Finally got some time today to get back to the bus. Today I wanted to get the hot water working. To accomplish this I needed to make a mount for the propane tanks and a mount for the water heater. I bought a cheap constant hot water heater which I tested Thursday. This unit is meant for outdoor or very well ventilated area, so I’m going to mount it under the bus.
I managed to start the water heater mount and complete the propane mount. I’m really happy with how it came out. I wanted to make sure it was absolutely rock solid and high up enough that it wouldn’t be hit by road debris.
I bought steel for this a few weeks ago. I didn’t have an actual plan but there was a few ideas floating around in my head.
The final mount has three supports to minimize material and mount points. The bottom is 3/4″ plywood with circles cut out for the tanks. A threaded rod with a cross bar holds the tanks down. This is a pretty common system for mounting propane.
Once the basic frame was done I climbed under the bus (about 30 times) to take measurements and weld the needed brackets onto the frame. My motorcycle lift came in handy holding the frame in place while I measured. Here are some of the details of the welds.
Some of the brackets are recycled from the bus seat brackets. Then I painted everything up. Metal got flat black and the plywood got some left over paint from the home theater. I clamped the tank frame to the bus frame and drilled through the bus frame. Let me say that bus frames are not fun to drill through! That’s some hard and thick metal.
Five grade 8 bolts hold the frame in place. Once it was installed it was difficult to take photos in the tight space. It turned out ROCK solid. I’m confident that this could hold about 10 times the weight of these propane tanks. The first photo shows how far the new bracket hangs down (or doesn’t hand down). You can barely see a bit poking below the door.
One drawback to all this is I thought I was going to have ample room for the water heater in this same area. As it turns out I’ve used up more space than I thought in this area where the handicap lift used to be. But there’s lots more space to choose from. Tomorrow, the water heater.