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Old 07-21-2021, 12:45 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Help with Roof Raise in KY

We (finally) took delivery of our '06 FE 84 passenger Thomas.

Went to book a roof raise with Skoolie.com (our first choice), and were surprised to hear that they were already booked through Feb

Anyone have a recommendation for a shop within 300 miles of Louisville, KY where we should make inquiries if we are looking to get a roof raise completed before 2022?

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Old 07-24-2021, 09:54 AM   #2
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Crickets - yikes

So we're saying this is a scarce and in-demand service offering?
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Old 07-24-2021, 10:09 AM   #3
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Yeah, it's pretty scarce and in-demand. There's that one dude who travels to people's buses and does it, but I think he's booked up for years.
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Old 07-25-2021, 03:34 PM   #4
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Anyone offering remote consulting on design/planning with experience doing raises on a Thomas?

We have access to materials and skilled professional welders here in LV, but nobody with experience doing roof raises on a school bus.

I'm fine tackling most aspects of our build in true DIY fashion, relying on the broad mix of resources available through this forum and elsewhere, but the roof raise is high-stakes enough that I won't start down the path, even with help from skilled fabricators, without access to subject matter expertise on roof raises to coach us through the process and keep us from making critical errors.

i) am I being overly conservative here?
ii) any good paths forward aside from getting on someone's wait-list and sitting tight?
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Old 07-25-2021, 04:26 PM   #5
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Have you watched the many youtube videos showing how people do it?
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Old 07-25-2021, 04:33 PM   #6
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Just roll up your sleeves and DIY, you won't regret it. I'd say the two big limiting factors in a raise are access to materials and welding skill, and it sounds like you've got those aspects covered. As BeNimble mentioned, there are a lot of examples out there to look at and almost nobody does it wrong.

And you will save a ton of money over these places that charge for it.
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Old 07-25-2021, 06:11 PM   #7
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We did a roof raise. It really isn't hard.
Watch lots of other's and look at what the finished product came out like on theirs.
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Old 07-26-2021, 01:22 PM   #8
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...there are a lot of examples out there to look at and almost nobody does it wrong.

And you will save a ton of money over these places that charge for it.

KEYWORD ALMOST


Watch lots of youtube vids and in particular Wes's vids (Transcend Existence) as that man had bad assed skills.
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Old 07-26-2021, 10:05 PM   #9
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KEYWORD ALMOST
...

I have been watching a lot of Wes's videos. Were it not for how easy he makes it look, I wouldn't consider ever doing this myself in the first place.

I definitely appreciate everyone's encouragement. I'd love to get my hands dirty on the raise and keep it in-house. Why not save money and gain the experience?

I just get heartburn on the structural stuff. I don't want to start on that adventure w/o a Sherpa.
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Old 07-26-2021, 10:45 PM   #10
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I know that the OP, Tom, is farther away than is practical...but for others looking for a roof raise in the near future we have an opening for a roof raise on Aug 12th. We block out 7 days for those, but shoot for 5...and I usually hit 6. We charge $200/foot of roof, not total bus length, and that includes materials. We press our own hat channel and do things right...or not at all. We can also work solar installations, either full or just putting on the panels, into the plan. We make our own panel mount brackets out of stainless, to fit the individual roof profile. Send me a PM if anyone wants to book this...or if you just want to chat about buses!

Tomrasdf, I look forward to chatting with you tomorrow and I wish we were closer. When I saw LV I got hopeful! For those reading...I know LV as Las Vegas, less than 5 hours from here, but Tom clarified that it means Louisville to those in his neck of the woods.
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Old 07-27-2021, 09:27 AM   #11
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I did my roof raise and added more diagonal supports along with cross supports front and rear. I had no help.
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Old 07-27-2021, 01:12 PM   #12
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I did my roof raise and added more diagonal supports along with cross supports front and rear. I had no help.
I like the engineering.
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Old 07-27-2021, 01:19 PM   #13
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Thanks Shay. I figured that when coming to a stop, the momentum would be greatly depreciated with diagonal braces in areas not served by windows. My new cargo van creaks and groans as you accelerate and decelerate. At least the sliding door does which tells me there is chassis flex in that van. Since I have the chance to mitigate lateral and longitudinal movements, I figured why not?! How this plays out in real life will be the question as I am Not an engineer. I only play one on TV....
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Old 07-27-2021, 02:21 PM   #14
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I know that the OP, Tom, is farther away than is practical...but for others looking for a roof raise in the near future we have an opening for a roof raise on Aug 12th. We block out 7 days for those, but shoot for 5...and I usually hit 6. We charge $200/foot of roof, not total bus length, and that includes materials. We press our own hat channel and do things right...or not at all. We can also work solar installations, either full or just putting on the panels, into the plan. We make our own panel mount brackets out of stainless, to fit the individual roof profile. Send me a PM if anyone wants to book this...or if you just want to chat about buses!

Tomrasdf, I look forward to chatting with you tomorrow and I wish we were closer. When I saw LV I got hopeful! For those reading...I know LV as Las Vegas, less than 5 hours from here, but Tom clarified that it means Louisville to those in his neck of the woods.
$200/ft, is that linear width or length, or square feet. If length, my bus is 37', so $7400 for a roof raise? What all is included in your raise?
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Old 07-27-2021, 11:29 PM   #15
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$200/ft, is that linear width or length, or square feet. If length, my bus is 37', so $7400 for a roof raise? What all is included in your raise?
I took him to mean that it was $200 a linear foot for the portion being raised, not based on teh full length of the bus (unless you're raising the entire length).
So if you were just raising from the rear wheel wells back and that distance was 15 feet, you'd pay 15x2=30 plus the two zeros = $3000. Not 37x200 based on the full length of your bus.
At least that's how I understood it.
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Old 07-28-2021, 08:19 AM   #16
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Hey o1marc and HamSkoolie, thanks for keeping me honest and clear. We base the cost on the length of the roof, front to back, not square foot or linear (each side) distance. In other words, a 40-foot flat front bus would be $8k. But a conventional bus...aka a dognose...has less roof length, so it costs less. If you have a mid-sized conventional bus, for example, with 24 feet of roof it would be $4800.

We base the price on a 12" below-the-windows raise. The roof is raised below the windows, except for the front (driver's window, entry door, windshield) and the rear window. In the front and rear, we raise above the glass. We include the "tallification" of one emergency exit door...so, we'll cut and make taller one door. If the bus has two emergency doors, we'll raise above the second one (owner chooses which) or we can make both doors taller for an additional charge. If the owner wants a taller raise, up to 18", we just charge the extra materials cost with no markup. If the owner wants a raise with all the windows deleted, we'll do that too...the only price difference being the difference in material cost for the taller sheet metal panels...and we'll install three RV windows (supplied by the owner) in that, with proper framing included on a 40-foot bus. If the owner wants more than 3 installed, we'll do that for an extra charge.

We use closed-end stainless rivets - closed end rivets are closed on the back (tail) end so they're not open on the back, like a standard pop rivet. They still have the hole in the front, though. We can use Olympic rivets, and shave them to create a solid rivet look, for a bit more...just because they cost more and require the shaving step. We do spray prime inside, when done.

The above presumes the bus arrives with the seats removed. We'll remove the necessary interior wall skins. We can remove and dispose of seats, too, but would charge a bit more for that. And, this is all based on a "standard" metal bus. A Crown, with a wet wall, is more complex and would have to be custom bid. And a bus with a fiberglass cap may, but won't always, be a bit more depending upon how the owner wants it done.

I hope this makes sense now?!
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Old 07-28-2021, 09:09 AM   #17
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Ross, That sounds like an incredible deal. Do you make custom entry and side doors? I really do no feel like making them on my bus. There are a few things that my time is limiting me on that I would have farmed out to you if I could somehow get the bus there economically. Tires are shot with one rear outer leaking air and of course, no doors or side windows yet.
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Old 07-28-2021, 09:50 AM   #18
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Ross, That sounds like an incredible deal. Do you make custom entry and side doors? I really do no feel like making them on my bus. There are a few things that my time is limiting me on that I would have farmed out to you if I could somehow get the bus there economically. Tires are shot with one rear outer leaking air and of course, no doors or side windows yet.
Hi Simon, I do all kinds of metal fabrication and have a 5x10 CNC plasma table for cutting sheets. I could definitely help you with your doors. Feel free to call me sometime. Northern AZ area code...554-5219

By the way, if you're okay with recaps you can get nice ones for $50 each in Phoenix. I can get you the contact info, if you want it.

And...Tom, the OP...thanks for your patience while we got a bit sidetracked in your thread. It was great to chat with you and I admire your plan and motivations.
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Old 07-31-2021, 07:40 PM   #19
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Please send me your COntact info. We have a couple of bus plans in the near future. Dirtdoctorjak@aol.com. Monterey Calif. we can drive to LVegas.
Thanks
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Old 07-31-2021, 07:57 PM   #20
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Please send me your COntact info. We have a couple of bus plans in the near future. Dirtdoctorjak@aol.com. Monterey Calif. we can drive to LVegas.
Thanks
The OP is not in Las Vegas, they are in LOUISVILLE,Ky.

Ross, do you have any pics of the below the window raise in progress?
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