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Old 01-01-2017, 11:17 PM   #1
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Any Rear Engine Buses With Towing Capabilities?

Hey Skoolies,

I'm planning my rig and gathering as much info prior to my purchase and one of my main concerns is whether or not a RE pusher can have a hitch installed to tow a trailer as any FE bus would?
I would love to see one in action if possible.
Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 01-01-2017, 11:57 PM   #2
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It all depends upon how the engine is mounted in the rear.

Most Type 'D' RE buses have straight frame rails that go from the front bumper to the rear bumper. But some buses have the engines mounted in a cradle that is then attached to the frame rails.

On buses with straight frame rails installing a hitch is pretty simple

On buses with the engines mounted in a cradle you will need to design a hitch that will put the weight of the trailer/towed and the hitch weight onto the frame rails of the bus rather than on the engine cradle.

On mid-engine Crown buses the frame rails end at the rear suspension. The rest of the back of the bus is designed as a crunch zone. Installing a hitch directly to the bumper of a Crown means all of the weight of the tongue and trailer/towed is supported only by the rear sheet metal. In order to tow anything with a Crown you will have to design a hitch that can tie into the frame rails of the bus and not depend upon any of the weight being supported by the sheet metal.
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Old 01-02-2017, 01:48 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
It all depends upon how the engine is mounted in the rear.

Most Type 'D' RE buses have straight frame rails that go from the front bumper to the rear bumper. But some buses have the engines mounted in a cradle that is then attached to the frame rails.

On buses with straight frame rails installing a hitch is pretty simple

On buses with the engines mounted in a cradle you will need to design a hitch that will put the weight of the trailer/towed and the hitch weight onto the frame rails of the bus rather than on the engine cradle.

On mid-engine Crown buses the frame rails end at the rear suspension. The rest of the back of the bus is designed as a crunch zone. Installing a hitch directly to the bumper of a Crown means all of the weight of the tongue and trailer/towed is supported only by the rear sheet metal. In order to tow anything with a Crown you will have to design a hitch that can tie into the frame rails of the bus and not depend upon any of the weight being supported by the sheet metal.


Hey cowlitzcoach,

Thanks for that now I know what to look for in a RE, no cradle, unless it has the engine I need then it may have to be a cradle. lol
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Old 01-02-2017, 10:58 AM   #4
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Year: 1991
Coachwork: Thomas Saf-T-Liner
Engine: Cat 3116
I pulled a 20' car hauler with my RE bus. Trailer had a car and motorcycle on it weighing just shy of 6000lbs total.



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Old 01-02-2017, 12:32 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by nwarner2010 View Post
I pulled a 20' car hauler with my RE bus. Trailer had a car and motorcycle on it weighing just shy of 6000lbs total.

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That is a beautiful rig you have there, very nice looking.
So I assume your engine is not cradled and is attached directly to the frame? Where did you find the hitch set up, did you install it or did someone else? I'd love to have that info for future reference for my build.

Thanks,

Kelly John
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:54 PM   #6
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Year: 1991
Coachwork: Thomas Saf-T-Liner
Engine: Cat 3116
Sorry should have given a bit more info. The bus is a 91 Thomas Saf T Liner with a cat 3116. The engine is cradled and the hitch is bolted to that. Maybe not the best method? But seems to work fine and I haven't had any issues...Seems plenty strong enough. I installed the hitch myself. I took some measurements and called curt mfg and spoke to their tech department, they were able to look up hitches that would line up correctly by the measurements. They got it pretty close. Even lined up with 4 of the holes that were already there. I can't remember what the hitch was designed to go on but the part number is curt 15302. I wish it was a little higher up closer to the bumper but it's not terrible. I have to use a 1" rise on the ball mount for my particular trailer. I've attached a couple pics that I have on my phone but if you want anymore let me know. I won't be near my bus for another week but after that I can get some better pictures. In the next couple months I want to add a front hitch so will probably be giving curt a call again to see what they have that'll fit.

Nate





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Old 01-02-2017, 02:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nwarner2010 View Post
Sorry should have given a bit more info. The bus is a 91 Thomas Saf T Liner with a cat 3116. The engine is cradled and the hitch is bolted to that. Maybe not the best method? But seems to work fine and I haven't had any issues...Seems plenty strong enough. I installed the hitch myself. I took some measurements and called curt mfg and spoke to their tech department, they were able to look up hitches that would line up correctly by the measurements. They got it pretty close. Even lined up with 4 of the holes that were already there. I can't remember what the hitch was designed to go on but the part number is curt 15302. I wish it was a little higher up closer to the bumper but it's not terrible. I have to use a 1" rise on the ball mount for my particular trailer. I've attached a couple pics that I have on my phone but if you want anymore let me know. I won't be near my bus for another week but after that I can get some better pictures. In the next couple months I want to add a front hitch so will probably be giving curt a call again to see what they have that'll fit.

Nate

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Awesome! But I'd want to know 100% from the manufacturer if that's ok to connect to, I'd be pulling an enclosed trailer with a car and a couple ATV's or whatever. I have lot's of time to do some more research here before I decide on a rig to see if the engine/trans configuration I'm looking for can be found on one that uses the frame rather than a cradle. Finger's crossed. At least now I know it's been done that's the main thing.
Oh and a few more pic's of your rig would be great. I'm curious to know what you did with the interior.

Thanks again,

Kelly John
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Old 01-02-2017, 03:43 PM   #8
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Year: 1991
Coachwork: Thomas Saf-T-Liner
Engine: Cat 3116
Ya I couldn't say for sure that it is 100% safe to do but it seems stout enough. The cradle seems to be built of thicker metal than the frame and overlaps the frame a couple feet. I'll try to get a pic for you. Unfortunately no interior yet, currently using it as a moving truck. Hope to start the conversion late spring/early summer. I thought about getting a 24' enclosed trailer but the added weight concerned me a little and the total length would have been a little long. Right now in right about 65'.



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Old 01-02-2017, 03:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nwarner2010 View Post
Ya I couldn't say for sure that it is 100% safe to do but it seems stout enough. The cradle seems to be built of thicker metal than the frame and overlaps the frame a couple feet. I'll try to get a pic for you. Unfortunately no interior yet, currently using it as a moving truck. Hope to start the conversion late spring/early summer. I thought about getting a 24' enclosed trailer but the added weight concerned me a little and the total length would have been a little long. Right now in right about 65'.


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Nice! What's your plan for her, you have a family or just you and the rig? I have a wife and 16 yr old son (and 2 cats) so it's for all of us. I posted my plan in my album if you want to see my "ambitious plans".

Kelly John
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Old 01-02-2017, 05:57 PM   #10
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