Skoolie Roof Raise - Part 1Oct 02, 2021
Skoolie Roof Raise
The roof raise is something that so many people decide to do to their bus. We were no different on BUSSEDAMOVE. I am 6'4" and our bus was nowhere near my height before we reinsulated the ceiling. We knew how terribly uncomfortable it was going to be for me once we built up the floor and the ceiling.
It was time to figure out exactly what we were going to do. We decide that we wanted to make it unbelievably safe while making a great place to put rivets for a professional presentation once all put back together. We did something that we haven't seen anyone else do to solve this problem. I'll show pictures a little farther down this page. Until then, here's a breakdown step by step over the next few Blog Posts. I'm going to show you Step 1 and Step 2 here.
Step 1. The Jacks:
We made roof raise jacks like most everyone else does. Here is a link to how we made the jacks on our YouTube channel.
The jacks are just two pieces of steel with a threaded rod that runs between then. They are a piece of 2"x2" angle steel that is cut to about 6 inches.
From there a 1"x1" piece of square steel tubing is welded into the pocket. Do that 8 times so that you have an upper and lower piece on all 4 corners.
A piece of 3/4" threaded rod is bolted tight into the top piece and slides freely through the bottom piece. One nut and a washer needs to sit between the upper and lower piece so it can be run down to spread the upper and lower piece apart as the roof is jacked up with hydraulic floor jacks and posts.
Once each spreader jack is welded into place onto the ribs about one or two ribs inset from the front and back, It's time to cut. You'll be cutting between the upper and lower spreader jacks on the rib.
DO NOT CUT ANYTHING UNTIL THE SPREADERS ARE IN PLACE. IT'S DANGEROUS STUFF AND YOU WILL REGRET IT IF THE ROOF GETS AWAY FROM YOU. THIS IS A ROUTINE THING THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE DO BUT IT STILL CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS. DO ALL OF THIS WITH CAUTION.
You could spread the two pieces apart manually with a wrench on that top nut of the bottom piece. Save yourself the trouble though and just jack it up with floor jacks and run the nut down. Trust me, it's easier that way. The Roof is heavy!
Step 2. The Raise:
Once all the cuts are made, position a floor jack with a post in between the spreader jacks at the front and back of the bus. This goes much easier with at least 2 people. I recommend going up about 4"-6" at a time with the floor jacks and then running the top nuts down on the bottom pieces of the spreaders to lock them in. Take your time here. It matters.
Measure - Measure - Measure
Where you land on all 4 corners matters. Here is a pro tip: Raise until the middle of your bus gets to your desired height and go ahead and weld those. Work your way out with the middle to the front and then to the back. I wasn't prepared for how much flex that there would be in the top once we started raising. If you lock in the front and back, it might not flex back down. You'll want to make sure that it's level in the end so start welding in the middle and make little adjustments until you get to the front and back to make sure it's done right.
Here are some pictures of our Skoolie Roof Raise Spreader Jacks
We'll talk more about the welding and getting it all back together in PART 2. Until then, reach out with any questions that you might have about our roof raise.
Thanks for reading. We have a YouTube playlist dedicated to our roof raise on BUSSEDAMOVE. Click here to see the playlist. Subscribe if you'd like to not miss anything on the YouTube channel.
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