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Old 11-26-2015, 01:20 PM   #1
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Year: 1995
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Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E
Biggest differences between skoolie and coach?

It seems like there's a bright line, culturally speaking, between skoolie and coach conversions.

Has anybody considered one and then done the other? Has anyone done both?

I'm in the hunt for my new home, but I'm not 100% sure whether I want a school bus or a coach. Help me decide!
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Old 11-26-2015, 01:32 PM   #2
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$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
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You Gotta Let Me Fly
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Old 11-26-2015, 01:50 PM   #3
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Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
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Old 11-26-2015, 02:44 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
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General items but not always,

Skoolie; less expensive, truck frame which allows for more "house" changing such as slide outs and roof raise, more available, harsher ride, shorter wheel base, tighter turn radius, less under storage, easier access to work on engine- if front engine, less welcome in camp grounds, usually built for in town driving so gearing and engine are sufficient but can be less desirable for highway, truck frame allows more towing capacity

Couch; more expensive, most are air bag suspension so smoother ride, longer wheel base, wider turn radius, several kinds of body structure but most are reliant on outer skin like an airplane so less options for body mods or at least harder, more under storage, easier to make look like an rv so a bit more welcome in parks, some are built city, a lot built for highway, engine and gearing can be more desirable for highway, no real frame makes it tricky to tow larger loads

I'm sure there are more, and again these are General statements, there are exceptions to all of the above, more on some and less on others.
Please chime in and correct me and add to the list
God bless,
Eric
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Old 11-26-2015, 10:59 PM   #5
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Skoolies are hard to get GOOD insurance on where coach conversions are not. TAG axles. There are no professional conversions or converters for school busses. Coach can be professionally done across the country. If you were going to convert it yourself the only real difference is the upfront price of the bus, realistically that is it.
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Old 11-27-2015, 02:01 PM   #6
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Cool

TO the points stated:

Depending how handy you are - you can convert a Skoolie to air-suspension no problem, same for tag-axles. There is enough breakers out there to go shopping!

Question is, do you want to build yourself or have it built?

Do you want to the "Good Roads" only or also go the "Dirt Roads"

Most coaches may scratch just on a steep gas-station ramp.
Most Skoolies won't....

The "Comfort" Reasons of the coach people can be adapted to the Skoolie fairly straight forward....

I believe, that a Skoolie is a more versatile "base kit" to modify than a coach.
And easier to modify too!!

My 5 cents....

thjakits
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Old 11-27-2015, 02:42 PM   #7
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MY school bus came with rear air ride.
Nice to have for sure.
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Old 11-27-2015, 03:30 PM   #8
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Any chance you could take a few pics and post them? Or you have some on a different thread?

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Old 11-27-2015, 04:44 PM   #9
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
I can take some pics next time I'm at the bus in the daylight. I'm heading there now but its getting dark soon.
Look through my thread "Roll Your Own" and there MAY be some pics. Some of the more top of the line school buses were ordered with air ride, at least in the rear.
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Old 11-27-2015, 06:06 PM   #10
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I suppose I'm more a Skoolie guy than a coach guy though I own and have converted both and use both (as well as a tent trailer). The Skoolie appeals to the " I can take care of myself just fine thanks" aspect of my personality.This is in parallel with my choice of bicycles: I have a hundred dollar Huffy 20", no gears and a coaster brake that I slam around camp sites and jump curbs with. I also have a Giant brand road bike with 23 speeds and disc brakes that is only suitable for paved roads and fair weather--the Huffy gets the most use--same reason.

Other than the fact that both Skoolies and coaches provide transportation and accommodation, the units are not otherwise even remotely similar and like my bikes are not interchangeable in use. Neither do they often bridge the "bright line" you refer to.

If you plan to motor to Florida from Spokane for the winter, the coach is for you.

If you plan to strap a canoe on the top of your rig and head to Colorado for summer water sports, the Skoolie is for you.

From another line of thought, a Skoolie presents the "most likely to be a successful conversion platform" especially for the moderately able do- it -yourselfer. It is pretty hard to screw up something built on a truck chassis but very easy (and likely) to damage the monolithic structure of a Van Drool, MCI or Eagle while learning what works and what doesn't.

Neither should be looked at as an investment. Both are money and time pits with a very low chance of you getting your expenditure back. But then just consider all the fun you will have playing in your bus and somehow all the negatives seem to vanish. Hope this helps. Jack
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