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Author Topic: Would you live in a non-raised roof bus for the right price?  (Read 5597 times)
pickpaul
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« on: January 02, 2009, 01:58:09 PM »

I just found a bus for sale that is fully converted and has everything I'm looking for except that the roof wasn't raised. It has new end caps and is flat sided ready for a cool paint job and is a recent all electric conversion. After reading the last couple of years of posts on this board I'd pretty much made up my mind I needed a raised roof but this bus is in Florida which is closer to me, rust free, seems fairly priced (maybe get it for under $50k) There is a slide show on the website showing the conversion process....

mymcibusconversion.com

I'd be interested in general thoughts on the bus too as well as the height issue. I am 6' 0"

Cheers, Paul.
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gus
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« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2009, 02:15:33 PM »

paul,

I'm 6'1" and my 4104 is original height. I have to duck for the ACs but otherwise have no problems.

I've never really understood all this ceiling raising except for very tall people and even then it doesn't seem to be worth the effort unless it is for full-timing......even then I question the need for it.

It seems to me to compound the top clearance problem around trees and other top crunchers.
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PD4107-152
PD4104-1274
Ash Flat, AR
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« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2009, 02:42:21 PM »

There is a MCI 8 on ebay.  All the framing has been replaced with stainless steel "square tubing.  Spray foamed insulation on all sides roof and floor and 4 inches thick.  The exterior has been completely replaced with stainless sheets and is mirror polished.  It has been raised.  8V71 stick, fresh.  New tires.  $35,000.  And there is more that makes it attractive and pretty and very unique....VERY....see the pictures.  On demand hot water.

The rub as far as I can tell is that the guy built the thing for his family and he has 6 teenagers plus friends that travel with him.  It has two toilets and two showers and the rear bedroom is a custom folding queen.  You need to see it.

John
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pickpaul
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« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2009, 03:52:07 PM »

I've seen that one John, not the look I'm going for sadly :-)
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pickpaul
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« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2009, 03:56:09 PM »

Thanks for your thoughts Gus. The bus has basement A/C with one low profile roof unit over the bed so that should eliminate ducking. However, I was emailed off list pointing out that the extra height is for insulation purposes and without it it is not a 4 season bus. That makes sense but aren't all buses used all year long with warm passengers? You can see from the photos and from my phone call with him that he did insulate. Still feeling confused on the issue  Huh
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Stormcloud
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« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2009, 04:31:43 PM »

I'm 6'4" so a roof raise was a necessity.  I dont agree that a 4 season bus needs to have a raised roof, tho'. It depends how cold or hot the '4th' season is, and how many btu the heating (or cooling) equipment can provide. Although I improved the insulation in the roof of my bus when it was open, I certainly didnt put as much in as lots of other busnuts put in theirs. I also have several single-pane RV slider windows in the front area of the bus.  I figured if we end up using the bus in the extremes (hot or cold) we'll just have to run the heat or a/c more.

If the rest of the conversion suits your needs, and perhaps needs only 1 more A/C or a supplementary heater to make it comfortable, then I would seriously consider it.

Best of luck with whatever you decide.

Mark

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Mark Morgan    near Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
1972 MCI-7     'PapaBus'  8v-71N MT654 Automatic
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Tom & Phyllis
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« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2009, 04:32:27 PM »

Paul,

We are full timing in our MC7. I am 6'. We have 2 roof airs, original insulation, & windows from MCI, & a standard Suburban propane furnace. It IS doable. Would I rather have more insulation & double pane windows? SURE! But, it still works for us. Our highest electric bill in the summer has been $73.00 & propane runs about $150/month in winter. We keep the coach 77F. I like it hot! I also ducted a little heat in the wet bay to keep everything from freezing. I don't think I would be happy in Florida in the summer or Minnesota in the winter so, depending on your requirements, don't let the roof stop you.

One other thing we like is the classic lines of the 7. It still looks like a bus, not a box.

FWIW,

TOM
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'82 BlueBird WanderLodge PT40 being rebuilt
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jjrbus
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« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2009, 04:42:14 PM »

When panning my bus for full timing, I decided on a 8 inch roof raise.  Of the 8 inch, 2 1/4 inch has been used for the floor, 1 1/2 inch insulation 1/2 inch plywood and 1/4 inch laminate flooring, 3 1/2 inch of the raise have been used in the ceiling for insulation, ductwork and decoration, wire runs. It was about comfort not headroom.
 The extra inches in my sidewalls allows for larger windows and gives the bus a more open feeling. Other than the kitchen area there are no upper cabinates in my bus again it makes the bus feel more spacious.  Which adds to the comfort of the bus. A few days of bad weather can make a bus very claustrophobic.
 Is a roof raise nesecary, is spray foam insulation a must, how about thermopane windows?  A lot depends on how you are going to use the bus. Some weekends and a yearly vacation would require less than several years  of fulltiming.
                               HTH Jim
 

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« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2009, 04:46:51 PM »

Paul,

I like the bus. How much insulation does it have? Did the guy convert it himself, or have someone else?
I liked the R&M headlight front end upgrade. That is really neat. The inside looked like it was designed well too. What is the powertrain like? What size engine and transmission, maybe the website says, but I didn't spend that long looking.

We raised our roof because we put two inches of insulation in the floor, and furred the ceiling down and foamed it. We are also taller, so the extra space was a necessity. The extra insulation was great for us since we go into the extremes, occasionally.

God bless,

John
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« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2009, 04:50:05 PM »

My wife and I are around the 5' 5" range. I did not raise my roof. I'm not done yet but know it will work for us. I have read about others that have raised there roof 8" and by the time they insulate and run ducting. The net gain was only couple inches. It really depends on what YOUR needs are. If I were 6'1" and needed to duck for A/C unit I might concider raising the roof. I am with Tom on trying to keep the roof curves as close to original as possible.

John
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John316
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« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2009, 04:53:23 PM »

Also, what kind of heat and air does it have? I noticed in some of the pics, that the original air ducts were still there. I would think that he would have roof airs, or basement units, but it would be worth looking into. If he still has the OTR air, that is nice because the engine "cools" the bus, and you don't have to run the generator. Down side is they are very expensive to repair.

God bless,

John
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MCI 1995 DL3. DD S60 with a Allison B500.
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« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2009, 05:20:04 PM »

John,

The OTR air is so much overkill you can use the bus to hang beef if you don't have 50 people in there and are in Phoenix in August.  AND it is a very hungry beast to feed.  The inside track is to mount a auto type ac compressor (2-3 ton), new heat exchanger and plumb into the stock air handler and maybe add a second air unit in the center of the bus for Mama and guests.

The other plus is you get that small bay back where the OTR heat exchanger and fans by Fanzilla used to hangout.

Planning and design phase stuff.

John 
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"An uneducated vote is a treasonous act more damaging than any treachery of the battlefield.
The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." Plato
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
—Pla
pickpaul
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« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2009, 05:48:04 PM »

The engine is a 6V-92 with a turbo mated to an Alison HT740

What is the powertrain like? What size engine and transmission, maybe the website says, but I didn't spend that long looking.
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pickpaul
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« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2009, 05:52:37 PM »

Also, what kind of heat and air does it have?

It has a 23000 Btu Air/heat exchanger in lower bay and a 13,000 BTU Rear Roof Low profile Air Conditioner (Duo-therm) in the bedroom.

It has 5000 Watt Inverter(Motor Trend) and 4- 240 Amp Gel Cells (8G4D) which I guess would run the bedroom A/C all night without the generator or shore power.
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pickpaul
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« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2009, 05:58:12 PM »

I like the bus. How much insulation does it have? Did the guy convert it himself, or have someone else?
I liked the R&M headlight front end upgrade. That is really neat. The inside looked like it was designed well too.

He did the conversion himself and removed the factory insulation and replaced with a high R rated insulation. I love the new front end. Regardless of which bus I get it will end up looking like that so it's nice that it's already been done.
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