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Old 01-17-2018, 09:37 AM   #1
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Question Best under 30' Buses for High altitude, Snow & Ice.

I'm considering converting a skoolie predominantly for snow chasing purposes and full-time living, at least for a few years. I'm curious if this incredibly helpful seeming community can make some recommendations on what type of under 30' bus would be most suitable for roaming around the Rocky Mountains during the harsh winter months.
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Old 01-17-2018, 09:45 AM   #2
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A few things I would like/want off the top of my head...

1. Larger diesel engine
2. 5 or 6 speed full lockup tranny (NOT AT 545)
3. Extra insulation (you will have to add)
4. Retarder, driveline brake, Jake Brake (some alternate braking system)
5. Auto Chains on rear wheels
6. High output heater/defroster system
7. Altimeter
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Old 01-17-2018, 09:50 AM   #3
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I should have probably added that I have absolutely no experience with repairing or driving vehicles as large as a school bus. Any good threads about high altitude friendly conversions you have seen?
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Old 01-17-2018, 11:41 AM   #4
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you don't say how many people you need to accommodate, if it is just one or two you should look into a short bus based on a van (ford E350 or chevy),..
they are easier to have repaired as parts are common,.. not as hard to drive or park,.. if you are planning on roaming in cold areas i would avoid a diesel engine (hard to start in the cold if you don't have a place to plug the block heater in)
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Old 01-17-2018, 12:11 PM   #5
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I'm sure there was a time when you didn't have any experience with taking care of a car too. If you take your car to the shop, it's likely you'll do the same with a bus. They will likely identify problems with the bus before you will. Nothing wrong with that, and you'll learn.

As said, the cutaway buses will provide a normal feeling driving experience (like a pickup truck) and they can often park in single parking spaces. Serviced at normal garages and easy to get parts for. It's a tradeoff of more space versus a better driving experience. As I'm sure you've been told, it all depends on how you're going to use it.
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Old 01-17-2018, 12:23 PM   #6
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Many Colorado buses will come with just about everything you need for high altitude/mountain driving. Most are equipped to handle those conditions. You won't find one in Florida that comes that way.
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Old 01-17-2018, 01:41 PM   #7
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Not even the alpine area of Florida?
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Old 01-17-2018, 02:16 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Robin97396 View Post
Not even the alpine area of Florida?
i made a map of Florida in my past life as a mapmaker,.. the highest point if i remember correctly was 231 feet above sea level,.. so i would expect temps there would be approx 4 degrees lower,...i'm sure drastic measures would be required to keep a bus operating in such mountainous terrain,....
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Old 01-17-2018, 02:40 PM   #9
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Not experienced in this respect at all but would expect that altitude makes a big difference as to power requirements due to less air/oxygen for combustion. So lots of torque, hp and turbo would be a must, along with a chain setup for the drive axle. Maybe a snowblower mounted front and back just in case, electric socks and underwear ...or maybe just stay in the ski lodge till Spring.

John
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Old 01-17-2018, 03:27 PM   #10
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I'm guessing a computerized version would accel in high altitudes.
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