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Old 09-13-2018, 02:35 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 40
Post Conversion Roof Raise

Hello, friends!

My girlfriend and I recently purchased a 1998 Blue Bird All American RE 40' bus that had been almost completely converted by the previous owner, minus a couple key systems that we are planning to install. We found the seller in Iowa City via Craigslist, and flew out from MA to meet him and drive the bus home.

The one problem is that I did not have a chance to see the bus in person until we arrived and I did not ask the owner what ceiling clearance there was!

I am 6'2" and the bus has about 5'11" after all building materials. I was planning to just deal with it and get strong legs from all the squatting, but I am finding about a month in that it is really becoming more and more of an annoyance. It's frustrating because I kind of just assumed that buses would be more than tall enough, given my experience in them in other contexts. I did NOT factor in all the insulation, etc. and this oversight has caused me a lot of frustration already.

The bus is beautiful, the engine is young and strong, and overall the fit and finish is very good, but I am desperate for more clearance.

I am wondering how challenging it would be to do a roof raise at this point in the game? I fully expect to remove all things from the rails and ceiling, but there are other big modules that are currently installed, like walls and a whole kitchen counter, etc. that would be really challenging to remove and put back in without a longterm place to store them.

And then the other big question...the optimistic view that "it's not that hard to pull off a roof raise" aside, I can tell you right now that it's nothing we have the time or desire to get into right now.

What does this type of thing cost? Where does one go to perform such a feat? Is it a "my friend knows a guy who's got a guy" kind of thing? Are there any of these friend's guy's guys located in the Northeast?

Thanks in advance for the info. I feel really dumb on this one. I'm usually extremely thorough and this oversight really caught me off guard!
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Old 09-13-2018, 02:44 PM   #2
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EastCoastCB's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 21,355
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
You'd probably be better off selling it and starting with a blank slate.
I've raised a roof but I can't see how to do it without gutting the bus.
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Old 09-13-2018, 03:00 PM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 40
This is also my thoughts/fears. It would be unfortunate, but we are not bonded to this bus yet (although it is very nice).
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