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Old 09-14-2015, 01:14 PM   #1
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Crown vs Gillig: WTB For a California Weekend Cruiser

For quite sometime now I have been working on friends buses and touring around California in them: from Burning Man to camping. Now its time for me to build my own.

I am in love with the look of the Crown's and Gilligs but I am just starting to do my research. I have heard bad things about the Detroit Diesels, i.e. once something goes wrong, the rebuild is over 10k.

Anyway, some of my requirements:

1. I will convert it to an RV, sans shower and stove
2. I will have a bad and a toilet and a sink/bar
3. I'd like to add A/C on the roof
4. I DO NOT want to deal with California emissions (does this mean I'm fine as long as its diesel?)


Any other advice you could give me would be much appreciated!

Cheers!
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Old 09-14-2015, 06:48 PM   #2
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Have you read on what California's requirements for a bus to be converted into an RV are? Because you night need that stove. RV's are exempt from emissions.
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f27/ca...laws-9708.html
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f18/co...n-ca-4875.html

I find that when looking for information on any Vbulletin powered forum don't bother to use the search system in stead go to google type in your search query followed by in this case site:skoolie.net (for other boards put their address after site: got it)
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Old 09-14-2015, 07:01 PM   #3
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Thanks CaptainInsaneo. I have been digging through the forums and found a fair amount of relevant information regarding CARB issues. I am also aware of the stove problem.

Any info on Crown's vs Gilligs? Motors to look out for? Any other issues?
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Old 09-14-2015, 08:54 PM   #4
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If your going to convert a crown or Gillig, add 40 to 50% to the conversion cost.

Also add min 30% to the conversion time. That will be spent looking for parts that are not made anymore, and trying to make custom one off's.

Nothing efficient or economical about either brand.


Nat
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Old 09-14-2015, 10:21 PM   #5
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Year: 1975
Chassis: Gillig
Engine: Cat 3208t/10 speed transmission
Find the bus with the engine and transmission you want.
Crown or Gillig, both are vastly superior to any other school bus.
The opinions of those without firsthand knowledge and experience notwithstanding.
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Old 09-14-2015, 11:30 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice. Im starting to think the same. From what I've read so far a Cummins would be the best option followed by a CAT.
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Old 09-14-2015, 11:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan N View Post
Find the bus with the engine and transmission you want.
Crown or Gillig, both are vastly superior to any other school bus.
The opinions of those without firsthand knowledge and experience notwithstanding.
Don't need to own one, glad I never have.

We get to see over and over again in every Crown and Gillig build the special this, special that, curved this and curved that. Trying to convert around curves adds loss of product, limitations of products you can use, and massive amounts of time to install anything on those curves.

Then comes trying to find glass. From windshields to side glass, its just not easy to find any more.

That is now. How about in ten or twenty years from now. Then what you going to do for glass?

That is only a few of many I could go back and find in the build threads section of this site.

I have nothing against them for what they once were. They were the prestige of their category.

However for a efficient conversion, they are far from practical.

Nat
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Old 09-14-2015, 11:49 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by johnclarkemills View Post
Thanks for the advice. Im starting to think the same. From what I've read so far a Cummins would be the best option followed by a CAT.
If you plan to be off the pavement much I would stay away from a mid engine.
If you want a bus that MOVES get a mid engine Cummins (400hp easy with off the shelf parts).
Have fun.
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Old 09-14-2015, 11:59 PM   #9
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nat_ster, this is one of my concerns as well. I have a vintage car and have dealt with this before.

Aren't there certain of years of Crowns and Gilligs that have less curved windows? Its hard to tell from the photos that I can find.
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Old 09-15-2015, 01:53 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by johnclarkemills View Post
nat_ster, this is one of my concerns as well. I have a vintage car and have dealt with this before.

Aren't there certain of years of Crowns and Gilligs that have less curved windows? Its hard to tell from the photos that I can find.
The people that live and breathe crowns may have to answer that.

Google may have info on that if you type in the right key words.

Alan,

How low is the lowest part of the engine on a mid engine crown?

Nat
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