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Old 07-26-2012, 10:07 AM   #21
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Re: Raising The Roof ~ Questions...

This is how I'm planning to execute my roof raise. The spacers are based on a suggestion in Ben Rosander's Select and Convert Your Bus on a Shoestring. He also recommends staggering these spacers vertically so they don't line up down the length of the bus (otherwise you're giving a place for the sidewall to "fold" in a rollover; a chain is as strong as its weakest link). The angle iron is my idea for bridging the spacer and reinforcing the post.



Welds would be along the length of the angle steel and at its ends (and of course at the junctures of the spacer and original bus frame rib). One caveat is if you use angle iron of about 1/8" thick, you lose 1/4" space between adjacent ribs/studs and I'm guessing the bus windows wouldn't fit anymore.

To paraphrase Rosander's warning at the beginning of his roof-raise chapter, if you aren't proficient at welding and precision work like this:
  • Learn how to do it from an expert.
    Find an expert to raise the roof for you.
    Don't raise the roof.
For me, that last one would mean either to become accustomed to stooping or find a high-roof bus. When I stand up straight while wearing shoes, the top of my head is about six inches higher than the middle of the ceiling of a standard school bus.
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:40 AM   #22
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Re: Raising The Roof ~ Questions...

i am not quite sure i follow your diagram. if i were raising the bus, i would use full length pieces of medium wall box tubing and frame it in. i wouldnt use angle iron. and i would extend it from at least the floor level to the roof level so that the box tubing was the full height of the side structure. and i would x brace between areas that did not contain a window. i also would use heavier material around the framework where a slide might go.
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:57 AM   #23
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Re: Raising The Roof ~ Questions...

Ditto what '49 said. Without getting into the science of it, box tubing provides a more rigid structure because its walls all work "against" each other when lateral loads are applied. Angle iron only provides rigidity in one plane and simply bends when forces are applied other than in that plane.
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Old 07-26-2012, 11:17 AM   #24
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Re: Raising The Roof ~ Questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by chev49
i am not quite sure i follow your diagram. if i were raising the bus, i would use full length pieces of medium wall box tubing and frame it in. i wouldnt use angle iron. and i would extend it from at least the floor level to the roof level so that the box tubing was the full height of the side structure. and i would x brace between areas that did not contain a window. i also would use heavier material around the framework where a slide might go.
The piece labeled "spacer" is box tubing. It bridges the gap created after the ribs are cut and the roof raised. The book I cited uses that as the only added material. My angle iron would have welds along the entire length where it contacts the original rib. If I'm envisioning your idea correctly, your box tubing would fit inside the original rib (which in cross section looks like a top hat, at least in Superior Coach buses and probably most others). That does sound better, including the X bracing.

Edit: picture below added. Click to magnify.
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File Type: jpg roof_raise2.jpg (46.1 KB, 705 views)
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Old 07-26-2012, 11:19 AM   #25
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Re: Raising The Roof ~ Questions...

if you are doing it that way, then the box tubing would fit inside as you suggested. if you are just replacing the whole side structure, i would just use box tubing for everything...
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Old 03-24-2018, 03:29 PM   #26
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I just shot you an email. Id like to talk to your guy about doing a roof raise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyletheyeti View Post
Hello.
I am also looking for some inspiration for my roof raise. Like you, I want one real bad. Don't let these other guys get you down, I think it's totally worth it. I was playing around with the idea of mounting a pop top system like on a vanagon. Extra space, a breeze, and another level (like a vanagon bunk bed) when you're parked, and no extra clearance/top heavy/air drag issues when you're driving. Just having such a thing mounted on the roof would give you lots more head room inside while it's closed. Just an Idea. I haven't found anyone who's done such a thing. So if anyone's got any bright ideas, please let me know!

As far as your questions...... I have a few friends who have raised their roofs. One of my friends actually lives in Eugene too. He chopped two old VWs in half and mounted them on his roof and then cut a hole in the middle. He also connected them so it's one long, tall space. He used the remaining metal from all that chopping to fab the connections. He cut the VWs under the windows so they are all in tact. The extra light is amazing. This could be a pretty cheap way to go but if you're like me then you're terrified of cutting massive holes in your roof without the help of someone who really knows what they're doing. I fear water leaks.

Another friend did basically the same thing but with an old bus roof instead of two VWs. The older bus roof is slightly thinner than his so it sat up there nicely while he did all the work. Still, I'm afraid of leaks. I guess if you layer all your sheet metal in a shingle effect from the top down and coated the whole thing in some super gnarly weather sealant you'd most likely be good for a long time.

And then there's my mechanic. He's just outside Portland (where I live) He is a bus maniac! He must have 12 busses in his yard, all converted into campers/haulers of some kind. He knows his stuff and does 100% professional work. He just completed a rear end swap and air bag suspension on my bus. He also does complete roof raises. He literally chops the entire roof off, hoists it up, laser levels it, welds extensions onto every two or three window supports and installs big double pane rv windows in whatever configuration you like. You could have this for $5,000 for everything (I already know because I got quoted for the same job as soon as I saw him doing it!). It would cost less depending on how many rv windows you want and where you get them, as they're expensive new. He lives by this method because of the fact that "bus roofs just don't leak.... until you cut holes in them"

He will do anything you want him to. But for a price. Until you really get to know him he's not really into having you "helping" (in the way) while he and his team are working. I'm don't think he'll want me putting his information on the web for all to read. If you want his number Email me at kyletheyeti@yahoo.com.

peace
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