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Old 07-11-2021, 02:53 PM   #1
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Highest roof raise

What's the highest you've seen/done/heard of? What was the exterior height after the raise? Just curious as I wanna go high as possible without going to extreme to where it's too much safety wise.

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Old 07-11-2021, 02:57 PM   #2
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ultimately if you shoot for 13 feet or under total height including lights, vents, chimneys, etc then it gives you 6 inches before you arent legal or before you have to be concerned about unmarked bridges.. all bridges under 13'6" MUST be marked as such.. from what I understand all vehicles over that height are considered oversize..



lots depends on where you plan to travel.. if you are in the midwest / east / northeast in Older areas on older roads you have a high probability of running across bridges that are lower than 13 feet.. if you are sticking to major roads and interstates and trucker routes you have a lot less chance of that.
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Old 07-11-2021, 03:54 PM   #3
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Someone on here raised it like 3 feet or something from below the windows, so the windows were more like skylights. Very cool, but not very practical, great for a stationary bus. Should be able to find it on a search maybe the word 'insane'?

Note that a school bus is already very top heavy with the thousands-of-pounds steel roof, so raising it up just makes things even worse, and raising it a lot, well don't take an offramp too fast those 'tip over' warning signs for trucks should light up when you approach.
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Old 07-11-2021, 07:07 PM   #4
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Someone on here raised it like 3 feet or something from below the windows, so the windows were more like skylights. Very cool, but not very practical, great for a stationary bus. Should be able to find it on a search maybe the word 'insane'?

Note that a school bus is already very top heavy with the thousands-of-pounds steel roof, so raising it up just makes things even worse, and raising it a lot, well don't take an offramp too fast those 'tip over' warning signs for trucks should light up when you approach.
A bus roof isn't multiple thousands of pounds - the longest are one thousand pounds at most.
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Old 07-11-2021, 07:19 PM   #5
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A bus roof isn't multiple thousands of pounds - the longest are one thousand pounds at most.

till someone loads it up with upper cabinets and solar panels and rooftop A/C units and yada yada
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Old 07-11-2021, 07:28 PM   #6
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till someone loads it up with upper cabinets and solar panels and rooftop A/C units and yada yada
I'm just addressing BeNimble's "thousands-of-pounds steel roof", not advocating for a three-foot roof raise.
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Old 07-11-2021, 09:48 PM   #7
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I did a 15" raise and in hindsight, 8" would have been perfect. No real reason to replicate the interior of a house in terms of height.
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Old 07-11-2021, 09:56 PM   #8
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I'm just addressing BeNimble's "thousands-of-pounds steel roof", not advocating for a three-foot roof raise.
Ok, that was exaggeration. I quick calc shows 40ft x 10ft wide of 16ga steel itself is 1000lbs, now add in ribs and runners, uprights, glass frames.
Add the glass itself is rather heavy.
So can get to 2,000 which is 'thousands' ;)

Can you quote measured values? I think Aging Wheels hauled off 2000lbs from his backhalf car hauler.
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Old 07-11-2021, 10:32 PM   #9
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Ok, that was exaggeration. I quick calc shows 40ft x 10ft wide of 16ga steel itself is 1000lbs, now add in ribs and runners, uprights, glass frames.
Add the glass itself is rather heavy.
So can get to 2,000 which is 'thousands' ;)

Can you quote measured values? I think Aging Wheels hauled off 2000lbs from his backhalf car hauler.
No measured values, just calculations. This was my post earlier on it. I also estimated with 16 ga. but my roof is 20 ga which is significantly lighter (and I'm discounting the headliner which has been removed in my bus). By "roof" I'm also calculating above the windows which are indeed pretty darn heavy, and the roof above the windows is only 8' rather than 10' or more. But my 35-footer roof is probably well below 1000 pounds.

To your point, though, I estimated that moving the roof up just 1' is equivalent to a half-load of children (which are about 6' above the ground) in terms of tipping likelihood; going up 3' is going to be very bad even if the roof is under 1000 pounds.
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Old 07-23-2021, 02:46 PM   #10
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I did a 15" raise and in hindsight, 8" would have been perfect. No real reason to replicate the interior of a house in terms of height.
Still in the planning/decision makeing stage. Havent decided on how high to go yet. You said you would have an 8 inch raise instead of a 15 inch. Can I ask you the reasoning for this?
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Old 07-23-2021, 03:05 PM   #11
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I think I'm gonna go 2ft or even a little more ��
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Old 07-23-2021, 06:35 PM   #12
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Still in the planning/decision makeing stage. Havent decided on how high to go yet. You said you would have an 8 inch raise instead of a 15 inch. Can I ask you the reasoning for this?
Most buses have headroom between 6'3"-6'6", normally a roof raise is done for head clearance so you aren't always hunched over if your are tall. An 8" lift is more than enough to accomplish this. Any more and it's extra weight, extra material cost for height that is not really needed.
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Old 07-23-2021, 09:00 PM   #13
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Still in the planning/decision makeing stage. Havent decided on how high to go yet. You said you would have an 8 inch raise instead of a 15 inch. Can I ask you the reasoning for this?
I had an adjustable raise setup with lots of extra all-thread and 8" felt perfect. I went ahead and did 10" and was satisfied. For me roof raising's sweet spot is the 6-10 range. More than that usually isn't necessary unless you're a basketball player.
I have a high roof Thomas with 5" raised suspension. With NO roof raise its sitting near 11' tall. Its tough to maneuver around tree branches and cables as it is. Pushing that 13'6" can't be fun.
The bus I raised the roof on drove really nice with the 10" raise. Drove the same as before far as I could tell.
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Old 07-23-2021, 09:27 PM   #14
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That setup you had was wicked cool to test the amount of raise. That worked slick as silk too
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Old 07-23-2021, 09:31 PM   #15
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Most high headroom busses on 11r22.5 tires end up in that 10 foot 6 to 10 foot 8 range stock . Add inches as needed for strobe lights vents etc that schools had on.

Usually conversions end up even taller with taller AC units, vent fans etc.

A foot roof raise and you sit near 12 feet which is still going to get you along all major interstates without issues..

Might even keep you from becoming a statistic on 11foot8 dot com
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Old 07-23-2021, 09:32 PM   #16
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I wish I could get a van cutaway shorty with 6'-6" in the center aisle. I hate the idea of a 4 to 8 inch roof-raise on a cutaway....
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Old 07-24-2021, 12:48 AM   #17
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11 foot 8 is now 12 foot 4. The train company finally raised the tracks a bit.


The reason not to max out a roof raise is as others have stated.


#1 - The taller you are the more you'll find you can't go somewhere because of low wires, low clearance, etc. Sure the interstate is good to 13'6" and a bit more but what about that awesome beach with the paved road that goes under the old trestle at 11'6" or even 12'.



#2 You're going to hit road edge branches, that lower vehicles haven't "trimmed". Again, on roads traveled by big rigs and lots of RV's probably not an issue but what about when you're navigating through a more residential area to get to that out of the way landmark, restaurant, etc. Sure you may not be planning to do such things but something is going to come up and you'll find yourself on an old, narrow, street.
Or perhaps on a very high crowned street such as is prevalent in areas that get lots of water. The high crown will cause your bus to lean towards the sidewalk. That old telephone pole that's leaning towards the street is going to be closer the taller you are.


#3 Cost, weight, and time. Time probably to a lesser extent but higher raise means more drilling for rivets, more rivets to drive or pop, more metal to cut. Cost and weight should be self explanatory.




Our original plan included a roof raise because I'm 6'1" and we want the floor and ceiling well insulated. The bus be bought (one of several factors that convinced me to buy a T444E powered rig (others being brand new tires all around, alloy wheels, and automatic snow chains) ended up being tall enough that we could put 1.5" insulation on the floor along with 1/2" sub floor and the finish floor and still have sufficient head room. We considered doing a bedroom only raise and putting a raised floor under the bedroom to deal with the wheel wells and provide more storage but decided against it due to the weight, complexity, and we want to be able to safely clear a 12' overhead even with our deck and deck railing (railings folded down for travel) which we estimate will add 10-12" to our current height of 10'6".
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Old 07-28-2021, 03:08 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by adic27 View Post
What's the highest you've seen/done/heard of? What was the exterior height after the raise? Just curious as I wanna go high as possible without going to extreme to where it's too much safety wise.
The legal height for trucks is 136 so Id say not more than two foot raise
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Old 07-28-2021, 03:10 PM   #19
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Personally, my plan (on a Thomas HDX 31-foot with chair lift) is to raise only that portion of the roof from behind the driver to the rear, giving it an appearance similar to the GMC PD4107's I drove years ago ("Buffalo" buses). No more than 12" lift, just so I can put most plumbing and wiring under a false floor.
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Old 07-28-2021, 05:47 PM   #20
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ultimately if you shoot for 13 feet or under total height including lights, vents, chimneys, etc then it gives you 6 inches before you arent legal or before you have to be concerned about unmarked bridges.. all bridges under 13'6" MUST be marked as such.. from what I understand all vehicles over that height are considered oversize..



lots depends on where you plan to travel.. if you are in the midwest / east / northeast in Older areas on older roads you have a high probability of running across bridges that are lower than 13 feet.. if you are sticking to major roads and interstates and trucker routes you have a lot less chance of that.
A good rule of thumb if taken with a grain of salt, I have seen several bridges as low as 11 feet that ere on public roads and not marked as to height, pucker you right up when you are 14 feet. Even saw a couple that the state had replaced adding a few inches of asphalt and hadn't yet corrected the clearance sign.
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