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Old 03-07-2015, 02:09 PM   #1
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Roof raise

Ok, I have came to the point on my conversion that I raise the roof. (I know I am not that far along) I am too tall for a 6 foot roof so it's gonna happen. Those of you that have, how much did you lift? Would you go more? Less? And why? Any and all input would be gratefully appreciated.
Thanks in advance,
Clay
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Old 03-07-2015, 05:25 PM   #2
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I've been thinking about the same thing. Do you have plans for what to put on your roof? I'm very tempted to keep the roof pretty clean and lift it as much as possible (which is what, 2-3 feet on the typical bus?)
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Old 03-07-2015, 06:20 PM   #3
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I've been thinking about the same thing. Do you have plans for what to put on your roof? I'm very tempted to keep the roof pretty clean and lift it as much as possible (which is what, 2-3 feet on the typical bus?)
I went 11.5 in, I figure AC unit should put me at 12ft .6 in
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Old 03-07-2015, 09:30 PM   #4
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I did 20". Feels and looks great to me. I wouldnt do anything. My new height is 11'4". Ill keep my clearance to under 12. Personally, i think i cut my roof in the best possible spots, for a conventional, bluebird body. Only thing I would do differently is used galvanized sheet steel for the new sections. thats what the factory used. Depending on where you drive, clearances will be important to you. Even though im in the spacious west, I think staying under 12' is important. Most coaches do.
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Old 03-08-2015, 10:14 AM   #5
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Yeah my plan is to stay at or under 12' overall vehicle height.
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Old 03-09-2015, 03:33 PM   #6
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Charles, were did you cut your bus? I was thinking below the windows so I could keep them installed I I decide to. But it looks the easieas to cut and extend the window frame itself
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Old 03-09-2015, 09:46 PM   #7
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Take a look at my conversion thread for pics but mostly right in middle of the windows. You will have to remove the windows anyway to raise the roof. I cut above the door in the front and below the windows in the rear. What make is your bus?
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Old 03-10-2015, 05:35 AM   #8
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I'm going for 18" raise. The determining factor for me was to get the rear emergency door tall enough that I will have no problem loading and unloading stuff through the rear, without having to cut and modify the end cap. Mostly I'll be hauling motorcycles in the rear, and converting it to the master bed room once we are at the rally spot, and I hate having to duck while riding a hog up a ramp and through a door. Enough obstacles without risking a head knocker too.

After the roof raise and top rack I'll be building, I should come in right at 12' 6". Still well within legal height and able to make most underpasses. I'll also be investing in a "Truckers GPS", garmen makes a good one, that lets you put in your truck height and routes you away from over hangs that you can't get under.
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Old 03-10-2015, 07:23 AM   #9
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Going to go 20" here. I have a RV door that I want to make the entry without a step well in the bus. The AC unit will be in the basement so no height issues here. The only thing sticking up further will be the solar panel rack that will fold down flat on the roof when in transit. Depending on how much height we have I might do a small roof rack in the rear section behind the opening for the rear escape hatch (which will be changed up a bit).
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Old 03-10-2015, 10:36 AM   #10
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Mine is a '96 ford with a bluebird body. It has a nose like a truck.... I was thinking cutting about the same spot Charles did. My roof will raise behind the first row of seats similar to allwthrider photo. I am planning an totally removing the back wall so the emergency door won't be an issue and framing in a new exterior wall with a normal door about 5 feet inside the bus leaving me a covered porch. My purpose is living comfort and hauling mtn bikes and scuba gear... This will serve as a mud room to rinse gear without bringing it inside.

I think I have settled on raising it a foot. My total height will be 11 feet before I add on the deck..

Sojourner, explain AC in the basement. I like the idea of keeping it low and I will already have solar and a deck and kayaks up there... This intrigued me.
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Old 03-10-2015, 12:33 PM   #11
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I did 23 inches.

Bus looks great. I have people over looking at it, and they don't even realize it didn't come from the factory that way.

I'm at 11 foot 6 inches. I will be lifting the coach body 12 more inches to provide room to midship my engine, and have 36 inches of belly storage.

14 foot 6 inches in the limit. I will be at 12 foot 6 inches when done.

I'm not worried about stability while driving. All tanks, engine, and other heavy items will be down at or below frame height. This keeps a low center of gravity.

I may also be adding a tag axle.

Nat
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Old 03-10-2015, 02:57 PM   #12
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"14 foot 6 inches in the limit." You'd be clippin' lots of bridges here.
Ontario, 13'-6" (4.2 meters) 102" wide without permit....that's what it was 15 years ago when I was on the road.
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Old 03-10-2015, 04:01 PM   #13
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"14 foot 6 inches in the limit." You'd be clippin' lots of bridges here.
Ontario, 13'-6" (4.2 meters) 102" wide without permit....that's what it was 15 years ago when I was on the road.
Interesting. This topic came up about a year ago also.
I'm off to measure the height of some big rigs.

My 12 foot 6 inches should still be fine.

Nat
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Old 03-10-2015, 04:50 PM   #14
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Nat--you shoulda just bought a coupla frame rails and started from there!
But seriously, your project is epic and it's totally the no-compromises route that I would love to go if I had the means!
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Old 03-10-2015, 05:49 PM   #15
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Yeah nat_ster, when are you posting more pics and details? You're leaving us hanging!

For the height:
Oversize load - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

13'6" is the max in the U.S., although it varies state by state. Other countries are different, too. This site has a nice clickable map of the US and Canada:
Heavy haul regulations - oversize weight, length. height limits

Even if you "can" get away with more in some spots, I'd keep it an inch or two less than 13'6" tops. Bridges are almost never mis-labeled at that height - you wouldn't have occasional accidents, they'd be constant. When you get lower than that, it's not going to be an inch or two lower - it's going to be like 12' or 11'. Something you're going to have to go around, anyway.

I prefer internal storage over roof-top stuff. I'm aiming for like 12'10" or so. That'll leave just enough room for things like vents and solar panels (hinged to lay flat while driving) and a couple of inches of margin, too.
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Old 03-11-2015, 06:00 AM   #16
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14 foot 6 inches in the limit.

Yeah, just looked up the 12 states that I will be spending most of my time in, all have a height restriction of 13' 6". But you should still be well within that.

;)
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Old 03-11-2015, 02:21 PM   #17
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Nat--you shoulda just bought a coupla frame rails and started from there!
But seriously, your project is epic and it's totally the no-compromises route that I would love to go if I had the means!
I agree. I should have gotten a 42 foot frame, and a Cummins N14 to start with.

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Yeah nat_ster, when are you posting more pics and details? You're leaving us hanging!

I prefer internal storage over roof-top stuff. I'm aiming for like 12'10" or so. That'll leave just enough room for things like vents and solar panels (hinged to lay flat while driving) and a couple of inches of margin, too.
More pics coming soon. I just finished a hard week of hanging drywall to sponsor more progress on my bus. I still have more pics I need to post.

I agree with the storing and hauling my luggage down at ground level vs on the roof. That's why I'm lifting my coachwork 12 more inches to provide a true 36 inches of basement storage.

Like you my solar panels will be hinged to lay flat while driving.

Nat
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Old 03-11-2015, 06:25 PM   #18
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I raised my roof by 24". I do have slideouts and because of this I would raise 3-4" more.

If you don't plan to have slideouts 24" gives you enough room to make your ceiling flat, like I did. Just look at my conversion and get an idea:

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/98...s-9728-11.html

Also I used 2 front sections for roof slope. This way roof looks much more "natural".
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Old 03-11-2015, 07:15 PM   #19
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Yeah, just looked up the 12 states that I will be spending most of my time in, all have a height restriction of 13' 6". But you should still be well within that.

;)
We have a couple 12'6" places here locally.
A buddy of mine used to operate his own coach service. He put a million miles on his first MCI. We were talking about roof raises and he stressed to me that its a REAL bear of a time when you get to something you can't clear.
There are apps and sites to help with planning for this, but I want to be able to fit as many places as possible regardless.
I think its really prudent to plan for what you're going to be using it for to such a degree. Good lookin out.
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Old 03-12-2015, 03:20 PM   #20
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Just measured mine. It is 11'6" with 24" roof raise. 24" allowed me to have flat ceilings and I still have 88" headroom inside. I would like to have some extra room on roof for A/C, or solar panels or whatever else comes later.

I do agree having a 36" crawl space would be a brilliant ad on, but amount of work involved in this brilliant will be huge.

I dropped the central part and made 24" crawl space. I will have front and rear foldable luggage decks, something like transit buses have for bicycles.
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