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Old 05-22-2018, 07:52 PM   #1
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Roof Raise, How High?

The main reason I get for doing a roof raise is to get headroom for taller folk. What other advantages are gained by a roof raise? I don't see the need to raise it 18" to gain 3" of headroom. Is it just an appearance thing? I suppose it gives more room for storage, but it's higher weight. Big raises make you look like a humpback whale. I think a 8-10' raise would give you all you need unless you were wanting more room for a raised bed or something. Thoughts from the peanut gallery?

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Old 05-22-2018, 08:09 PM   #2
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I’m 6’2” will do a raise to gain head room. That was my only real concern until I saw the difference just a 10” raise made on PNWSteve’s bus. The headroom is a must but the increase in perceived space is a real bonus.

I don’t intend to go over 12” max. Any more than that and the bus starts looking goofy when raising the whole length. It makes too much of a “forehead “. I think if a person were to also put in a taller windshield then it could go a little higher and still look good.
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Old 05-22-2018, 08:15 PM   #3
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When I built my first bus it had enough headroom that I considered not raising the roof. Then I went to a bus rally and visited other similar buses. Some with a roof raise and some without.

It was surprising how much more roomy and comfortable the raised buses were. We raised the roof 8" and we're glad that we did.

Take a look at page 13 of my current build. http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/pn...-21182-13.html There is a picture of me standing on one of my rear wheel wells. It is a good illustration of the headroom gained by a 10" roof raise.

In my case, I am going to raise the floor in the bedroom to just cover the wheel wells. I will use the space for water tank and pump as well as a bit of storage.
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Old 05-22-2018, 08:22 PM   #4
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Hey Kent,

It is definitely surprising how much difference in perceived space there is with a modest roof raise.

Make sure you have room for me to park my bus when we come down to do your roof raise
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Old 05-22-2018, 08:30 PM   #5
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I did 16" and any taller would've been pushing it. my max height is still only at 11' tall outside so its not bad. our ceiling height before on the inside was horrible before the raise though and we are both only 5'6" we couldnt walk anywhere in ours but dead center, if you went off a bit it was neck breaking time. after we could raise our hands above our head and have the ceiling just out of reach
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Old 05-22-2018, 08:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
When I built my first bus it had enough headroom that I considered not raising the roof. Then I went to a bus rally and visited other similar buses. Some with a roof raise and some without.

It was surprising how much more roomy and comfortable the raised buses were. We raised the roof 8" and we're glad that we did.

Take a look at page 13 of my current build. http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/pn...-21182-13.html There is a picture of me standing on one of my rear wheel wells. It is a good illustration of the headroom gained by a 10" roof raise.

In my case, I am going to raise the floor in the bedroom to just cover the wheel wells. I will use the space for water tank and pump as well as a bit of storage.
I'll find it, but you can't use thread page, you need to tell me post #. I have my threads set up to show newest post first, most have it opposite, so my page 13 is completely different than yours. I'll find by going 13 from the end.
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Old 05-22-2018, 08:45 PM   #7
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Post # 127

The link I posted "should" take you to the correct page.
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Old 05-22-2018, 08:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Post # 127

The link I posted "should" take you to the correct page.
You had some pics that sorta would answer my question if the were just a bit closer. I'm trying to see what actually frames the top of the window. It looks like about a 4-5" wide curved stamped sheet metal that ties into the roof skin. Because of it's curve it can't be separated from the rib and kept low. Is it as easy as just adding a horizontal bar 10" up or down to reframe the existing windows?
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Old 05-22-2018, 09:03 PM   #9
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You had some pics that sorta would answer my question if the were just a bit closer. I'm trying to see what actually frames the top of the window. It looks like about a 4-5" wide curved stamped sheet metal that ties into the roof skin. Because of it's curve it can't be separated from the rib and kept low. Is it as easy as just adding a horizontal bar 10" up or down to reframe the existing windows?
I'm sorry Marc. I don't understand what you are asking.

We cut the ribs roughly in the middle of the window openings. New sheet metal will slide under the bottom of the roof panels.

Does that speak to your question?
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Old 05-22-2018, 09:16 PM   #10
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I'm sorry Marc. I don't understand what you are asking.

We cut the ribs roughly in the middle of the window openings. New sheet metal will slide under the bottom of the roof panels.

Does that speak to your question?
I'm saying, if you want to keep the stock bus window, how do you go about framing them back in, either low in the stock location, or high at the new height location. I'm mulling over all the options when doing the raise. I would like to raise it, skin the sides, and add my own custom windows where needed. This method is the most expensive. But I also want as much open light entering the bus as possible, so if the old windows can be repurposed and moved high where you want them would be a nice option.
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Old 05-22-2018, 09:50 PM   #11
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OK. Now I understand.

You could weld a piece of angle horizontaly between the ribs at the appropriate height for the bottom of the windows to rest on.
You would also rivet your exterior metal to the angle.
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Old 05-22-2018, 09:56 PM   #12
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OK. Now I understand.

You could weld a piece of angle horizontaly between the ribs at the appropriate height for the bottom of the windows to rest on.
You would also rivet your exterior metal to the angle.
I just need to see it in front of me. I just bought a new big compressor, a chop saw, a welder. Now what am I missing? Oh ya, a FREAKIN BUS. My hunt is getting frustrating. Hate waiting for auctions to end only to lose for one reason or another. I just haven't found the deal on the bus I need yet amongst all these $1500-$2500 buses I keep hearing about.
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:10 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
I just need to see it in front of me. I just bought a new big compressor, a chop saw, a welder. Now what am I missing? Oh ya, a FREAKIN BUS. My hunt is getting frustrating. Hate waiting for auctions to end only to lose for one reason or another. I just haven't found the deal on the bus I need yet amongst all these $1500-$2500 buses I keep hearing about.
I feel your pain
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Old 05-23-2018, 05:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
The main reason I get for doing a roof raise is to get headroom for taller folk. What other advantages are gained by a roof raise? I don't see the need to raise it 18" to gain 3" of headroom. Is it just an appearance thing? I suppose it gives more room for storage, but it's higher weight. Big raises make you look like a humpback whale. I think a 8-10' raise would give you all you need unless you were wanting more room for a raised bed or something. Thoughts from the peanut gallery?
We raised ours 8". Then went two more inches for the hell of it.

The guy who owns it now is 6'3" and can stand on the wheel wells without his head touching the ceiling.
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Old 05-23-2018, 09:44 AM   #15
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Beyond pure "headroom"...you gain quite a bit of additional storage potential.
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Old 12-06-2020, 05:13 AM   #16
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In YouTube videos I keep hearing people say they raised their bus roof 20 inches, and that there's a reason for not going over that amount. My biggest question is how high is too high?
Say for example you plan to have solar panels or a roof-top deck, an AC condenser, etc on the roof?
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Old 12-06-2020, 10:57 AM   #17
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Low overpasses. 13'6" legal max. That said I wouldn't come close to that height. Factor in rooftop vents, A/C and such. I raised mine 14" to accommodate 4" of spray foam insulation in the ceiling and 2" insulation/flooring below.
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Old 12-13-2020, 02:49 PM   #18
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We did a 15" roof raise from under the windows on ours. Here's a few reasons why:

My husband is 6'3" and we want to fully insulate. We plane on 2x4 framing for the floors (so 3.5" of insulation) and furred out the ceiling to be 3" deep. The 15" means he will not have to hunch over while walking about - mostly.

We have a rear engine and our bed will be built over that. So more height there means the headroom isn't too bad. Planning a queen size bed so we can "walk around" and that means he will be ducking to get in and out of bed. Also, he will have to walk over a wheel well so he loses about 10" there for headroom.

I cook. All our meals. Unless I feel like having prime rib and then we go out. So for me the kitchen was very important. Standard counter height, even without an insulated floor, means you lose at least 1/4 of your window height. And then your counters are higher then the bottom of the windows which could cause problem with "losing" items behind the counters.

Aesthetically, even a shorty like me at 5'3", looking out over the windows while standing seemed very ODD. I would say those are the primary reasons we did a raise.

If he was my height we may have still done a raise but possibly a little less of one. Possibly. I think the 15" raise means we will have about a 4-6" tall "backsplash" in our kitchen beneath the windows and that seems just about perfect. Tall enough for electrical outlets to be placed vertically.

We had someone stop by while we were working on it yesterday who is also doing a conversion. We build in an RV storage facility. He's 6'3" and did not do a raise. He walked into ours and was WOWWED with the height.

We think the raise was totally worth it!
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Old 12-14-2020, 03:07 PM   #19
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Standard counter height, even without an insulated floor, means you lose at least 1/4 of your window height. And then your counters are higher then the bottom of the windows which could cause problem with "losing" items behind the counters.
I've noticed this about the counter-height blocking a portion of the lower windows and that when you're standing that you can't see out the windows. I believe we'll be doing a roof raise, and will likely take out the windows, which is sad because I like how it maintains the school bus look to the bus, and of course all the light is nice too. But I keep hearing that even with good insulation, it's those windows that play the biggest part in the transfer of heat or cold to the bus. We'll be based out of Alaska, so I need to plan around cooler temperatures, etc.

We wand a rear-engine bus and with the roof raise, I'm thinking about raising the rear windows as well to then be up near the level of our lofted bed in the rear of the bus. Have you known anyone to do this? I keep seeing buses that either raise the section above the windows, or take the windows out completely and replace them with sheet metal.
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Old 12-14-2020, 03:14 PM   #20
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Low overpasses. 13'6" legal max. That said I wouldn't come close to that height. Factor in rooftop vents, A/C and such.
Thanks for listing that legal max height and sharing your advice. It's definitely something I'm keeping in mind, and it's nice to know what the maximum level is. We're not super tall, so we could live without the roof raise, but I do like how they turn out, how roomy they feel. I also like the idea of the extra storage, etc. But I still see us installing a roof deck, solar and possibly a flue for a wood stove, etc. The A/C condenser is something else to consider.
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