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Old 03-23-2007, 10:20 PM   #1
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Driving with Roof Vents Open

The potential ignorance of this question might give away the fact that I'm a skoolie rookie, but can I drive with my roof vents popped open?

They're the stock vents/escape hatches that came standard on the bus.

Thanks!

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Old 03-23-2007, 10:35 PM   #2
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I just took my CDL written test including the school bus endorsement section. I can tell you without fail (because it was on the test) that you CAN drive with your roof hatches open. Just be mindful of them when you park due to weather and security and watch for the height difference under low bridges...or so the manual says.

Most do have a ventilation position which is perfectly acceptable.

*edit* Oh yeah...you also need to know how to operate all emergency exits and you must make sure windows and doors are locked. Also, if they have a red light above them you must make sure they are functional anytime the headlights are on which happens to be any time there are passengers on board. Ok...I think I'm ready for the road test....someone want to loan me a 26,001+ lbs bus with a current Minnesota inspection and air brakes?
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Old 03-23-2007, 10:35 PM   #3
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Sure. why not? I suppose if it's raining that could present a problem. Look at the school busses in your town as summer approaches...you'll see lots of them do that (at least around here they do)...
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Old 03-24-2007, 09:16 AM   #4
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I know this will probably sound stupid but, make sure the vents are facing the correct way, ie that they open facing rearward so as not to wind-shear the cover off the vent. (No not me, but someone I know learned this the hard way. The car behind him that it hit learned it too.)
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Old 03-24-2007, 12:15 PM   #5
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That's interesting that the vent came off. I've been driving school buses for years and there's no reason to worry about it flying off. Now, if it's not secured in the emergency handle part of it, yeah, it definately will come off.
My unenvironmentally-friendly testing (with no children on of course) shows that maximum airflow occurs when the back third of the bus has all the windows down, the front of the rear top vent is popped open, and the front door is open. When you're at highway speeds this creates effecient reverse airflow out the front door which helps meet the requirement of sweeping out the bus every day.
Also, if you're having problems defrosting the front windshield, open the back windows and the driver's window. This will create enough reverse airflow to keep the windshield clean.
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Old 03-26-2007, 12:56 PM   #6
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I don't think any skoolie will go fast enough to rip the roof vents off. I've driven my skoolie as fast as it will go (65mph) with the roof vents open and they were fine.
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Old 03-26-2007, 07:44 PM   #7
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Boy, do I feel like a putz! I just re-read the original post and see that Ottomobile said they are the OEM vents. The incident I referred to above was with an after-market, consumer-improperly-installed (backwards) vent. I sincerely regret and apologize for the error!
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Old 03-26-2007, 10:27 PM   #8
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Off topic drift

Oh, I'm drifting off topic, but I cannot resist.

Quote:
The car behind him that it hit...
That's nothing. I was once behind a Corvette with the glass "targa" roof panels.
The passenger tried to take one off at freeway speed. Those things are tempered
glass and absolutely explode!
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Old 03-28-2007, 08:49 PM   #9
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Thanks for the help everyone!

After reading everyone's replies, I tested it out and was really surprised by the amount of air flow generated. It'll be a nice way to cruise...
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