I have received a ton of questions about how I built my rear deck system. So, I’ve finally given in and decided to sit down and get it blogged.
Like I’ve said in other posts; I am not a professional, and I suggest you do all your research before attempting to build something that could kill someone if it broke off while driving. Don’t do that.
Now that the disclaimers are over, here we go!
Having the proper tools is key when removing the old hardware. I have access to air tools and impact drills that make loosening the rusted bolts much easier. I removed the bumper, carefully, as it is very heavy. I then removed a couple cross braces that would eventually be in my way. You have probably heard that preparation is very important for any job, and it rings true here.
For my system, you will need a welder, a metal cutting wheel, a grinder, grade 8 bolts and hardware, spray paint, patience, and SAFETY EQUIPMENT.
After I cut my first main structural rails, I was sure to prime them to prevent rust and corrosion. You don’t want to be removing everything all over again because you skipped a step!
I got super lucky that these three tires where perfect to level the structure. It was very helpful to not have to hold them in place. Make sure that the bus is level, or your leveling of the rails won’t be right.
I opted to bolt it to my frame, rather than to weld it. I would prefer to have the ability to remove it if something unplanned for comes up. This is why I went with the high quality, grade 8 bolts in triangular patterns. I most certainly don’t want this thing coming off when I don’t want it to!
I continued to weld on the remaining rails to fit for reattaching the rear bumper. It was suggested by a friend that I add another cross member right between the two existing rear frame rails, as it keeps the thing from twisting. YOU MUST DO THIS. I have seen it happen to others, and it becomes a total rebuild. Prime the rest of the raw metal.
Again, I used high quality bolts to reattach the rear bumper.
I then cut the redwood boards to length and dry fitted them into place. Stain or seal and bolt them down to the rails.
Again, I forgot to snap photos of the process of sheeting out the sides with diamond plate metal, but you may be able to figure out a way to sheet the sides on your own. I’m guessing if you can build it to this point, then you have some mechanical skills.
Hope this helps, and feel free to ask me any further questions!