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Old 09-07-2019, 12:36 AM   #11
Skoolie
 
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Location: Lafayette, Indiana
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Year: 2003
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I had a large FE class A motorhome several years ago. The noise and heat from the engine made travel unpleasant at best. We used it twice and got rid of it. My RE is quieter than my pickup truck. For us all the other pros and cons were irrelevant. We wanted comfortable travelling.
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:48 AM   #12
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Location: St Petersburg, FL
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Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
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I have some fresh experience with a RE bus and one thing I found immediately that hasn't been mentioned is that rear engine buses tend to have the rear wheels farther back than transit-style front engine buses. I'm hitting curbs like a kid with a permit.
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:24 PM   #13
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Year: 98
Coachwork: 1. Corbeil & 2. Thomas
Chassis: 1 ford e350 2 mercedes
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Talk to me about that
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Old 09-10-2019, 01:54 PM   #14
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Talk to me about that
Dang that sucks!
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:26 PM   #15
Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Lebanon, Indiana
Posts: 164
Coachwork: In the market
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Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
I have some fresh experience with a RE bus and one thing I found immediately that hasn't been mentioned is that rear engine buses tend to have the rear wheels farther back than transit-style front engine buses. I'm hitting curbs like a kid with a permit.
I have always tried to explain this to people and often they want to argue about it. The assumption is that FE or RE the wheelbase is the same but even just looking at them I can see they're not.

You are correct that an RE has the rear drive axle positioned closer to the rear of the vehicle than an FE or CE and with an equal bumper to bumper length this means that the RE is going to have the largest turning radius of the three configurations.

As a comparison, a typical highway motorcoach like a Greyhound bus has two rear axles but only the forward one is a drive axle. The second one does carry some weight and provide a smooth ride but these coaches also have options like tag axle lift or countersteering which keeps that extra axle from dragging in turns. Without it, the added ~4 feet from the drive axle to the rear mounted engine would create an uncomfortable bobbing as the weight of the engine would bounce the front of the coach like a see-saw. Fortunately this is not a problem in school buses but if you can imagine an RE with the wheelbase of an FE and 8-10 feet of rear overhang would be bobbing the steer tires right off the pavement!
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:27 PM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
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I have been rving and living in and driving school busses since the early 80s. Currently living in and driving a 98 international Amtran pusher. For me the attraction with the flat nose pusher is no engine hump / dog house to step over getting into the driver's seat. A lot less engine noise. All the noise is in the back. If I want a really quiet Drive I closed the back bedroom door. There's lots of extra room underneath to put storage, even pass through storage.
Conventional front-engine buses are probably easier to do engine work on then either front engine or rear engine flat nose buses.
Over the years I drove a lot of front engine RVs, before I ever had a pusher. That one pusher ruined me for front engine RVs.
With the rear engine flat nose as long as the cooling system is working properly there is no trouble with overheating. We've already put more than 3,000 miles on our bus mostly in the high desert of New Mexico during July August and the early part of September. Most of those days were averaging 100 + degrees no overheating problems whatsoever.
The side door on the international it's only about two feet wide in about 3 ft tall. I call it the grocery door. I like to pull up next to it with my grocery cart and load everything onto the floor inside the bus. It is a bit difficult to get big things like full-size refrigerators in to the bus.
I think the one thing that I would have shopped for knowing this, is a full-sized, rear engine, flat nose bus, with a handicap lift.
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:32 AM   #17
Skoolie
 
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Location: Foot of the siskiyou mountains Oregon.
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Year: 1989
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Engine: Dt 360/ spicer 5 speed
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This might be off subject but I chose a dognose over the rest for the ground clearance it has. I don't thing many other rigs can match it.. I like to take it down a bit of dirt country roads when I can though.
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Old 09-16-2019, 12:25 PM   #18
Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Lebanon, Indiana
Posts: 164
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This might be off subject but I chose a dognose over the rest for the ground clearance it has. I don't thing many other rigs can match it.. I like to take it down a bit of dirt country roads when I can though.
I promise I'm not trying to be argumentative but how do you figure a dognose (conventional) has more ground clearance than other configurations? Apples to apples, the axles and differential are probably the lowest point and pretty equal between configs. If it came down to breakovers and approach/departure angles, I think any front engine is at risk of dinging the driveshaft then dragging the tail due to the huge rear overhang. Alternatively, the worst config for dirt roads would be a rear engine sucking in all that dust kicked up. So I think each one has pros and cons to consider.
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Old 09-17-2019, 10:48 AM   #19
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Location: in our bus
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Year: 1998
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Chassis: Thomas MPV
Engine: Cummins 6BTAA
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I have to agree with SolomanEagle. My CE drove the logging roads ike a charm. My FE on the other hand, no where near the clearance. I'm not sure on engine removal of an RE but I can have my 5.9 Cummins out of the FE in a couple hours where it would take one hour just to get the front grille off of the CE.
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