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Old 01-08-2019, 07:58 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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pop top for extra head room?

so one of the things ive been recently checking out is pop tops, i kinda love the idea that you could pop up a roof and instantly add extra head space! yea i know you can do a whole roof raise and add extra space all over but personally they idea of messing with the structural integrity of how sturdy buses are i dont think thats a route were willing to take, plus all the extra cost at welding, windows etc. so what about a pop top? like they do on VW vans or sprinters? we would only need a couple well placed and could be put down or up easily as needed (mostly head space from our raised bed or living room for spacial openness) then no worry about overpasses or whatever because everything is tucked away when moving. the pop up would be 100% open and no "flooring" here is a link to what i mean if anyone is confused

https://www.spaceroofs.co.uk/type-5-elevating-roof.htm

How do yall feel about this idea?
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:07 PM   #2
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just in case anyone is has no idea what im talking about, here is a link to what we would try to do

https://www.spaceroofs.co.uk/type-5-elevating-roof.htm
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Old 01-09-2019, 03:30 PM   #3
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Oops...............
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Old 01-09-2019, 03:34 PM   #4
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lol im assuming the opps is for the accidental comment? lol im still new here and fat thumbed the edit vs reply
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Old 01-09-2019, 03:38 PM   #5
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I would think that this would compromise the structural integrity of the bus substantially more than a roof raise. Properly done, a roof raise should be just as safe as it came from the factory (center of gravity changes, aside). With a roof raise, all of the ribs of the bus are lengthened, but they still run across the roof in the same manner, every 24 inches or so. In order to do a tented roof, like you've described, you would have to remove a large number of the ribs that cross the roof. Given some engineering and fabricating skills, I suppose it could be possible to do this in a very strong and secure way, but I'd imagine it'd be more costly and less practical.
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Old 01-09-2019, 03:43 PM   #6
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we wouldnt be cutting into the ribs. we would put something made to fit in between so it was only cutting through the sheet metal. and we did a price check with our welder guy and he said a roof raise would be 5k to 6k. that is more than what we are paying for our bus where as we could do a pop top for under 2k and only where we would want it.
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Old 01-09-2019, 03:46 PM   #7
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Google " PopTop VW Camper" and find all kinds of potions.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg pop.jpg (35.6 KB, 13 views)
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Old 01-09-2019, 03:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infamousmoose View Post
we wouldnt be cutting into the ribs. we would put something made to fit in between so it was only cutting through the sheet metal. and we did a price check with our welder guy and he said a roof raise would be 5k to 6k. that is more than what we are paying for our bus where as we could do a pop top for under 2k and only where we would want it.
But you'd still have the ribs crossing the bus about every 24". You'd be doing this just to have some clearance between the ribs? To be clear, I'm not trying to be argumentative-just trying to understand.
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Old 01-09-2019, 04:08 PM   #9
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we wouldnt be cutting into the ribs. we would put something made to fit in between so it was only cutting through the sheet metal. and we did a price check with our welder guy and he said a roof raise would be 5k to 6k. that is more than what we are paying for our bus where as we could do a pop top for under 2k and only where we would want it.
FWIW a set of tires can cost more than a used school bus.
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Old 01-09-2019, 04:17 PM   #10
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But you'd still have the ribs crossing the bus about every 24". You'd be doing this just to have some clearance between the ribs? To be clear, I'm not trying to be argumentative-just trying to understand.
no its cool, i totally dont think your trying to argue, but yes only in the open spaces inbetween the ribs. and just as a small space for a little extra head room when we're in bed, we plan on doing kennels under our bed so our head space will be around 3 ft. adding a little pop up seemed to be the cheaspest easiest route
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Old 01-09-2019, 04:18 PM   #11
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FWIW a set of tires can cost more than a used school bus.

terrifying, i am not looking forward to that!
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Old 01-09-2019, 04:18 PM   #12
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I foresee a lot of head banging on roof ribs if adding a pop-up and leaving the ribs.
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Old 01-09-2019, 04:21 PM   #13
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Long run for a short slide. A DIY roof raise of 8"-12" or so would be better/easier in my book. They are actually pretty simple and the steel won't need to be replaced every few years like fabric will.


Just sayin'.
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Old 01-09-2019, 04:23 PM   #14
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Long run for a short slide. A DIY roof raise of 8"-12" or so would be better/easier in my book. They are actually pretty simple and the steel won't need to be replaced every few years like fabric will.


Just sayin'.
there is no way i would diy a roof raise. i couldnt weld a straight line to save my life, thats one of those things i would out source to a pro.
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Old 01-09-2019, 04:39 PM   #15
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There is very little welding involved and really none required. The ribs on my 40' BBAA were tacked in a few places just for positioning but relied on 1/4" rivets. The sheet metal siding is all rivets & sealer. Zero welding. My ex and I did the whole raise in a weekend and then I spent maybe another two weeks laying on the sheetmetal. Could have done it quicker but was in no rush.
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Old 01-09-2019, 04:53 PM   #16
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terrifying, i am not looking forward to that!
I have a bus with a bad timing cover. The estimate I got was $9400.
It would be a few grand even if I had all the tools and know how to do it myself.
Buses are versatile. They're amazing bargains. But they're aren't cheap to own or operate.
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Old 01-09-2019, 05:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infamousmoose View Post
so one of the things ive been recently checking out is pop tops, i kinda love the idea that you could pop up a roof and instantly add extra head space! yea i know you can do a whole roof raise and add extra space all over but personally they idea of messing with the structural integrity of how sturdy buses are i dont think thats a route were willing to take, plus all the extra cost at welding, windows etc. so what about a pop top? like they do on VW vans or sprinters? we would only need a couple well placed and could be put down or up easily as needed (mostly head space from our raised bed or living room for spacial openness) then no worry about overpasses or whatever because everything is tucked away when moving. the pop up would be 100% open and no "flooring" here is a link to what i mean if anyone is confused

https://www.spaceroofs.co.uk/type-5-elevating-roof.htm

How do yall feel about this idea?

I may have missed this but what kind of vehicle do you have for this project?

I think if the steel is all cut square for the rectangle needed, the ribs can be lined up side to sid for max strength again. I'm thinking of maybe a 12-15 foot cut to make only the centre high. Can use brackets, no welding.


Thanks,


John
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Old 01-09-2019, 08:57 PM   #18
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My bus came with a ready made boxed in opening in the roof so I went with a pop up.
Jack

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Old 01-09-2019, 09:13 PM   #19
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Thanks jack, that's what I want to do for an opening exactly.
I want a roof and windows that look like the deck on an old galleon.
Wouldn't add much weight at all but give headroom with a view. Maybe instead of a solid roof, something like a scenic rail car has.
love that pic, are you happy you went poptop?


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Old 01-09-2019, 09:43 PM   #20
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Yes, quite happy---except the tent material lets out a lot of heat. I overcame that by adding a snap in down comforter that follows the line of the pop up. Even without the heater going that keeps the inside temp 10 degrees F plus higher and still allows my lanky 6'2" frame enough room to move around.

I'd have loved to have a fixed trolley car top but since the city Nazis insist that my bus be in a garage, I had to settle for what I've got--it works just fine but it would have been cool the other way.
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