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Old 07-06-2019, 07:57 PM   #1
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Framing/roof raise

I bought an Ď84 full size blue bird. I am interested in cutting off roof above windows and stick framing 8í high with single pitch metal roof. Iím 6í4 and need to raise roof. I donít know how to weld but I am a good carpenter. I will loose 7.5 inches in width with framing and drywall but I know I can complete the work and do it well.

Anybody out there done this? Raise roof by cutting off and stick frame? Iíd love to hear from you. Advice. Cautions. Pictures. Comments.
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Old 07-06-2019, 08:04 PM   #2
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Advice and caution in one: Don't do it!!!
Unless it will never move again, wood would not do a'tall.
Not nitpicking, but seeking clarity: Eight inches is what you want to get a rise from, not eight feet..?
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Originally Posted by Whereslandis View Post
I bought an Ď84 full size blue bird. I am interested in cutting off roof above windows and stick framing 8í high with single pitch metal roof. Iím 6í4 and need to raise roof. I donít know how to weld but I am a good carpenter. I will loose 7.5 inches in width with framing and drywall but I know I can complete the work and do it well.

Anybody out there done this? Raise roof by cutting off and stick frame? Iíd love to hear from you. Advice. Cautions. Pictures. Comments.
When you can, populate your profile with your bus' specs. If you ever need an assist, it helps if we don't have to ask, first.
Welcome to the booby hatch!
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Old 07-06-2019, 08:44 PM   #3
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The reason we choose buses is because they are built to keep our children safe. The basis of this is the bus body and rib design to give it structural strength. I think cutting all that off would seriously reduce the structural integrity of the body. Might be okay if you never roll it. If you do it might come apart like an RV.
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Old 07-06-2019, 09:22 PM   #4
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Hazmat,

I want to frame 8í ceiling adding 2í to existing height. Are you thinking weight is the issue (it wonít move?)?
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Old 07-06-2019, 10:59 PM   #5
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Hello,
i have a 40 foot rear engine bluebird.
i just raised my roof last weekend. i used 1 1/4" square tube .095 wall. each piece was 43" long and it gave me a 21" raise. a 21" raise allowed me to use a full 4x8 piece of sheet metal that goes from bottom rivet row of drip edge to rivet row under the rub rail.
if none of that makes sense i can provide pics or you can check out my instagram.

enjoy the adventure
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Old 07-07-2019, 06:03 AM   #6
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OK, I'm seeing it, now. You're looking to scalp your bus, then frame in walls and a roof using lumber. My bad. I thought you are planning on a typical roof-raise using atypical materials in the resulting gap.
I reappraise my initial reaction. While not as dire as I first imagined, I don't have warm and squishies about it, either.
Part of the appeal of these massively clunky machines is their inherent safety. Over-engineered to perform their intended daily function, it's the, "What If," factor of an accident designed in that increases the otherwise aesthetic and/or funky appeal of a bus conversion.
An extra 2' above the deck is at the high end of conservative, but not unheard of in the more traditional roof-raise. 12"-18" is much more commonplace.
No, my concerns relate to the resultant structural integrity, not building material's weight. By removing the transverse ribs, or rafters, the crush factor in the event of a side impact, be it by roll-over or t-boning, is significantly increased.
Theoretically, what you propose can be done. I've never seen the like done to a bus in person, tho I have seen cabins framed onto pick up and van bodies before. Very solidly constructed, structures that could survive and shrug off the worst of the stresses from feet of snow covering that the north woods could throw at them.
I've also seen the piles of kindling & matchsticks strewn about following a wreck...
It's been a long time since I worked framing and finish, but I'm thinking regular gypsum drywall'd be a bad call, given the condensation problems Skoolies are prone to. Seems there was a product (green board?) that was used in bath/shower encloses. Water repelling or resisting drywall'd be the way I'd go, if I were going your way.
But I'm not...
Happy Trails!
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Old 07-07-2019, 05:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whereslandis View Post
I bought an Ď84 full size blue bird. I am interested in cutting off roof above windows and stick framing 8í high with single pitch metal roof. Iím 6í4 and need to raise roof. I donít know how to weld but I am a good carpenter. I will loose 7.5 inches in width with framing and drywall but I know I can complete the work and do it well.

Anybody out there done this? Raise roof by cutting off and stick frame? Iíd love to hear from you. Advice. Cautions. Pictures. Comments.

First question : Do you ever plan to DRIVE the bus, or is this going to be a stationary build? For a stationary build, I think it would be doable.

For a bus you plan on driving, I'd say its a very bad idea. Buses ARE overbuilt, but I would not want to cut off all the roof ribs and replace them with wood framing of some sort. The whole thing is going to flex horribly. That's bad partly because it won't be structurally strong, and partly because it's really hard to get a good water seal of flexing material.

Look at some photos of roof raises that have been done on here - first, there's not a lot of great structural ways to attatch the wood framing to the existing metal. You're looking at a LOT of drilling and bolting. Second, if you know how to work with wood, you can probably learn the skills to do it in steel (or just raise & keep the existing roof) pretty easily. There's some welding involved, or people have done the raise with bolts, then just hired someone to come by and finish the welding for them.

Loosing 7 inches of framing, over the length of your bus, will cost you 32 square feet of space.

You might be better off with a transit bus, which tend to have much higher headroom.
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Old 07-07-2019, 05:09 PM   #8
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I have to ask..... How many people here think that drywall in a bus (that is driven) is a bad idea?

I would think it much too heavy and fragile to be practical in a bus/RV.
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Old 07-07-2019, 05:17 PM   #9
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Me.
However I was addressing the hypothetical aspects of an ill-advised option...
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Old 07-07-2019, 05:38 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
I have to ask..... How many people here think that drywall in a bus (that is driven) is a bad idea?

I would think it much too heavy and fragile to be practical in a bus/RV.
I think that using lumber and drywall for a bus or trailer application is a bad idea if using conventional house building technology. Itís important to note that wagons, carriages and the first automobiles were constructed of wood. I think thereís also a reason that cars arenít still made of wood. Instead of house building technologies, it would be better to reference boat building ones for inspiration.

I sure have a lot of drywall experience. I donít think it would last long. I think the vibration and flex of the bus would work the drywall around the screws and cause it to fail pretty quickly.

Steel is real. I see the OP citing inexperience with welding. I am inexperienced as well, but other people know that part and fabricating everything that you can and paying a welder for that part would still work out pretty well.
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