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Old 10-08-2018, 11:30 PM   #1
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Dirt Roads and the like

Hello! I'm looking to be the soon-proud owner of a 1996 31' RE and after doing a lot of research, it seems that RE busses are terrible for dirt and such, though this is what I mostly wanted a bus/rv for, to take it up and down mountains and such. Is there anything I can do to combat the dust getting stuck in the engine and the various other things or is it a lost cause?
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:49 PM   #2
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Most likely anything you can do to keep the dust out will cause ventilation issues - unless you put a snorkel with a blower and aux filter up top. Even then cooling will be a chore. Access will also be an issue as well.

Many overlanders put snorkels on to help with the engine breathing clean air. But with an RE, it will be tough.
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:58 PM   #3
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I ran a fair amount of dirt roads in my last RE bus.

I ran big Donaldson air filters and had to clean & replace more frequently. No issues except spending a bit more on air filters.

I will be doing some dirt backroads with my new RE but if I wanted a serious overland right I would go with a CE for the ground clearance, ease of maintenance and keeping the intake ahead of the dust.
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Old 10-09-2018, 01:57 AM   #4
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On my '84 rear-engined Bluebird there is kind of a snorkel. The air intake is on the passenger side rear cap, about 8 plus feet above ground level. I suppose a lot of RE buses are like that.

I wouldn't be afraid of taking it on a gravel road, other than it being a 35 foot long, 8 foot wide ex-school bus. Engine air intake would probably be the least of my worries.
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:56 PM   #5
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user4004_pic10633_1423197994.jpg

user4004_pic10634_1423197994.jpg
We have taken our rear engine bus on a few gravel roads.
Never a problem.
user4004_pic10629_1423197266.jpg
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Old 10-14-2018, 11:54 PM   #6
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I plan on getting a conventional front end bus for the same thing - going where RVs don't usually go. The main reasons I'm looking at a skoolie instead of a production RV include the ruggedness and ground clearance of skoolies; they're built for dirt roads. I'm even looking into changing out the solid axles with independent suspension.
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Old 10-15-2018, 12:29 AM   #7
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Roger the back roads...and off road areas. I am about to start on skid plates for my engine & trans.
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Old 10-15-2018, 10:18 AM   #8
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Probably not a better place to test a skoolie than a trip to Prudhoe Bay. Love it!
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Old 10-15-2018, 10:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tugboater View Post
Probably not a better place to test a skoolie than a trip to Prudhoe Bay. Love it!
Holy crap! Prudhoe Bay, AK - 500 miles NORTH of Fairbanks. On the shore of the Arctic Ocean. What an adventure! That wouldn't just test the skoolie, it would test the driver...and passengers. I'm thinking it isn't the destination, but the journey. (?)

I see that your wheelbase is very short (lots of tail swing and even nose swing). Do you have any issues with grounding out the front or back on bumps or abrupt changes in grade?
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Old 10-15-2018, 03:48 PM   #10
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Hi G Dub-
I was commenting on Alan N's photos. I've spent lots of time in Deadhorse/Prudhoe...but never driven a bus there. As for our bus, we purchased it not long ago & are just getting started with our conversion. I'm brand new to this hobby & too inexperienced of a bus driver answer your question. However, I'm sure I'll test it's limits soon enough. Seems to me most motorhomes & travel trailers have worse clearance than our bus though.
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