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Old 07-13-2017, 06:41 AM   #1
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Small Roof Raise

Hello all! I am looking to begin my conversion sometime around summer 2018. So still in the planning phase. I have been looking around for good guidelines on interior heights, because at 6'2" I do not really want to spend much time hunched around inside the bus. I plan on living full time on the bus.

I would rather not raise the roof at all, but if need be I am not against it entirely. Though it doesn't seem like anyone does anything less than a 12 inch raise.

Has anyone done a small raise 6" or less? If so why and how did it turn out.

If not, why?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-13-2017, 12:03 PM   #2
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When raising mine, we stopped at 8" and almost left it there. Went another 2" for the hell of it, but 6"-8" makes a HUUUUUUUUGE difference!!!
Most folks go like 18-24" which to me is too much, but to each their own!
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Old 07-13-2017, 12:35 PM   #3
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I think the taller height gives the bus a roomier feel. Having a foot or more of headroom does a lot to human psychology in enclosed spaces like a bus.
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Old 07-13-2017, 12:57 PM   #4
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Oh, for sure.
But to me a reasonable amount of headroom won't affect things too badly and really makes it open up in the "tin can".
8" felt great, 10" felt PERFECT.

If you use the allthread method you can raise it as much or as little as you think feels and looks right.
We have a few low clearance spots locally, so I wanted to make damn sure I stayed below 12'6" overall height.
From metal floor to the underside of the ribs I've got just over 85", and it feels great. Now I can even walk down the sides of the bus without hitting my head.
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Old 07-13-2017, 01:13 PM   #5
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One way to guide a roof raise is by optimizing for cost. As an example, sheet metal is universally available in 4x8 feet, but depending on distributor may also be available in 10 or 12 foot lengths and 5 or 6 foot widths in select gauges and finishes. If a 1 inch lift consumed half a sheet of metal and the other half went to waste, it would be better cost-optimized to do a 2 inch lift and use the whole sheet since it's paid for either way.

Competing with that is "I don't want it to be absurdly tall, even if the extra height is free."

In my case I had a specific design goal: enough height to fit a 3-level bunk bed over the rear wheel wells. I made a mock-up in the garage with adjustable warehouse steel shelving considering the thickness of a mattress, the framework to support it, and how much space I felt was necessary to be able to wiggle, roll over, and climb in and out of the upper bunks comfortably. I settled on a 16 inch raise yielding 13 inches of new interior height (allowing 3 inches for floor and ceiling insulation and finishes) to make room for those bunks. That should work out to an 88 inch center-of-aisle finished interior height.

It would have been "free" to go as much as a foot higher based on material sizes, but I opted not to in favor of keeping the top of the bus out of low-hanging trees and keeping the wind profile just a little lower.
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Old 07-13-2017, 01:21 PM   #6
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On my last bus (Eagle not Skoolie) we did an 8" raise and it made a HUGE difference in the perceived space. W wound up with an 84" finished ceiling height.

On my current Bluebird I am looking at a 10" raise and that should give me around 85" finished height.

Also, when I called the local metal supply here and asked question about stock material size so that I could optimize material yield. They told me that they simply charged by the square foot so I did not need to worry about sheet yield.
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