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Old 06-16-2024, 08:36 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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So you didn't do a roof raise

So I have a question for those who did full conversions but did not raise the roof. Do you regret it?

With all the talk about insurance issues it really has me thinking about not doing a roof raise. If I don't do it, than my bathroom becomes more of a convenience room and it just got me thinking. Who better to ask than those who have done it?

My plan is full interior strip and re-skin either way.

Let's avoid the "just don't tell them" discussion. Not judging others, it's just not me.

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Old 06-17-2024, 07:18 AM   #2
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I think alot of it is how tall are you and how do you feel standing up.. as well as how much overhead items you will have..



im 5'9 and have been in low head room bus conversions that still felt open as in the main sitting and living areas there was no overhead cabinets right in your face...



a high headroom bus (78") gives you that extra 6" of clearance which can also make a difference..



also dependent is how much you will raise the floor and how much you will lower the ceiling.. if your floor is being raised by a couple inches of furring and insulation / PEX heating, etc.. and your ceiling is lowered because the skinning material you use is thick then you have more of a "close feeling" standing inside..



people that do roof raises often are looking UP vs down for extra storage or to have 2-high bunkbeds for kids etc..



using rooftop A/C units vs minisplits means less intrusion into the cabin (of course takes up roof space you might use for solar)...

under belly cabinets can be used for storage vs overhead "kitchen" style cabinets..
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Old 06-17-2024, 08:45 AM   #3
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I'm 6ft tall and didn't do a roof raise. I haven't taken a trip yet. My bus is for 1 month trips and not full timing. If I didn't have a house, I would want a roof raise. My finished floor and ceiling are in and I'm moving around building things. I don't plan on standing up much when I'm in there. Walk to the toilet, walk to the couch, driver seat, bed etc. my factory roof is 6'4". I wanted a short full size bus with a flat from nose. A high roof model would've made it much better, but couldn't find one.


I did 1in xps foam, with 3/4 advantech subfloor, topped with sheet flooring.


For the ceiling, I ran blocks on the ribs and fastened my 5/8 tounge and groove PVC ceiling to that. This was where I compromised for my standard height ceiling. If I had a high roof or roof raise, i would have been able to spray foam over the ribs better and shift the strapping a bit lower. I went through great effort to insulate the ribs with butyl flashing tape and armaflex before blocking to it. So far, i haven't seen any thermal transfer enough to matter with temps up to 100° with A/C going inside.


What I do regret is keeping my school bus windows. The panes get super hot and the panes leak between the glass and aluminum sash despite caulking the inside and outside. I may end up spending thousands later on to order custom replacement windows or getting tempered glass panes and caulking them in like windshields.
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Old 06-17-2024, 01:36 PM   #4
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Never considered a roof raise, of course it's wasn't the craze in 2006, my headroom is 76" and I am 5'10" so no need. I have had many people in my bus and all the tall ones are amazed at the head room, no ducking needed.
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Old 06-17-2024, 02:32 PM   #5
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"Short People"

I didn't realize that there were different interior heights to school buses when I bought mine. I had checked out a few 84 passenger Bluebirds, which I guess are pretty tall, and a friend had a tall Thomas "All American" ?? (I might have the name wrong).

That school bus bodies varied in height just never occurred to me.

Anyway, I found a rust-free mid-size Thomas dog-nose bus at auction and bought it. Turns out it's the shortest ceiling height bus you can get. Insulation, ceiling and floor brought the interior height down 2 5/8 inches.

Good thing I'm 5 ft 8, and my wife is 5 ft 1. It's tall enough for us.

Insurance company is happy that there's no roof raise, or woodstove, or deck.
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Old 06-17-2024, 05:55 PM   #6
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I didn't do a roof raise. I'm 6'0", and my ceiling after conversion is at 6'0". My hair brushes along the ceiling, but otherwise I fit. Some tall people who have visited me had to hunch over.

On the one hand, I wish I had a roof raise because we could fit more storage, and I would maybe have our master bed raise up to the ceiling during the day so we can dual-purpose our bedroom.

But, I didn't do it, and honestly it's fine. Like... it would be nice if we had it. But I'm not kicking myself that we don't. It would have added a lot more work to our conversion, and I don't know anything about what insurance would say to it. So... it's fine.
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Old 06-18-2024, 01:46 AM   #7
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Relieved, Greatful, Lucky

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miloshk View Post
So I have a question for those who did full conversions but did not raise the roof. Do you regret it?

(.......)






We always enjoy our time inside, I doubt any of our guests have ever considered the ceiling height. We don't have any friends or family who duck their heads when they pass though a standard 6'8" doorway.

I suppose we ought to be greatful that we found a bus with 6'7" ceilings. At no point have we ever even contemplated cutting the bus in half just to get a little head.
room



Now I'm lead to wonder....
If some converters regret buying a low ceiling bus? Possibly distracted with daydreams regarding headroom?
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Old 06-18-2024, 06:05 AM   #8
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Our bus has the extra head room. We lived in it full time for 2 years and never felt cramped even though Drew is 6'1".
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Old 06-18-2024, 07:03 AM   #9
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I never planned on a roof raise and would try to avoid it at all cost. Cost alone being one of the factors, but biggest reason being, I didn't want to add weight, and increase the height of the bus. They're not aerodynamic as it is, I didn't want to make it even worse by making the bus taller.

Having a very bad back and age, I used to be 6'2 now just a hair over 6'. I have a 74in ceiling bus that didn't have any wood subfloor I found out after I took the rubber up. Planned on adding 1in formular and 23/32 AdvanTech subfloor. I was disappointed since that 3/4 inch I hadn't planned on losing thinking I had 3/4 subfloor in the bus from the factory. Lucky for me, I ended up finding another bus, that happens to be a Handy Blue Bird with 77"/78'' ceiling. That extra 3-4 inches is going to be a huge game changer and allow to me to keep to my plans of NO ROOF RAISE saving tons of time and cash doing the roof raise, and saving weight and wind drag which means no worse MPG and slower speed.

What gets me though, is those people who find these 77/78 inch ceiling buses and do a roof raise anyway. I know many many people can get by comfy with a 77/78 so if you plan on a roof raise anyway, save those taller ceiling buses for those who aren't doing a roof raise and find you the ever so common 74 inch ceiling bus to do a roof raise.

My next questions is, I get doing a roof raise. I can see a 6 inch or even an 8 inch raise, but why in the world are people doing 12, 18 and 20 inch roof raises? They trying to make a 2 story house out of it what? Just thinking of all that added weight and wind drag just blows my mind. Not to mention tip happy, driving in a cross wind, the body roll on a turn. Just nuts IMO. Am I wrong or just being a critical Ahole???
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Old 06-18-2024, 11:46 AM   #10
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Thanks for the replies,

As a camper I'm great with the stock 77" headroom I have. To make it fulltime or even long road trip ready it'll have to have a shower and all my plans land it at a wheel well. I'll get some drawings together and start a different thread to get some ideas.

Thanks again
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Old 06-18-2024, 12:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miloshk View Post
Thanks for the replies,

As a camper I'm great with the stock 77" headroom I have. To make it fulltime or even long road trip ready it'll have to have a shower and all my plans land it at a wheel well. I'll get some drawings together and start a different thread to get some ideas.

Thanks again
I have a shuttle bus, and put the shower right behind the drivers seat. You are absolutely right in figuring out where it goes because holding tanks and plumbing kind of need to be figured out before almost everything else.
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Old 06-22-2024, 06:28 PM   #12
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I’m5’8” and considered a roof raise. Insurance doesn’’t like It so I didn’t. I don’t need it though nor the added expense/effort.
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Old 06-22-2024, 10:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miloshk View Post
So I have a question for those who did full conversions but did not raise the roof. Do you regret it?

With all the talk about insurance issues it really has me thinking about not doing a roof raise. If I don't do it, than my bathroom becomes more of a convenience room and it just got me thinking. Who better to ask than those who have done it?

My plan is full interior strip and re-skin either way.

Let's avoid the "just don't tell them" discussion. Not judging others, it's just not me.
We didn’t do a roof/raise & i am 6’4”
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Old 06-23-2024, 02:45 PM   #14
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we raised it 16 and it had no decrease in milage . besides more storage , more insulation top and bottom it keeps the hot roof further from your head . heres a pic of how we figured out how high we wanted
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Old 06-24-2024, 12:23 AM   #15
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Factory Ceiling Height

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeMac View Post
[
We don't have any friends or family who duck their heads when they pass though a standard 6'8" doorway.


mmoore6856
heres a pic of how we figured out how high we wanted
The photo above shows a good comparison of a 16" roof raise next to
a doorway. As well, the person shown in the photo is not much taller than the nearby light switch. Does the blue tape show walk-under cabinets?

Just my opinion. To me, there does not appear to be much gain unless the factory ceiling is at least eight inches lower than that doorway.

Tall people, low-roof bus, I get it. Kinked neck, raise the roof. However, If a builder's original ceiling is as tall as that doorway and the occupants cant reach it, then those folks should move on to the build & skip the raise.

I see so many abandoned roof raises & questions regarding sealing leaks. I saw the extensive steps taken by Musigenesis & Demac to seal their seams. No thanks, I'm no that meticulous.

****************

Miloshk,
Your issue is with the placement of the restroom & tanks. Ie, the wheelbase is too short & the driveshaft/exhaust is greedy.



A long wheelbase RE offers more space underneath AND the rear wheel wells are under the 13th window. That's over 25 feet between the axles, all wide open with no driveline or exhaust below. This one has 6'7" ceilings, to boot.
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Old 06-24-2024, 01:44 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -TC- View Post
Your issue is with the placement of the restroom & tanks. Ie, the wheelbase is too short & the driveshaft/exhaust is greedy.

A long wheelbase RE offers more space underneath AND the rear wheel wells are under the 13th window. That's over 25 feet between the axles, all wide open with no driveline or exhaust below. This one has 6'7" ceilings, to boot.
I agree. A RE full length bus would solve my spacing and or lack of options on space. I made the decision to buy an 8 window dog nose for many reasons. The leading reasons being ground clearance and keeping bumper to bumper under 30'. Those reasons are still there and I'm happy with it.

I'm working on a layout that puts the bathroom immediately behind the driver and I like it. It actually turns the rest of the space into a much more open floorplan.
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Old 06-24-2024, 11:32 AM   #17
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Yea I'm happy I did the pic is a short wife I'm a bit taller. Would do it again
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Old 06-24-2024, 10:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
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If I don't do it, than my bathroom becomes more of a convenience room
If your biggest concern is just having enough height in your shower, it's possible to build a shower stall that projects below the floor. I did this in my (un-raised) skoolie and my shower has a height of 6'9". I also dropped my kitchen floor (giving it a height of 6'6" instead of the 6'3" in the rest of the bus) but that's a different matter and not really something you'd want to do unless you had to rebuild the floor anyway because of rust as in my bus.

I'm 6'0" and skipping the roof raise was really only possible because my bus was originally 6'7" from floor to ceiling. A high-ceiling bus is really the best solution to the height/insurance conundrum, but unfortunately they seem to be pretty rare which makes the search process even more difficult.
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Old 06-25-2024, 01:12 AM   #19
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Cool Exhaust in the way?

'05 Thomas/ FS-65 dog nose handicap/wheelchair lift bus.

I didn't do a roof raise, as mentioned in my post above in this thread.

But I was able to do a modification that helped provide space for waste tanks and drain plumbing. I bought a handicap/ wheelchair lift bus, and wanted to place the bed next to the wheelchair door, for emergency egress and to utilize the big door for access to storage space under the bed. So the bathroom would go on the driver's side, with the shower in the back left corner.

BUT- the exhaust pipe ran right through that space underneath, and exited through a hole in the rear bumper, so not much room for a grey water tank there. I looked at the pipe and the bumper and wondered if they could be reversed.

YEP! I originally thought I'd have to cut the exhaust and fabricate something new, maybe exit in front of a rear tire - BUT - I was able to disassemble the exhaust piping right behind the rear axle, turn all the parts over, and re-assemble. And, after I flipped the bumper over, the pipe went right through the bumper hole again, this time on the passenger side. I re-used all the clamps and hangers, too. There were even holes pre-drilled in the frame on the other side to mount the hangers in the new positions.

The driver's side under-floor area behind the axle was now wide open to accept a big grey water tank and plumbing for the shower.

Sure glad I got a rust-free bus in Alabama. I never would have guessed that I'd have been able to just take apart the exhaust on a 13 year old bus with 190k miles.
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