like that!

Hmmm... a bus with a convertible top...




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Postby gyre » Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:28 pm

Are the swing out style awnings unacceptable?
Or not strong enough?
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Postby cullen » Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:43 pm

Elliot wrote::D
How about designing the framework so the canvas can be easily attached first with a bunch of carabiners, and then it all becomes tight when the framework swings into position -- a bit like an umbrella. Does that sound doable?
:D


that could work i think a pulley system would be best for ease of set up.

maybe have one rope in the middle to extend the canvas tie it in place then go onto the roof and use another pulley system to raise the bus side of the canvas.

you could have rings on the pole system using quick link to attach the canvas to the rings
Image

Image

Image

once it's collapsed you could wrap it and remove it from the pole system then collapse the poles

Image
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Postby cullen » Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:44 pm

gyre wrote:Are the swing out style awnings unacceptable?
Or not strong enough?
Image


depends on how much shade he wants.
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Postby Elliot » Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:56 pm

gyre wrote:Are the swing out style awnings unacceptable?
Or not strong enough?


I put one of those on my bus before I went to BM this year. It was pathetically flimsy, but it was free, so.... Well, not unexpectedly it was scrap a few days later.
I've never seen anything so badly designed.
The top priority of the design seemed to be the ability to tuck all of it into the tiny storage enclosure. It was like playing Chinese Pickup Sticks -- you had to be extremely gentle and do everything just right, or it would all go horribly wrong. Apparently, some people consider it a nice hobby to fiddle with such things for half a day -- then drive to Camping World for more.

Stand by while I look up something more my style....

Edit: Here is my inspiration:

http://www.holidaymotorsportsawnings.com/

Of course, I need to build it for a lot less money. Luckily, it won't need to look quite so sharp! :lol:
:D
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Postby Elliot » Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:04 pm

:D


depends on how much shade he wants.


Yes, I'm talking about shading the entire bus, plus a useful outdoor space.

Sure wish I could draw.
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Postby cullen » Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:06 pm

Elliot wrote:
gyre wrote:Are the swing out style awnings unacceptable?
Or not strong enough?


I put one of those on my bus before I went to BM this year. It was pathetically flimsy, but it was free, so.... Well, not unexpectedly it was scrap a few days later.
I've never seen anything so badly designed.
The top priority of the design seemed to be the ability to tuck all of it into the tiny storage enclosure. It was like playing Chinese Pickup Sticks -- you had to be extremely gentle and do everything just right, or it would all go horribly wrong. Apparently, some people consider it a nice hobby to fiddle with such things for half a day -- then drive to Camping World for more.

Stand by while I look up something more my style....

Edit: Here is my inspiration:

http://www.holidaymotorsportsawnings.com/

Of course, I need to build it for a lot less money. Luckily, it won't need to look quite so sharp! :lol:
:D


that doesn't look to hard to do.
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Postby Elliot » Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:17 pm

:D
Here's one of Holiday's products:

Image

The big square thing on the left is an 18-wheeler trailer. (It looks a bit surreal because there are chrome panels on the corners.)
Now... obviously, this is as expensive as it is possible to make it. My thinking is to copy it with scrounged materials.

And... to extend it "rearward" OVER the bus also.
:D
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Postby cullen » Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:23 pm

are you planning on adding a deck?
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Postby Elliot » Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:29 pm

cullen wrote:are you planning on adding a deck?


A deck is not a high priority for me. But yes, a deck could serve as the awning over the bus.

If I decide to try a solar water heating system, then a deck would be the way to go, with the solar collector on top of the deck. But I'm not eager to put a ton of lumber up there.
:D
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Postby cullen » Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:33 pm

galvanized pipe for a frame for the awning and roof. then you could unscrew it to take it apart.
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Postby gyre » Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:43 pm

Elliot wrote:
gyre wrote:Are the swing out style awnings unacceptable?
Or not strong enough?


I put one of those on my bus before I went to BM this year. It was pathetically flimsy, but it was free, so.... Well, not unexpectedly it was scrap a few days later.
I've never seen anything so badly designed.
The top priority of the design seemed to be the ability to tuck all of it into the tiny storage enclosure. It was like playing Chinese Pickup Sticks -- you had to be extremely gentle and do everything just right, or it would all go horribly wrong. Apparently, some people consider it a nice hobby to fiddle with such things for half a day -- then drive to Camping World for more.

Stand by while I look up something more my style....

Edit: Here is my inspiration:

http://www.holidaymotorsportsawnings.com/

Of course, I need to build it for a lot less money. Luckily, it won't need to look quite so sharp! :lol:
:D

The one I have just pulls out and locks.
No tinker toys.
It seems quite rugged, but I don't know how far I would push it.

Shelter Systems has the best kits for the least money I've seen and the widest selection of fittings too.
They have a kit that does two size shelters.
http://www.shelsys.com/
http://www.hollidaycanopies.com/

Both companies sell raw fittings and kits from simple to custom logos in exotic fabrics.
The quality of the fittings matters quite a bit.
Get the Shelter System catalogs to see what a big selection of accessories they carry.
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Postby Sail Man » Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:03 am

Elliot wrote::D
Here's one of Holiday's products:

Image

The big square thing on the left is an 18-wheeler trailer. (It looks a bit surreal because there are chrome panels on the corners.)
Now... obviously, this is as expensive as it is possible to make it. My thinking is to copy it with scrounged materials.

And... to extend it "rearward" OVER the bus also.
:D


How bout old vinyl billboards? I read about alot of peeps who use them for shelters.
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Postby Elliot » Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:17 am

:D
Shelter Systems seems interesting. Looks similar to the Costco carports. But I cannot get thru to order their catalog -- "Server Error". I can try telephoning.

I've read about billboard vinyl right here on ePlaya before -- also worth considering.

But what do you think of $305 for my 40x60 hay tarp with rope sewn into the edges? Delivered to my door it was $355.

What I really ought to do is buy an industrial sewing machine and a grommet tool, then divide the hay tarp into just the right shapes.
:D

Edit: Update: I just ordered a catalog from Shelter Systems by telephone, and he was so friendly and helpful that he may have been a Burner! :D They are in Chicago.
:D
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