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Author Topic: "raise roof" on outside to hide MotoSat & solar panels & to insulate more  (Read 2404 times)
Kevin Warnock
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« on: July 31, 2006, 09:07:42 PM »

I have an already fully converted MCI 5a that I love. It does not have a raised roof. It does have a MotoSat Internet dish and two ugly solar panels (200 watts) on the roof. There are also two roof air conditioners and a fantastic vent. The profile is cluttered and not pretty.

I am also about to hire a conversion company to reskin the bus with flat aluminum top to bottom, plus R & M Fiberglass front and rear treatments (caps, panels and bumpers).

I note that my bus is much less tall than an modern bus, about 10 feet to the top, and about 11 feet including the airconditioners and other roof stuff.

I can't consider doing a real roof raise, as I would have to substantially redo the insides, which are fine as is, and the cost I hear is in the $10K range, which is too much.

However, what do you think about the following?

I could increase the height of the bus by building a facade about a foot high on all four sides of the bus. This facade would be a 'fake wall' that would increase the height of the bus on the perimeter, perhaps extending in 1 foot on each side. Then the height would drop back down. On this lower, original roofline, I could apply two inches or more of insulation, and then cover over it with additonal aluminum, leaving the original aluminum in place. Then the MotoSat dish could be reattached to the new two inch higher roof surface. I would replace the roof air conditioners and the fantastic vent with low profile non-opening skylights, as I just ordered 'mini-split' air conditioners that will mount in the basement and in the coach. I don't need the vent since I will be getting double paned windows installed with screens, which I don't have now.

I would just order the R & M caps designed for raised roofs so they would be tall enough to fit.

I would take this opportunity to 'square up' the roofline, getting rid of the gradual rounded profile there now on the sides, which pegs the bus as OLD.

When done, when viewed from above, the bus would appear to have a sunken living room on the roof. I think water could be drained by placing drain holes or even wide slots at periodic intervals (1 foot?) around the sides and back, through which the water could enter the normal gutter system for removal.

The profile from the side would be an entirely flat roof, and my $5,000 MotoSat Internet dish would not be visible when stowed, which will probably help me keep it safe longer, and the raised roof would protect it from impact in a disaster, at least somewhat.

I can imagine wind drag increasing a bit, but tall busses all face that.

This seems not that costly in terms of extra materials, but it may take some engineering time to plan and figure out. Without the roof airs inside, my head will never touch the ceiling. Now I have to duck under the units.

Including the solar panels, I have nearly $7,000 of uninsured stuff on the roof, as my insurance doesn't cover 'attachements.'

But my main reason for doing this is to make the roofline profile clean, and to get rid of the too-round roofline that screams 'old bus.'

What do you think of this? Pro and cons welcome.

Thanks,
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skihor
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« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2006, 09:58:45 PM »

We've got a '67 MC 5A and I'm proud to own an OLD bus. I like the single rear axle, the curved roof, and I really like the polished stainless body. If I wanted the "modern look" I would have bought a newer bus. But then beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I would think that you could insure your extra's somehow. Shop around someone will.
I have vinyl solar panels (3X32W) that conform to the roof (they are mounted at the rear)  and they are very hard to see unless you're above the roof line and can look down on them.
I applaud some who has the vision and foresite and grit to "do it your way" Personally I've never followed the crowd. Hell I'm 50 with hair longer than most women and I'm not, nor ever been, in a band.
If it we're me I'd save the money your about to spend on new skin, not to mention the design issues with a roof line you describe, or the 6 or 8 thousand to have it painted. Sell this one and buy a later model that has the features that you want in a more modern body style, taller bays squareish tail etc...
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JackConrad
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« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2006, 04:48:37 AM »

With the sides taller than the center part of the roof, How is rain water going to drain? You will have have openings in your extended sides somwhere for the rain to get out. If it cannot get out fast enough, you have a very good chance of leaks developing. Some of our extremly heavy summer thunderstorms could easily fill the top of your bus with several inches of water.  Jack
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DrivingMissLazy
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« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2006, 04:59:58 AM »

Yea, and it could really hold a lot of wet heavy snow if you happen to get caught out somewhere in a freak storm. I got caught in a very severe snow storm one July while visiting in the Rockies.
Richard

With the sides taller than the center part of the roof, How is rain water going to drain? You will have have openings in your extended sides somwhere for the rain to get out. If it cannot get out fast enough, you have a very good chance of leaks developing. Some of our extremly heavy summer thunderstorms could easily fill the top of your bus with several inches of water.  Jack
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Merlin
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« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2006, 08:49:21 AM »

...
I have vinyl solar panels (3X32W) that conform to the roof (they are mounted at the rear)  and they are very hard to see unless you're above the roof line and can look down on them.
...
I'm also looking for the unadorned roof look.  What brand of solar panels are you using that will bend to the shape of the roof?

Merlin
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BJW
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« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2006, 09:31:16 AM »

Hello,

I designed my roof to be just like that.  It incorporates a sunken mid-section allowing for the squaring of the roof line and hiding of the roof clutter.  Additionally, I planned my roof attachments in such a way that I also have room for a large observation deck that I gain entry from a retractable interior ladder.  Further, the rear is designed in such a way that there is a down-draft that cleans my backside as I drive down the road.  The drainage is done via several drain holes placed through out the roof and at the rear.  The rear edge of the front cap is a spoiler that was designed to reduce noise and drag from the roof attachements, etc...It seems to work very well and I think it looks pretty nice....

It takes a lot of planning and design, but once it's figured out, it is really not that tough.  Oh, by the way, Gus is a MC-9 with a 12 inch raise and then a facade along the side that integrates the awning etc....
Let me know if I can answer any questions.

Always follow your dreams,
BJ
« Last Edit: August 01, 2006, 09:39:36 AM by BJW » Logged

BJW
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NewbeeMC9
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« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2006, 07:02:12 PM »

maybe this would help with the fairings etc

http://www.girardrv.com/

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