The front engine is the easiest to work on. Rear engine vehicles are fine as long as you have a forklift to move it in or out for major repairs or have a midget contorsionist available 24/7 to work on it underneath.
When first considering a schoolie, I went to consult the professionals.
As a professional driver and Owner/Operator of a 1999 Freightliner with 700K miles, I'm well aware that EVERYTHING will eventually need fixing.
I spoke with the bus mechanix at their shop in downtown St.Louis city, just north of the stadium.
They also work on other large commercial vehicle as well as large buses and some RV's.
The boss had time to spare and so gave me the 20 minute run-down on all concerned.
He said that whatever the charge was, say for changing an alternator, that charge was doubled for "pusher" type vehicles.
Even those with the engine inside next to the driver (dog-nose???) were easier as the "hump" comes off as well as the grill to get at everything. it was not hated nearly so much as the "pusher" types and these guys work on them for a living.
Sort of like a difficult love/hate marriage, that no one can do anything about.
Mechanix also hate the "cab-over" tractor-trailer rigs for similar reasons. Even when the cab is hydraulically pumped over and hanging upside down in front of the bumper (something to see!!!) the mechanix STILL have diffiuclty reaching critical components. A happy mechanioc is a thorough mechanic.
When the engine is easily accressed, PM / preventative maintenance is also done regularly and not postponed til the roadside inevitably beckons and ALWAYS at the worst possible and expensive time.
I have a 1987 skoolie for sale. Near mint condition with new diesel engine and many extras not usually found on skoolies.
With its conventional hood, I can easily get-at any and all components for a quick looksee.
I recently removed and rebuilt a power steering pump. A slow shaft drip was easily seen with weekly "looksee" PM,
and with pump quickly and easily removed, new seals were pressed in place by General Hydraulics.
This would never have been noticed on a "pusher" until a weekend or vacation was ruined by oily slipping belts or a totally
in-operable or fluid-empty steering pump grinding itself to bits.
Conventional cabs may not look as cool as a BIG pusher but day to day reality rules them out for all but a wealthy or very motivated few.
Back to work now full time, 80hrs/week for a prof driver, My skoolie is for sale.
for complete details email me at firstname.lastname@example.org