My .02 worth -
I understand your dilemma w/ the roof. I'm 6'7" and was lucky enough to find an old Wayne w/ 79” of headroom. I bought it as soon as I got in and realized I could stand up in it!
To me being able to stand up is critical
to being happy in my bus, I had a couple of buses before that were 2-6” shy of enough room and it got old fast
Now I’m looking to find a Crown for the next project and I will have to raise the roof. It’s a pretty fair amount of work, but straightforward, esp. if you know how to weld. No offence to the “vertically challenged”
- but stooping over all the time bites. As far as windows I agree that seated visibility may be more important in the long run. Of course I’m one of the “weirdos” that likes to have all my windows clear – love that 360o view going down the road….
As to Carpenters, in my experience they are great buses – the issue is a lot of the ones built in their Mitchell, IN plant had bad roof welds. Some have been fixed, but most are up for sale because they are not safe to drive for school use. If repaired they are fine and legal. The “nice” thing for you in this is that their prices are pretty depressed because of this issue, and since you want to raise the roof all the faulty welds can be repaired at the same time! I would be cautious of buses from the “rust belt” but other than that they may be a good choice for you.
I would definitely recommend going for a diesel - and air brakes are great too. Yes, they are a little more expensive to maintain – but the improved driveability and safety I think are worth the expense. And fuel costs are usually much less.
422 auctions is a pretty good source as is used- bus.com
Otherwise Les’s advice is darn good and covered the rest of your questions well.
Good Luck and welcome to the “club”!