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Old 12-03-2018, 08:40 AM   #1
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Is our bus plan safe?

Hi. I'm Ivy. New here. So here is my first post ....

So my husband and I are renovating a school bus (duh lol). He is too tall for the roof it has so we are wanting to cut off the roof and build a new one a couple feet higher. Trouble is, he wants to do it out of wood and I'm not so sure that it is going to hold with winds on the highways or storms, etc. Has anyone else done this and did it work? Or is it possible to do but not completely out of wood? Please help!
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Old 12-03-2018, 08:42 AM   #2
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Theoretically it is possible
But itís not recommended. I do not think you will be happy with the end result.
I found a local welder who is about to do a proper roof raise and for his labor itíll run me around 1000
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Old 12-03-2018, 08:49 AM   #3
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A roof raise is pretty simple. It sounds a lot more terrifying than it is. Don't mess with wood. That's the kind of thing that gives bus conversions a bad rep.
How tall is he? Sometimes its easier and cheaper to find what you need. Its remarkably easy to sell a bus in this day and age.
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Old 12-03-2018, 08:54 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Don't mess with wood. That's the kind of thing that gives bus conversions a bad rep.
Not to mention potentially impossible to insure. It's hard enough getting insurance for buses sometimes!
Our Build:
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Old 12-03-2018, 08:59 AM   #5
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The "ribs" on a school bus are critical to the basic design. They limit the flexing by connecting the sheetmetal plus act as roll bars in the even of a crash.

Might be OK on a "Tiny House" build that remained parked but I would not get on the road in any bus that had them replaced with wood.
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:42 AM   #6
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I would definitely do a roof raise vs a wooden roof unless the bus is going to be driven to a location and parked permanently.. if you like the interior rustic feel you can fimish the interior ceiling in wood as many here do..

if you were to build a wooden roof.. you have to consider that every time you drove the bus it would be like going through a hurricane or severe thunderstorm.. the NWS defines damaging severe winds as anything over 55.. so if you were driving your bus at 55 into a 10 MPH headwind. there is a 65 MPH sustained wind you are in.. not to mention the "gusts" when a semi passes you or you are in a cross-wind..

buy a bluebird or Amtran brand and you dont have the slight thomas-bus slant to deal with... raising the roof is surprisingly reasonable.. if you are afraid of the transition.. hire someone to come out and weld you one in... or drive your bus to a shop and have a transition made and imstalled.. doing your homework and having the right size metal pieces made will make the project smooth and strong..
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roof, roof top, skoolie build

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