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Old 05-16-2011, 10:38 PM   #1
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Best type of bus for highway usage...

Hello everybody!!! My name is Flannel, and I am new to this conversion world. It's been a dream of mine for a few years now.

But I have some queries.

I was noticing many different types of school buses. I take it that such a bus must be suited for it's purpose (hauling school children to and from school).

It really makes me wonder as to what models or versions, or categories of buses are best suited for long mileage highway trips.

I know that buses are typically used in a stop and go situations, and probably have a lot of torque. They're typically more of a people hauler, than a
long distance land voyageur.

Any suggestions?
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Old 05-23-2011, 03:49 AM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Year: 92
Coachwork: ward flat nose
Chassis: international
Engine: dt466 mt643 air ride
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Re: Best type of bus for highway usage...

You have several choices here between comfort and economy. If you want comfort, you want to go with a rear engine 8.3 Cummins diesel pusher with air ride, mainly All Americans or something close. I think they are good for about 8 to 9 miles per gallon.

On the other hand, if you prefer economy, you need a dt360 or cummins 5.9 front engine bus with a manual transmission. If you can't handle a manual transmission, at least look for an Allison mt643, md3060 or the newer 2000. These transmissions all lockup in the upper gears, similar to a manual and are said to be at least 10% more fuel efficient then the AT545 Allison. Now you can find some diesel pushers with the Cummins 5.9 and Allison combo, but they won't be quite as fuel efficient as a manual shift transmission which should get you between 11 & 15 mpg.
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:34 AM   #3
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Location: Roswell, NM
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Year: 1986
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: 40 ft All American FE
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Re: Best type of bus for highway usage...

There was a thread here that asked what mileages we are getting with our buses. It kinda depends on the motor/rear end combo. We get fantastic mileage with ours (and no one believes me). As for economy... forget it. None are what you would call economic. You are hauling tons of stuff. On the up side, I have heard of few buses that gets mpg as low as comparable sized sticks-n-staples RV's (far down into the single digits). Even our 40 ft BlueBird, loaded to the ceiling with all our stuff got more than double the mileage that my 22 ft Class C RV did on our trip out west. On the other hand, I can get my Class C up to 80 mph but it costs me in fuel.

I would say opt for a diesel engine. Simply because they last longer than a gas engine. then non-electronic diesels are cheaper to work on than the electronic ones... so I've heard. Whose getting 10+ mpg and what engine is it?

BTW, we like to run primary/secondary roads over interstates. We no longer have to get from point A to point B in a short time so we are slowing down. We are now actually making better time and trips are easier on us. I can't see to drive at night anymore and David's night vision is going as well. Since his heart attack, he is talking taking life easier. I don't know how long that will last but we have decided 150 to 200 miles per day is our planned travel days.
This post is my opinion. It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.
Fulltime since 2006
The goal of life is living in agreement with nature. Zeno (335BC-264BC)
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Old 05-27-2011, 08:26 PM   #4
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Re: Best type of bus for highway usage...

Thank you all so much for the help so far. I am researching all the terms and advice you've been giving me. Another question... Do engines that are more externally mounted vs those that are part of body or internally mounted, offer any technical advantages?

I mean are engines extend from the bus better than those that are integrated into the bus? Like are they easier to work on and maintain? I assume they would be.
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