Bugger me that seemed to work, we will see if this one does

31 replies
  1. William
    William says:

    Thanks Kevin, nice to know someone is looking ! We are using a new purchased theme that my comp guy uses, very powerful and because he uses it all the time he forgets to tell me some of the stuff it can do, so I blunder around discovering stuff for myself. I have a session with him next week that should smooth off any rough edges, need to get it done as we are away again for a couple of weeks sometime next weekend.

  2. Aaron
    Aaron says:

    Hi guys, Trying to find people in Perth WA, currently converting a 12mtr Fuso. having questions on Roof Raising etc.. Im told its not really hard to get passed, Can anyone point me to the best forum etc.. please?


    • Anonymous
      Anonymous says:

      Hello Aaron,
      I am afraid there is not a lot of information around on doing roof lifts, the guys that do it professionally keep pretty mum about it, I would guess it is such a source of easy money for them.
      By far the most important piece of info is to find your mods officer or engineer (call them different things in different states) and get him on side before you start, cannot stress too highly how important this is.
      I do not know of a forum where such matters are discussed, we used to have a forum on this site but as so often happens the minority kill it for the rest.
      The system is basically the same in each state, though it has different names.
      A person is accredited by the state transport authorities to oversee/authorise vehicle modifications, which are then accepted by the authority. Usually a blue modification plate is fitted so the vehicle can travel/be sold interstate.
      As the officer is putting his cojones on the line you can understand that he wants it done in a safe manner, that is why it is better to talk to him first.
      Having said that, do not feel you have to go with the first one if it feels over the top. I have seen projects where the guy has wanted another ton of steel added to the roof and supports, which is totally not needed if designed properly. Do get the bus level and make sure it is well blocked before you cut the roof supports or it will bend without you knowing it, and make sure your lifting is in a safe manner, if possible have some supports cut to length so you can get the roof supported and welded (i.e. safe) asap.

    • William
      William says:

      So just so we are clear, you are looking for someone to do lift for you, is that the case ?
      If so I hope you have a fat chequebook !.
      I know of one on a Denning done for 10K, thats lifted and resheeted, it is in the other peoples projects, ex BBL
      However most of the others seem to want in the 30 to 40 K mark from talking to people that have asked.
      I suppose the advantage is they should know what they are doing and have the contacts with the mods officers or whoever to get it certified, but even then……..
      A guy does quite a few in SEQ and I know one owner spoke to the engineer, mentioned the centre door and it all went deathly quiet, he hadn’t been told about that !
      I have no idea who does them over your way, I do recall someone telling me they were quoted 60 something K to do one which is ridiculous. If you are set up then you should have the lid lifted by the second day and fully secured by the third (one guy) then it’s just a matter of re skinning. The biggest problems are matching the front and rear caps to any different material, if you go all fg you won’t have this problem, assuming yours has fg caps ?

    • Graeme
      Graeme says:

      Hi Aaron, I just read about your roof lift and a company that springs to mind is Premier Truck Painters in Mundaring they would be happy to talk to you about the lift and if they cant help would put you in the right direction.They have been very approachable in my dealings with them and they do some top quality work.Well worth the effort to call or see them

  3. Toolman
    Toolman says:

    I know of a couple of Guys up here in Geraldton that would do it, not sure about Perth, but I could not see it being done for less than ten grand.The beauty of a Hi-Deck is that I did not have to raise the roof. I lowered the floor which now that I have done it, I think is a bigger job. Good Luck!


  4. William
    William says:

    Hi guys,
    Just to let you know that Vansat have some refurbished auto satellite dishes for less than 2 grand, same warranty, have never been on vehicles, just used for shows etc, may have a scratch or so, my clumsy manual dish has gone in the bin at these prices, mine is on transport as I write.

    • William
      William says:

      Almost finished fitting the motorised dish up, just want to make a couple of wind breaks and rests for the dish, but got it running this morning. Connected this time with an HDMI cable, BIG difference over using the old RCA plug style cables.(AV)
      Very happy for the price, plenty of help from Vansat as well, it is one of those things I could not justify at earlier prices but at less than 2 thousand we decided to do it.
      Have still decided to replace the dish as we have the tripod and the rest of it, just for that one time we are parked up somewhere for a while but have an obstacle between the one on the roof and the satellite, can buy a new dish for only 10 bucks, so will do that later in the week.

  5. Aaron
    Aaron says:

    Thanks Guys, As luck would have it I have found someone who used to convert buses for a living In Perth, and as fate has it, his last bus was exactly the same as mine, and he done it all including a roof lift, He has sent me over 150 images of his fit out including some floor plans and the roof lift images from start to finish. So guess I am doing this one my self. ๐Ÿ™‚ William Would it be ok to upload my bus and the project here, it might help others to see the lift etc.. I also have stated a page if you want to link it let me know, but if I can help let me know.

    • William
      William says:

      Aaron, I am quite happy to give your project it’s own page, we can see from google analytics that many visitors go straight to the roof lift page so I would suggest a child page under that section where a complete lift from go to whoa can be seen. Will require quite a few pics.
      Let me know if you wish to do this

  6. Rob Goodwin
    Rob Goodwin says:

    Hi William whatever you did to website worked well it is now a pleasure to navigate through Rob Sunshine Coast building 12.2 mtr Denning Motorhome

    • William Calder
      William Calder says:

      Thanks Rob, still needs loose ends tying up, but moving to the VPS has made a huge difference to speed and loading (and my wallet)
      How are you going with your build, been at it for a while now ?

      • Rob Goodwin
        Rob Goodwin says:

        Hi William had a win on the weekend Engineer approved Roof Lift , all seat belts on lounge, Drivers seat install and passengers double seat so legal for 6 passengers including driver just a bit of paperwork to follow up on. Working on removing centre drop aisle so I can make it all flat floor and hoping to start some more external paintwork this weekend so I can get all windows in A Big Job as you know what with fulltime work thanks Rob

        • Mike Bent
          Mike Bent says:

          Morning gents,
          I was referred to this site by a chap over on CMCA after I was asking a lot of questions regarding purchasing a 12M motorhome. I see Rob , you are building a 12M Denning. I am looking at a few of those now. I currently own a 9M 1988 Wide body Fuso MK595J running a 6d14 drive train. We were going to rebuild from scratch but wife got seriously ill and the money then went straight there. We have now decided to sell the Fuso as it is and buy an already converted bus and simply make minor personal changes. The guys on the other site said William was the man to speak with regarding what to look out for when buying a Denning or Austral with regards to flaws, rust etc. I am also deciding between tag axle or single rear axle and the added costs and benefits associated with both. From reports others have mentioned, the running costs and rego costs of owning a tag axle are quite high. Any insights to this would be very much appreciated. I am currently in NSW but we intend travelling for quite a while. I own a business that can e operating on the road via internet so we don’t need to be anywhere special apart from where internet can be reached.

        • Renae
          Renae says:

          Hi Rob, I have just purchased a bus and hubby and I looking at starting a conversion to motorhome. I am interested in how you went about your roof lift and where you have the lounge (with seat belts) situated. Do you have a website with finished photos of your inside and outside layout. Thanks very much

  7. Judith Maurer
    Judith Maurer says:

    Hi William, Judy and Alan here. We are converting a 30 year Melba 48 seat coach that became a Dennings School Bus. We live in Logan City south of Brisbane. My query is do you know where I can get the regulations, etc. that we have to comply with for road worthy and compliances, etc.? and also do you know of anyone in close proximity to us that could maybe mentor us through our conversion or that we could help them with their conversion to learn more. We have been fixing up all the rust in the baggage compartments below and have almost finished gutting the interior. We have a lot of questions about what is to come. Thanks for any info or help you can give. Cheers Judy and Alan

    • Judith Maurer
      Judith Maurer says:

      I forgot to say thank you for your website here. It’s great to see there are others out there that are doing or have done what we are trying to do.

      • William
        William says:

        Hello Judith,
        Have not been getting notifications of posts so sorry about the time to reply.
        There is a list of Authorised Modification Officers on the Queensland tranny website, bit hard to find and never up to date but that is the best place to start. They will know what you need to do. Talk to more than one, some are bloody ridiculous, my blue mod plates cost me $250 each. Any specific questions just ask.

        Thank you for your compliment

  8. Peter
    Peter says:

    Hi William, I’m really happy to have found your website. I have a truck that I’m going to convert into a motorhome. I’m at the planning stage and want to set up a full self sustaining off grid electric/solar system. I think I understand how to calculate power usage but it’s one thing to write your estimated consumption and then there’s real life.

    You say that you have 800A/hrs in a battery bank on a 24v – 240v inverter system and then you have another 200A/hrs in a backup 12v system. I’m curious, is your 800A/hrs at 24v or is it 12v cells in a series to make 400A/hrs in 24v? How do you find your energy consumption vs what is produced with the 2kw solar array? Do you find you consume near capacity with normal aircon and other lifestyle usage? I realise you have a separate system with the trailer and your washing machine separate. Is there anything else I’m missing?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    • William
      William says:

      Hello Peter,
      Sorry it has taken so long to reply, somehow the post notification email has stopped working so I have not known of new posts.
      Ok first lets talk batteries. Please educate yourself about LiFePo4 batteries. The reason I have 200 Ah of 12 volt is that I did not believe these batteries could be so good, so I purchased 8 x 100 Ah cells and started testing. Did not take long to be convinced. I then had the opportunity to but 800 Ah of a different brand (still 100 Ah cells) which were a slightly smaller size. These were brand new but from an abandoned electric car project. So, that is why I have 200Ah x 12 V, I used the experimental ones as a 12 v bank, after I had blown a couple of step down convertors.
      I have 3000 watts of solar in total, 2000 on VP and 1000 on the trailer. I run 2 solar regs in the coach and a seperate one in the trailer, all to charge the house system and also to run the thermatic fans. However there is a small stand alone 1000 watt inverter in the trailer to run the washing machine. There is also a small stand alone solar reg (apart from the one for the house system) and that one charges 2 x 12 v (24 v) LA batteries in the trailer that are used for the rear door winch, the on board compressor if being towed by the car (trailer has airabg suspension) and the inverter.
      Only ever had battery disconnected because it has reached the low point, coming back from the Bundy rally in heavy rain, no solar at all (first time) so thermatics running off the house bank. I should have stopped and programmed the DC switch to let the alternator top the house batteries, but just wanted to get home like ET.
      Hope this helps. William

  9. Rob Goodwin
    Rob Goodwin says:

    Hi William, Rob from Sunshine Coast here building TIGER the graphics look great wanting to do something similar on my bus what cost was involved in this Cheers Rob

  10. Robert Thomas
    Robert Thomas says:

    Hi William and May,

    First let me say well done on the bus project I have only just discovered this blog and have been reading your pages. You bus was a big job and you have turned this around I read with interest your information. I have just purchased a bus I pick this up next week itโ€™s a Mercedes 1627 Coach model year 2002 its in good condition so looking for ideas and information on the conversion your pages will be of help. I will be looking for like minded people that are also doing a project like this so I can share information with them We live in Perth. Hope this site is still active again well done and thanks for making the effort to do this web site.

    Best Regards

    Rob T

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