ROOF TOP DECK / STORAGE
This post is in collaboration with
Storage in any tiny home living is minimal, and for our bus build, we had to come up with creative ways to incorporate this into our plans. Our bus didn't have any under-bus storage bins as some buses do, so Aaron had to weld and build this from scratch. By the time we added our grey and fresh water tanks (450L of each), LPG tanks, electrical/solar set-up, and hot water system, we were left with very little space to store everyday items. Things like fishing & diving gear and inflatable kayaks etc...all that fun stuff.
So we decided to create a roof deck for additional storage and were happy to find that Bunnings stocked these awesome aluminium Thunderbox storage bins. They are weather resistant and they have lockable latches so are perfect for storing valuables. Typically these are used for storing tools, but they were the perfect solution for us, given that we needed something that was going to be exposed to the elements. We chose two of these 1110 x 600 x 465mm boxes HERE, and two of the slightly longer 1470 x 600 x 465mm boxes HERE. Not only will these boxes give us ample storage, but I love that they also double as seating. If we ever wanted to watch a sunset or get a better view of a beautiful landscape, this will be an ideal spot.
When it came to the building of this section, once we finalised the sizes of the storage boxes we wanted, we customised the deck around these measurements. Our good friend Will, an engineer, helped start this project by welding an aluminium box section frame for us. Next mounting feet were made to bolt through to the roof frame of the bus, and this was all primed and painted with the frame. Once we had prepped and sanded the roof for painting, Aaron then painted the bus with an air gun for a seamless finish. We were then ready to bolt the frame to the roof, and rubber strips were silicone under the mounting feet to stop any leaks before fitting off. We then cut premium prime decking from Bunnings, stained it, and this was then screwed to the roof frame with a 36mm gap between to complete the deck. Aaron had left this gap as we are then able to use strops to tie things to the frame if needed when travelling. We positioned the boxes in place and bolted these onto the frame with stainless steel bolts to prevent rusting. To finish this section of the bus, Aaron is installing a crane arm winch to enable us to easily get items up and down from the storage bins as well as a telescopic ladder to access this space.