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Old 10-19-2021, 06:32 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 27
2011 Chevy Express Thomas Roof Raise

Just wanted to share our roof raise! 12" roof raise on our 2011 Chevy Express 4500.

Below the window raise along with raising the doorway so I don't hit my head every time I leave the bus I have a few square tubes welded in the hat channels but I also currently have some hat channels being made that will be welded into place. Ignore the fender dents, they'll be addressed once I go to paint.

I am working on a video that I'll post whenever I'm finished with the raise.


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Old 10-20-2021, 09:51 PM   #2
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 164
Year: 2009
Coachwork: Girardin
Chassis: Chevy
Engine: 6.6 turbo diesel
Rated Cap: ?
Outstanding!!!
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Old 10-28-2021, 08:29 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
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Latest update: Got one side skinned up and also filled in the door gap (since we opted to raise the doorway). It's not perfect but I'm really happy with the results!

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Old 11-02-2021, 08:53 AM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
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Otherside has been skinned. Waiting on steel for the front and rear. Have a few holes that need to be welded shut, prep for paint, and then spray epoxy primer.

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Old 11-19-2021, 10:22 AM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 27
A couple more updates:
All sides have been paneled up and working on the rear door!





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Old 11-19-2021, 10:44 AM   #6
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Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Arizona
Posts: 22
Year: 2003
Engine: 7.3 PowerStroke With 5 speed Transmission
I don't see these all to often on the short buses, Excellent job!

If we ever get a new bus, I think I would like to try a raise. Or maybe just find a taller bus
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Old 11-19-2021, 10:49 AM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by WayneTSB View Post
I don't see these all to often on the short buses, Excellent job!

If we ever get a new bus, I think I would like to try a raise. Or maybe just find a taller bus
Thanks! One of my requirements was to have towing capacity to tow my car to the track. This has the 6.6L Duramax diesel and 14k gvwr. Unfortunately there weren't too many short bus's that fit that requirement so I couldn't be too picky when it came to height. I wanted head space and lots of insulation;Thus the roof raise!

But I'm going to have to wait until Spring to paint
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Old 01-16-2022, 02:59 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 27
A lot of work has been done since last post even though it doesn't look like it... you know how that goes. BUT we have a back door! Gotta finish the jambs but I'm pretty excited!

Also have almost all the lights wire up. Missing some reflectors for the rear and little marker lights at the top. Also lower markers are wired up but holes need to be drilled.



I'm thinking of doing sequential marker lights for the turn signal too! (Photoshop is pre-roof raise)

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Old 06-21-2022, 09:38 AM   #9
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Progress!
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Old 06-29-2022, 01:17 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 22
Nice!

Wow awesome job, I am doing some frame modification as well and the sheer size of the bus makes everything a lot of work!

I also wanted a bus over a van to be able to tow a car to the track! I ended up with the V10 though because the bus will live half its life driving to ski mountains all winter and I have firsthand dealt with diesels breaking down in the cold one too many times. Should be fine to tow a single sub-3000lbs car or a few dirtbikes.

Very clean work, how much headroom did you start out with? I was originally going to lower the floor 2" in my bus to gain a little extra headroom, but realized I did not have the space. My current ceiling height is around 6'4" and I am 6'2" so it is close but I can stand fully, although it is slightly tight.

That is going to look mint when fully painted
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Old 06-30-2022, 01:52 PM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 27
Thanks!! I can't wait to get the rest painted and the windows in! lol

One of my biggest requirements at the start was to have plenty of insulation, top and bottom. Being able to stand was a high second. But, to be honest, I don't know if I'd do a roof raise again or not. I'm 5'11" and the highest point of the interior was 6'0". That's without a subfloor of any kind. I raised it by 11.5" so I should be plenty good for insulation now.

The reason I'm wavering on the roof raise is that it cost far more than expected and took far more time than I really had. When done, it'll be great, but we're not full-timing in it and worst case is I could have just ducked a little. I also think I could have simply insulated the exterior of the roof instead for far less than the cost to raise the roof and just use a single 1/2 plywood in the "isle" back to the bed. Could have still insulated the walls.
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Old 09-06-2022, 11:48 AM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 27
FINALLY found time to finish the paint job. Looking mint <pun intended>!

Now I can start doing smaller tasks which were all waiting on the paint to be finished.

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Old 09-16-2022, 09:45 AM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
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Been moving fast since getting the roof painted! Side door, mirrors, all lights, windows sealed. Few odds and ends left before getting inspection and registration. Long time coming!

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Old 09-21-2022, 05:20 PM   #14
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Looking mint indeed!
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