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Old 05-24-2012, 02:55 AM   #1
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Re: Raising The Roof ~ Questions...

it will certainly be more top heavy and corners esp the curves like east of eugene, would have to be negotiated much more slowly.. even in my last coach bus i had to learn to slow down - and the roof wasn't raised...
the frame axles, etc would take the load, esp if its the international as those were made for at least 26k lbs and even could easily carry 28 - 30 but that is pushing it in my book. i doubt if yours weighs more than 18 now.

there are several fabricators in spfld, eugene, but the ones i know aren't cheap. neither is anyone around here that i know of. you can get steel 4x8 18 ga steel sheets at places like cherry city metal scrapyard, etc, and the metal for the uprights.... also in portland lotsa used steel for sale. if you are using wood, there is tons of it around, even lots of free stuff on cl like windows, cause there are people like me who are scrapping rv stuff right now.

i would think you could also get practically free minivans.

or you could get a 40' pusher diesel for under 3k.. several in the area off and on...
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Old 05-27-2012, 12:21 AM   #2
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Re: Raising The Roof ~ Questions...

sent pm.
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:59 AM   #3
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Re: Raising The Roof ~ Questions...

maybe adm doesnt recognize you as full member yet, cause i cant send pm. mine says you dont exist for some reason... cant send pm yet.. ph is 971 218 9831
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Old 05-27-2012, 11:39 AM   #4
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Re: Raising The Roof ~ Questions...

my thing on riseing the roof,,,,,( leave it alone ) iam 6,3 and i may have to duck around the A/C ...but u can get used to it.....if the bus company thought it was safe they would do it.... it like these people takeing a 4x4 and putting low prof tires on there ride,it not good for a 4x4 anymore.
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:03 PM   #5
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Re: Raising The Roof ~ Questions...

I agree with Keith, I think you loose to much for what u gain ie; handling, fuel mileage,saftey, plus the extra work and $$. just to get a few extra inchs. Also here in ontario cdn if you where going to sell it, it maybe next to impossible to get a saftey check done to transfer the title.
just my 2 cents

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Old 05-28-2012, 10:56 AM   #6
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Re: Raising The Roof ~ Questions...

Have Terrence do the safety inspection....
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Old 06-01-2012, 12:52 AM   #7
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Re: Raising The Roof ~ Questions...

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.

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Old 06-01-2012, 02:10 PM   #8
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Re: Raising The Roof ~ Questions...

I didn't have airbags before and my passengers couldn't even lay on the back bed without being tossed up and down violently. That same mechanic just finished an install on my bus. He took a rear end off of a semi. Bigger gear ratio and air suspension. Do it, you won't regret it!
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:54 AM   #9
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Re: Raising The Roof ~ Questions...

I raised the roof of my 32 foot Bluebird by 10 inches. I am in Lowell (20 miles east of Eugene), you're welcome to come check it out and I can show you how I did it.

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Old 06-06-2012, 11:52 PM   #10
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Re: Raising The Roof ~ Questions...

It's all metal. I took out all the original windows and removed the metal from the outside of all the vertical supports, as well as the metal sills from underneath all the windows. Then I removed all the rivets on the bottoms of the front and rear caps, so that the whole roof could be raised as one piece. I cut all the vertical supports in the middle, and welded extension pieces that slide into the channels. I welded some of them onto the lower side of the supports after they were cut, but before all the supports were cut, to guide the roof as I raised it. I used 4 handyman jacks (aka hi-lift or farm jacks) in the window openings to raise the roof. I was able to do it all myself without any issues.

After welding all the supports in, I filled the gap at the front and rear with 20ga sheet metal that wraps around the corners. I sealed all the metal skins with Manus-Bond 75AM sealant and fastened them with standard 1/4" steel rivets. Using standard rivets is the best way, but it's a huge pain in the ass and I wouldn't recommend it unless you have time and you're dedicated to making a bus that will last forever. I covered the sides where I don't have windows with the same 20ga metal with rivets.

I used vinyl house windows, custom made to the width between the vertical supports, and at the height that I wanted for each window. Putting the windows in was another huge pain in the ass, but they're not going to leak and I think they'll last a long time. I can describe how I did that some other time, if you want.

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Old 06-07-2012, 02:18 AM   #11
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Re: Raising The Roof ~ Questions...

I haven't been keeping track of costs, or my time, but I paid $75 a sheet for the metal (4'x10' 20ga). I'm pretty sure I used 4 sheets. I put 10 windows in altogether, 4 on the right side and 6 on the left side, including the driver window. Three of the windows cover two of the old openings (twice as wide as the original windows).

I don't have very good pictures, but here are a couple. I can take more if you want.

After the roof raise, before any skin or windows


After the right side is done


If you're ever out this way, I'd be happy to show you my progress so far, and how I did everything (just finished putting all the windows in).

As far as working on yours, it's unlikely because I have plenty of work already, and barely find time to work on my own bus. I might be able to help a little, or at least try to point you in the right direction. I would charge 25/hr if I did find time to work on it.

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Old 06-07-2012, 11:48 AM   #12
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Re: Raising The Roof ~ Questions...

Normally you can buy 18ga steel for $50 at Cherry City metals for a sheet if they have it in their recycle stack . I buy all mine from them, and mostly 18ga.

lowell roof raise looks good. There is another one around here somewhere with a 36" roof raise. Don't know how that one fits under trees in a campground. Have seen it in west salem.
I dont plan on raising mine, except to make it flat, because of the slides i am making. cides, im short and 78 in is fine.
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Old 06-07-2012, 12:31 PM   #13
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Re: Raising The Roof ~ Questions...

Good to know about Cherry City, chev49. I bought my metal at Farwest Steel, and that was the best price I could find anywhere for 4X10 sheets of cold rolled. I'll have to try them in the future.

I would recommend doing a simple roof raise like I did, even if you go higher than me, rather than moving the roof forward. Seems like moving the roof forward would just create many more places to leak and would be a lot more work. But to each his own, everybody has a dream! I'm sure it could be done well. I left my number up above, give me a call or text and we can set up a time to meet.

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Old 06-07-2012, 01:15 PM   #14
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Re: Raising The Roof ~ Questions...

thats probably about the best place to get the new steel.
i still have rounded edge rv windows and other stuff that im gonna scrap it no one wants it.
if one makes his own roof, i dont think it would leak if it was welded properly. and if i were doing it, i would use 18ga.
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:29 AM   #15
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Re: Raising The Roof ~ Questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by pixemoss
We are leaning towards a metal roof raise vs a wooden one, with a loft in front for us and one in the back for our two kids, then a sun deck in between connecting the two....
My 2 cents: Glad you're inclined towards using steel. Stay away from wooden structures, unless you're keeping all of the bus's original steel ribs in place with just a small access hole for the upstairs. Wood is why sticks 'n staples RVs collapse in rollovers.

Check out the replies I got when I posted "Cross winds and roof raises." I got some good informative responses to it.
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:02 PM   #16
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Re: Raising The Roof ~ Questions...

Please do not use conventional residential windows in a vehicle. "Plate" glass breaks into large sharp shards.

Some roof-raising info in the Millicent thread; link in signature. Good luck.
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Old 06-22-2012, 05:18 AM   #17
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Re: Raising The Roof ~ Questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elliot Naess
Please do not use conventional residential windows in a vehicle. "Plate" glass breaks into large sharp shards.
Yes, yes. Just ask my Rottweiler. $500 for stitches. Went through her like a hot knife through butter. I replaced the window with custom made laminated glass. Much cheaper than $500. I bet not too many homes have laminated glass.
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Old 06-22-2012, 02:15 PM   #18
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Re: Raising The Roof ~ Questions...

thats what i looked for for the screen door installation. yup tempered glass! no shards of painful stabbing for me please!
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:11 AM   #19
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Re: Raising The Roof ~ Questions...

There are two kinds of safety glass: tempered and laminated.
When broken, tempered glass disintegrates into a million little "squares" that are relatively harmless. Tempered glass is used in door windows in cars.
When broken, laminated glass cracks, but the plastic layer in the middle keeps it in one piece. Laminated glass is used in windshields.

When cars were invented, most cars had open bodies for the first couple of decades. This was not because people enjoyed being cold and wet. It was because people hated being cut to mincemeat by broken glass.
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:58 PM   #20
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Re: Raising The Roof ~ Questions...

Even Henry Ford while riding in pre production model a...that's why those cars got safety glass..
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