Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-21-2018, 03:07 PM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 5
BEST and WORST Models for Conversions?

Hello all,

I've spent a few minutes sifting through posts and I can't seem to find any info on which makes/models are better for a home conversion than others. I'm sure every model has their quirks, but is there any to flat out AVOID?

My girlfriend and I are looking to do a conversion this spring, we have the money and an idea, we just want to make sure we're buying the right choice.

We're located in Ohio, so finding buses is proving to be a bit difficult also. Any others from Ohio?
jason_dille is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2018, 04:22 PM   #2
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Owasso, OK
Posts: 2,627
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: Cummins 6CTA8.3 Mechanical MD3060
Rated Cap: 46 Coach Seats, 40 foot
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_dille View Post
Hello all,

I've spent a few minutes sifting through posts and I can't seem to find any info on which makes/models are better for a home conversion than others. I'm sure every model has their quirks, but is there any to flat out AVOID?

My girlfriend and I are looking to do a conversion this spring, we have the money and an idea, we just want to make sure we're buying the right choice.

We're located in Ohio, so finding buses is proving to be a bit difficult also. Any others from Ohio?
To decide what is best for you first decide how you want to use it. Where you want to go, what interior arrangement you'd like.

That determines the size of bus. After that it's about making choices we can help you with.
__________________
Steve Bracken

Build Thread
Twigg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2018, 04:30 PM   #3
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 5
Thanks for the reply! The ideal use is a livable space for month long trips, so it would be a tiny home build, solar, propane, the works.

As for where we want to go, anywhere in North America honestly. So lots of road use, in varying terrain.

From what I've researched the larger the size would be better. Like a 78 seater or so, and we'd prefer an RE just for aesthetics and I also read something online about them being quieter and better airflow. Any truth to that?
jason_dille is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2018, 04:47 PM   #4
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 6,446
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_dille View Post
Thanks for the reply! The ideal use is a livable space for month long trips, so it would be a tiny home build, solar, propane, the works.

As for where we want to go, anywhere in North America honestly. So lots of road use, in varying terrain.

From what I've researched the larger the size would be better. Like a 78 seater or so, and we'd prefer an RE just for aesthetics and I also read something online about them being quieter and better airflow. Any truth to that?
Better air flow where? The outside shape of the bus, whether FE or RE, isn't any different. Don't know if they are any quieter or if it just seems so from the noise coming from behind you 35', or right next to you. If you plan on running the engine for heat or AC inside then having a rear bedroom may not be very quiet with the engine running right under the bed.
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2018, 04:59 PM   #5
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 4,422
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Welcome,

I am partial to rear engine (RE) versus front engine (FE) when it comes to transit style or "flatnose" buses.

The FE puts the engine right next to the driver with all of the noise and heat that goes with it. RE puts the engine at the opposite end of the bus and will be cooler and quieter.

The FE is also more challenging to work on than the RE. RE gives easier access to engine components.

However....

The FE will have a bit more usable floor space and can be more maneuverable than an RE.
PNW_Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2018, 04:59 PM   #6
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Owasso, OK
Posts: 2,627
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: Cummins 6CTA8.3 Mechanical MD3060
Rated Cap: 46 Coach Seats, 40 foot
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_dille View Post
Thanks for the reply! The ideal use is a livable space for month long trips, so it would be a tiny home build, solar, propane, the works.

As for where we want to go, anywhere in North America honestly. So lots of road use, in varying terrain.

From what I've researched the larger the size would be better. Like a 78 seater or so, and we'd prefer an RE just for aesthetics and I also read something online about them being quieter and better airflow. Any truth to that?
Number of passengers is unreliable except as a general indicator. Mine is 40' but was only rated for 46 passengers because it had coach seating, not school bus benches that are rated at 3 per seat @ 80lb per person. Counting windows behind the driver is a better indicator of useable space. It's roughly 2 1/2 feet per window.

Bigger is better for extended living, although many do live in shorter buses so that's just my view.

Style counts. All rear engined buses are Type D, transit style (flat front). They can be poor for air-flow. The air-flow they are talking about is to the engine and cooling system, as over-heating kills a diesel engine quicker than anything short of losing the sump plug while driving.

Flat front buses require a different driving style because the steer wheels are behind the driver. Quite a long way behind and turning my bus into the yard is "interesting" as I hang out about 5" over the ditch we try to avoid

Flat-front, front engine are the noisiest and hottest for the driver. I wouldn't have one, but if you want that large rear door and a decent turning circle you need the engine at the front. My wheelbase is a whopping 23 feet, but I get the advantage of full, pass-through luggage storage, something you can't normally have with a front engine.

If you like the look, the CE (conventional) school buses are quieter, and engine access much easier. Engine access is usually excellent with CE, good with RE, poor with FE.

Ceiling height varies too. Best are the 77/78" if you do not plan to raise the roof. With the floor raised and ceiling lowered for insulation, a 6" person still has full standing height in the center.

There is other stuff but that's enough for a brief outline
__________________
Steve Bracken

Build Thread
Twigg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2018, 05:01 PM   #7
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 5
Quote:
Better air flow where? The outside shape of the bus, whether FE or RE, isn't any different. Don't know if they are any quieter or if it just seems so from the noise coming from behind you 35', or right next to you. If you plan on running the engine for heat or AC inside then having a rear bedroom may not be very quiet with the engine running right under the bed.
Thats probably what I read, with the engine being in the rear it would seem quieter to the driver.

Thats a good point about the bedroom! I think I wanna attempt an interior AC and heat system though, something to run off of solar or shore.
jason_dille is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2018, 05:08 PM   #8
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Owasso, OK
Posts: 2,627
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: Cummins 6CTA8.3 Mechanical MD3060
Rated Cap: 46 Coach Seats, 40 foot
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_dille View Post
Thats probably what I read, with the engine being in the rear it would seem quieter to the driver.

Thats a good point about the bedroom! I think I wanna attempt an interior AC and heat system though, something to run off of solar or shore.
I can barely hear my rear engine from the driver's seat. When I am done insulating I probably won't really hear it at all.
__________________
Steve Bracken

Build Thread
Twigg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2018, 05:10 PM   #9
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twigg View Post
Number of passengers is unreliable except as a general indicator. Mine is 40' but was only rated for 46 passengers because it had coach seating, not school bus benches that are rated at 3 per seat @ 80lb per person. Counting windows behind the driver is a better indicator of useable space. It's roughly 2 1/2 feet per window.

Bigger is better for extended living, although many do live in shorter buses so that's just my view.

Style counts. All rear engined buses are Type D, transit style (flat front). They can be poor for air-flow. The air-flow they are talking about is to the engine and cooling system, as over-heating kills a diesel engine quicker than anything short of losing the sump plug while driving.

Flat front buses require a different driving style because the steer wheels are behind the driver. Quite a long way behind and turning my bus into the yard is "interesting" as I hang out about 5" over the ditch we try to avoid

Flat-front, front engine are the noisiest and hottest for the driver. I wouldn't have one, but if you want that large rear door and a decent turning circle you need the engine at the front. My wheelbase is a whopping 23 feet, but I get the advantage of full, pass-through luggage storage, something you can't normally have with a front engine.

If you like the look, the CE (conventional) school buses are quieter, and engine access much easier. Engine access is usually excellent with CE, good with RE, poor with FE.

Ceiling height varies too. Best are the 77/78" if you do not plan to raise the roof. With the floor raised and ceiling lowered for insulation, a 6" person still has full standing height in the center.

There is other stuff but that's enough for a brief outline
SO MUCH HELPFUL INFO! Thanks I appreciate it! Now I cant decide between a CE or RE! Probably gonna start looking at CE's (even though itll break my girlfriends heart as she loves the flat front). Accessibility will be key for maintenance.

I am 5'5'' and she is 4'10'' so we wont need to raise it at all lol. Being so small a few extra feet of floor space wont break us either, but we would like a 3' by 7' "garage" area in the rear. For solar setup, water heater, A/C and heater location. Whats been the best heating/cooling setups for you all?
jason_dille is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2018, 05:12 PM   #10
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twigg View Post
I can barely hear my rear engine from the driver's seat. When I am done insulating I probably won't really hear it at all.
That would definitely be key. My girlfriend and I are photographers/videographers so editing on the move in a quiet space would be amazing lol.
jason_dille is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:34 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.