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2 more improvements - stairway and bathroom doors

This is a public forum to discuss Eagle related technical issues. If you are having a problem with your Eagle, this is the place to find help.


I’ve just completed making 2 simple but high impact improvements to my bus.

The first improvement was to replace the gungy carpeting that had been used to finish the stairway. The stairway is of course a very high traffic area, that is also subject to rain and dirt being tracked in, so about the only materials that I have seen people try to use successfully have been ceramic tile and synthetic materials. Besides adding improved appearance and durability, I wanted also a reflectivre surface, since the maroon padded walls of my cockpit area tend to make the stairway a dark area at night.

What I used, as the photos show, is 1/8 inch POLISHED aluminum treadplate:

Image

Image

Image

The "gold" reflections are deceptive. The polished teadpl;ate is pure aluminum. The tread nose molding is normal brass stair molding as used with carpeting or wood or ceramic tile. ONLY that nose molding is brass, but the polished aluminum is so reflective, and the reflection patterns change dramatically as the angle of view changes, making the "golden" area larger or narrower. Very dynamic.

Naturally, the entire area seems much brighter, especially when lit up at all at night.

This polished aluminum treadplate is readily available (it's a high volume basic metal product) and inexpensive. The shop I got mine from custom cut at least some of the pieces for me on their shear. The remainder I cut to fit using an abrasive metalcutting circular saw blade in my circular saw, and filed to fit rather easily as aluminum is soft compared to steel. The heat of the abrasive cutting process did NOT discolor the aluminum.

All the aluminum material shown here, including the large landing piece and the extra step from the landing to the back of the coach will cost a bit over $100 if you shop around a bit.

Any reasonably mechanically adept person can do the cutting, filing, fitting, and screwing in required. No special skills are needed other than attention to detail.

I chose 1/8" thick material for durability and resistance to bending. You can go thinner or thicker depending upon your needs.

Yes, I know that over extended use the polished surface COULD become scratched or dulled. Of course, at that point, repolishing with the right chemical should restore it. And replacement anytime is easy. In fact, I kep the carpeting I took out just in case we find the aluminum has some disadvantage in actual use.

One possible point of concern is that the metal could get slippery when wet. If that proves to be the case, adding THIN strips of rubber, simialr to the wider piece on my lowest step, but much narrower, would solve that.

This material cannot rot due to water exposure. It's very easy to clean using a wet rag for cleaning and a dry rag for polishing dry.

We'll see how it works out, and I'll report back after meaningful longer term use.

The second improvement was to add "cabin hooks" to our bathroom doors.

Our bathroom doors, both at the front of the bathroom, and at the rear of the bathroom, are sliding wooden doors with mostly mirrored surfaces. They slide easily and feel high quality, BUT the installers made no provisions for two important functions:

1. A way to latch the doors closed when the bathroom is in use!

2. A way to latch the doors OPEN when the caoch is on the road, so that they don't slide back and forth on each corner!

Because the surface of each door is almost entirely mirrored, there is insufficient room for conventional "built-in" latches. And, I don't like the stooping required to use "floor stake" type latches, nor the holes in the floor they require.

Boaters have the same needs we do in this area, and West Marine had the perfect length "hook and loop" style "cabin latch", in the right (brass) finish to match the rest of the hardware in our bus.

I installed these in a way that ensures that:

- Both the front and rear doors can be latched shut by a person within the bathroom.This was easily chieved by mounting one hook and loop set that allowed latching the doors in the clsoed position.

- Both sets of doors can be latched OPEN. This was achived by adding "extra" loops or hooks as needed on the sidewalls adjacent to the sliding doors, so that they could be latched into the open position for travel down the road. If you look carefully at the photos below you will see that I added only as many hooks or loops as needed - no unnecessary duplicates.

- When either the front or rear doors are latched, the latches can be defeated easily from OUTSIDE the bathroom by simply inserting a flat table knife blade (or other thin flat rigid piece) between the doors, BELOW the height of the hooks, and lifting UP to unhook the hook from the loop.

- I custom bent the tips of the hooks just a tiny bit where necessary to ensure that when they are latched, a sudden jarring motion (like from a bump in the road or sudden tight turn) will not open them accidentally. I used a pair of visegrips whose jaws were padded with ordinary paper toweling to do that, so the finish on the hooks would not be marred.

Here are the results:

Front doors latched closed:

Image

Front doors latched open:

Image


We'll see how these will work out in actual use.
Jim Gnitecki
("Jim G")
JimGnitecki@gmail.com
1979 Eagle Model 05 reborn around 1997
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JimGnitecki
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Jim,

Your bus is roof raised? if not could I see a shower complete picture and know about dimensions?

Nice entrance, looks very shiny...
Julio & Julieta Pérez

1969 05 #7810
8V92 DD / HT-740 Allison
1964 01 #6469
8v71 DD / 4 Speed
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busdriver58
 
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busdriver58 wrote:Jim,

Your bus is roof raised? if not could I see a shower complete picture and know about dimensions?

Nice entrance, looks very shiny...


The roof IS raised by 8 inches.
Jim Gnitecki
("Jim G")
JimGnitecki@gmail.com
1979 Eagle Model 05 reborn around 1997
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JimGnitecki
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Joined: Mon May 25, 2009 7:54 am
Location: Austin, TX




Looks very nice Jim! I'm sure it made a huge difference to get the stair area finished and looking like you want it! The latches for the doors is a neat idea!

This is a great example of what you need to do, start your very own project thread! That way you can keep all of your updated projects in one place. Also makes it easier for us to check in on what you are accomplishing, all in one area. It won't get lost in the shuffle either! ;)
Becky & Paul Lawry
Dreamscape
1968 Eagle 01 #7443
Silver 8V92 HT 740

Dreamscape Eagle Travel Blog: https://dreamscapetravels.wordpress.com/

Dreamscape Build Blog: https://dreamscapesilvereagle.wordpress.com/
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