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Old 01-27-2017, 05:00 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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How tall is too tall?

Stock height of my bus is 10' 4" including the emergency hatches. No rooftop AC. I'm considering a 20" roof raise. The highway limit is 13' 6" but I've read that I don't want to get anywhere near that. Any suggestions on how tall I can go without compromising my ability to navigate in town? Thanks.
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Old 01-27-2017, 07:54 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by CeramicHammer View Post
Stock height of my bus is 10' 4" including the emergency hatches. No rooftop AC. I'm considering a 20" roof raise. The highway limit is 13' 6" but I've read that I don't want to get anywhere near that. Any suggestions on how tall I can go without compromising my ability to navigate in town? Thanks.
I have put many miles on rigs that were 12'8" to 13'6" and had relatively few troubles as long as I was PAYING ATTENTION.

I did once find myself facing a <12' clearance on a one way street at 5pm on a Friday in downtown Denver and had to back up a full block.

The raise you mention would put you at 12' plus another 8" for a low profile roof air.

Total 12' 8"

Other factor to consider besides clearance are added wind load and the change of your center of gravity. I think the change in the CG would trouble me more than the reduced clearance.
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Old 04-20-2017, 12:10 AM   #3
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I am also reconsidering my bedroom loft. It was fun to watch low clearance crashes on Youtube but I'm sure it wasn't fun for the drivers. I'd like to avoid that at all costs. Here in Southern Illinois I've seen some pretty low clearances, especially on my beloved country and backroads. I think I've seen a bridge with a clearance of 10'4", can't confirm. Seeing as most buses are about ten feet, considering the solar panels I plan to add... I dunno, suddenly the loft seems so risky. I mean, what would I do when I came across a bridge I couldn't pass? Besides stopping obviously, but roads vary, ugh I hate to imagine having to back up, people bitching and honking at me, mb even a cop deciding to make my day...

I've also been dithering over FE or RE, FE would give me more floorspace potentially, which might be very important if I don't do the loft...
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Old 04-20-2017, 12:29 AM   #4
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i want to park mine inside some day. personally i wouldn't go over 12' to keep that easy.
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Old 04-20-2017, 10:50 AM   #5
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I did a 16" raise and ended up right at 11'6" with nothing mounted on the roof yet. I'm almost 6' tall and with 4" of insulation in the floor and ~3" in the ceiling I can stretch my arms all the way over my head with my palms flat on the ceiling. It's amazing how much larger even a small raise makes the bus interior feel. You don't have to go huge to make a big difference... Also, I haven't noticed any difference in how she drives (center of gravity, etc.) pre and post roof raise
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:35 AM   #6
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With that much insulation, and with the right AC unit, your bus could serve as a meat locker.

Are you planning a trip to Alaska?
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:40 AM   #7
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I really wish I would do a roof raise, even just a small one... But I've heard it can be super expensive and I can't see me being able to do it on my own.
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Old 04-20-2017, 04:35 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Robin97396 View Post
With that much insulation, and with the right AC unit, your bus could serve as a meat locker.

Are you planning a trip to Alaska?
Someday... Someday...
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Old 04-20-2017, 04:40 PM   #9
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I really wish I would do a roof raise, even just a small one... But I've heard it can be super expensive and I can't see me being able to do it on my own.
In the grand scheme of things it's not. I think I had about 1k into everything (rib extensions, sheet metal for the sides, nuts, bolts, etc.). And I skinned most of the bus, only have 5 windows total now. If you kept the stock windows it would be considerably cheaper since you wouldn't need as much sheet as I did.

I did the whole raise completely by myself except for turning the actual nuts to raise the roof, had my dad help me and we had it lifted in about an hour. It's the best money I've spent on the bus so far. If you're planning to live in if full time I would highly recommend it. The prep work is the hardest part and even that isn't so bad.

Don't be skurrd... it's only a roof raise...
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:48 PM   #10
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Don't be skurrd... it's only a roof raise...
LOL You might have a point... I guess it depends on my resources... I'm going to try to sell my classic car, a 69 Ford Tbird, REALLY want 15k out of it, I feel like that's a good round budget for my bus conversion. I'll keep thinking about it. I'm not there yet, nothing has to be decided yet. Almost glad to still be in the wishing and planning stage... almost...

I'm less skurrd of the roof raise than I am of low clearance bridges... I read that's more of a problem in Chicago and the northeast US. The NE US is one place I plan to explore in particular, so that might be a problem lol

I will definitely keep that option open. I REALLY REALLY want a bedroom loft, it will give me so much more room for a living room.
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