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Old 10-10-2012, 01:00 PM   #621
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailg

it's all about priorities
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:28 PM   #622
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailg

Love it!
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:06 AM   #623
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailg

Hi, Elliot.
Great chronicle of your conversion, especially the roof raise. I really appreciate the time and effort you took to share so many of the details with this community.
I'm planning to raise the roof (probably) of my 1990 Crown Super Coach II. I have a couple of questions for you regarding my roof raise and using RV windows.

First the windows: The Crown's walls are tapered inward toward the roof, such that the floor is a few inches wider than the tops of the windows. This means that if I install RV window they will not be perfectly vertical, but slightly slanted inward at the top. Do you think this will pose any concern about possible water leaks? Why or why not? Also, not only are the windows tapered, but there is a slight curvature to the walls below the windows, so that the average taper of the metal walls is less than that of the windows.

On the roof raise, with my tapered walls, can you think of any special considerations or caveats I should be thinking about in planning the raise, and what you think the solutions might be?
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:27 PM   #624
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailg

Whooo-boyÖ. Tapered walls! I would sure like to see that bus in person, and I cannot even see your pictures because all I get when I click on the link is an error message.

But letís start with the windows. RV windows, like many house windows, have little drains in the bottom channel so water that runs down the glass can escape to the outside. My guess is that this Ė like most RV equipment Ė works poorly. Dust and dirt is sure to build up and clog them. So a little bit of water is going to get inside, no matter what. I doubt a degree or two of angle would make much of a difference.

It would be more important to seal the whole window to the wall. With Millicent I ran into a major problem with the first windows. RV windows are based on the wall being flat and stiff, and of level thickness, and even a specific thickness. Millicentís walls fail on all counts. Then I figured out to pop-rivet windows directly to the wall skin. That makes the wall skin comply to the window and you get a snug fit. Whatever the rest of the wall is like does not matter.

Again, a bus is never going to be water tight. The original windows certainly were not. When I park Millicent for the winter, I cover the front ten or so feet with a tarp to keep rain out of the electrical equipment, and then I cover the whole bus with an RV cover to help keep the tarp in place and make this mess look less ugly. As soon as I feel the worst of the winter rains are over, I remove the cover and open all the windows so she can dry out. Maybe one day Iíll build a carport for her -- something to match the style of my barn.


Now the roof-raising. Again, I would prefer to see the bus and brainstorm with you.
But if you want to continue the walls sloping inward, you would need to narrow the roof Ė which sounds unrealistic.

The next possibility is to make the extension vertical. That might not look so elegant. So you would have to make an esthetic decision on that. I imagine the slight angles into and out of the vertical section could be fabricated satisfactorily somehow.

The last option is to partially straighten the whole walls of the bus so they match up to the roof with the new extensions in place. This might involve slicing and rewelding all the wall posts to straighten that curvature in the lower walls a little. Or you might luck out and be able to just flex the walls out enough. You would not know this until the roof is detached so you can try it.
And there is again the possibility of an unsightly kink in the wall, although the bend would be much less than with vertical extensions. Iím imagining making many cuts in each wall post so the straightening would be very gradual.

To pursue this, Iím thinking you would cut the roof off and jack it up a couple of feet, then place jacks between the walls and try springing them apart. The tool I would use for this would be trucker load locks, around $30,- (or maybe more now) in truck stops and big-rig shops. You would want one for each post, so thatís a few hundred bucks.
To determine how far the walls would have to be sprung, you could use a straight-edge, if you could place the roof securely at its final height. You would want to build some sort of rigid scaffold that sits on the floor of the bus for this. Or you could determine the new width of the walls on paper, if you have skills in geometry and math.

The biggest difficulty would be the ends of the bus, which would not flex. So you would need to arrange some sort of tapering at the ends, which could get very tricky.
All around, I would consider this a project for advanced skills.

So you are probably better off going with vertical extensions, even if it would break up the stylish design of the bus.

Does that help any?
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Old 10-11-2012, 04:15 PM   #625
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailg



WOW man ! !
I like that awning very much.
Great job Elliot ! ! !
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Old 10-11-2012, 07:23 PM   #626
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailg


Thank you. I built that awning at home so all I had to do was reassemble it in camp. Youíve seen a picture of those bows on the roof before. They provide attachment, but more importantly they hold the tarp off the roof so there is air circulation which carries away the heat of the Sun.

New this year was the scaffolding to hold the outer corners of the tarp. In past years I tied the tarp to other vehicles, and just draped it down the left side of the bus. This time I used a short construction scaffold at each corner, and connected everything with lengths of steel chain-link-fence rail pipe (which I scrounged for free).
The two scaffolds away from the bus were secured against the wind with large stakes driven into the ground.

The two scaffolds on the left side were secured to Millicent with U-bolts. Their purpose was, again, to create an air gap. I parked so that this was the south side, thus providing maximum protection against the sun. It worked great Ė Millicent was never hot inside.

The pictures were taken first thing in the morning, with sunshine sneaking in from the east. Most of the day we had a fabulous shaded space on the north side. Late afternoon the sun would peak in from the front for a short time before going behind the mountain. A movable curtain would fix that.

The tarp was secured by running rope continuously thru all the grommets on each side. And around the steel pipe, yes! Thru grommet, around pipe, thru grommet, around pipe, thru grommetÖ. It took time, and something like 350 feet of rope for 150 feet of tarp edges, but I am convinced this is the best way to do it because the rope can move and equalize the tension between all the grommets. We have always wound up with lots of torn-out grommets and tears in the tarp itself. This year I think we lost three grommets. For disassembly I just cut the ropes every few feet. (Cheap rope from surplus store.)

Construction scaffolding is a fabulous toy/tool/gadget. It can even be used to work on a house.

The holes in the tarp are vents, to let air thru and reduce the "sail" effect. The wind can hit 80 MPH out there. The scaffolding is sitting on little slabs of plywood, because the ground is soft.


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Old 10-12-2012, 11:35 AM   #627
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailg

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elliot Naess
Whooo-boyÖ. Tapered walls! I would sure like to see that bus in person, and I cannot even see your pictures because all I get when I click on the link is an error message.

But letís start with the windows. RV windows, like many house windows, have little drains in the bottom channel so water that runs down the glass can escape to the outside. My guess is that this Ė like most RV equipment Ė works poorly. Dust and dirt is sure to build up and clog them. So a little bit of water is going to get inside, no matter what. I doubt a degree or two of angle would make much of a difference.

It would be more important to seal the whole window to the wall. With Millicent I ran into a major problem with the first windows. RV windows are based on the wall being flat and stiff, and of level thickness, and even a specific thickness. Millicentís walls fail on all counts. Then I figured out to pop-rivet windows directly to the wall skin. That makes the wall skin comply to the window and you get a snug fit. Whatever the rest of the wall is like does not matter.

Again, a bus is never going to be water tight. The original windows certainly were not. When I park Millicent for the winter, I cover the front ten or so feet with a tarp to keep rain out of the electrical equipment, and then I cover the whole bus with an RV cover to help keep the tarp in place and make this mess look less ugly. As soon as I feel the worst of the winter rains are over, I remove the cover and open all the windows so she can dry out. Maybe one day Iíll build a carport for her -- something to match the style of my barn.


Now the roof-raising. Again, I would prefer to see the bus and brainstorm with you.
But if you want to continue the walls sloping inward, you would need to narrow the roof Ė which sounds unrealistic.

The next possibility is to make the extension vertical. That might not look so elegant. So you would have to make an esthetic decision on that. I imagine the slight angles into and out of the vertical section could be fabricated satisfactorily somehow.

The last option is to partially straighten the whole walls of the bus so they match up to the roof with the new extensions in place. This might involve slicing and rewelding all the wall posts to straighten that curvature in the lower walls a little. Or you might luck out and be able to just flex the walls out enough. You would not know this until the roof is detached so you can try it.
And there is again the possibility of an unsightly kink in the wall, although the bend would be much less than with vertical extensions. Iím imagining making many cuts in each wall post so the straightening would be very gradual.

To pursue this, Iím thinking you would cut the roof off and jack it up a couple of feet, then place jacks between the walls and try springing them apart. The tool I would use for this would be trucker load locks, around $30,- (or maybe more now) in truck stops and big-rig shops. You would want one for each post, so thatís a few hundred bucks.
To determine how far the walls would have to be sprung, you could use a straight-edge, if you could place the roof securely at its final height. You would want to build some sort of rigid scaffold that sits on the floor of the bus for this. Or you could determine the new width of the walls on paper, if you have skills in geometry and math.

The biggest difficulty would be the ends of the bus, which would not flex. So you would need to arrange some sort of tapering at the ends, which could get very tricky.
All around, I would consider this a project for advanced skills.

So you are probably better off going with vertical extensions, even if it would break up the stylish design of the bus.

Does that help any?

Thanks for your detailed feedback, Elliot.

Your description of RV windows is very informative. I may go another route entirely with the windows, in light of your thumbs down on them. Two alternatives I'm considering, depending on how I do the roof raise, are 1: Have a auto glass shop seal in some glass (which could even be the current bus windows, but without sliders) similarly to how windshields are installed in cars. 2: The other alternative would be to preserve some of the original windows with sliders, just mounted higher up.

I like your idea of bending or cutting/re-welding the window posts. That will probably be the most practical way for me to go about it. Much easier than trying to widen the roof or the lower walls. If I decide to preserve some of the existing window mechanisms I'll need to cut the posts right at the bottom, then do a partial cut at the top so that when I bend them to the correct angle, they'll remain straight for the window tracks. I can then re- weld the top and reinforce with gussets. I'll also have to fabricate a double outer wall just below the windows to replicate the Crown's original window drains in this case.

I may have to upgrade to a better welder though. The one I have now is just a 70 amp A/C stick welder that uses 1/16" electrodes. I was using this to build custom bicycles and tricycles.

I'll post more photos on my own build thread after I've dismantled more of the interior walls and taken out a few windows, so that more of the structure is visible. Finding the right place to cut without seeing the underlying structure would be difficult, if not impossible. Meanwhile, here's a link to my thread if you want to see what I've done so far.
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=6351
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:35 PM   #628
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailg

I'm not condemning RV windows. Just explaining how they are different from bus windows. I love the fact that they have bug screens. And mine are tinted and dual-pane to help keep summer heat out.
But such RV windows are very expensive new. Mine were rejects / takeouts / used / whatever from an RV parts surplus store (no longer in business, I'm told).
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:47 PM   #629
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailg

dam MR Naess u are alive ,now if we an fine smitty
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Old 10-13-2012, 03:03 PM   #630
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailg


Millicent is at Peter's house, and I understand she is keeping a close eye on some fella named Kurt who has been known to paint things.
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