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Old 02-23-2020, 02:30 PM   #1
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Talking Skoolie build on an Alaskan Island, HELP!!

Hullo! So, about a month ago I bought a 1990 Bluebird school bus, 35 ft long and in the center the inside is about 6'2" tall. Fortunately, I bought it from someone who had ideas of converting it too and had taken out all of the seats and started wiring electrical stuff (the previous owner was an electrician by trade).
Being a mom of 4, I want to raise the roof to ideally 9 ft tall so that I can build bunks for my kids' 'rooms'. My problems are thus:
1-I have no idea how to do a roof raise, so I have no starting point, and there isn't anything I can find online that says 'How to do a roof raise, Step 1...' AND
2-Since I live on an island, I don't have access to scrap metal yards so I'm going to have to get creative on getting the materials needed for the roof raise.

I do have family and friends that know how to weld, that's pretty much the only thing I have going for me at this point. I'd feel a LOT better if I could even just get together a Supplies list or a broad To-Do List just to get an idea of which direction to head in.
If anyone could give me some pointers, ideas, words of encouragement, they would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 02-23-2020, 10:59 PM   #2
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Considering all the limitations that you listed I would really consider alternatives. For sleeping 4 kids before I consider a roof raise. I recently went to a gathering in Arizona with hundreds of school buses in attendance and many creative solutions for sleeping multiple people in bunks without roof raise. Perhaps Google images or Pinterest will give you some inspiration. I would hate to hear that you chop the bus in half find difficulties halfway through and end up with scrap metal
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Old 02-23-2020, 11:30 PM   #3
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I’m not a roof raise expert but a 3’ one seems excessive to the point of dangerous.
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Old 02-23-2020, 11:47 PM   #4
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Do you plan to add *ANYTHING* on top of the roof?



Before the raise, your roof sits at about 10 feet above the ground. If you add 3 feet, you are VERY close to the legal limit of 13.5 feet. You will want to get PRECISE measurements.
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Old 02-24-2020, 12:01 AM   #5
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No I don't plan on putting anything on the roof.
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Old 02-24-2020, 12:04 AM   #6
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I was hoping for actual help, or at the very least a broad direction pointed to like "take out the windows first" or something; not a bunch of men telling me what telling me I can't do it. I've seen lots of other ppl ask about roof raises and none of them were immediately treated as though they couldn't do it and told they should find an alternative.
Thanks for the help forum I won't be back for more
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Old 02-24-2020, 12:08 AM   #7
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Considering all the limitations that you listed I would really consider alternatives. For sleeping 4 kids before I consider a roof raise. I recently went to a gathering in Arizona with hundreds of school buses in attendance and many creative solutions for sleeping multiple people in bunks without roof raise. Perhaps Google images or Pinterest will give you some inspiration. I would hate to hear that you chop the bus in half find difficulties halfway through and end up with scrap metal

All of the limitations? I'm pretty sure a lot of ppl that have done roof raises on their skoolies hadn't done it before, and the other problem I listed about materials, living where I live we are used to having to go out of town to get materials for things, but I don't want to make that trip until I know Exactly what I'll be needing.
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Old 02-24-2020, 12:09 AM   #8
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I’m not a roof raise expert but a 3’ one seems excessive to the point of dangerous.
that's helpful, thanks.
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Old 02-24-2020, 12:19 AM   #9
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There’s lots of examples of bunks in the standard height bus, look around on YouTube
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Old 02-24-2020, 01:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMadMom View Post
I was hoping for actual help, or at the very least a broad direction pointed to like "take out the windows first" or something; not a bunch of men telling me what telling me I can't do it. I've seen lots of other ppl ask about roof raises and none of them were immediately treated as though they couldn't do it and told they should find an alternative.
Thanks for the help forum I won't be back for more
Do not give up on this forum so easily. There are a lot of roof raises detailed in the many build threads. You have to do a little searching and reading to find them Here is on such thread:


https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f13/l...ise-28970.html
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Old 02-24-2020, 05:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMadMom View Post
I was hoping for actual help, or at the very least a broad direction pointed to like "take out the windows first" or something; not a bunch of men telling me what telling me I can't do it. I've seen lots of other ppl ask about roof raises and none of them were immediately treated as though they couldn't do it and told they should find an alternative.
Thanks for the help forum I won't be back for more
Name checks out.
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Old 02-24-2020, 12:31 PM   #12
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Don't forget about insurance. I'd be surprised if National General is the only one that says no to roof raises.
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Old 02-24-2020, 04:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMadMom View Post
I was hoping for actual help, or at the very least a broad direction pointed to like "take out the windows first" or something; not a bunch of men telling me what telling me I can't do it. I've seen lots of other ppl ask about roof raises and none of them were immediately treated as though they couldn't do it and told they should find an alternative.
Thanks for the help forum I won't be back for more
Since you are on an island, are you going to be driving the bus often or at all? If you aren't operating the bus on public roads, you can do whatever the eff you want with a roof raise. A bus sitting on private property as a Home will have different rules for Insurance and "roof raising".

Not sure what "not a bunch of men telling me what TELLING me I can't do it" means but if you want help and advice, I'd moderate your attitude and only address the members who are actually helpful to you. Being rude and offensive will get you nothing in life, there are plenty of "men" on here who will help you if you are polite.

If only the seats were taken out I would suggest:
1. Removing the flooring down to metal.
2. Thorough Rust remediation.
3. Since you live in AK, I would definitely removed the stock ceiling and insulation.
4. While all of that is being done, Research, Research, Research. You will need to decide the best way for you to Heat, Insulate, the best Toilet/Sewage removal system for 5 people. Fresh water sources? Will you cook and heat on a wood stove? If no, you will need propane systems. Nothing going on your roof so you won't need any solar power information but you will need a Generator or shore power installed.

There are many Threads on here about removing the floor, rust remediation, etc. Use the Search function to figure out what you will need and what process you will use for every step of the build (Research, again, the key to success paired with persistence, you can't get frustrated by what others say).
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Old 02-24-2020, 04:36 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by TheMadMom View Post
Thanks for the help forum I won't be back for more
Oh, guess I wasted my time helping her, didn't see the "Forum" dis and bounce outta here comment. Most Alaskans have thick skin and loads of resourcefulness, not sure how she's gonna make it through a Conversion if she's so easily frustrated and has this little patience.

Also, I personally don't want someone on the 'Forum' who is willing to bash men and the Forum less than 24 hours after joining. It only gets worse from here on, what's the adage? "Do not bite the hand that feeds you."
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Old 02-24-2020, 07:33 PM   #15
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I think you haven't exercised your curiosity muscles enough because there are lots of roof raises on here and if you read real closely they even have names and numbers with suppliers of roof raise parts.
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Old 02-29-2020, 06:36 PM   #16
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I'd suggest selling the kids and moving off of the island. Find a traveling band of "Man Hating Gypsy women", adopt a couple dozen cats, and lead a crusade to end "Male Privilege" AND "Dog Privilege"....

Good luck
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Old 02-29-2020, 08:28 PM   #17
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I think Maddmaxx might be right. There is so much knowledge and generosity on this site! This is really an amazing resource.
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Old 03-01-2020, 10:31 PM   #18
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Hey, not sure if you've found any helpful info or not.

Start by using an air chisel and remove all the rivets inside the bus. This will allow you to take out all the metal paneling so you can see/ get to the framing ribs. It will also make the roof lighter when you Jack it up to the desired height.

Next pull all the windows.

Now if you don't plan on reusing this windows you can brace the ceiling and cut out the ribs right between the windows.

Hit me up if you want more advice in how to keep going
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Old 03-02-2020, 09:15 AM   #19
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Thanks for the help forum I won't be back for more
I would suggest that you get a man involved so that when things don't turn out well you can blame him.
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