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Old 02-28-2020, 03:20 PM   #1
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School buses with best head room

I've tried searching the forum for this, but the different keywords I try keep bringing up the same unrelated posts.

I read somewhere that there were a few school bus models that had higher ceilings, and I'd really like to know what those were. Did any of those come in a 40 foot transit style?

I'm right at 6 feet tall, which isn't too bad, but I'd like to have a bit more space above me, especially for a shower. I can do light carpentry for putting in walls and know enough about electrical and plumbing to get that done, but welding and structural is outside my ability and I would imagine paying someone to do a roof raise would be pretty expensive.

I'm also considering maybe trying to find a charter bus, as they are all built for full size adults, but almost all of those are 3 axle and more than 40 feet, which requires a special license here in California.
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Old 02-28-2020, 04:29 PM   #2
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Average length of a Transit bus is 39'2". Pretty much all the makers have short and high roof options. Look at the passenger window as opposed to the driver window. In the FE you can see the step up behind the drivers window, while the CE the windows are at the same height at the driver. Here's a shorty lifted like Charlie's, has high roof. On some you will notice the hump in the roof behind the driver.
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Old 02-28-2020, 05:53 PM   #3
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I'm 6' (6'1" in shoes) and I have a high-ceiling International that is 6'7" from the metal floor to the ceiling. This is barely enough height for me, since I'm losing 3" off the floor (2" XPS plus 3/4" plywood plus vinyl sheeting) and 1" off the ceiling (3/4" XPS plus 1/4" luan plywood).

I would have raised my roof, but "luckily" my rust situation forced me to rebuild a large section of floor and I'm able to make this section (with the same 2" of insulation) 3" lower then the rest of the floor, which is useful since this will be my kitchen and the main place where I'll work standing up. My tub also will project below this floor an additional 6" or so, giving me extra headroom in the shower.

I don't recommend the entire sunken floor bit, but I think building a sunken tub or shower tray is a comparatively minor operation (which does require welding, unfortunately).
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Old 02-28-2020, 06:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
Average length of a Transit bus is 39'2". Pretty much all the makers have short and high roof options. Look at the passenger window as opposed to the driver window. In the FE you can see the step up behind the drivers window, while the CE the windows are at the same height at the driver. Here's a shorty lifted like Charlie's, has high roof. On some you will notice the hump in the roof behind the driver.
Much appreciated! What is the typical difference between typical and raised height in stock models?
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Old 02-28-2020, 06:15 PM   #5
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Much appreciated! What is the typical difference between typical and raised height in stock models?
Usually between 6' and 6'7" depending on what they used for flooring. Some have rubber puke mat right over the metal, most have a 3/4" plywood base.
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Old 02-28-2020, 06:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
I'm 6' (6'1" in shoes) and I have a high-ceiling International that is 6'7" from the metal floor to the ceiling. This is barely enough height for me, since I'm losing 3" off the floor (2" XPS plus 3/4" plywood plus vinyl sheeting) and 1" off the ceiling (3/4" XPS plus 1/4" luan plywood).

I would have raised my roof, but "luckily" my rust situation forced me to rebuild a large section of floor and I'm able to make this section (with the same 2" of insulation) 3" lower then the rest of the floor, which is useful since this will be my kitchen and the main place where I'll work standing up. My tub also will project below this floor an additional 6" or so, giving me extra headroom in the shower.

I don't recommend the entire sunken floor bit, but I think building a sunken tub or shower tray is a comparatively minor operation (which does require welding, unfortunately).
This is exactly why I seek the opinions of others. It never would have occurred to me to sink the shower below the floor, but that's an awesome idea! The only place I was really concerned was in the shower, as my vague plan at this point is a center aisle configuration, and it's tall enough in the center not to matter.

I did read that some people have gone with installing insulation under the bus to get around losing a couple of inches to the subfloor. I'm curious to know how effective that is.
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Old 02-28-2020, 06:48 PM   #7
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I did read that some people have gone with installing insulation under the bus to get around losing a couple of inches to the subfloor. I'm curious to know how effective that is.
I don't think this would be very effective at all given the problems of thermal bridging (you would have a metal floor inside your insulated area absorbing heat and passing it to the external metal parts of the bus where it convects away). Fortunately, people seem to talk a lot about this but never actually do it (I've seen one youtube video where a guy sprayfoamed the underside of his van and it looked like a horrible mess). I think a single trip underneath a regular school bus will reveal how difficult this would be, even without considering the thermal bridging problems.
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Old 02-28-2020, 07:32 PM   #8
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I don't think this would be very effective at all given the problems of thermal bridging (you would have a metal floor inside your insulated area absorbing heat and passing it to the external metal parts of the bus where it convects away). Fortunately, people seem to talk a lot about this but never actually do it (I've seen one youtube video where a guy sprayfoamed the underside of his van and it looked like a horrible mess). I think a single trip underneath a regular school bus will reveal how difficult this would be, even without considering the thermal bridging problems.
I completely agree with you. I can't imagine the amount of work it would take just to clean the underside of my bus. Plus there's a ton of stuff that has to fit underneath there. My two cents would be to reconsider the roof raise.
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Old 02-28-2020, 09:10 PM   #9
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I don't think this would be very effective at all given the problems of thermal bridging (you would have a metal floor inside your insulated area absorbing heat and passing it to the external metal parts of the bus where it convects away). Fortunately, people seem to talk a lot about this but never actually do it (I've seen one youtube video where a guy sprayfoamed the underside of his van and it looked like a horrible mess). I think a single trip underneath a regular school bus will reveal how difficult this would be, even without considering the thermal bridging problems.
Yeah, I had thought about the heat conductivity through the frame, but wasn't sure how pronounced it would be. Definitely a valid point.
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